Services

To Africa we bring our international expertise and experienced professionals, complemented with expertise from local tier 1 law firms.

If you wish to invest in East Africa or North Africa, we are the firm to come to. We can lead you through arbitrations, compliance programmes, and anti-corruption policies, and provide guidance on how to ensure the optimum business structure from a tax standpoint.

Likewise, if you are an African business that demands excellence and high added value, we are the firm for you.

Our goal is to bring all our skills in Africa, starting from those practice areas with higher  market demand: International Arbitration, International Taxation, Banking & Finance (particularly in terms of project finance), M&A and Anticorruption.

 

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

Over the last decade, we have seen international arbitration in Africa flourish, with numerous regional arbitration centres opening and new national arbitration laws being introduced.

But of all African countries, Egypt boasts the largest number of bilateral investment treaties – more than 100 – and hosts the most arbitrations, in large part administered at the well-known Cairo Arbitration Centre.

We assist you directly in the African countries you operate in: our arbitration work has involved the domestic laws of 50 different countries, and specifically in Africa, our experience includes Algeria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda.

We use to handle international arbitrations in a range of languages (e.g. English, French, Spanish) under various rules (ICC, LCIA, ICSID, SCC, CRCICA, DIAC), national laws and legal systems, in Africa, America, Europe and the Far and Middle East.

As counsel, our arbitration experts have assisted on 20 international arbitrations that did not involve Italy or Italian law – for both international companies and consortiums.

As arbitrator, our team members have arbitrated more than 50 international disputes.

We are your reference law firm in Africa, especially in Egypt, where we can combine our expertise with that of Kosheri, Rashed & Riad, the Egyptian law firm most renowned in international arbitration.

 

INTERNATIONAL TAXATION

It is common knowledge that taxation is a vital source of funding for African governments to feed development and growth. African countries are now more focused on setting up tax systems that reflect the highest international standards to ensure effectiveness, accountability and transparency.

Against this backdrop, it is key for multinationals and international investors to examine tax matters with a fine tooth-comb to ensure no stone is left unturned when it comes to exploiting opportunities and minimising tax risks without infringing local regulations.

We have a unique expertise in all areas of international taxation.

Our high reputation is built on the advice and guidance we have given, and continue to give, to Italian and international clients, concerning corporate tax, international taxation and transfer pricing.

Our Africa-specific services include:

  • Structuring cross border investments
  • Advising in restructuring and acquisition transactions
  • Advising on complex issues of international tax, including tax planning for multinational groups with presence in Africa
  • Advising on transfer pricing with regard to the following issues:
    • Setting up group transfer pricing policies
    • Business restructurings
  • APAs and mutual agreement procedures under the existing double taxation conventions
  • Assistance during tax audits and litigation
  • Compliance (with specific reference to the local laws and regulations)

If you are a corporation or an investor with branches in Africa, we are your reference law firm to structure your tax business in the most efficient way, thanks to our renowned expertise and our fully-fledged team of international tax specialists supported by our partners in Egypt and Ethiopia for local legal aspects.

 

PROJECT FINANCE

Infrastructure and energy projects are widely recognised as the key drivers of the socio-economic development in Africa. This is particularly true for Egypt, where the vast majority of the $ 150 bn of foreign investment planned is focused on these sectors. Indeed, Egypt is working to create a more balanced diversification of its energy mix (renewables, gas and coal) and capitalise on its strategic location as a gateway between Africa, Europe and Asia. The country is also taking great strides to improve its port, road and railway infrastructure.

Our firm is well positioned to support investors keen to capture investment opportunities in this area. We have a strong understanding of the industries and business models, thanks to our years of experience in the sectors: power generation and transmission, oil and gas, renewable energy (photovoltaic, wind, biomasses, geothermic) and infrastructure (roads and highways, hospitals, railways).

The members of our Energy & Infrastructure Focus Team have won praise for their technical ability and their commercial approach. Indeed, our project finance experts offer a comprehensive service to banks, funds, ECAs, sponsors, contractors and sub-contractors: advice on project structures, development of procurement strategy, legal due diligence investigation, analysis and allocation of risks and review of the bankability of project and finance agreements.

We can also leverage a rich blend of specialist skills and commercial perspectives from our “Best Friends” network of law firms for operations involving European investors or requiring common law competencies. This friendship allows us to create cost-efficient cross-jurisdictional teams who are highly skilled at guiding clients through the complexities of large ‘multi-border’ projects.

If you are an investor or a developer/constructor, we are your reference law firm for energy and infrastructure projects financed on a project finance or export finance basis, for which we combine our recognised leadership in Europe with the local law expertise of our local partners.

 

M&A

Africa is experiencing a steep and constant increase in M&A levels: from 2009 seeing only 86 M&A deals involving Africa targets, to 2015 seeing 143 – with the vast majority being international deals.

International private equity firms also saw their ROI from investments in Africa double last year: from $1.9 bn in 2014 to $4.3 bn in 2015.

Against this background, foreign businesses need the support of lawyers with remarkable experience in large and complex cross-border deals.

Our multidisciplinary, international team are experts in managing, in close collaboration with decision makers and financial advisors, the structuring and execution of complicated, high stake cross-border deals involving African countries – particularly those that require sophisticated legal planning and outstanding legal judgment.

In the ever-evolving world of M&A, we continue to make a real contribution to the success of each deal. Our ability to come up with groundbreaking solutions and deliver optimum results is renowned – some of the most innovative structures conceived by our lawyers have become market standards.

Leveraging also the local law expertise of our African partners, we are your reference law firm whether you are a business looking to expand in Africa or an African business looking to expand in Europe.

 

ANTICORRUPTION

Creating a simple, efficient and modern compliance programme is becoming more and more a must for companies investing abroad, especially in a high-growth area like Africa, which is characterised by cash-based economies, by challenges in obtaining licences and authorisations, and by the need to establish joint ventures with local players. Indeed, studies suggest that the continent loses an estimated $50 bn annually due to illicit financial flows – in the form of both tax fraud and money laundering.

We offer Italian and foreign businesses with presence in Africa or interested to invest there a comprehensive range of services in the fields of business ethics and anti-corruption tailored to the specific requirements and nature of each business.

  • Review and advisory service: a service for businesses whose compliance systems are due for review and enhancement.
  • Global compliance programme: a service for businesses that wish to strengthen their business ethics and anti-corruption systems, designed to ensure that they:
    • comply with the various applicable regulations
    • meet the standards set by best practices
    • support the business objectives, facilitating the dissemination and consolidation of legally and ethically correct forms of conduct
    • provide management with suitable supervisory and monitoring instruments
  • Assessment opinion: a service that allows companies to understand to what extent their compliance programmes comply with the applicable regulations, international guidelines and best practices
  • Monitoring: monitoring of knowledge and implementation of the company compliance programme
  • Code of ethics: drafting or review of the code of ethics in accordance with the latest international best practices, depending on the business sectors and geographical context the company operates in
  • Training: we can prepare training programmes for your employees, for top management, and for your own trainers

If you are business with presence or interest in Africa, we are besides you with a practice dedicated to Ethics & Corporate compliance as well as a department specialized in white-collar criminal law, able to provide you with tailored services in the continent.