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African Business Lawyers

Africa plays an increasingly important role in international business, particularly in oil and gas, mining, food exports, manufacturing exports, major infrastructure projects and privatisations. To account for this fact, the legal and tax systems in African countries have evolved substantially in recent years. In Africa, as elsewhere, business law and taxation issues are now core strategic considerations for companies doing business or seeking to do business on the African continent.

In this complex environment, our goal is to provide our clients with effective and constructive assistance, to secure their transactions on a technical level and to provide support in the implementation of their projects. 

Our practice areas

We advise and assist our clients in their business dealings with Africa in the following legal an tax areas:

  • Mining, oil and gas:
    - assisting and advising mining and oil companies on their investments and operations
    - assisting and advising mining and oil services companies
  • Project and infrastructure financing:
    - structuring major infrastructure projects through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), privatisations and partial privatisations
    - entering into and executing public procurement contracts
  • Optimisation and security of intragroup operations:
    - identifying and making optimum use of existing incentive schemes and tax breaks
    - drafting and/or amending contractual and company documents (especially OHADA/Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa)
    - analysing and optimising intragroup financial flows
    - analysing and optimising international mobility and expatriation policies
  • Investment:
    - managing setting up a business, co-operation and distribution projects
    - incorporating local tax considerations in the choice and location of investment vehicles
    - signing and executing industrial projects (engineering, technology, transfer, turnkey contracts, etc.)
  • Advice transactions (acquisitions, divestments, joint ventures, restructurings, mergers):
    - conducting legal audits
    - drafting documentation and contracts- assisting in negotiations
    - advising the national and international tax aspects of such deals
  • Litigation and arbitration:
    - assisting tax litigation and local and/or international arbitration procedures  
Our approach
  • Acknowledged experience in Africa: our many years of experience and close ties with Africa have enabled us to build relationships of trust with the local governments. Through this experience, we have also acquired the expertise needed to give clients ongoing, effective support. We provide solutions geared to the needs of national and international companies, drawing on our expert knowledge of specific to doing business in this part of the world and on the quality and high standards for which ou work is recognised.
  • A dedicated multidisciplinary team of lawyers based in Paris:the team's lawyers have widely recognised expertise in African business law and taxation. Guaranteeing consistent service and a pan-African approach, the team provides clients with the benefits of synergies between our firm and our local correspondents and delivers integrated solutions in line with their projects and growth strategy
  • A strong presence on the African continent, guaranteeing tailored, pragmatic services that comply with local regulations: we monitor developments through our network of correspondents and our documentation centre created over fifty years ago. Across Africa, we provide comprehensive legal and tax advice and assistance that meet international standards.
Geoffrey Levesque
Geoffrey Levesque
France, Neuilly-sur-Seine
Geoffrey joined CMS Francis Lefebvre in 2018 as Counsel in charge of project finance. He has developed a recognized expertise in financing in the infrastructure and energy sectors (greenfield or brownfield...