Our multidisciplinary Africa Desk has extensive experience counseling and representing U.S. based companies, investors and financial institutions seeking to do business in Africa, African governments, and African companies looking for opportunities in the U.S. marketplace. We help clients overcome the challenges posed by cross-border business dealings, including unfamiliar laws, alternative business practices, cultural differences, bureaucratic red tape and foreign language issues. Our experience provides us with a unique understanding of how business is done in different jurisdictions, and we are well-versed in managing the difficulties that may arise in emerging market transactions and disputes.
Our capabilities are further enhanced by our relationships with select professional organizations and advisors in many countries on the African continent, including Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. Such relationships extend our geographical reach and enable us to collaborate with trusted foreign counsel appropriate to the representation at hand.
Our talented team of lawyers and professionals, highly skilled in their specialty areas, works seamlessly and cohesively to meet clients’ goals and objectives. Many of our Africa Desk professionals have valuable sector experience, including agriculture, financial services, infrastructure, mining and minerals, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, transportation, energy, water, waste management and telecommunications, providing an ideal balance of legal know-how and understanding of clients’ industries to deliver practical business results. Many of our professionals are also active in the international business community, including the South Africa Business Chamber of Commerce and Africa Atlanta 2014.
Areas of Focus
Aligned to resourcefully meet client needs, our Africa Desk advises on a wide range of issues:
- Corporate Transactions & Securities
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Compliance
- Global Sourcing & Procurement
- Information Security & Privacy
- Infrastructure Development
- International Dispute Resolution
- International Trade & Customs
- Project Development and Finance
- Real Estate
- Representing a large U.S. manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment in multiple African countries, including facilitation of joint ventures with local partners throughout Africa.
- Representing African companies in accessing U.S. technologies, facilitating technology transfer, and negotiating licensing and distribution rights in southern and western Africa.
- Assisting several U.S. companies on international trade and the establishment of distribution channels for the export of telecommunications equipment into Africa.
- Assisting a U.S.-based trading company in establishing distribution, warehousing and trading operations of perishable commodities in Liberia and western Africa.
- Representing U.S. companies doing business in Southern Africa with joint venture structuring, incorporating tax incentives, foreign grant and enterprise incentives into overall project finance.
- Representing a South African financial advisory and investment management firm on project finance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions.
- Advising a South African telecommunications company on product outsourcing, OEM manufacturing and post product assembly transactions.
- Representing the African and Caribbean member governments of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) before the first World Trade Organization (WTO) panel and Appellate Body hearings in the longest-running WTO dispute to date (European Communities – Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas (DS27)).
- Representing clients on solar energy projects in South Africa and Botswana.
- Representing a major international engineering firm in construction projects in Zaire and South Africa.
- Representing an international engineering firm and U.S. federal government contractor in several disputes arising under a contract with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) in Djibouti involving a classified construction project in Africa; the disputes involved joint venture partners, claims against the Navy and claims by subcontractors responsible for supplying materials to a chiller system.
- Representing a mechanical subcontractor in a dispute with a design/builder involving deficient and uncoordinated design issues in connection with a military facility in eastern Africa. Representation involved preparing, presenting and prosecuting the claim. The case was resolved following claim submission and direct negotiations.
- Representing a Fortune 200 company in the $1.5 billion sale of a division operating more than 33 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries, including handling plant separation agreements and complex leasing, easement and operating agreements for sites in South Africa, Brazil, Chile and France, and transferring plant, office and warehouse sites in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States (Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin) and Venezuela.
- Serving as lead counsel in an American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution proceeding, defending a major international oil company in a $12 million dispute over the payment of Gabonese taxes on African oil operations. After a full hearing, the client’s liability was reduced by 50 percent.
- Advising on the establishment of a private U.S. airline charter to support West African oil company operations.
- Representing an Ethiopian developer in constructing a common premise building for the U.S. State Department.