Africa: a vast continent. A continent with immense natural resources and enormous potential. Home to over 1 billion people and 54 nations, showing substantial economic growth, a steady development of per capita income and increasing urbanisation. A continent in need of substantial investments to unleash its potential. But also a region struggling with prejudices, the threat of political instability and ethnic and religious unrest.
The development of Africa as the latest frontier for emerging market investors raises new challenges and new legal issues. Cultural, lingual and legal diversity need to be managed in multi-jurisdictional projects and transactions. Recent finds of enormous reserves of oil, natural gas and other natural resources require unprecedented investments in infrastructure through public/private partnerships and other structures. Local content rules and other rules and regulations may apply to such projects in order to ensure that the benefits will also reach the local population. This requires knowledge, not only as to the content of such rules but also as to local practice.
In recent years we have invested in building our capabilities and network in Africa. This fits with the increased activity and interest of our clients in the continent at large and our ambition to support our clients in their international matters.
This is why we have a dedicated Africa team, headed by partner Rick van ‘t Hullenaar. Our Africa Team ensures that our clients receive the best and most effective service and legal advice, with local counsel’s assistance as needed. Our approach ranges from full-fledged project management, where we act as lead counsel in close cooperation with local counsel in the relevant jurisdictions, to referrals to local law firms. Together with our Best Friends network we will cooperate with renowned local firms with which we have a close and personal working relationship, so we can select the right local law firm (and where necessary the right person) in terms of quality, efficiency, required expertise and network.