- Specialist Services
The need for commercially sound legal advice on financing is particularly important in the emerging markets of Africa where governments and the private sector are both focussing on the investments necessary to enable development.
We are recognised as a leading adviser on banking and finance law in Sub-Saharan Africa and a market-leader in innovation, documentation standards and best practice.
We have experience across the spectrum of finance matters from bank finance to project finance, debt capital markets and restructuring. We handle many of the largest and most complex financings, debt restructurings and work-outs and are often involved in the development of sophisticated financial products.
We specialise in complex domestic and cross-border finance transactions and have extensive knowledge of leveraged and acquisition finance, structured finance, capital markets, project and real estate finance, derivatives, securitisation, preference share finance, subordinated debt and insolvency and restructuring.
Our expertise extends to bilateral and syndicated loans, guarantee and security issues and regulatory matters including the establishment of banks and the carrying on of lending and investment banking activities within Sub-Saharan Africa.
Our depth of expertise enables us to provide advice across the entire capital structure of a transaction (from working capital facilities to hedging; equity financing to mezzanine debt).
Our Islamic finance specialists have advised on the structuring of Islamic law compliant financial products. We have also been involved in numerous project finance and public-private partnership transactions, advising lenders, borrowers and concession companies.
Some of our lawyers are admitted as solicitors in England and Wales allowing us to provide seamless advice on English law governed financings in the region.
We act for corporate borrowers; corporate, commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions; trust companies and funds; and state-owned entities, regulatory bodies and governments. In recent times, we have also acted for insolvency and business rescue practitioners.
We are recognised for our expertise in project finance in energy, resources, utilities and infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A key driver our success is our ability to assemble and integrate teams with skills in structured debt finance, equity finance, construction, operations, real estate, through-put supply arrangements, tax and regulated markets.
Our project finance lawyers have in-depth experience in structured financings on a limited recourse basis or with limited recourse features, whether involving bilateral or multi-lateral lending arrangements and or multi-source financings including export credit guarantees and financings.
Whether working independently as lead counsel for the lenders or for the project sponsors, or as local or co-counsel in co-operation with international counsel in its role as lead lender or project counsel, we are able to provide end-to-end legal expertise to meet and promote clients’ requirements.
We have had a leading role in many of the most significant and high profile projects in Sub-Saharan Africa notwithstanding the persistent lag in the roll out of infrastructure development across the region. Our on-the-ground presence together with our project finance expertise and integrated service approach works well particularly for clients who share our vision for Africa’s sustained prosperity.
Our clients include banks and other financial institutions, developers, sponsors, contractors, state-owned utilities and enterprises and government agencies.
Restructuring is broader than formal bankruptcy or liquidation processes. Restructuring commences as early as covenant re-setting and ‘amend and extend’ discussions, continues through default and/ or forbearances or waivers of default, consensual solutions such as refinancing, sale of non-core assets, cash injections and restructuring of the business or equity, through to formal processes such as schemes of arrangement and compromise, and ultimately business rescue and liquidation.
We are uniquely placed to advise on the full range of issues that may arise throughout any restructuring process.
Our restructuring and insolvency specialists work closely with expert lawyers in our Banking & Finance and Corporate Departments to provide a comprehensive service.
We are able to draw on in-house expertise in other areas that may be required in a complex restructuring including: regulatory law (particularly in sectors such as mining, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications), tax, pensions and employment law, competition and merger control and real estate.
We also have English law qualified practitioners to advise on foreign listed facilities and debt instruments.
We have considerable experience in cross-border restructurings that involve simultaneous insolvency filings in multiple jurisdictions. Our team members have also advised on many pan-European and co-ordinated US/ Europe restructurings.