Driven by policy reforms, a young population, and a rising middle class, Africa is undergoing an investment boom and is on pace to be one of the world’s largest economies.
From our offices in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and China, we advise companies operating or seeking to do business in Africa. We offer extensive experience advising on finance transactions, project development, private equity and funds matters covering key industry sectors, including power, water, transport, mining, oil and gas, financial services and telecoms. Blakes lawyers advise sponsors, private investors, commercial lenders and development agencies for their investments and transactions in Africa.
We have multi-lingual language capability, including English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and our lawyers are trained in and practice in both civil law and common law jurisdictions and are therefore well versed with the legal issues that arise in African jurisdictions. In addition to having practical knowledge of the foundations of local legal systems, our lawyers are very familiar with OHADA laws, the set of uniform commercial laws which is currently applied in 17 West African countries.
Blakes has one of the largest and most active mergers and acquisitions practices in Canada having been involved in more than 1,100 public and private M&A transactions, with an aggregate dollar value in excess of US$1-trillion, in the past seven years. According to Bloomberg, Blakes is the No. 1 Canadian law firm in both Canadian and global M&A deals by deal value and deal count for this period, 2008-2014. Our Financial Services team is also renowned and regularly assists clients with capital-raising and Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and dual-country stock exchange listings. Clients in Africa rely on us for comprehensive representation from venture structuring, risk management, capital-raising and project funding through negotiating contracts and assuring regulatory compliance and government approvals. They come to us to represent them in a wide range of multi-jurisdictional investments and cross-border M&A transactions, knowing we can advise on all of the challenges they face.
Expansion into African markets requires an understanding of the legal systems at work across the continent coupled with seamless cross-border legal service. Working with our Lex Mundi global network, our international network of lawyers and local counsel in Africa, clients are assured of comprehensive, cost-effective representation that addresses all issues impacting their businesses and investments in Africa. With representation on the ground in 17 African countries, our Lex Mundi relationships assist us in assembling experienced teams to deliver seamless service and multijurisdictional solutions.
We have made a commitment to investing in the communities where we do business. We are involved in a number of pro bono projects across Africa, including most recently The “160 Girls” Project and Crossroads International. For more information, please visit our Pro Bono page.