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Chambers Africa Awards 2024

About this webinar

We are delighted to host Chambers Africa Awards 2024. The awards recognise a law firm’s pre-eminence in key jurisdictions in the region. They also reflect achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.

Event Details:
Event date
Wednesday, 24 January 2024
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Event location
Ollie Dimsdale, Head of Research - Africa, Chambers and Partners
Charline Thiebault, Head of France - Research, Chambers and Partners
Ana Licurci
Ana Licurci, Research Manager, Chambers and Partners
Chambers Africa Awards 2024 - Shortlist and Winners

Lifetime Achievement Awards

  • Gbenga Oyebode (Aluko & Oyebode)

    Gbenga Oyebode is an esteemed Nigerian lawyer who is the co-founder of one of the best-known and most highly respected law firms, not just in his home market, but across Africa. With offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, this firm achieves consistently high rankings across all practice areas in Nigeria, with many of its individual partners also acknowledged as market leaders. The firm’s success across such a wide range of disciplines is in no small part attributable to the high standards set by our winner. His own practice covers all areas of transactional work, including both M&A and finance matters, and he has been at the helm of several of the largest deals ever seen in the Nigerian market. 

  • Noureddine Ferchiou (Ferchiou & Associés)

    Noureddine Ferchiou is managing partner of one of the market-leading domestic Tunisian law firms. He has been described as a “giant of the Tunisian Bar” and the “father of business law firms in Tunisia.”  His longstanding practice has seen him advise international clients and the Tunisian State on some of the largest and most high-profile matters in Tunisia, including strategic mergers as well as energy and infrastructure projects. 

    We have learned that Noureddine Ferchiou passed away in early February 2024. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.

  • Iqbal Rajahbalee SC (BLC Robert & Associates)

    Iqbal Rajahbalee SC is a Mauritius-based lawyer who has played a significant and trailblazing role in the development of the financial services and offshore industries on the island. He is the co-founder and managing partner of BLC Robert & Associates, a hugely successful corporate law firm in Mauritius. His work spans both transactional and contentious mandates and he has regularly acted for the government on drafting novel legislation, and advising on financial regulations. He has been described as a “phenomenal practitioner” and market commentators also mention that “he brings a high level of sophistication and insight to matters, particularly through his well-honed advocacy skills.” 

Outstanding Contribution Awards

  • Melissa Butler (White & Case)

    Melissa Butler is a London-based US lawyer who has made African debt capital markets one of the mainstays of her practice. Year after year, she consistently has a lead international role on many of the largest transactions taking place on the continent, with a particularly noteworthy deal list when it comes to sovereign issuances. Butler is well versed in representing governments as well as bookrunners, arrangers and dealers. We look forward to reviewing her work for many years to come. Typical Chambers interview commentary describes her as “super-professional, hard-working and knowledgeable,” and someone who “has outstanding skills in dealing with complex and sophisticated matters.” 

  • Terry Winstanley (Winstanley Incorporated)

    Terry Winstanley is an environmental lawyer who is frequently cited as the South African market’s single most active, capable and impressive individual in her field of law. She has comfortably maintained a ranking as a star individual for South Africa Environment for the better part of the last decade. She frequently assists with environmental impact assessments as well as the permitting requirements underpinning major renewable energy projects. Now more than ever, this work has an urgent importance and we are pleased to be able to celebrate it via this award. Sources highlight Winstanley for her depth of experience and pragmatic approach to finding solutions. One interviewee described her as “one of the pioneers of environmental law in South Africa,” adding that “her expertise is virtually unmatched.” 

Up-and-coming Lawyer of the Year
Amadou Barry of Thiam & Associés
Bridgett Majola of CMS RM Partners
Camilia Benani of DLA Piper Casablanca
Chinyerugo Ugoji of ǼLEX
Lerato Thahane of Bowmans

Winner: Chinyerugo Ugoji of ǼLEX 

Chinyerugo Ugoji is one of the key M&A partners at ǼLEX, and is fast developing a very impressive reputation in the Nigerian market. He has a prominent role on many of the firm’s most significant transactional mandates, with considerable experience advising on deal structuring, acquisitions, investments and strategic partnerships. He offers complementary expertise in competition and tax. One satisfied client cited him as “a first-rate professional who is highly knowledgeable,” whilst others remark that he is “really great to deal with” and has an “in-depth knowledge of commercial law.”

South Africa: Full-Service Law Firm of the Year
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
Webber Wentzel
Werksmans Attorneys

Winner: Webber Wentzel

South African powerhouse Webber Wentzel remains one of the most highly regarded law firms in the region and in the jurisdiction. With offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the firm is well placed to assist high-profile clients with their corporate, transactional and contentious matters. Its Linklaters alliance enhances the team’s ability to handle complex cross-border instructions. The firm is highly recognised for its “outstanding service levels and lawyers.” With more than 150 years in operation in the country, it holds a solid position amongst clients operating in several sectors in South Africa, including mining.

South Africa: Specialist Law Firm of the Year
Cullinan & Associates
LNP Attorneys
Nupen Staude de Vries Inc.
Rosengarten & Feinberg
Spoor & Fisher
Von Seidels

Winner: Von Seidels

Von Seidels is a specialist in intellectual property law which is applauded for its deep expertise in trade marks and patents. Operating in South Africa for over 15 years, the firm is now well established as one of the leading players in its space, with additional offices in Nigeria, Namibia and Cameroon – the latter two acting as hubs for work across the ARIPO and OAPI regions respectively. Its substantial team regularly assists with licensing, filing and prosecution matters, and is equally skilled at representing clients in enforcement, opposition and other contentious work, including anti-counterfeiting litigation. The firm further stands out for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, particularly in the areas of gender, ethnicity and social mobility.

Nigeria Law Firm of the Year
Aluko & Oyebode
Banwo & Ighodalo
Olaniwun Ajayi LP
Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

Winner: Olaniwun Ajayi LP

Olaniwun Ajayi is a law firm with an incredible track record of providing high-quality service for its clients in Nigeria. Operating since 1962, the firm retains an incredible reputation in the country. It is recognised for its wide range of expertise across the full gamut of business law mandates, including transactions, strategic IP advice and banking regulatory matters. The firm is well regarded for its immense capacity to assist international clients with their mandates in Nigeria. With offices in the major cities of Lajos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, the firm is also well placed to assist clients with their domestic affairs across the country. The team holds notable expertise in key market sectors such as energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure. It also receives praise for its capacity to handle complex and sophisticated mandates, with its lawyers highlighted for their excellent commercial awareness.

Kenya Law Firm of the Year
Anjarwalla & Khanna
Dentons Hamilton Harrison & Matthews
DLA Piper Africa, Kenya (IKM)
Kaplan & Stratton
Oraro & Company Advocates

Winner: Anjarwalla & Khanna

Operating out of Nairobi, Anjarwalla & Khanna has a stellar reputation in banking and finance as well as corporate/M&A and tax. Its coordination of the ALN legal network boosts the firm's expertise and ability to handle cross-border mandates across the region and beyond. The firm's capacity also further expands to other areas such as employment and projects and energy, with the team involved in some of the key projects currently taking place in the jurisdiction. The firm is praised by clients for its great understanding of the Kenyan market and its deep knowledge in all practice areas. Its lawyers also draw praise for their “strong interpersonal skills” and capacity to “unlock difficult situations.” 

Uganda Law Firm of the Year
AF Mpanga Advocates
MMAKS Advocates
DLA Piper Africa, Uganda (S&L Advocates)
Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates

Winner: AF Mpanga Advocates

Founded in 2003, AF Mpanga Advocates is one of the most well-reputed law firms in Uganda. The firm offers a full service to its clients, being capable of handling a diverse range of matters, from corporate and commercial to disputes, as well as sector-specific mandates, such as those arising in the TMT industries, and it is also noted for its work on behalf of banking institutions. The firm's clients praise it highly, and its team includes some of the country's most well-reputed advisers and litigators. The team receives further praise for its international capabilities, being well placed to assist not only domestic but also international clients with cross-jurisdictional mandates.  

Tanzania Law Firm of the Year
Clyde & Co Tanzania
Dentons EALC East African Law Chambers
DLA Piper Africa, Tanzania (IMMMA Advocates)
FB Attorneys

Winner: Bowmans

Through its office in Dar es Salaam, Bowmans has had a growing reputation in the Tanzanian market ever since its establishment in the country in 2017. The firm offers a well-regarded team that holds an impressive capacity for international mandates. The team is noted for its outstanding performance in corporate and financing matters, and clients of the firm benefit from its “first-rate service” as well as its impressive work capacity. The firm additionally offers a high level of skill in contentious matters and is known for its very responsive service. 

Regional Law Firm of the Year: Lusophone Africa
Abreu Advogados
Miranda & Associados
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

Winner: Miranda & Associados

Miranda & Associados is an acclaimed Portuguese law firm noted for its outstanding presence in Africa. With a remarkable presence on deals taking place in Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé e Príncipe, the law firm is lauded for helping clients on cross-border mandates with the highest level of excellence. Through the combination of its Lisbon-based team and solid collaborations with local law firms in each of the jurisdictions in Lusophone Africa, the firm is well placed to assist clients with a range of matters, including transactions, dispute resolution and tax advice. Miranda & Associados enjoys a stellar reputation amongst energy clients as well as companies in the oil and gas and mining sectors. Its services are commended by clients, who praise its commerciality and technical knowledge across the region.  

Mozambique Domestic Law Firm of the Year
Couto, Graça e Associados (CGA)
DLA Piper Africa, Mozambique (SAL & Caldeira Advogados, Lda)
MDR Advogados
Pimenta & Associados

Winner: Couto, Graça e Associados (CGA)

Couto, Graça e Associados (CGA) is a very well-reputed Mozambican law firm. With a solid team of highly regarded lawyers, it can successfully cover a wide spectrum of services and sectors in the market, being particularly noted for its expertise in energy matters. The firm is also highly praised for its work in the banking sector. Coupled with its technical capabilities, the firm receives praise from clients for the high quality of its service levels and its problem-solving skills. Clients who engage the firm also benefit from its close partnership with CMS.

Angola Domestic Law Firm of the Year
ALC Advogados
AVM Advogados
Dentons LEAD
Fatima Freitas Advogados

Winner: ALC Advogados

ALC Advogados has a strong capacity to handle a diverse range of matters on behalf of domestic and international companies operating in Angola. Being part of the Morais Leitão Legal Circle further enhances its abilities when it comes to cross-border matters. The firm is particularly well placed to assist clients with M&A transactions, as well as advising on tax and labour law issues. Clients praise the firm for the great work capacity of its team members as well as the first-class service the team provides. The firm is active on some of the most groundbreaking matters in the country, with a solid footprint in key economic sectors such as real estate, energy, oil and gas and construction.  

Morocco Law Firm of the Year
ASAFO & CO. Morocco
Bennani & Associés
Clifford Chance International LLP
DLA Piper Casablanca
Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca
Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy

Winner: Clifford Chance International LLP
Clifford Chance’s Casablanca office is a universally well-regarded Moroccan practice. The firm’s track record in financial transactions speaks for itself, with particular highlights in project financing mandates, including matters relating to the development of wind farms, gas pipelines and water desalination plants. One client simply says: "The Clifford Chance team’s service in Casablanca is amazing. The team is fully dedicated to the client, very responsive, strategic, and met the tight deadlines we had.”

Mauritius Law Firm of the Year
5 St James Court
Benoit Chambers
BLC Robert & Associates
ENSafrica (Mauritius)
DLA Piper Africa, Mauritius (Juristconsult Chambers)

Winner: ENSafrica (Mauritius)

ENSafrica (Mauritius) has long practised at the highest level of corporate law in Mauritius. The firm is home to a broad team of deeply experienced and dedicated lawyers, advising on both transactional and contentious mandates. The team was active on an array of notable deals in 2023, one satisfied client saying: “ENSafrica is ready for any issue brought to the team.”

Ghana Law Firm of the Year
AB & David
Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah
DLA Piper Africa, Ghana (Reindorf Chambers)
N.Dowuona & Company

Winner: Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah

The stellar team at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah remains highly sought after for its advice on corporate mandates, with one client mentioning: "If there are any complex legal issues that come up, BELA is the first law firm in Ghana that comes to our mind.The practice also boasts strong expertise in contentious mandates, with a noted highlight this year being its representation of Vodafone Ghana before the Ghanaian Supreme Court.

Algeria Law Firm of the Year
DLA Piper Africa, Algeria (L&P Partners)
Gide Loyrette Nouel
LPA-CGR avocats

Winner: Gide Loyrette Nouel

Gide Loyrette Nouel is a pre-eminent law firm in the Algerian market. The practice impresses with its representation of high-calibre clients active across the pharmaceutical and oil and gas sectors. Additionally, the team stands out in the market for its expertise in high-value ICC arbitration cases as well as large-scale infrastructure projects.

Tunisia Law Firm of the Year
Cabinet Donia Hedda Ellouze
Eversheds Sutherland El Heni
Ferchiou & Associés
Meziou Knani & Khlif

Winner: Meziou Knani & Khlif

Meziou Knani & Khlif (MK&K) wins Tunisia Law Firm of the Year for the second year in a row and the award is testament to the firm’s work at the top end of the Tunisian market. The team is especially lauded for its leading expertise in private equity, both at a domestic and international level. Market commentators say: “You can feel the experience, the expertise and the efficiency with MK&K.”

Cameroon Law Firm of the Year
Amadagana & Partners
Chazai Wamba
Etah-Nan & Co
Jing & Partners

Winner: Jing & Partners

Jing & Partners is widely acclaimed as a leading corporate law firm in Cameroon. The team had a strong year in 2023, consistently acting for high-profile domestic and international clients on a range of mandates covering M&A, projects, commercial litigation, and arbitration. A particular strength of the team is its expertise in the banking sector and financial transactions. Market commentators note: “Jing & Partners is a really strong law firm here in Cameroon."

Cote d’Ivoire Law Firm of the Year
Chauveau & Associés
CLKA Law Firm
KSK Société d’Avocats
SCPA Dogué-Abbé Yao & Associés

Winner : KSK Société d’Avocats

This team is renowned in the market for its strong bench and in-depth expertise in arbitration cases, projects and financial transactions. Throughout the years the practice has continuously demonstrated its ability to act on complex matters in the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors. Sources highlight: “KSK is a very strong firm in Côte d'Ivoire and beyond."

Regional Law Firm of the Year: Francophone Africa
Bennani & Associés
Clifford Chance LLP
Gide Loyrette Nouel

Winner: Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance’s Africa-focused practice continues to go from strength to strength. With a presence in Morocco and noted expertise in Tunisia, Cameroon and various other francophone jurisdictions, the team provides expert advice on M&A, projects and litigation cases across the region. In 2023, the firm advised lenders on the financing of various solar power plants in Chad, Benin and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as acting on the financing of a new airport in Burkina Faso, amongst many other high-profile mandates.

Africa-Wide Corporate/M&A Law Firm of the Year
Clifford Chance LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Gide Loyrette Nouel 
White & Case LLP

Winner: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 
Freshfields principally runs its Africa practice from Dubai and London, but with the ability to draw upon the knowledge and experience of lawyers based throughout its global network. In 2023 it demonstrated an especially impressive deal list in North Africa, with key roles on major deals in Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. It also has a strong track record in continent-spanning deals, as demonstrated by its work advising Vivo Energy (the operator of more than two thousand service stations across Africa) in connection with the recommended cash offer for its business from an investment vehicle owned and advised by commodities trader Vitol.

Africa-Wide Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Stephenson Harwood LLP

Winner: DLA Piper LLP 

DLA Piper maintains an outstanding disputes practice in Paris which is frequently mandated on high-value ICSID arbitration proceedings and has a strong track record representing sovereign states as well as investors. The practice is also highly capable of representing clients in litigation, including in the enforcement of arbitral awards as well as in cases involving parallel proceedings taking place in multiple jurisdictions. The firm’s lawyers in London, Dubai and Johannesburg are also regularly active on cross-border African cases occurring in sectors such as financial services, technology, construction and oil and gas. In one notable work highlight, the firm acted for new client the Republic of Uganda in a high-value construction dispute concerning development of the Owino Market in Kampala.

Africa-Wide Projects & Energy Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills
Trinity International LLP
White & Case LLP

Winner: White & Case LLP

White & Case is well recognised for its broad-ranging projects and energy practice in Africa, with strengths covering mining and metals, oil and gas, power and project finance. The firm receives very impressive commendations from its clients, with frequent reference made to the multi-jurisdictional knowledge of its partners as well as their standout ability to deal with complex issues. One interviewee noted that the team is “well-resourced, committed to delivering a client’s expected objective despite any commercial challenges, and very accessible. The partners and associates are both very knowledgeable.” White & Case is regularly mandated on high-profile matters, with one recent example being its advice to High Power Exploration on its acquisition of the Nimba iron ore project and its subsequent negotiation of access arrangements with the government of Liberia, in addition to a range of other matters concerning the mine’s development. 

Learn more about our sponsors:
5 St. James Court
AF Mpanga
ALC Advogados
Olaniwun Ajayi LP
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Wednesday, 24 Jan 2024 • 11:00 am GMT
Chambers Africa Awards 2024