Chauveau & Associés

Abidjan Office

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Chairman: Maître Jean-François Chauveau
Number of partners: 4
Number of lawyers: 15
Number of Ivorian qualified lawyers: 5
Number of foreign qualified lawyers: 3 (2 qualified in France, 1 qualified in France and in England and Wales)
Number of legal counsels: 6
Number of paralegals: 1
Number of interns: 2
Languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish (conversational)

Firm Overview:
Jean-François Chauveau is Franco-Ivorian, is Ivorian qualified (since 1997), and a non-practising French qualified lawyer. He is the founder of the firm. He has more than 40 years of experience as a lawyer in Ivory Coast. The firm was founded in 1997. In 2019, as part of the growth strategy of the firm, the firm increased the number of partners from 1 to 4.
Prior to this, Jean-François Chauveau was a partner at Klein-Goddard & Associés, a former leading French law firm, based in Abidjan and was in charge of the firm’s African desk focusing on Francophone Africa from 1977 to 1997. From 1977 to 1989 he acted as general counsel for the Ivorian Minister of Economy and Finance.
Cabinet Jean-François Chauveau offers expert legal advice to national and international companies, banks and financial institutions, governments and individuals on a variety of matters (see the firm’s main areas of practice below).

Main Areas of Practice:
■ Banking & Finance
■ Commercial & Corporate
■ Employment
■ Environmental Law
■ IP/IT
■ Land Law/Real Estate
■ Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution
■ M&A
■ Project Finance
■ Public Law

Recent 2019 Work:
■ Advising various leading global financial institutions with respect to loan facilities of up to a € 750 million euros to the Republic of Ivory Coast to finance various development and construction projects in Ivory Coast (including stadiums, roads, hospitals, universities)
■ Legal advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private and institutional lenders in relation to the construction and maintenance of a new power-plant in Jacqueville, Abidjan, and in relation to the extension of the capacity of the thermal power station Azito
■ Counsel (local) to CI-Energies (Côte d’Ivoire Energies) in relation to the refinancing of the Ivorian electricity sector. Assisting the company in raising funds on the local and international financial markets
■ Advising the Mimran Group on the sale of Seaboard Overseas Limited of the Grands Moulins d’Abidjan, the leading flour producer in Ivory Coast, for approximately €317 million. This transaction is one of the largest M&A deals in the recent years on the African continent. This operation will enable the acquirer to expand its freight and trade opportunities
■ Representing, alongside Paris-based lawyer Maître Rasseck Bourgi, a major Ivorian milling operator against a leading european building company before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in relation to a construction dispute. Chauveau & Associés’ client was awarded almost ten million euros as part of the ICC decision
■ Drafting a report on state owned companies, at the request of the State. Review of existing legal provisions and drafting of the new legal and regulatory provisions on state owned companies (public and semi-public companies)
■ Assisting the State as part of the negotiation and the redefinition of the terms and conditions of the existing convention of public services of production, transportation, distribution, marketing, import and export of electrical energy
■ Advising a client with the setting up of bank
■ Representing a leading global merchant firm involved in agriculture, food processing, international shipping, and finance and also one of the leading commodities traders in Wet Africa and Ivory Coast before the commercial courts of Abidjan. The dispute resulted from one of their providers’ refusal to reimburse a USD 5 million prepayment. Chauveau & Associés won the case and also assisted its client to recover the money which involved several seizure of assets (foreign ship, and seizure of assets at the autonomous port of San Pedro

Impressive Previous Work:
■ Advising (as local counsel) Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, in relation to a €19 million of mezzanine funding to Pétro Ivoire, a leading distributor of oil & gas products in Côte d’Ivoire (the company operates a network of 72 petrol stations across the country). The funding which was the first-ever leveraged management buyout in Francophone West Africa enabled the founding family to regain a controlling equity stake in the company by facilitating the buy-back of equity from two exiting private equity investors
■ Counsel to a consortium of lenders, including Société Générale, as lead lender, in relation to the structuring of a 385 million euros loan to Orange
■ Counsel to Orange in relation to the merger between Orange Côte d’Ivoire and CI-Telecom
■ Counsel to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in the reform of the power and energy sector in Côte d’Ivoire: this included (i) the privatisation of l’Energie Electrique de Côte d’Ivoire (EECI) and the creation of Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité (CIE) in 1990, (ii) assistance with the negotiation of the public service concession agreement between the State and CIE in 1991 and its extension in 2019 (iii) advising on the sector reform measures adopted and implemented by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in 1997; (iv) advising the Ivorian Government in relation to the implementation of the project ‘Electricity for All,’ in collaboration with Ernst & Young (2016-2017) and (v) legal advice to the Ivorian government in relation to the liberalisation of the Electricity Sector in Ivory Coast
■ Legal advisor to Touax Group for the construction of 3,000 prefabricated primary schools throughout Côte d’Ivoire
■ Legal advisor to Bouygues in the project relating to the construction of the toll-bridge Marcory-Riviera in Abidjan — Côte d’Ivoire (2009-2015)
■ Legal advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private and institutional lenders in relation to the thermal power station construction/extension project of CIPREL IV
■ Legal advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private and institutional lenders in relation to the thermal power station construction/extension project of Songon
■ Legal advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private and institutional lenders for the thermal power station project of Azito Phase III (2012-2013)
■ Legal advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private and institutional lenders in relation to the construction of the thermal power station project of Azito (1998)

Key Clients:
■ BIA Group
■ BMCE Group
■ Bouygues Group
■ Castel Group
■ CFAO
■ CMA CGM, one of the leading worldwide shipping groups
■ Côte d’Ivoire Energies (CI-Energies)
■ DEG — Deutsche Investitionsund Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH
■ ENGIE (Global Enery Group)
■ European Investment Bank
■ International Finance Corporation (IFC)
■ Mimran Group (GMA)
■ PFO Africa
■ SUEZ 
■ TOUAX Group
■ YARA Group

Firm Contact:
Contact: Tanneguy Cazin d’Honincthun (Of Counsel)
Tel: +225.25.25.70
Email: [email protected]