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HFW: Holman Fenwick Willan

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HFW providing legal advice in Africa

As a leading international law firm, we have experience of working in many jurisdictions across Africa and regularly advise on cases that involve Africa or African companies.

What we do in Africa

Our in-depth sector knowledge means we are well placed to advise on transactions and dispute resolution matters that are at the heart of the region, including in particular in oil & gas, mining, shipping (including maritime piracy) and ports and terminals work.

Our experience in Africa

Our clients include oil and gas, energy, mining and other resource-based companies, manufacturing companies, industrial and trading organisations and banks, as well as ports and terminal operators, port authorities, shipowners and charterers.

Examples of our work in Africa include:

  • Advised the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO) in the €75.3m prefinancing for the development of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline to the Lom Pangar Hydro Power project.
  • Acted for a leading French bank on a US$18m secured term loan facility to be made available to a borrower in Ghana for the purpose of financing a bio-oxidization plant and other ancillary facilities and development activities, related to a sulphide expansion project in Ghana and the repayment of existing credit facilities.
  • Advised on the negotiation and conclusion of a farm-in agreement in relation to an operated asset in Angola, involving advising on title to assets (working with local lawyers), risk areas in production sharing agreements and joint operating agreements and operational issues such as employees and property.
  • Established the necessary corporate structure for Dutch based clients following their successful bid in connection with two new container terminals in Nigeria, including negotiations with the Nigerian Port Authority and the Bureau of Public Enterprises for a major port privatisation project and draft concession and lease agreements for both projects.
  • Advised on a US$20-30m dispute arising out of logistics services provided under a commercial contract to a mining project in Zambia.
  • Advised a major trade finance bank on the recovery of a cargo of rice in Togo, following the cargo being seized by third party interests and the customer going into liquidation.
  • Acted for yacht underwriters following a suspected scuttling off South Africa.
  • Our international maritime piracy team has acted for shipowners and insurers in helping to resolve over 100 Somali hijacking cases since 2008, which accounts for around 70% of all major commercial vessel hijackings. HFW is widely regarded as the leading firm in this area of maritime law. We also act for private security companies and have been consulted by insurers, BIMCO and the International Group of P&I Clubs on issues relating to the use of armed guards on vessels.

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