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Sponsored briefing: Law firm profile: Benzakour Law Firm (BLF) – Morocco

Benzakour Law Firm’s managing partner Rachid Benzakour shares an overview of Morocco and insights into his firm and its scope of work

Insight into Morocco

Morocco is a key, indispensable player in Africa’s economic and geopolitical landscape and one of the highly ranked countries on the infrastructure dimension in the continent.

It is fast becoming one of the best emerging markets for investment. More specifically, Morocco is:

  • the Western North African country, located only 14km from Spain/Europe, with both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines;
  • a dynamic state, with a rich culture and blend of influences: European, African, Arab and Berber;
  • enjoys political stability and robust infrastructure which have contributed to its emergence as a regional hub for manufacturing, outsourcing, trade and export services;
  • has an advanced statute with the EU under the European neighbourhood policy and is bound by several free trade agreements (FTAs) respectively with the United States, Turkey and the Arab Free Trade Zone;
  • has concluded multiple bilateral investment treaties for the promotion and protection of investment and non double taxation;
  • a signatory of the Abraham Accords (joint normalisation statements) with Israel, United Arab Emirates.

The Kingdom’s strengths are also its young vitality, industrial innovation, entrepreneurial agility, historical openness, facilities for foreign investment and growth potential.

The traditional sectors for investment are natural resources (phosphates), agriculture, fishing, textile, leather goods, agro-industry, infrastructure, pharmaceutical and tourism.

During these last years, a specific attention was given to automotive, aeronautical, energy and education sectors.

Currently, a great focus is made on healthcare, education, desalination, electric batteries, tech and startups.

Moreover, a special monetary regime with tax incentive has been put in place for companies operating under the Casablanca Finance City jurisdiction, which furthers the development of Africa, as well as a PPP (public-private partnership) law to speed the development of strategic sectors.

A set of mechanisms to increase competition and transparency has been put in place to simplify the administrative procedures for businesses and strengthen the business law framework.

More recently, a new investment chart, new laws on competition/merger control, personal data protection, public bids, real estate, reorganisation/insolvency law and arbitration have been enacted.

By positioning itself as a destination of excellence, attractive to capital, skills and new activities, Morocco is aiming for a rise in wealth for its growing population.

Regarding some upcoming big development projects, attention is given to:

Strait of Gibraltar (Morocco-Spain) underwater railway tunnel project :

This is a proposed underwater railway tunnel project (38km) that is expected to deliver a fixed link between Morocco and Spain, or rather Africa and Europe.

Xlinks Morocco-UK power project

Given the ideal solar and wind resources required to develop renewable projects that could guarantee suitable power production, Morocco has become over the last ten years an international leader in renewable energy.

The country has been a forerunner in the development of large, innovative renewable energy projects worldwide, such as the Noor Ouarzazate Complex, which hold the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project globally, or its wind integrated programme.

The Morocco-UK Power Project will be a new electricity-producing facility that will be fully powered by solar and wind energy, along with a battery storage facility. Set to be located in the renewable energy-rich area of Guelmim Oued Noun in Morocco, the project – the sea cable – the world’s longest of its kind that will be made up of twin 1.8 GW HVDC subsea cables will be capable of transporting 10.5 GW of green energy from this wind and solar farm in Morocco.

The cables will commute through shallow water along Morocco’s coast to the United Kingdom, passing through the territorial waters of Spain, Portugal, and France.

Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline

Morocco and Nigeria are on their way to developing an important green energy project – the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline –with the aim of expanding their South-South co-operation through onshore and offshore gas pipelines to 13 nations in West and North Africa.

High speed train : Al Boraq between Casablanca and Agadir

In accordance with Morocco’s succession of enormous projects, the Al Boraq high-speed train is another notable project that focuses on the structural development of a multi-modal transportation system.

Following the success of the high-speed line between Casablanca and Tangier – Africa’s first high-speed rail system – Morocco is developing a second high-speed line connecting Casablanca and Agadir.

Teaming up to bid for the 2030 World Cup with Spain and Portugal

This would be a historic first for the football World Cup.

In 2030, the tournament would be played on two continents: Europe and Africa.


Benzakour Law Firm (BLF) is a premier business law firm in Morocco, with a long history in the country, strong expertise and considerable track records.

It is regarded as a top law firm acting in upstream and downstream sides and offering a large portfolio in business law, with a particular focus on legal assistance to foreign investment and dispute resolution/arbitration.

The main areas of practice are: corporate, contracts, distribution, foreign direct investment, merger control/concentration, shipping/maritime law, aviation, real estate, labour law, tax, energy, infrastructure, and litigation/recovery claims and arbitration.

The firm was originally founded by Abdelaziz Benzakour: a statesman and a revered figure in the country. He was appointed by the King as head of Morocco’s Mediator Institute in 2011 till the end of 2018. He was also former chief of the Casablanca Bar, the Moroccan Association Bars and the African Union Bars as well.

Rachid Benzakour manages the firm. He is a multicultural and multilingual lawyer, dynamic and innovative. He receives much praise for his in-depth knowledge and deep understanding of international clients’ needs.

He was ranked first in the National Bar Exam (year 2000) among 7,000 candidates and has been admitted as an arbitrator.

The firm is very well versed in working in different projects in collaboration with several foreign law firms, such as Hogan Lovells, Ashurst, Reed Smith, Herbert Smith Freehills, Clyde & Co, Cleary Gottlieb, Holman Fenwick, Hill Dickinson, Cooley, Kramer Levin, Sullivan & Cromwell, Bredin Prat, August & Debouzy, BDGS, Depardieu, Flichy Grangé, Simon et Associés, Uría Menéndez, BonelliErede.

The firm has also been working for clients, such as Export and Import Bank of America (EXIM Bank), BNP Paribas, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Royal Air Maroc (RAM), Lufthansa, Air Lease Corporation, Google, Oetker, Alitalia, I.A.T.A, Club Med, Accor, Isuzu, Henkel, Diebold, Nokia Siemens, Siemens Gamesa, Danone, Alstom, General Motors, New Look, Sumitomo, Columbia, Aeropuertos Argentina, Philip Morris, Korean Tobacco (KT&G), Mapfre, Adidas, Travelclick, ACWA Power, Averda, Al Shafar General Contracting, Endesa, Sita, SNCF International, Columbia Sportswear, Aerolease, Terex, Simba Toys, Teleperformance Intermediation, General Electric Healthcare, Fieldcore, AAR Corp, Can-Pack, Hermes,Technogym PGS, Acticall.


For several years the firm has advised EXIM Bank in the financing and delivery of different aircrafts (Iast transaction $80,634,290) and also in the restructuring of financing of aircrafts.


The firm is involved in different ship arrests against vessels for international clients and is also providing legal advice in maritime law in different issues concerning corporate restructure, labour law, tax, exchange regulations, and liability for damage to submarine cables or to containers.

Energy/mining/oil and gas:

The firm has assisted some bidders in energy projects in Morocco in the Tarfaya project and the extension of Units in Jorf Lasfar.

More particularly, it has advised a consortium led by ACWA Power International (ACWA Power), the Saudi Water and Power giant, in partnership with Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A. and TSK Electrónica y Electricidad, who have been selected as preferred bidder to develop the US$1bn 160 MW Ouarzazate CSP Independent Power Project located approximately 200km south of Marrakesh.

The firm has also advised the EBRD in relation to a loan (up to £20m) to SDX Energy Morocco (formerly named Circle Oil) to finance the enhancement of upstream gas production and related gas transport infrastructure to industrial zone customers, facilitating the switch away from polluting fuel oil and helping reduce CO2 emissions.

Merger control/concentration:

The firm has advised and represented some major international companies, such as Mediawan, Derichebourg Environnement, Diebold, Henkel, Amcor, Caisse de Dépôt et de Crédit, Engie, EDF, in several economic concentration transactions with the necessary notifications to the relevant competition authorities.

Corporate and financing:

The firm is advising regularly several foreign investors in corporate transactions in different sectors.

It has among others advised Danone, Brookstone, Zhong Hong Group, Rezidor and Grupo Profand relating to some investments in local companies.


The firm has been advising Philip Morris and, Korean Tobacco (KT&G) in relation to several legal issues


The firm has been advising ISUZU Headquarters in relation to the termination of a local distribution contract and represented them before the courts with an excellent result (claimed amount €26m).

Litigation and arbitration:

The firm has represented PwC International in a litigation procedure against the local PwC after its exclusion from the network.

The firm is representing several foreign companies in court in recovery claims and seizures, including regarding distribution area and termination of contracts.

The firm is intervening as a foreign legal expert before the UK courts, as a legal expert in relation to disputed cases regarding investments in Morocco.

For more information, please contact:

Rachid Benzakour
Managing partner

Benzakour Law Firm (BLF)- Morocco
Espace Porte d’Anfa-
29 Rue Bab Mansour- Bat A- 5ème étage,

T: + 212 661 09 05 79


Total staff: Ten

Languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic