Can you give our readers an overview of Eversheds Sutherland El Heni Law Firm’s legal practice in Tunisia?
We have five main legal practices in our law firm:
- Corporate/ M&A: One of the strongest team in the Tunisian market (an average of 20 deals per year) mainly focusing on international investments or very high-profile projects in Tunisia.
- Business law including IP/IT, labour, civil, commercial and contract: The team is fully dedicated to foreign clients who use, fully or partially depending on their internal legal team, our legal outsourcing service enabling them to focus efforts on their core business.
- Infrastructure, energy, transport: The work is mostly centred around renewable energy, customs and real estate.
- Banking and finance: The team is used to assisting the biggest DFIs in Tunisia such as IFC, EBRD, and AFD. In addition, we have a strong insurance activity including the main ones in the Tunisian market (Maghrebia Assurance, Star Assurance, Biat Assurance), and act in project finance.
- Dispute resolution: We offer market-leading pre-contentious, and contentious assistance with day-to-day complex matters. We play a key role in shaping the law and adapting it to the needs of our international clients. For instance, our multilingual team is able to report in French, English and Arabic. We also manage and lead high-profile arbitration.
What do you see as the main points that rank Eversheds Sutherland El Heni Law Firm as a leading firm in the Tunisian legal business market?
We operate under international standards, which means that we respect our deadlines, we have a sophisticated billing system, and our flexible team is always available to respond to a client in need. Furthermore, we are a full-service law firm, so we are able to assist our clients in every aspect of their projects. Our large law firm of 20 (in comparison to the Tunisian market) and its organisation in several practice areas, enable us to work on several projects simultaneously and different aspects of the same projects at the same time. Finally, being part of a global network of 70 Eversheds Sutherland international offices across 36 countries, we can offer our international clients, multi-jurisdictional advice across the five continents.
Given the problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic, how did you successfully manage your firm?
Our first two goals were the safety of the team and establishing a strong internal organisation in order to maintain a high quality of deliverables. When the above conditions have been filled, it allowed us to nurture our clients and to fully support them by focusing on their needs. As an example, during the first phase of the pandemic, we sent weekly newsletters informing the clients of the measures taken by the government, as it was constantly changing, making it easier for them to take decisions.
Which sectors are/will be of most interest to foreign investors, and why?
From our knowledge and experience, the promising sectors for investments are the new technology, renewable energy, healthcare and diversified industries.
We are currently drafting the digital and telecoms legislation, as well as assisting many successful startups, and we’ve noticed that new tech is still new but very attractive for foreign investors as regulations are moving towards a more digitalised economy.
As far as the renewable energy sector goes, Tunisia has a good positioning and significant projects are currently ongoing. On the other hand, the healthcare and diversified industry sectors are still stable for the moment despite the current situation, but they should be expanding soon.
Are there any main changes which you have personally made within the firm that will benefit clients?
As a business-oriented law firm, we recognise our clients’ needs and risks. We understand urgent matters may arise at any time in a business, especially during a global pandemic, so we took the decision to organise the team in total flexibility. This way, our team is available at any time, which was truly appreciated and very beneficial to our clients. In addition, we put significant financial efforts into supporting our clients economically, which means that we accept to postpone payment deadlines, split/reduce our fees etc.
What is the main added value of Eversheds Sutherland El Heni as a corporate law firm in Tunisia?
We are able to offer our clients the high-level of service and thoroughness that our international clients are used to receiving in mature markets (US, EU, Middle East) adapted to the Tunisian market.
For more information, please contact:
Fares Koussay El Heni
Deputy head Africa (Paris) and managing partner (Tunis)
T: + 216 71 116 720 (Paris)
F: + 216 98 337 117 (Paris)
T: + 33 1 55 73 41 08 (Tunisia)
F: + 33 6 68 20 65 33 (Tunisia)