Can you give our Legal Business readers an overview of Matouk Bassiouny’s practice in Sudan?
Matouk Bassiouny in association with AIH Law Firm (MBAIH) was established in 2016, the first regional firm to open in Sudan, as a result of a co-operation of more than ten years on Sudanese matters in between Matouk Bassiouny and AIH Law firm. MBAIH aims to service clients and law firms seeking advice on Sudanese matters in areas including corporate and M&A, finance and projects and dispute resolution.
What do you see as the main points that rank Matouk Bassiouny as a leading firm in the Sudanese legal business market?
MBAIH aims to serve its clients with all legal needs relating to their business activities. We always adopt a practical, commercial approach that ensures compliance with laws, while navigating the complex administrative aspects. Our ultimate mission, and metric of success, is creating value for our clients.
Given the problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic, how is this affecting your firm and the legal business market generally in the Sudan?
When Covid-19 hit Sudan, Sudan was already in a complex process of rebuilding its political system, following the Sudanese Revolution. Because of the political events, judicial and administrative functions were irregular, which made simple legal tasks (eg, obtaining a permit for a client), challenging. Covid-19 compounded that reality even more. However, we have witnessed an effort for flexibility from Sudanese judicial and administrative officials, which has helped mitigate the issue. The firm has had to considerably upgrade and optimise its IT infrastructure to ensure minimal work disruptions.
Can you talk about any trends or changes in the landscape you are seeing emerge in the Sudanese legal business market?
The Sudanese legal market is rapidly changing, in pace with the changing business environment. Now that US sanctions are lifted, we are seeing an influx of foreign investments, and local entrepreneurial initiatives that are driving the legal market to be more responsive, and commercially minded.
How is your firm positioned for an anticipated resurgence in activity in the Sudanese legal business market?
We constantly ensure that our fee-earners have the sufficient knowledge and training to understand and efficiently answer our clients’ needs. We are able to draw on our regional experience (in Egypt, Algeria and the UAE) to provide the clients with tailored advice.
Which sectors are/will be of most interest to foreign investors, and why?
Agriculture and mining will continue to be important sectors. We also expect a strong uptick in the interest for transport and logistics project, fintech, and general banking sectors.
Are there any main changes which you have personally made within the firm that will benefit clients?
I launched our firm’s regional initiative to establish sector groups that ensure sector knowledge always goes hand in hand with legal knowledge.
What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capacity?
I would say my team. I always aim to hire and work with people that complement my gaps in knowledge and approach.