Africa rising – Foreign firms strive to cover the booming continent

Africa rising – Foreign firms strive to cover the booming continent

Joe Andrew, the architect of Dentons’ global strategy, is not known for pulling his punches. As such, his stance on staffing the African practices of international law firms is typical: ‘Why would you look to Europe or the US? It’s parochial, it’s a residue of colonialism, and it borders on racism.’

The firm’s chair warms to his theme. ‘There are 54 countries on the continent, and to different degrees they’re all experiencing an incredible democratisation of information. There’s talent everywhere. We don’t agree with our competitors who believe that the best way to service clients is to hire people from Europe.’ Continue reading “Africa rising – Foreign firms strive to cover the booming continent”

Sponsored briefing: Profile – Richard Mann, partner, GKH

Sponsored briefing: Profile – Richard Mann, partner, GKH

Richard Mann heads the firm’s M&A practice. He leads a team of experienced attorneys who focus on representing Israeli and foreign clients in implementing complex cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private debt and equity financings, and secured and unsecured finance transactions. His clients include acquirers and targets, leading international private equity funds, strategic and financial investors, and joint venture partners. Mann also represents issuers and leading underwriters in public offerings in the US and London, and advises Israeli companies on ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission and stock exchange regulatory matters.

According to Chambers & Partners 2018 Global Guide – Capital Markets: ‘Richard Mann is highly regarded for his M&A practice and has additional experience in capital markets. His focus is on international and cross-border mandates and he possesses experience of equity financing and IPOs.’

Chambers 2018 Global Guide – Corporate M&A: ‘Joint head of the group Richard Mann maintains an impressive reputation, with market sources describing him as “thoughtful, imaginative and business-oriented.” He has an active domestic M&A practice and acts as Israeli counsel for large cross-border transactions.’

IFLR1000: ‘The head of M&A at Gross is one of the most liked and respected lawyers in the country and the market has repeatedly referred work to him over the years.’

PLC Which Lawyer?: ‘Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak & Co. is unquestionably a favourite pick for securities transactions and Richard Mann’s corporate and finance experience provides the ideal platform for his success in this area. Mann is held in high esteem for his international expertise.

‘Highly recommended in Mergers & Acquisitions. Advises on both the buy and sell sides for Israeli firms and for international private equity houses.’
The Legal 500: included in Corporate M&A ‘Leading Individuals’.

Prior to joining Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg, Shenhav & Co in 1996, Mann served from 1988 to 1992 as a corporate and tax associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in New York, and from 1992 to 1995 as legal counsel to the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s United States Mission in New York.

EDUCATION

University of Pennsylvania (BA Political Science, 1985); Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania (BS Finance, 1985); Columbia University, New York (JD, 1988), Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

MEMBER

Israel Bar, 1996; New York Bar, 1989.

For more information, please contact:Richard Mann, partner, head of M&A

Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg, Shenhav & Co
One Azrieli Center, Round Building
Tel Aviv 6701101
Israel
T: +972 3607 4431
E: rick@gkh-law.com

www.gkh-law.com

Sponsored briefing: Israel adopts the UNCITRAL Model Law

Sponsored briefing: Israel adopts the UNCITRAL Model Law

Inbar Hakimian-Nahari of Yigal Arnon & Co explains how Israel’s new law provides clarity and makes it easier for foreign companies and investors operating in the country

In September 2019, the Insolvency and Economic Rehabilitation Law, 5778-2018 will come into force in Israel. The new law is a comprehensive insolvency legislation for individuals and corporations, which includes extensive changes to the current insolvency legal framework, while also incorporating customary practice and legal precedents. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Israel adopts the UNCITRAL Model Law”

Israel: Anti-fragile

Israel: Anti-fragile

Thriving in the face of adversity as politics and security play an integral part in everyday life is a default position for Israel. The data backs this up: recent OECD reports describe Israel as stable with strong economic growth: annual GDP has consistently risen by three to four percent over recent years to reach nearly $400bn in 2019. This, despite a protracted leadership battle taking place with two general elections in six months bringing the nation no closer to a conclusive result.

Michael Barnea, managing partner of Barnea, Jaffa, Lande & Co, develops the point: ‘The environment is surprisingly robust considering the political instability that we’ve experienced for a considerable time. Investment, both from overseas into Israel and in the local market, is extremely strong and gives every appearance of being confident in the future.’ Continue reading “Israel: Anti-fragile”

HFW continues Middle East growth drive with Saudi Arabia association

HFW continues Middle East growth drive with Saudi Arabia association

HFW has continued its Middle East expansion after striking an alliance with Saudi Arabian firm Mohammed Al Khiliwi.

Named partner and leader of the Riyadh outfit, Al Khiliwi, will join HFW’s partnership as part of the agreement, subject to authorisation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. HFW insurance partner John Barlow, who splits his time between Riyadh and Dubai, is set to relocate full-time to the new office Continue reading “HFW continues Middle East growth drive with Saudi Arabia association”

Legal leaders in Africa: Waking the elephant

Legal leaders in Africa: Waking the elephant

Encapsulated in the 1982 hit song by US soft rock band Toto, Africa is frequently referred to in hoary metaphors in the West. However, in a business context, tired clichés of a ‘scramble for Africa’ have made way for the less-frenetic tones of international law firms committed to proven, revenue-generating strategies. Nonetheless, the continent still attracts its fair share of figurative language. ‘The elephant is waking up,’ as one partner puts it. But if Africa is an elephant, some firms are eager not to get caught under its feet.

‘We have consciously decided not to plant a flag in one or two jurisdictions in Africa,’ says Shawn der Kinderen, co-head of the Africa group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. ‘It doesn’t enable us to do the work our clients expect us to do in cross-border transactions.’ Continue reading “Legal leaders in Africa: Waking the elephant”

Middle East: Mission unaccomplished

Middle East: Mission unaccomplished

‘The Middle East. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place’: the words of Donald Trump as he announced the recent military strikes targeting Syrian president Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. Although there is some truth to his sweeping statement, most of the over 400 million citizens in the 17 countries that comprise the Middle East region beg to differ. While the World Bank estimates that GDP growth in the region slowed from 5% in 2016 to 1.8% in 2017 – fuelled by oil production cuts and geopolitical tensions – this is projected to rebound to 3% in 2018 and 3.2% the following year.

The region’s lawyers point to the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies as leading the way, supported by infrastructure investment. ‘It’s a very good time in the region,’ says Doug Peel at White & Case, head of the firm’s Middle East practice, which is spread across five regional offices: Cairo, Riyadh, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. ‘We are busy all the way around – there’s substantial activity in all the GCC countries and in Egypt.’ Last year White & Case – along with Latham & Watkins – advised JPMorgan, Citi and HSBC on Saudi Arabia’s debut 144A/Reg S Sukuk programme, including the issue of $9bn Sukuk. Continue reading “Middle East: Mission unaccomplished”

Laying the foundations – lawyers scramble as demand for African infra booms

Laying the foundations – lawyers scramble as demand for African infra booms

As the world’s largest continent, Africa covers 20% of global land area and 16% of the global population – currently 1.27 billion people, according to the latest United Nations estimates. By 2050, the addition of a further 1.3 billion Africans will be greater than the population growth in the rest of the world combined, pushing the continent’s total numbers above 2.6 billion citizens. In what is termed the biggest human transformation of our age, that figure is projected to reach four billion by the end of the century.

Accordingly, the infrastructure challenge is immense and some law firms are more alert than others to the long-term growth opportunities. Those with a short-term perspective see only problems: weak commodity prices, underdeveloped legal systems, corruption, currency issues and unstable or unreliable political regimes. They also focus on Africa’s still-modest aggregate GDP of $2.19trn (2016) – less than France – and compared with $1.6trn (2010), a slight decline in percentage terms over six years from 3% to 2.9% of the global total. Continue reading “Laying the foundations – lawyers scramble as demand for African infra booms”

Looking east: Linklaters cements Saudi partnership as Hogan Lovells shuts Mongolia base

Looking east: Linklaters cements Saudi partnership as Hogan Lovells shuts Mongolia base

Two Global 100 firms have made opposing international moves this week, with Linklaters signing a partnership with a local firm in Saudi Arabia while Hogan Lovells announced the closure of its Mongolia base.

Linklaters announced today (11 October) it has entered a formal agreement with 20-lawyer Zamakhchary & Co (Z & Co), meaning two lawyers from the Magic Circle firm will be based in the kingdom. Continue reading “Looking east: Linklaters cements Saudi partnership as Hogan Lovells shuts Mongolia base”

The Iran debate – The long, long game

The Iran debate – The long, long game

Hopes that Iran’s economy is opening up to foreign business have been raised and dashed in recent years. Will this year’s election change the dynamic?

On 19 May, Iran went to the polls for what many believed would be a tightly-fought election. By the next morning it was clear that the analysts’ predictions had been wide of the mark. Incumbent president Hassan Rouhani, leader of the Moderation and Development Party, secured a landslide victory over his nearest rival, Ebrahim Raisi, chair of the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces. Shortly after the results were announced, Rouhani appeared on state television to say the election had shown Iran was committed to improving relations with the rest of the world. To investors and businesses that have been eyeing the country for years, it was a positive sign, but hopes of an open market have been dashed before. Sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme were lifted in early 2016, but business has so far been frustrated in the ongoing difficulties they face in the market.

Continue reading “The Iran debate – The long, long game”