Solicitors governing body: Barreau des Avocats d’Alger
Competition authority: Le Conseil National de la Concurrence Algérien
Financial regulator: Commission d'Organisation et de Surveillance des Opérations de Bourse
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
The Algerian legal market is largely dominated by domestic firms who have little presence outside of the jurisdiction. In addition to this there are a number of foreign firms present, largely Paris based due to the strong French language connections in the jurisdiction.
Market leaders Gide Loyrette Nouel pave the way in terms of financial and corporate work, with fellow French practices CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre and Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés not too far behind. London based Thompson & Knight employ a number of local lawyers and are also considered for the domestic market.
As an ex-colony of the French empire the two countries have very strong ties, and the legal market is no exception. The legal system is based on the French civil law system, and incorporates elements of Islamic law. As a result, most of the largest cross-border deals in the jurisdiction come through Paris, while much of the domestic work is undertaken by firms in conjunction with their French counterparties.
The Algerian market is also closely linked to fellow Maghreb neighbours Tunisia and Morocco, Gide for example shares resources between the three. Others some based in Casablanca, such as Clifford Chance, also operate in Algiers.
There are restrictions that limit domicile nationals alone to practice law in Algeria, and foreign firms will only be granted a license to establish an office if registered as a local firm, with local lawyers.
Due to the size of the market, most financial and corporate lawyers in Algeria have broad practices and can handle work in a number of practice areas.
In transactional work, Bourabiat Associés primarily advises on capital markets, M&A, and project finance deals. In both its equity and project finance work, the firm operates extensively in the oil and gas sector. Within capital markets and M&A, the firm has experience advising clients on Algerian regulation.
In M&A, the firm worked on a merger between Linde and Praxair, advising the former on local law issues. In oil and gas work, the firm advised on two downstream petroleum projects.
The firm represents high profile clients including Unilever, Danone, Proctor & Gamble, and the International Finance Corporation.
In Algeria, CMS works on project finance and M&A work mostly. Active sectors for the firm recently include pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
The firm represents Ipsen Pharma, Maliva, and PSA.
Gide Loyrette Nouel advises on capital markets and project finance work, especially working in the oil and gas sector. The firm has expertise in helping clients navigate Algerian regulations governing joint ventures and experience working with Algerian state-owned enterprises.
In M&A, the firm advised Verallia Packaging on the sale of an Algerian company it purchased 10 years ago.
In the oil and gas sector, the firm worked on multiple high-profile deals recently, including with its client Total Refining & Chemical, to set up a joint venture with Sonatrach to develop a petrochemical project.
Counsel Rym Loucif left the firm for LPA-CGR.
Gide has worked on deals for clients such as Engie, Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), and Daewoo E&C.
Lanouar Partners, a member of the DLA Piper Africa network, specialises in capital markets and joint-ventures. The firm has notable experience automotive sector.
A recent deal highlight was its work with Toyota Algerie, helping the client with two joint ventures allowing it to manufacture in Algeria. The firm also assisted Schneider Electric on joint ventures with two state-owned entities to manufacture electric equipment.
Founding partner Fatima-Zohra Bouchemla left the firm in the research period resulting in it changing name from Bouchemla Lanouar & Associés to Lanouar Partners. Bouchemla joined LPA-CGR.
Key clients include Toyota Algerie and Schneider Electric.
An international firm based in France, LPA-CGR has been active in M&A and project development recently.
The firm hired a new partner, Rym Loucif, from Gide Loyrette Nouel, who works in M&A.
During the research period, the firm represented Tell Group, Mageco, and General Cable Corporation.