Solicitors governing body: Ordem dos Advogados de Angola
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
As with other lusophone countries, the former Portuguese colony of Angola historically had a legal system based on the civil law system of the colonial home country. Following its independence in 1975 the law was amended in a piecemeal fashion, yet similarities remain. Combined with linguistic and cultural ties, these similarities have seen the jurisdiction’s legal market develop with the significant influence of Portuguese firms.
Recent oil discoveries have seen a boom in the legal market in recent years, and while an attractive environment for investment, the market remains difficult for foreign firms to practice in. Regulations are in place that restrict foreign lawyers from practicing in Angola, and while foreign firms are permitted to form associations with local outfits - who tend to work under the auspices of their parent firms - they are not able to adopt their name or branding.
The domestic market is dominated by associate firms: Fátima Freitas Advogados is associated with Miranda, and FBL Advogados with Abreu Advogados. Other Portuguese firms with active associations include AVM, F Castelo Branco & Associados, PLMJ, Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados, ABBC and MC&A. The cross-border work is widely handled by Portuguese lawyers, while their domestic counterparts use local expertise to handle the day-to-day operations of larger projects. As a result of this, many local lawyers are trained and educated in Lisbon before taking up positions in Luanda.
The legal market in Angola is also closely tied with that of Mozambique, as well as other PALOP jurisdictions São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde.
ADCA has been active this year in both capital markets and regulatory compliance, often representing clients in negotiations with the Angolan state.
During the research period, ADCA worked on several confidential financing and Capital markets transactions representing foreign investors in Angola.
The firm has a general advisory role with several investors in Angola, including Pernot Renard. It also has clients in logistics and shipping, including Getma Shipping and Orey Angola.
"Excellent market knowledge, excellent knowledge in real estate, and efficient and rapid in finding solutions." – Project finance and development
"It is a reliable firm with a good knowledge of the local legal environment, which is a plus in Angola, with very good professionals." – Restructuring and insolvency
Luís Filipe Carvalho
"He provides lucidity and market knowledge. Efficiency in results and knowledge and respect for the law."
ALC Advogados, a member of the MLGTS Circle, is an Angolan firm focusing on financial and corporate law. The firm has been active in banking and project finance, advising oil and gas clients on restructuring and refinancing.
The firm has worked with Toyota, Banco BFA and Standard Bank South Africa, and recently worked with several South African investment funds.
"ALC has a very good technical, local and practice knowledge of Angolan banking related matters." – Banking and finance
GLA operate in partnership with leading Portuguese law firm PLMJ, which provides the firm a good deal pipeline and financial expertise. The firm has been active in capital markets, banking and finance, and project development. It has often been working for banks and private sector companies recently.
Sonangol remains a key client of the firm, with GLA advising on many of their non-fossil fuel related projects such as Kora Housing. GLA is also one of the firms advising Africa International Capital on its ongoing capital raise.
In the projects area, the firm is advising Urbinveste on Angola’s major land reclamation project.
Eduardo Vera Cruz, operating with their Portuguese partners FCB Sociedade de Advogados, has expertise across banking and project finance, capital markets, and M&A.
As well as banking, the firm has considerable experience in the oil and gas sector, advising both Svenska and ConocoPhillips on the liquidation of their operations in Angola recently.
The firm’s expertise in banking has seen the firm form longstanding relationships with international banks such as Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Sociedad Generale, as well as leading Angolan bank BNI.
MC Jurist has recently been primarily focussed on project finance and development, working on a number of deals. The firm advised on a large real estate development, as well as on a number of projects in the manufacturing sector.
MC&A in association with Mota Veiga Advogados, an association between a domestic and Portuguese firm, worked on M&A, project development and a corporate restructuring deals during the research period.
The firm advises the likes of HSBC, Total and Standard Chartered.
RLA, which operate in partnership with Portuguese firm Veida de Almeida, showed expertise during the research period in both project development and capital markets, where the firm advised Standard Bank de Angola and the Standard Bank of South Arica on the issuance of one of Angola’s first medium-term notes programmes.
Alongside a detailed knowledge of the oil and gas sector, the firm has a clear expertise in diamond mining, advising Webcor Group, De Beers Anglo-American, and Lucapa Diamond Company, on developments in Angola.
The firm was advising Sonangol on its corporate restructuring, though lost this mandate with a change in management at the company.
The firm is engaged by several other oil and gas clients, including Chimec Group and Seadrill.