Egypt

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body:  نقابة محامين مصر - البوابة الإلكترونية (Egyptian Bar Association)

Competition authority: جهاز حماية المنافسة ومنع الممارسات الإحتكارية (Egyptian Competition Authority)

Financial regulator: الهيئة العامة للرقابة المالية (Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority)

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction:

Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Project finance

Jurisdiction overview

Sitting at the junction of north Africa, the Middle East and Europe, Egypt has a sophisticated market in comparison to many of its neighbouring jurisdictions, which results in higher levels of specialisation within firms and a reduced need for foreign parties. As a result, bigger projects tend to be handled by domestic firms who have dominated the legal scene for decades, Matouk Bassiouny and Zulficar & Partners in particular stand out as frontrunners. 

International law firms are yet to make an impact on the ground, the Egyptian bar has long established restrictions on non-nationals practicing and will only allow foreign firms to enter into associations with local partners.

Examples of firms with established connections with foreign entities include Helmy Hamza & Partners, the Egyptian affiliate firm of Baker & McKenzie; Dentons, which has been present in Cairo since 1964; and debutants Al Tamimi & Co, the Middle-Eastern outfit headquartered in Dubai, who recently entered into an association with Nour & Taha. 

Egypt is a civil law system, with Islamic and Napoleonic influence. 

Financial and corporate
Afifi Law Office

Afifi Law Office in association with international firm Dentons works across a range of practice areas, focussing primarily on banking and M&A.

The firm is experienced in the financial services, real estate and oil and gas sectors thanks to the client relationships with Commerzbank, China Development Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, African Export Import Bank, Colgate-Palmolive, Noble Energy Mediterranean Limited and Delek Drilling. 

During the research period the firm advised lenders, sellers and acquirers on loan facility agreements and M&A deals.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•African Export Import Bank $300 million financing 

•African Export Import Bank $500 million financing

•Noble Energy Mediterranean / Delek Drilling acquisition of stake in East Mediterranean Gas Company 

•Turk Ventures Advisory acquisition of Elif Holding

•United Company For Trade & Distribution of Consumer Goods Company acquisition Colgate-Palmolive assets

Al Kamel Law

Al Kamel Law is an independent firm active across the financial and corporate areas and is among the market leaders in the banking and M&A. 

During the research period the firm worked for lenders, borrowers, joint venture partners and acquirers on acquisition finance, project financing and loan facilities. 

The firm has experience working on the energy, real estate, telecoms, agriculture and oil and gas sectors, advising clients like Palm Hills Developments, National Bank of Egypt, Export-Import Bank of the United States and Indorama Ventures. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Egypt Telecom $782 million financing

•Indorama Ventures/ Dhunseri Petrochem and Tea acquisition of 50% in EIPET

•Infinity Solar 50MW solar power plant

•Palm Hills Development $150 million securitisation

Alliance Law Firm

Alliance Law Firm is a local firm in Egypt mainly active in M&A work.

In M&A recently the firm was active advising acquirers on deals in the real estate, banking, technology, health, financial services, food and oil and gas industries. It also worked for sellers on deals in the automotive and technology sectors, including on private equity deals.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Fiber Misr acquisition of Equinox International

•Lord International acquisition of Siemens Heat Transfer Technology

•Seha Capital acquisition of United Doctors 

 

Client feedback

"The firm has a good pool of lawyers; it is well connected and has a good reach to different governmental bodies." - Financial services regulator

"Overall the firm's work is thorough and very well drafted. They advised us on the entire transaction process with the utmost diligence. The only key issue would be timing, they tend to take time and skip deadlines." - M&A

"The firm is responsive, efficient and well specialised in the areas of service." - M&A

"The firm is very responsive and supportive; it has a good business sense when applying legalities." - M&A

"Very well organised and professional approach. The partners' previous background as in house lawyers facilitates the understanding of customers' issues." - M&A

"Alliance is one of the best legal firms we deal with; it has an excellent and clear understanding of the subjects and has a high credibility." - Private equity

"They are committed, very aware of international law, well structured and always on time." - Project finance

Ashraf Abou Elkheir

"He has an excellent legal knowledge and expertise. He is very good at handling client relationship. He is trustworthy and efficient. He always finds innovative solutions. He is proactive and creative."

"He has business knowledge, knows the country legal framework and has innovative ideas, and thinks outside the box."

"Very good, smart and reliable."

Ahmed Hafez and Hadir El-Hakim

"Both are excellent, we are happy to deal with them."

Omar Farid

"Omar is an excellent lawyer, he listens very carefully to feedback implementing it extremely well. He also gives good advice to our benefit regardless of the situation. He manages meetings and discussions with counterparties very well and is a pleasure to work with."  

Helmy Hamza & Partners

Helmy Hamza & Partners is the local arm of international firm Baker McKenzie and has strong presence across all practice areas covered by the rankings. 

During the research period the firm has worked for lenders and borrowers in complex transactions advising on a range of banking and finance products like bridge facilities, Islamic finance, loan facilities, debt restructurings, project financing and syndicate lending. 

In the capital markets areas it advised issuers on IPOs and bond issuances.

In M&A it worked for acquirers and sellers on consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, financial services and education M&A deals.

During the research period banking and finance partner Ziad Gadalla left the firm to join MHR & Partners and M&A and capital markets partner Amr Baggatto left to join Matouk Bassiouny. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Afreximbank $160 million syndicated financing 

•Carbon Holding LSE and EGX IPO 

•Golden Pyramids Plaza $750 million bond issue

•Tahrir petrochemical complex 

•Telecom Egypt $200 million financing

 

Client feedback

"The partner that we have been dealing with, Mohamed Ghannam is extremely knowledgeable and professional. He also has a strong team of associates that provide the needed support." - Capital markets: Equity

"The firm offers a great service and focus on clients." - Financial services regulatory

"They were through, diligent, efficient, responsive and well versed with the local laws." - M&A

"We are generally satisfied with the level of service and professionalism." - M&A

"Overall good firm. Strengths: understanding of local law, availability, responsiveness." - Private equity 

"A very pro-active law firm always available to take care of our concerns. They always provided very practical advice." - Project finance

Hatem Soliman and Sameh Belal

"They are both detailed oriented, have a strong work ethic and focus on clients."

Lamyaa Gadelhak

"Very professional and has a very good knowledge of the legal practice in the country."

Mohamed Ghannam

"I have worked with Mohamed on a number of transactions related to the real estate and food sectors. He is quick understanding the issues and providing solutions."

"Excellent."

Ibrachy Legal Consultancy

Ibrachy Legal Consultancy is a domestic firm active across the financial and corporate practice areas.

During the research period in the banking area the firm worked for lenders on financings and bridge loan facilities. 

In capital markets work it advised guarantors on notes issuances and was involved in a capital increase.  

The firm recruited a senior banking partner Abdallah El Shehaby from Rizkana and Partners.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Flat6Labs Accelerator capital increase 

•Palm Hills $74 million financing

•Sokhna $30 million port financing 

•TCI Sanmar Chemicals $44 million bridge loan

•Vantage Drilling International $1 billion dual tranche bond issue 

Matouk Bassiouny

Matouk Bassiouny is a domestic firm active in all areas of financial and corporate work.

In banking work during the research period the firm advised a syndicate of lenders on a medium-term real estate facility and on a financing in the energy sector. 

The firm has been involved in some high profile equity and debt capital markets transactions like advising issuers on IPOs, capital increase and rights issues.  

In M&A it assisted acquirers and sellers on oil and gas, healthcare and education M&A deals.

The firm recruited two partners recently. Ahmed Ibrahim joined the equity capital markets team and Malack El Masry joined the M&A team. Both were hired from Nour & Partners.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•CI Capital EGX IPO

•Egyptian Electricity Holding Company $900 million financing

•Etisalat Misr $270 million capital increase

•Mubadala Petroleum $934 million acquisition of 10% in Zohr gas field

•Rooya Group $180 million syndicated financing

 

Client feedback

"High level commitment, adequate flexibility in thoughts and solutions while maintaining high compliance to regulatory laws of all concerned parties. Transparency.  Would highly recommend this firm for syndications club deals." - Banking

"Overall, definitely one of the top corporate and M&A legal advisors in the Egypt market. Key strengths include: experience of senior partners in negotiating complex transactions, experience in English law, and deep commitment to protecting client interests. As with other law firms in the market, you get the best advice when dealing with certain partners who also tend to be very busy at times." - M&A

"The firm has a good reactivity and a good understanding of international European companies. Very helpful." - M&A

"The firm has provided an excellent service for our company so far. One of the firm's most visible strengths is the responsiveness and availability of the entire team from associate to partner level at all times. The team is always ready to attend to our last-minute requests, and deliver whatever is required on time, with detailed and relevant insights of navigating the Egyptian legal and regulatory landscape.  It is clear that the firm's partners are well plugged in with all the key stakeholders in the country that can help facilitate legal procedures, project approvals etc.  As part of the firm's positioning to international firms is to be their legal linkage between their headquarters and their local operations. I think the firm can develop more its legal strategy/advisory arm in the sense of offering its clients services around stakeholder mapping and strategic legal insights relevant to the clients' operations. It would be very helpful for the international clients' teams (in-house counsel, business development teams etc) to be informed of the regulatory changes and key stakeholder changes that happen on the ground in order to help with the creation of more realistic strategic roadmaps for how to navigate and facilitate more projects in the country." - Project development

"The firm has a long standing reputation with the support of an adequate number of lawyers and support staff. It is very meticulous in its approach." - Project finance 

Ashraf Hendy

"Committed, responsible, innovative.  He requires more in depth knowledge about some of the industries dynamics to amalgamate more efficiently his adequate legal knowledge with the industrials."

Hazem El Guindi and Tamer El Hennawy

"Tamer is a very professional lawyer. He managed very efficiently the negotiations. He understood very well our company's issues. Hazem came afterwards and he really took well the file."

Mahmoud Bassiouny

"I have dealt regularly with Mahmoud in the last period on a number of different projects within my company. Mahmoud has always displayed exemplary client relationship management behaviour. He is always very responsive to any of our requests, and is able to deliver on whatever our legal request is in a very short period. Mahmoud is always keen to provide us with a legal opinion that is well thought through, but also realistic and in line with his read of the applied legal scene on the ground. On several occasions, he has presented us with possible solutions to legal roadblocks drawing on local market precedents from his prior experience in other sectors. Mahmoud bridges a gap that has proven to be quite beneficial to our firm, which is that he is able to understand our company's international requirements (and deal seamlessly with the diverse teams in the organisation between business development and the in-house legal counsel). At the same time, he is able to pull on his Egyptian strong local footing, speak and transact easily with the less internationally exposed local government/ regulatory authorities lawyers. This has been a great facilitator to our work streams, and one that has given a lot more comfort to the different internal stakeholders within our organization about navigating the legal backdrop of our projects in Egypt, in a way that is aligned with our global standards."

Omar Bassiouny

"He has an in depth legal knowledge and good articulation skills. He gives a number of practical solutions borne out of understanding of the business. Weakness: becoming busy with increased clientele."

Nour & Partners in association with Al Tamimi & Company

Nour & Partners is active across all practice areas covered by the rankings. The firm works in association with Al Tamimi & Co.

In banking during the research period the firm worked mainly for borrowers on Islamic finance, acquisition finance, and syndicated financing deals. 

The capital markets team advised issuers on both debt and equity matters. The firm worked on corporate bond, sukuk, sovereign bond and rights issues and IPOs over the research period. 

In M&A the firm represented acquirers on deals in the telecommunications, real estate, financial services and transport sectors. It also acted as counsel to sellers on the food, financial services, agriculture and consumer goods industries. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•CIRA $75 million Egyptian Exchange IPO

•MT Telecom $930 million rights issue

•Telecom Egypt $700 million financing 

•Arab Republic of Egypt $4 billion three tranche (6.125%, 7.50% and 8.50%) sovereign bond issue

•Arab Republic of Egypt €2 billion two tranche (4.75% and 5.625%) sovereign bond issue

 

Client feedback

"It is as if the firm is part of our own team, very reliable and easy to work with. We trust them with our eyes closed and in particular value their pragmatic and hands on problem solving approach to complicated matters." - M&A

"Strengths: Strong legal knowledge, very good understanding of the client's needs, quick response, and senior team members are highly qualified. Weaknesses: junior team members have lack of experience and exposure." - M&A

"The company has impeccable staff that work to the best interest of the client. They have deep knowledge and their response time is amazing." - Private equity

Mohamed Gabr

"Gabr is a well-rounded lawyer with expertise in M&A and debt. He has an amazing drafting capability and brings out of the box ideas to the table."

"Mohamed Gabr embodies the firm's strengths of responsiveness, problem solving, structuring and deep knowledge of local regulations and laws."

Mohamed Gabr and Ingy Elkady

"Very responsive and nice to work with. It is a pleasure dealing with this team and I always look forward to getting on a new deal with them. Once again, a pragmatic approach of solving problems and getting a deal done is the most valuable asset and this team scores a 10 out of 10 on this." 

Riad & Riad Law Firm

Riad & Riad is a firm active in the equity capital markets, M&A and project finance areas.

In recent equity capital markets work the firm worked for an issuer on a capital increase. 

The M&A team worked predominantly for joint venture partners on deals in the food and real estate sectors.  

In project finance the firm represented borrowers and lenders on projects in the oil and gas, power and infrastructure space. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Bisco Misr $33 million capital increase

•Kellogg’s / Tolaram $11 million joint venture

Sarie-Eldin & Partners Legal Advisors

Sarie-Eldin & Partners is a local firm in Egypt with a strength in banking work, but it is also active in capital markets, M&A, and project finance.

In banking during the research period the firm worked for lenders on syndicated loans and refinancing matters.

The M&A team advised on port joint venture and advised acquirers on a deal in the consumer goods sector. 

In projects work the firm acted as counsel to sponsors in the infrastructure sector.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•DP World / SC Economic joint venture

•Financial Holdings $35 million refinancing

•Group of Saudi and Emirati investors $25 million acquisition of a 25% stake in Eastern Tobacco Co 

•International Oil Multi Seeds Extraction Company $144 million financing 

•6th of October Dry Port PPP

 

Client feedback

"The firm is strong and understands the business' needs." - Banking

"Clear ability to communicate concerns. Swift replies, well-spoken English and experienced team of lawyers. Competent." - Project development

"Responsive and practical. A little on the costly side." - Project development

"Working with the firm has been a real pleasure, they are responsive, knowledgeable and always willing to put in the extra effort to make sure tasks are completed. I would like to see more partner involvement at key meetings." - Project development 

Ahmed Farahat

"Conscientious and responsive. Practical approach to problem solving."

"He is a very knowledgeable well-spoken lawyer. "

Amira Sherif

"Amira is a very strong lawyer; she knows banking in depth and has an excellence presence in negotiations."

Noha Radwan

"Noha has always delivered excellent work and has always met challenging deadlines. She is an integral part of the team and the project would not have been successful without her."

Shalakany Law Office

Shalakany Law Office is a local firm, and a member of Lex Mundi, active across the financial and corporate practice areas. 

In banking work during the research period the firm worked for lenders on acquisition financing, refinancing, loan facility deals. It also advised on the financing of projects in the energy, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors, also for lenders. 

In the capital markets area it worked for the dealers and trustee on an EMTN programme. 

In M&A it advised acquirers on deals in the energy, food and beverage, real estate, retail, and the oil and gas sectors. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Afreximbank $5 billion EMTN programme

•Dubai Holding $1 billion acquisition of 25% of Azadea 

•Midor $1.2 billion financing

•Neptune Oil & Gas $3.9 billion acquisition of Engie

•United Energy Group in $900 million acquisition of Kuwait Energy’s Egypt subsidiary

 

Client feedback

"Generally good, although handled through international counsel so did not have direct contact with them." – Banking

"Excellent service - responsive and well-considered." - Capital markets: Equity 

"Outstanding in all respects.  Excellent work product and very experienced. Smart attorneys." - Capital markets: Equity

Aly Shalakany

"He is smart, responsive and a key contact in the region.  He is always my first call with anything in Egypt."

Miriam Fateen Fahmy

"Solid lawyer, gets the job done; sometimes has to be prodded, generally good."

Omar Sherif

"Omar provides excellent legal work."

Sharkawy & Sarhan

Sharkawy & Sarhan is an independent firm active in the financial and corporate practice areas with a particular focus on finance, oil and gas and power work.

During the research period, in the banking area, the firm advised lenders on financing, refinancing, syndicate loans work on the telecoms, financial services and oil and gas sectors. 

In capital markets work it worked for issuers on eurobonds.

In M&A it advised a client on the sale of a food company. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

• Afreximbank $500 million financing

• Kitchener Drain depollution $214 million financing

• Arab Republic of Egypt $2.5 billion two tranche eurobond issue 

• National Bank of Egypt $150 million financing

• Vinavil Egypt for Chemicals $15 million financing

Client feedback

"The services provided by the firm were excellent. The team that we worked with, led by Ahmed Haggag, was very knowledgeable and provided clear legal advice." – Banking

"This law firm provided us with very good advice and opinions. They are responsive and understand our position. They provide opinions/advice that are backed with in depth research." - Banking

"We have a long term pleasant relationship with Sharkawy & Sarhan. They are professional and very helpful regarding various questions/requests from the clients. And they always meet deadlines, or will give you a sufficient advanced notice if for any reason they cannot meet the deadline - this is truly important for us as we often act as lead counsel and need to coordinate between the clients and local counsels." - Banking 

"Very good and responsive." - Capital markets: Equity 

Ahmed Haggag

"Ahmed is a very professional lawyer and is leading a very good team who has provided great support to us. He is always responsive to clients' requests, even in urgent cases."

"Ahmed has been a pleasure to work with. He always takes a keen interest in the transaction and provides clear and pragmatic legal advice."

Heba Raslan

"Very knowledgeable and responsive."

Kamal Tarek

"Kamal has been the main contact that I liaise in most transactions, and the communication has always been pleasant. Kamal is very well organized and responsive and he has provided great support."

Soliman Hashish & Partners

Soliman Hashish & Partners is a domestic firm active in the banking, M&A and capital markets areas.

In recent banking work the firm worked for lenders on a Tier 2 capital loan and for borrowers on an acquisition finance deal.

In the capital markets area the firm advised an issuer in the cement industry on a capital increase.

The M&A team acted as counsel to the acquirer on a deal in the education sector.

During the research period the firm hired counsel Ahmed Said, who joined the capital markets team, from Al Kamel Law.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Sinai Cement $78 million capital increase

 

Client feedback

"They are responsive, always with a timely and business oriented advice. Their fees are reasonable as well." - Asset finance

"Very well informed about the Egypt regulatory environment and corporate law as well as being extremely diligent and meticulous about their work. Both Mohamed Hashish and Frederic Soliman are great lawyers who are passionate about what they do." - Financial services regulatory

"Overall the firm work was excellent, strengths are: language skills and business acumen as lawyers, meaning the perspective and advice is from a business point of view, though still academically sound. Also social skills are highly developed and there is high level of flexibility in working hours." - M&A

"Very strong partners, always reachable. In depth analysis of all topics to be assessed and is able to support our company at 360 degrees." - M&A

Frederic Soliman

"Strengths: language skills, social skills, flexibility, legal knowledge, and academic backbone."

Mohamed Hashish

"Excellent on every level with the added bonus of being extremely easy to work with."

"I have been dealing with Mohammed since his time at Al Kamel, he is young, energetic and responsive."

"Mohamed Hashish is one of the most professional lawyers I've worked with. He always provided us with precious advice and support to succeed in Egypt."

Zaki Hashem & Partners

Zaki Hashem & Partners is a local firm active across all financial and corporate areas.

In the banking area during the research period the firm worked for borrowers on financings on the telecoms and agriculture sectors, and advised a lender on a financing on the energy sector.

In capital markets work it advised the joint lead managers on a note programme, advised a settlement manager on a notes issue, and assisted an issuer on its capital increase.

The firm also worked for acquirers and a joint venture partner on M&A deals in the energy, financial services and insurance sectors. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Arab Republic of Egypt $3.2 billion bond issue

•El Sewedy Electric Company / The Arab Contractors Company joint venture

•Global Telecom capital increase

•Midor $1.2 billion financing

•Vodafone Egypt $172 million financing

 

Client feedback

"Good quality of work, relatively weak responsiveness." - Asset finance

"The firm is coherent and solid with great talent and consistence performance. I have dealt with the firm in this Greenfield project to my utmost satisfaction. I believe their only weakness is they overworked, they need three times as much young lawyers to learn from the masters and create the next level top corporate lawyers." – Banking

"The firm has broad experience in advising on debt issuances by the Egyptian sovereign. Counsel Ragia Omran, is particularly knowledgeable and gives detailed legal advice while also appreciating more subtle commercial points." - Capital markets: Debt

"Responsive and very commercial with excellent links into the regulator. The senior equity capital markets partner could only speak Arabic which required some level of interpretation for the excellent Arig and her team." - Capital markets: Equity

"The job was well done, swiftly, and very professional." - Capital markets: Equity

"As for the strengths they have well experienced and respectable staff. The area of marketing where they need to market for their service more needs improvement." - Financial services regulatory

"Strengths: deep local knowledge, strong governmental relationships, high level advisers.  Areas of improvement: response time." - Financial services regulatory

"The firm is quite responsive and understands the client's needs." - M&A

"Excellent understanding of the local laws and how they interplay with English law given our need to abide to both." - Private equity

The firm is a very efficient first tier office in handling legal matters in such changing legal environment.  Mr. Sameh Khodier is able to handle all issues efficiently and diligently given his extensive legal database. Mr. Sameh Kamal is very well experienced and his command of legal knowledge in capital markets and finance matters navigates him safely through difficult negotiations. - Project development

"The firm has shown good reactivity at all levels. However, we felt that sometimes we could feel that in negotiations the firm took a step back to manage relationships with public authorities, rather than being 100% with us." - Project development

"The strength of the firm falls in the drafting of the agreement and their understanding of the type of this specific business which is new to the Middle Eastern markets." - Project development

"Zaki Hashem and Partners is one of the best Egyptian Law offices that have the experience and efficiency which qualifies to perform all tasks through providing the required consultancy, as they have great experience in the field of providing legal consultancy for more than 40 years. As well as extensive experience in the field of oil contracts and financing contracts with major companies working in this field. Also they have considerable experience in arbitration cases besides having their own legal advisors in all fields and branches of law." - Project development

 

Ahmed Meguid

"Meguid is exceptional in due diligence and has been essential in identifying key risks and how to mitigate it."

Arig Ali

"Excellent and commercial."

"Extremely dedicated and hard working. As an English lawyer, Arig was essential in assisting us getting the SHAs and SPAs and navigated through the Egyptian law issues."

Helal El Hossary

"Amazing, perfect, dedicated professional. The best ever."

Ragia Omran

"Ragia has extensive experience and knowledge in respect of debt issuances by the Egyptian sovereign. Her advice is both technically accurate and sensitive to the commercial needs of clients."

Sameh Kamal

"Sameh Kamal is very well experienced and his command of legal knowledge in capital markets and finance matters navigates him safely through difficult negotiations. He is always available and adopts a solution oriented approach."

"Sameh is very dynamic and always available; he was a great added value to the team working on our most recent transaction."

"Competent lawyer, reactive."

Sameh Khodier

"Sameh Khodier is able to handle all issues efficiently and diligently given his extensive legal database."

"Sameh has adequate experience, as flexibility in all matters, the professionalism in dealing with Midor as well as excellent follow up and commitment beside the ability of providing creative solutions for all obstacles."

Soha El Ezaby

"Strengths: active, energetic and responsive."

Zulficar & Partners

Zulficar & Partners is a domestic firm with a strong presence in all the financial and corporate practice areas.

In capital markets work during the research period the firm advised the coordinator and bookrunner on a real estate IPO, and represented the underwriters on a financial services IPO.

In M&A it worked for joint venture partners on deals in the solar power, automotive and oil and gas sectors. It also advised the sellers on a financial services M&A deal.

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•CIRA EGX IPO

•DPI $45 million acquisition of Mashroey and Tasaheel

•Mansour / Scope Investment joint venture

•Taga Arabia / Hassan Allam joint venture