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

Dentons in association with Afifi Law Office primarily works in M&A and banking. 

In banking, the firm represented African Export Import Bank with respect to a loan from the European Investment Bank.

In M&A, the firm assisted Turk Ventures Advisory in the acquisition of Elif Holding, working on the due diligence of an Egyptian subsidiary and closing actions in Egypt. 

Clients of the firm include Standard Chartered Bank, Africa Export Import Bank, and Thales. 

Al Kamel Law

Al Kamel has experience in banking and M&A but is also active in project finance and capital markets.

In banking, the firm advised the lender, German Investment Corporation (DEG), with respect to a facility to Sekem Holding. 

In project finance the firm is advising on the financing by its clients Export-Import Bank of the United States and UK Export Finance and Overseas Private Investment Corporation for a petrochemical project. 

In M&A, the firm advised BSA International on the acquisition of a cheese company with manufacturing facilities.

Notable clients of the firm include Palm Hills Developments and Deutsche Investitations und Entwicklungsgesellschaft. 

Client feedback

 "The firm's very responsive and committed to make a deal successful. It's very client friendly." – Restructuring and insolvency

"I am honoured to be able to provide my assessment of Al Kamel Law Firm's work. It is a pleasure to work with a distinguished company as Al Kamel Law, and it provides services around the clock for all weekdays. It serves my company professionally and replies to all our needs and requirements. Al Kamel Law Firm is a very organised firm, giving us a sense of security and confidentiality of all our files. I can communicate with the employees of the company and even the owner of the company itself at any time; working with them is under a purely friendly scope." – Banking, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency

"Legal advice was given in a timely and professional manner and the quality of documentation was very good and up to international standards. The firm provided us with good support during negotiations as well, proactively." – M&A

Rasheed Kamel

"He is very responsive, skilled and approachable. He has high client relationship management and makes things happen."

"He is the chairman of the company and he is reachable all the time." 

"He is a pleasant person to deal with even if he is on the other side of the table. He is technically strong in corporate matters. His commercial awareness and negotiation skills are remarkable." 

Alliance Law Firm

Alliance Law Firm is a local firm in Egypt largely active in M&A and capital markets, with some work in banking.

In M&A, the firm advised its clients on acquisitions and mandatory tender offers, representing ICON Egypt on its MTO for 70% of Acrow through a mixed vehicle of cash and swaps. 

In capital markets, the firm worked on the simultaneous capital increase and decrease of Alexandria Portland Cement Co (Titan Egypt), working with Egyptian regulators. 

Other high profile clients of the firm include Dolphinus, Commercial International Bank, and Mashreq for Industrial and Commercial Investments. 

Client feedback

"Overall, we're very content with the quality of work performed by ALF.  Speed and quality of responses are what differentiates this firm from others (in addition to its sound technical stand/knowledge). The firm has the right blend between local and international flavours (it works well with the two worlds and its understanding of international law puts it in a leading position among some others)." – Banking and finance

"The firm and all the team involved in services provided to our company were very efficient and used to deliver work ahead of scheduled deadlines. The firm showed strong knowledge of the applicable regulations and good communication with the regulator. We don't have any observations that could be seen as a weaknesses, yet the firm can work on its international network especially in Latin America." – Capital markets, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"We are very pleased with their professionalism, client servicing, and response times." – M&A

Ahmed Hafez and Omar Farid

"They are both very responsive; easy going and knowledgeable." 

Ashraf Abou Elkheir

"He has always been providing innovative solutions."      

Helmy Hamza & Partners

Helmy Hamza & Partners, Baker McKenzie’s local arm, has a strong presence across banking, capital markets, M&A and project finance. 

A highlight for the firm in capital markets this year was representing the Central Bank of Egypt in a buy-back and resale of bonds with banks including Barclays Bank, Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank. 

In banking, the firm worked on a multi-currency guarantee facility to Arab Contractors, representing the lender, African Export-Import Bank.

In project finance, the firm worked for a syndicate of lenders including Acciona Energia, Swicorp, and TBEA to finance three photovoltaic plants in Egypt under the Egyptian government's feed-in tariff programme. 

In M&A, Helmy Hamza & Partners represented CI Capital in its acquisition of Reefy, a microfinance operator in Egypt. 

High profile clients of the firm include the Central Bank of Egypt, Africa Export-Import Bank, and EFG Hermes.

Ibrachy & Dermarkar

Ibrachy & Dermarkar is a local firm active in banking, M&A, capital markets, and project finance.

In banking and project finance, the firm has been active in the energy and infrastructure sectors. including work on PPPs. In oil and gas the firm advises both upstream and downstream clients. 

Clients of the firm include Exxon Mobil Egypt and Novartis. 

Ibrachy Legal Consultancy

Ibrachy Legal Consulting is a domestic law firm with particular expertise in banking and M&A. The firm also works in capital markets and project finance areas. 

A banking highlight for the firm this year was working on the refinancing of a syndicated loan for Egyptian Propylene and Polypropylene Company. The syndicate comprised Banque du Caire, Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, CIB, and QNB. 

In project finance, the firm acted as local council for Commerical International Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on providing finance to Sonker Bunkering for the construction of a bulk liquids terminal. 

In M&A, the firm acted for Orascom Telecom Ventures on the sale of its entire shareholding, in Arab Finance for Brokerage. 

Noteworthy clients of the firm include Oriental Weavers, Credit Agricole, and the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development).  

Client feedback

"It's very consistent; provides quality advice; timely responses; very knowledgeable of local issues; and commercially aware." – Restructuring and insolvency

Sara Hinton

"She is excellent. She knows the local market very well; is pragmatic and cool in stressful situations."  

Marghany Advocates

Marghany Advocates is a local firm primarily active in M&A.

Within M&A the firm has been active on both the sell and buy side of transactions, including advising Kingdom Holding in selling the entire equity of its Egyptian subsidiary to the Egyptian government.

Clients of the firm include GoodsMart, ElMenus, and Egyptian Nitrogen Products Company. 

Client feedback

‘’Marghany Advicates have been able to help me with my legal and regulatory needs for the past seven years including support of foreign laws and regulations’’ – Banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, project development

"Amir has great experience in corporate law and investment deals. He helped a lot." – M&A

"Marghany Advocates is very professional yet shows how much it cares for its clients. Sometimes I feel we are family. That's most important to feel like it has your back. The firm is available, competent, learned and cheerful." – Banking and finance, M&A, project development, and restructuring and insolvency

Matouk Bassiouny

Matouk Bassiouny is strong and active in banking, capital markets, M&A, and project finance. The firm has offices in Dubai and Sudan.

In banking, the firm represented Banque Misr and National Bank of Egypt on providing a facility to the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company as part of a group of local and international lenders. 

In project finance, the firm represented a syndicate of banks led by Arab African International bank, National Bank of Egypt, HSBC, and Arab Bank for a real estate facility to Rooya Group.

In capital markets, the firm was especially active on IPOs, working on four. One example is its work for Ibnsina Pharma on its IPO of roughly 40% of its share capital.

In M&A, the firm represented Neptune Energy Group with its purchase of a majority stake in ENGIE's E&P business. 

Hossam Gramon left the firm in 2017 for Nour & Selim in association with Al Tamimi & Company. 

Matouk Bassiouny often represents Arab African International Bank, with other important clients including CI Capital, HSBC, and Swicorp Private Equity. 

Client feedback

"Very knowledgeable of the law and also of the customary practices of relevant administrations." -  M&A

Jean-Jérôme Khodara 

"Advice is on point and of very high quality, although the legal framework in that jurisdiction is not always clear."

"He is very commercial, attentive to detail, efficient, expedient in turning around documents, and excellent in attempting to simplify issues."

Tamer El Hennawy

"Very responsive, and great quality work."

Nour & Partners

Nour & Selim in association with Al Tamimi & Co was active in all areas of work covered by the rankings.

In capital markets, the firm worked extensively for the Egyptian Ministry of Finance as issuer on bonds. In banking, the firm has advised Emirates NBD on a revolving loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In M&A, the firm worked for both the buyer and seller on acquisitions, and represented Ezdehar Mid-Cap Egypt Fund on the acquisition of Dsquares. 

The firm hired a new partner in 2017, Hossam Gramon from Matouk Bassiouny, who has become an integral part of their practice, heading project finance and banking, and working in capital markets and M&A. Along with hiring its new partner, the firm has almost doubled the number of qualified lawyers working for it. 

Key clients include the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, Emirates NBD Bank, United Africa Beverages, and Macro Group Pharmaceuticals. 

Client feedback

"Good level of competence and responsiveness." – Banking and finance

"The firm was very professional." 

Mohamed Gabr

"Great support, brilliant negotiator. He's very creative on restructuring and has proactive and effective problem solving skills."

Rizkana & Partners

Rizkana & Partners is a local firm founded in 2016 that is active in financial services. Within financial services, the firm has provided both a general advisory role to clients in licensing and contractual matters, and represented clients with regard to competition law. 

Clients of the firm include Ripple Egypt. 

Safwat & Partners

Safwat & Partners is a local firm active in M&A mainly. This year the firm advised its client Kimal on a purchasing 48% of an Egyptian company working in the medical sector. 

Sarie-Eldin & Partners Legal Advisors

Sarie-Eldin & Partners is a local law firm in Egypt. The firm's strongest practice area is banking, but it is also active in capital markets, M&A, and project finance. 

In banking, the firm has shown specialty in restructuring, advising the Aga Khan Foundation on restructuring its Egyptian microfinance agency. The firm advises on Islamic finance, and has been advising ADIB Capital, Banque Misr, Industrial Development & Workers Bank, Al Baraka Bank, Egyptian Land Bank, and Arab Investment Bank on a musharakah loan.  

Clients from this research period include Arab African International Bank, DP World, and Banque Misr.

Client feedback

"The team is well informed on the laws and regulations and are available for immediate advice. It understands clients' objectives and works on implementing them given the local legal framework. The firm is highly ethical and devotes all its attention to the assignments." – Banking and finance, M&A and private equity

Ahmed Farahat

"He has excellent knowledge of laws and regulations, is speedy in providing advice and is always available. Highly ethical."

Shahid Law Firm

Shahid Law Firm is a domestic firm active primarily in M&A but it also does some work in banking. 

A transactional highlight in M&A was representing Ferro Corporation in merging its two Egyptian subsidiaries. The firm is active in the medical industry. 

Key clients to the firm include Acciona and Ameco Medical Industries. 

Shalakany Law Office

Shalakany Law is a local firm in Egypt, operating in banking, capital markets and M&A, and has expertise in project finance. The firm is a member of Lex Mundi.

In project finance, Shalakany Law extensively works in renewable energy. Recently it worked on a 2500MW BOO wind power plant, representing the lenders, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, SMBC, and Société Générale. 

A capital markets highlight for the firm was advising the dealers and trustee on the update of the African Export-Import Bank’s EMTN programme. The firm also represented EBRD with respect to the Ibn Sina IPO as local counsel, which was EBRD's first investment in an Egyptian Company. 

In M&A, the firm worked on the mandatory tender offer for Global Telecom Holding by Veon, its client. 

Key clients of Shalakany Law include Veon, Barclays Bank, and the EBRD. 

Client feedback

"Excellent. One of my two 'go to' firms. Responsive and efficient." – Project finance

"It's my 'go to' firm in Egypt. It offers the highest quality advice and is extremely well connected in the financial services industry. Very high quality lawyers." - M&A

"The firm is responsive, professional, detail oriented and very helpful in solving issues when they arise." – Project finance

"The firm is known for its timeliness, proficiency, quality of work, accurate advice, hard work and reliability. Overall I'm happy with the quality of work." – M&A

"It has specialised local knowledge, excellent staff, and produces excellent reports with timely delivery; but the company could improve its engagement and communications strategy with its clients - in particular with difficult and sometimes obdurate clients." – Banking and finance

"The firm has proven itself as a truly professional and dedicated law firm that we would gladly recommend to others." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm was very knowledgeable and very responsive." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The team is very reactive and its advice is always clear and to the point. The firm gives clear guidance." – Banking and finance 

"The firm's response is very quick, honest and straight. For the contracted service for a particular project, so far we have received only a limited amount of service due to delay of the project. Therefore we have no negative impressions of its service." – Project development

"Very good and responsive. The senior managers and partners are approachable and knowledgeable." – Project development

"We have worked with Shalakany for more than three years, primarily on two large power projects in Egypt. Both of these projects have presented a wide array of complex issues of Egyptian law, ranging from more typical power sector considerations to procurement, regulatory, environmental, and land rights issues. In each case, we have received the prompt, detailed, and informative advice that we needed in order to carry out our work on the projects. Moreover, Shalakany has been consistently strong from a strategic perspective, helping us and our clients navigate through often complex political and regulatory waters to achieve the results that our clients expect." – Project finance and development

Mariam Fahmy

"She is proactive, helpful, insightful and responsive."  

"Very responsive, diligent and persistent." 

"Quick and to the point on the issues raised."

"She has technical knowledge, provides clear advice and written communications."

Omar Sherif

"He is very responsive and very knowledgeable."

"An excellent practitioner who really knows the energy sector and provides clear advice."

"Very talented senior associate who delivers on time and offers sound legal advice." 

"He has demonstrated a depth and breadth of knowledge and skill, having provided us with first-rate written advice as well as negotiation support. He has been terrific to work with, and we recommend him unreservedly."

Aly El Shalakany

"He is of the highest quality and extremely knowledgeable."

"He has good communication skills, provides unbiased and fair advice. He's a good lawyer to have on your side to close a transaction."   

"He has international experience and local knowledge."

"We have engaged with local counsel in many jurisdictions over the years, and he stands among the very best we have had the pleasure of working with. He has a clear command of not only substantive Egyptian law, but just as importantly a firm grasp of procedural and strategic considerations that has provided us, as a international counsel. We believe that we are providing the best possible advice to our clients from both an international and local perspective."

Sharkawy & Sarhan

Sharkawy & Sarhan is an independent firm which often works with international firms without presence in Egypt. The firm has been active in banking and finance and M&A recently.

In banking and finance a clear highlight is the firm’s work as the lenders’ local counsel to 17 international institutions on the financing of 30 solar projects under the Egyptian feed-in tariff programme.

The M&A team worked for AttijariWafa Bank as the buyer on the acquisition of Barclays Bank’s shares in Barclays Bank Egypt. The firm also acted as local counsel for Eni on the sale of a 30% participating stake to Rosnelft, in the Shoruk Concession, where the Zohr gas field is located.

Key clients include the International Financial Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Commercial International Bank, and Proparco.

Client feedback

"Excellent local law advice quality." – Banking and finance

"The firm is knowledgeable and responsive." – M&A

Karim Sarhan

"Experienced and reassuring."

Soliman Hashish & Partners

Soliman Hashish & Partners is a domestic firm active in banking and M&A. 

In banking, the firm advised Agence Française de Développement in a loan to the Egyptian government.

In M&A the firm worked in education, advising its client Africa Crest Education Group on acquiring two international schools of Choueifat in Egypt. 

Other notable clients of the firm include General Electric.

Client feedback

"SHP is our firm's preferred firm in Egypt. The lawyers know the law, are very responsive, commercially aware, and help in understanding local law and the challenges in finding solutions for international investors. It is the best law firm in Egypt and is among the up and coming. The personal service and quality from associate to partner level is impressive." – M&A, project development, project finance 

‘’Highly professional and nice personality of the whole team.’’ - Banking and finance

"It's excellent in all respects - accuracy of advice, timely responses and professionalism." – Financial and corporate

"Very strong risk assessment based on local regulatory knowledge. The firm does need to improve its alignment of legal frameworks with commercial constraints." – M&A,project development

Mohamed Hashish

"Excellent lawyer with a good understanding of local law, challenges and international clients' expectations. Very solid and always available." 

"Excellent work ethic, and very strong knowledge of the local regulations. Strong adherence to regulations and risk assessment." 

"Excellent in all aspects - professionalism, accuracy of advice and timely responses." 

"The best we could expect, with professional and communication skills."

Zaki Hashem & Partners

Zaki Hashem & Partners is a local law firm with a specialism in M&A and banking. The firm is also active in capital markets and project finance. 

The firm continued its strong history in M&A this year, advising Hewlett Packard on its acquisition of Samsung Electronics’ printer business with regard to Egyptian Assets. 

In banking, Zaki Hashem & Partners represented BNP Paribas on a loan to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company. 

The firm hired Osama Abdelmawla as partner from Helmy Hamza & Partners in M&A.

In projects it has worked on high profile PPP, real estate, and renewables proejcts. An example is its work for the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) with regard to the a contract for the construction of a central business district. 

Notable clients of the firm include HSBC Bank, BNP Paribas, Hewlett Packard, and Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR). 

Client feedback

"Extensive local know-how and hands on approach. Great work ethic with customer-friendly attributes." – M&A        

"It has a good understanding of project finance structures, what the lenders are looking for, and a thorough knowledge of the regulatory framework in Egypt." – Project finance

"Zaki Hashem is a very well established firm that shows agility in today's changing market. It always tries to accommodate its clients' requests, which is a very strong strength yet it sometimes causes significant delay in their response levels because its teams are overwhelmed by too many client requests." – Restructuring and insolvency

Helal El Hossary

"Very knowledgeable, and can provide strong support for his client in conflict resolution."

Sameh Kamal

"He has a good understanding and can properly manage his team."

Arig Ali

"Very responsive."

Zulficar & Partners

Zulficar & Partners is a local firm that has a strong presence across all practice areas. 

In banking, the firm showed expertise in bridge loans this year, working on multiple high-profile deals for lenders, including work for Banque Misr on a facility for the National Port Said Steel Company. 

The firm has a track record of working on PFIs and PPPs in Egypt. During the research period, it represented Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company with regard to financing the construction of a solar project with capacity of over 1600MW. 

Aly El Hawary, a partner specialising in banking and finance, left the firm in 2017.

Important clients of the firm include Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, National Bank of Egypt, and Arab African International Bank.