Solicitors governing body: Association des Barreaux du Maroc
Competition authority: Conseil de la Concurrence
Financial regulator: CDVM: Le Conseil Déontologique des Valeurs Mobilières
IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction:
As no real legislation is in place to limit foreign association, the Moroccan legal market is heavily dominated by international firms of English, American, French and Spanish origin. Domestic firms are falling by the wayside somewhat, in a dynamic market that is nearing saturation point.
The formation of the Casablanca Financial City has caused a stir in the Maghreb region as many international corporations have opted to establish it as a financial hub for both northern and western Africa, particularly the francophone speaking jurisdictions.
The market has seen several changes over the last year, Dentons and DLA Piper have both established offices, the former taking a considerable capacity from French firm UGGC. Another French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel and Spanish firm Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira formally tied up their Casablanca offices, as part of a wider agreement to share resources in many jurisdictions.
A shared common language has ensured a strong attendance of French firms in the market, as well as those already mentioned, JeantetAssociés, Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés and CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre are active. Clifford Chance continued its swift ascendancy up our rankings this year, joining fellow magic circle firm Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy in Tier 1.
There is currently little in the way of practice area specialisation in the market, but that is liable to change as the environment inevitably becomes more sophisticated.
Baker McKenzie is active in M&A, banking, and project finance.
In M&A, the firm worked on the US Department of Justice mandated separation of General Electric’s water business, advising its client, Suez, on acquiring the business.
Another highlight saw the firm representing Holmarcom in the bankruptcy of Samir, working on the restructuring and bankruptcy claim.
Important clients for the firm are Suez, Marsa Maroc, and Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable.
"Very flexible and cooperative." – Banking and finance, capital markets and M&A
Belouchi & Fassi-Fihri Law Firm (BFF Law Firm) focuses on corporate law, private equity, financing and regulatory work.
During the research period, the firm advised project managers, lenders and borrowers on financing and refinancing of projects in the real estate sector.
The firm has also been active in private equity advising investors, buyers and sellers.
All of the work submitted to us is confidential.
BFR & Associes works in banking, M&A, capital markets, and project development. The firm is a member of the Africa Legal Network and often advises the government on legislation.
In banking, the firm represented the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the debt restructuring of Minière de Seksaoua. In M&A the firm represented Filiassur when it was acquired by Tikehau Capital.
"Good law firm. Reliable, trusted advice, good understanding of the client's expectations. To-the-point thoughtful advice, both in French and English. Responsive and reactive." – Banking and finance
Clifford Chance advises across the financial and corporate area. It often advises on legislation for the Ministry of Finance.
In banking, the firm advised HSBC Bank Middle East in regard to providing financing to Maroc Telecom. Other recent deal highlights include advising Varroc Lighting System to build and operate an industrial complex.
Important clients of the firm include Amethis Africa Finance, AfricInvest, and BMCE Bank.
CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre has been active in M&A recently. During the research period it represented Gestamp Palencia in creating a joint venture with Tuyauto and avised Lear Automotive in merging its two legal entities in Morocco located in Rabat and Tangier.
Notable clients of the firm in an advisory capacity include Boston Consulting Group, Philip Morris, and Coface.
Dentons is an international firm with an office in Casablanca which is the main hub for its Africa practice. The firm has a China Desk which it uses to support its Chinese clients in Morocco and Francophone Africa.
In M&A, the firm worked alongside Euromed Advisory & Rothschild and KPMG France to advise the client Development Partners International on an investment in Groupe Atlantique. Another highlight saw it advise Groupe Premium on the acquisition of subsidiaries in Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Togo.
Key clients of the firm include China Railway Construction Corporation, Mediterrania Capital Partners, and Development Partners International.
Fraikech Associés, a member of Globalaw, has been active in the funds ad project finance area recently. The firm represented Finance in Motion in establishing a branch in Morocco and worked for Soprima Immobilier on a project financing for factories.
"We are highly satisfied with Fraikech & Associate. This firm is highly reactive, and represents our company against global firms on real estate contracts with excellent results." - Banking and finance, and project development
Spanish firm Garrigues is primarily active in M&A and banking in Morocco. In banking, the firm represented the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in a loan to CaixaBank to finance Moroccan SMEs. In M&A, the firm mostly worked on acquisitions, but has also seen work in joint ventures during the research period. It represented Tinsa in the 100% acquisition of Cap Evl in one highlight.
Clients include International Paper, Socotec, and Jobelsa.
"Very efficient. Good and responsive law firm."
Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca is an international firm in Morocco combining lawyers from French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel and Spanish firm Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira. The firm advises clients on deals in project finance and capital markets.
In M&A the firm represented Engie Afrique in the purchase of a 49% stake in a new entity which will hold Finatech’s energy business.
In project work, the firm has been active in the automotive industry and has experience in Moroccan free zones, advising its client Nexteer Automotive on setting up a new manufacturing plant.
Notable clients of the firm include Renault Trucks, Engie, and Hands Corporation.
Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy is the Casablanca branch of Allen & Overy and services both Moroccan clients and those working in North and Francophone Africa. The firm is active in project finance, M&A, capital markets, and banking.
An example of the firm’s regional work in project finance saw the firm represent the International Finance Corporation, Proparco, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund with respect to financing an airport project in Madagascar. Local M&A work saw the firm advise Engie with respect to its acquisition of SPIE Morocco from SPIE Group.
High profile clients of the firm include Banque Centrale Populaire, Renault, and Ministère du commerce, de l’Investissement et de l’Economie Numérique.
"International (can provide benchmarks, best international practices etc.). Integrity. A good team of professionals. Negotiation skills." – Capital markets, M&A and private equity
"Professional. Very reactive. Associates available at high level." – Banking and finance, M&A, private equity, project finance, and restructuring and insolvency.
Norton Rose Fulbright works in M&A and project development and finance, but is also active in banking and capital markets.
Within project development and finance, the firm is primarily active in the renewable energy sector, advising the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy on multiple solar power projects.
In M&A the firm advises clients on joint ventures, such as advising its client, Aksal, on a joint venture with Wessal Capital.
Key clients of the firm include the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, Aksal Group, and Best Financière.
"High quality work, strong expertise in transactions in Morocco. Highly skilled professionals." – M&A, private equity, and restructuring and insolvency