Global law firm Baker McKenzie has won the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards Best Law Firm in Africa Award for 2021. According to EMEA Finance, the firm received the award due to its “very strong showing in a very challenging and complex year.” The award adjudicators considered various performance and structural factors, such as market share, product innovation, growth in important service areas, profitability and corporate strategy. The firm’s response to the pandemic was also considered in the evaluation process.
Chair of the Africa Steering Committee, Michael Foundethakis, comments, “The Firm’s strong and enduring client relationships in the financial institutions industry have been particularly important in a year when so many have been adapting to the stresses of the pandemic. These strong relationships have enabled us to grow our existing client base and build new ones in the key strategic markets of the Francophone Maghreb, North Africa, Francophone West Africa, Anglophone West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and Lusophone Africa.”
“Our ambition in Africa has been to enable our clients to grow in a way that is sustainable, inclusive and offers real value to their businesses and the communities and environments in which they operate. As well as being bankable and yielding attractive returns, it is becoming increasingly imperative that investment should be sustainable and provide ancillary benefits to local economies. We receive this award with gratitude as it serves as an endorsement that this strategy is working,” Foundethakis says.
“Baker McKenzie has ‘stepped up its game’ in response to the needs and requirements of its broad range of clients impacted across Africa,” says Christopher Moore, CEO and publisher of EMEA Finance magazine. “The firm’s impressive geographic coverage with more than 100 lawyers based in its three African offices, over 200 Africa specialists across its 76 offices, and a network of carefully selected and vetted 100 African relationship firms in 51 African jurisdictions, is magnified for good use by clients through established and ongoing digital platforms and apps.”
“The firm’s responsive rather than reactive mindset is reflected in its global resilience, recovery and renewal model, which is helping clients to ‘navigate the business and legal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic’ and has been tailored for its African clients as well,” says Moore.
The firm’s Africa Banking and Finance practice has achieved significant growth over the past 12 months, and is considered to be a key market player with an ongoing upward trajectory. The multi-jurisdictional team has advised numerous clients on big ticket transactions across Africa in the last year. The practice has a well-balanced client base that includes investment banks, domestic and international banks, development banks as well as the most prominent and active private credit funds. The team advises on complex multi-jurisdictional matters including project finance, acquisition finance, syndicated lending and trade finance transactions. The Firm’s strong and enduring client relationships in the financial institutions industry have been particularly important in a year when so many have been adapting to the stresses of the pandemic