ALSF legal advisors recognised as transportation and infrastructure team of the year

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The African Legal Awards recognized Hogan Lovells as the Transportation and Infrastructure Team of the year for their role in advising the governments of Benin and Niger on the West African Railway Loop Project. Hogan Lovells’ role was facilitated by the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) on the request of the governments of Benin and Niger.

Now in their third year, the awards, hosted by Legal Week in association with Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa (CLASA), recognised exceptional achievement across the African Legal Sector on October 20, 2015.

The ALSF financed the work focused on the 1,850 km-long, US $3-billion Cotonou-Niamey and Niamey-Burkina Faso sections of the wider, 2,970 km-long West African rail loop project, which will serve as a link for potential export trading hubs in Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. 

Two national law firms, Cabinet Dossou (Benin) and Cabinet FCA (Niger), were also core parts of the team in the negotiations of the agreements. The ALSF recognizes their contribution and views the opportunity to work on this transaction as a means to enhance their capacity to advise in future transactions. 

The Prime Minister of Benin, Lionel Zinsou, commended the ALSF for their support which enabled the governments to negotiate fair and sustainable contracts expected to facilitate the construction of the required infrastructure needed to transform the region.

For his part, ASLF Director Stephen Karangizi said, “This recognition demonstrates that we are providing high-quality legal advisory services to African governments. The ALSF is working with the best legal experts to ensure fair and balanced negotiations between the Governments and private investors.”

ALSF was involved in the identification and selection of legal counsel to the governments of Benin and Niger; the institutional, legal and financial structuring of the project; the negotiation of the public-private partnership (PPP) contracts; and a capacity building component aimed at strengthening the capacity of African law firms to negotiation complex commercial transactions.