Significant M&A activity in the country is being complemented by numerous projects in the infrastructure, oil, real estate, energy and construction sectors
The fall in the price of oil has not had an adverse effect on the workflow of law firms operating in Angola, according to Nelson Raposo Bernardo, global managing partner at Raposo Bernado in Lisbon.
“The difficulties experienced in Angola due to the reduction of the price of oil has not dampened the opportunities for law firms,” he explains. “In fact, the opportunities that existed in recent years continue to exist and do so with great dynamism.” In addition to projects in the infrastructure, oil, real estate, energy and construction sectors, Raposo Bernado says there is also significant M&A activity. He attributes this level of deal flow to companies in Angola developing and reaching a level of sophistication that has begun to appeal to foreign investors.
“We’re finding that the most sophisticated foreign investor approaches the market by considering not only the traditional entry model in Angola, Mozambique or other Portuguese-speaking African countries – that is, through company incorporation – but also through the acquisition of existing companies or groups of companies,” Raposo Bernardo says. “And this is something completely new, and undoubtedly an opportunity for law firms.” In addition, the country’s legal market is finally reaping the rewards of structural investment, says Raposo Bernado. He adds: “Local [law] offices in Angola are now more sophisticated, having invested in technology and having gained experience from the knowledge exchange with Portuguese law offices, not to mention from the large flow of foreign investment.” However, he warns that prospects for the continued growth of Portuguese law firms in Angola are very much dependent on the adoption of a long-term strategy. Raposo Bernardo adds: “Those firms that have the objective of obtaining immediate results with zero investment will see a decline in business.”