Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice Launches Blog to Focus on the Legal Aspects of ‘Doing Business in Africa’

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Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice Launches Blog to Focus on the Legal Aspects of ‘Doing Business in Africa’

The Africa Practice at the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has launched a blog focusing on the legal aspects of conducting business on that continent. Doing Business in Africa covers legal developments that are relevant to U.S. companies looking to invest in or that have already invested in Africa.

The blog will feature posts from a diverse group of attorneys from the Africa Practice and throughout the firm. Posts will also include upcoming events and speaking engagements relevant to the legal and business aspects of investing in the African market.

Doing Business in Africa authors will tackle a wide range of topics, including:

Corporate and securities law
Energy and natural resources
Export controls
Financial regulation
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti-corruption compliance
Government law and policy
Trade and investment
Intellectual property
International dispute resolution
International tax
Mergers and acquisitions
Private equity
Public infrastructure and transportation
Public private partnerships

“We are very excited about this blog and believe it will serve as a great reference tool for our clients, as well as showcase the Africa Practice and its capabilities to a global audience,” said Shareholder Jude Kearney, Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice. Kearney joined the firm in 2012 in the Washington, D.C. office.

Joining Kearney as authors and editors will be attorneys Ashley C. Brown, Alais L. M. Griffin, Ryan P. Kelley, Emma L. Menzies, Vicky B. McPherson (Editor), Thomas R. Snider, Benjamin B. Tymann, and foreign law clerk Aron J. Ambia, among others.

Kearney focuses his practice on corporate transactions, with an emphasis on international project finance. Kearney’s knowledge of the African market is owed in part to his having lived on the continent twice in his career, in Nigeria and in South Africa. In Africa, Kearney has served as lead legal advisor for independent electricity development and financing, the development of gas storage facilities and gas pipelines, writing commercial oil and gas legislation, financing the build out of telecommunications companies, and the funding of transportation infrastructure. Kearney previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he participated in various trade and bilateral negotiations including in regards to GATT, NAFTA, and market access negotiations with Japan and China.

Brown serves as of counsel in Greenberg Traurig’s Global Energy & Infrastructure practice group and is based in the firm’s Boston office. In addition to his role at Greenberg Traurig, Brown is currently serving as Executive Director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a consultant for foreign countries worldwide providing counsel on drafting laws, policies and regulations for energy, public utilities, air quality and electricity matters. Brown frequently serves as a speaker at conferences and seminars worldwide related to energy and infrastructure regulation and has written extensively on these topics.

Griffin focuses her practice on litigation, with an emphasis on compliance, regulatory and transportation matters. Her work for private and public sector clients includes assisting with the development and implementation of internal compliance initiatives for multinational companies subject to the FCPA and other bribery acts, including those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Griffin also brings extensive experience in transportation-related litigation, regulations and laws, as well as in regulatory development and other government processes. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, she served as a political appointee in the United States Department of Transportation, first as Counselor to the General Counsel and subsequently as the Chief Counsel for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Kelley advises large and small companies on a broad range of legal needs arising from global operations. His practice focuses on both domestic and international corporate and securities matters, including mergers and acquisitions, anti-corruption, government contracting, foreign investment, and tax law. He served as Senior Counsel and Global Supply Chain Advisor, Tamerlane Global Services, Inc., 2011-2013 and was previously a Legal Intern for the Government of Liberia, Ministry of Public Works and for Alliant Techsystems, Inc. He is a practice group attorney in the firm’s Northern Virginia office.

Menzies acts primarily for banks and other financial institutions, and has been involved in all types of finance, including leveraged and project finance. Menzies is also experienced in restructuring and workouts, and will also support the firm’s Restructuring Practice. She is a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s London office, Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP. Her experience includes acting for or advising, among many others, a West African mining company in relation to equipment purchase facilities with various African banks and Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH in connection with the €9 billion project for the design, development, construction, commissioning, procurement, financing, maintenance and operation of a transnational gas pipeline, and associated infrastructure, connecting Turkey with Austria via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

McPherson will serve as the blog editor. She is a shareholder based out of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and represents clients from around the world, including those located in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. She focuses her practice on corporate transactions, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and project finance. She also has experience advising on initial and follow-on private equity investments for early-stage companies and strategic investments on behalf of private equity firms. McPherson’s Africa practice is primarily focused on project finance, private equity investments and generally advising clients making foreign direct investments in key sectors such as energy, infrastructure and mining.

Snider is a shareholder in the firm’s litigation practice in the Washington, D.C. office and works closely with the firm’s Africa, Global and International Dispute Resolution practices. He focuses his practice on international commercial arbitration, state-to-state arbitration, and international investment disputes. Snider’s prior experience includes working as a resident attorney in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a member of the legal team that represented the government of Ethiopia before the Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission (EECC) from 2002 to 2004. The EECC was an international tribunal adjudicating state-to-state claims for injury, damage or loss due to an international armed conflict.

Tymann focuses his practice on compliance and investigations, commercial litigation and land use disputes. He regularly works with clients who do business with the government, and has represented government contractors in multiple jurisdictions and across industries, including construction and construction materials, retail and manufacturing. His experience includes the design and implementation of comprehensive anti-corruption compliance programs for multinational companies subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act, with a special emphasis on leading such compliance initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ambia is a foreign law clerk and works with the Corporate & Securities Department as well as with the Energy & Infrastructure Department and has been involved in the expansion of Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice. Aron advises clients and sovereigns on diverse oil and gas matters and related infrastructure projects. In addition, he advises U.S. and foreign clients on corporate mergers and acquisitions, project finance, and global technology infrastructure transactions. Prior to joining the firm, Aron worked with the Commercial Department of a leading law firm in Nairobi, Kenya. He is qualified to practice in both Kenya and New York. He is a member of the Law Society of Kenya, the East Africa Law Society, and the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice
With its diverse resources and vast needs, Africa, as a region, has become the centerpiece for international investment and economic development. Through the longstanding partnerships the firm’s Africa team has built, extensive experience with transactions, and a sustained commitment to the region, Greenberg Traurig’s Africa Practice is a key element of the firm’s global platform and an invaluable asset when representing clients. Greenberg Traurig is proud to help facilitate an environment that fosters the energy and creativity of African entrepreneurs, and encourages those that wish to invest in Africa to do so in a socially responsible manner. The firm wants to partner with clients who share its vision for Africa - a vision of empowered African entrepreneurs, supported by meaningful investments in the community, sustained economic growth and social responsibility - and wants to achieve success not just for its clients, but for Africa.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1750 attorneys serving clients from 36 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is among the “Power Elite” in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report, which assesses the nature and strength of law firms' client relationships. For additional information, please visit http://www.gtlaw.com.

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Lourdes Brezo Martinez
Greenberg Traurig LLP
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