Mona Zulficar maintains an eminent reputation amongst market observers and is described by clients as “highly knowledgeable and skilful – she can always find solutions.” She is known for her adept negotiations and her expertise on the Egyptian banking system.
Egypt, Banking & Finance
Mona Zulficar was described by one source as “fantastic and unique in her ability to help clients navigate through the banking and capital markets maze.” She is often called upon to advise on market-leading transactions.
Egypt, Banking & Finance
Head of practice Ashraf Ihab is described as a “very reasonable adviser who is very protective of his clients.” He is a finance specialist with noted expertise in structuring complex credit facilities.
Egypt, Dispute Resolution
Mahmoud Shaltout is described as being “among the best litigators working in the local courts in Egypt.” He heads the firm’s litigation practice and specialises in IP and commercial law.
Egypt, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration
According to one source, Mohamed Abdel Wahab is “very knowledgeable, extremely responsive and he really does make the jurisdiction more approachable for clients.” A noted arbitration specialist, he has significant experience advising on telecommunications and construction disputes.
Banking & Finance – Egypt
“What the team is known for Best known for representing lenders in some of Egypt’s largest transactions, including major syndicated loans. Clients include international banks and some of Egypt’s biggest domestic banks.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“Always my first choice: they are quick and responsive.”
“There is harmony – I like their approach, which is as one firm.”
Work highlights Acted for Banque Misr as a lender on the refinancing of a EGP2.26 billion syndicated loan.
Represented HSBC as a lender in the refinancing of a syndicated loan of EGP670 million to Beni Suef Cement.”
Significant clients Banque Misr, Arab African International Bank, National Bank of Egypt, HSBC.”
Corporate/M&A – Egypt
“What the team is known for Significant strengths in M&A and capital markets, with notable expertise in the real estate and energy sectors. The key lawyers attract tremendous respect, not only for commercial law, but for their experience working with regulatory bodies and on constitutional issues.Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“They gave us decisive and knowledgeable advice and did everything possible to make the deal succeed.””Hard-working and creative.”Work highlights Acted for Altimo on its mandatory tender offer to purchase Orascom Telecom Holding for USD1.8 billion.”
Dispute Resolution – Egypt
“What the team is known for Has considerable strength in arbitration, and its litigation practice is also well known in the market. Praised for its expertise in handling high-value disputes. Has experience in the telecommunications and construction sectors, among others.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“They all work extremely well as a team.”
Work highlights Represented Mobinil in an arbitration concerning a USD1.65 billion dispute with Telecom Egypt over an interconnection agreement.
Acted for SODIC as the claimant on a USD217 million arbitration concerning a construction joint venture.
Significant clients SCCT, OCI, Cemex, BAT, Crédit Agricole.”
Zulficar & Partners Selected Firm in GAR 100
“Zulficar & Partners holds its Tier 1 position across the board and remains one of the most prestigious law firms in Egypt under founding partner Mona Zulficar, a doyen of the market. The other key partners are Firas El Samad, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Ashraf Ihab, Ingy Badawy and Anwar Zeidan.
Examples of work include advising private equity firm Abraaj Group on its E£202 million (€22 million) acquisition of Cairo Medical Center, a company listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX). The deal was structured as a mandatory tender offer on up to 100% of the company’s shares and completed in July 2014.
In an equity capital markets case, the firm acted for EGX-listed real estate developer SODIC on its E£1 billion capital increase. The office also represented SODIC in a high value litigation and arbitration.
In a high value financing, the team represented The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil) on an E£815 million two-tranche syndicated medium term loan facility to finance the repayment of bonds due in January 2015 and to fund capital, operating and corporate expenditure. The lenders included the National Bank of Egypt, the Industrial Development and Workers Bank, the Egyptian Gulf Bank and Blom Bank Egypt.”
“Within Banking and finance, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm is a first tier firm, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm provides ‘solid, practical advice and a strategic approach’. Highlights included advising Mobinil as borrower of an E£815m syndicated loan. Ashraf Ihab heads the banking practice and founding partner Mona Zulficar ‘demonstrates again and again that she is an exceptional business lawyer and negotiator’.
Within Corporate and M&A, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm is a first tier firm, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm ‘ticks all the boxes in terms of response times, industry knowledge, business acumen and value for money’. ‘Very thorough and experienced’ M&A lead partner Ingy Badawy and head of capital markets Anwar Zeidan, who is ‘a good negotiator’, advised private equity firm Abraaj Group on the E£202m acquisition of Cairo Medical Centre. Mona Zulficar and Firas El Samad ‘have the respect of the business community’.
Within Dispute resolution, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm is a first tier firm, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm is ‘the best firm in Cairo for international disputes’. Mohamed Abdel Wahab is ‘one of the brightest of his generation, a strong thinker and excellent advocate who knows arbitration inside out’. He acted as local counsel alongside Clifford Chance to assist Bawabet Al Kuwait in a $750m ICSID arbitration case.
Within Telecoms, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm is a second tier firm, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm provides ‘excellent, practical advice’. It is longstanding counsel to Egypt’s leading mobile network operator Mobinil, as well as IBM and Microsoft. Managing partner Firas El Samad is highly recommended.”
Within Legal market overview Leading individuals
“Zulficar & Partners is a corporate law and international arbitration practice based in the Nile City Building in the heart of Cairo. It specialises in mergers and acquisitions, banking, international arbitration and complex litigation, capital market procedures and transactions, oil and gas, project finance, construction law and practice, telecommunications, and IT and antitrust. The firm offers a comprehensive range of legal services to a diverse array of commercial, industrial, and financial clients both in Egypt and internationally. Established in June 2009, the firm has eight partners and more than 30 associates. Drawing on the unparalleled expertise of its partners and associates, the firm brings to the legal market a blend of exceptional individual skills as well as more than 35 years of legal experience. The firm prides itself as having star-quality partners and associates possessing recognised track records in establishing precedents and introducing innovative products, structures and solutions to the Egyptian market through their creative and proactive problem solving approach. The firm aspires and pledges to provide its clients with top quality legal services to serve and enhance their business needs. Together with a strong culture of professional ethics and corporate social responsibility, these have always been the firm’s trademark seal that distinguish it and make a difference for its clients.
Areas of practice:
Throughout their long years of experience, members of the firm have handled incorporation and/or corporate advice on a regular basis for major corporate clients, including, but not limited to: MobiNil, Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding Company (EKH), EFG Hermes Holding Company, Egyptian Glass Company, Suez Cement Group, Taqa Arabia, SODIC. Similarly members of the firm have handled almost all of Egypt’s major mergers and acquisitions, during the last three decades, on behalf of buyers and sellers, and, in some cases, as transaction counsel. The firm has also handled and successfully closed many tender offers and has established precedents, particularly in cases of privatisations, acquisition agreements and exceptions to mandatory tender offer rules. Members of the firm have also handled mega multimillion dollar disputes before arbitral tribunals, both ad hoc and institutional, among its most recent case load are mega telecommunication, construction, hospitality, hotel management, sale of goods, finance, real estate development, joint venture and oil and gas disputes. The firm is increasingly instructed to represent investors and governmental entities in arbitral proceedings spanning the business and investment spectra. Similarly, partners of the firm have handled major litigation, particularly in the fields of banking, taxes, antitrust, intellectual property, capital markets, before the various courts and have successfully and amicably resolved major disputes through their unparalleled mediation skills. Moreover, and owing to the unparalleled expertise of the partners and associates at Zulficar & Partners Law Firm on BOT/BOOT projects, PPPs, and similar transactions in Egypt, the firm has a leading edge in PFI/PPP projects across diverse sectors. In 2010 the firm closed and concluded the first successful PPP project in Egypt, the New Cairo Wastewater Project. Members of the firm involved in these projects have become leading experts in these types of complex contracts and are frequently invited by governmental and other organisations to lecture on the subject. Furthermore, members of the firm are recognised for their leadership position in the area of banking, credit and project finance. During the last three decades, partners of the firm have drafted the standard loan and have handled almost all the major banking and project finance transactions for billions of Egyptian pounds and billions of US dollars.”
Mona Zulficar is regarded by many as “the leader in this market.” Sources remark that “everything she says is a reference point” and that “she knows exactly the requirements of the banking industry in Egypt.
Sources describe the “outstanding” Mona Zulficar as “very smart and to the point.” Clients say: “She is constructive and comes up with out-of-the-box ideas in any negotiation.” She is very highly regarded for her M&A work
Banking department head Ashraf Ihab led on the Banque Misr syndicated loan refinancing. His banking practice covers all matters, including operational issues and banking standard forms. Clients say: “He is very thorough and dedicated, and very, very quick.”
The “terrific” Mohamed Abdel Wahab is considered one of Egypt’s premier arbitration lawyers. Sources say: “He prepares his case meticulously and comprehensively, and he is a superb cross-examiner.” He was the lead partner in the Mobinil arbitration.
“Mona Zulficar is a founding partner and chairperson of the Firm’s executive committee. Being the leading banking and finance lawyer in Egypt, Ms Zulficar oversees the operations of the firm’s Banking, Finance and Capital Markets groups.
A practicing attorney for more than 30 years, she is a specialist in major financial, industrial, and commercial transactions and has negotiated, drafted, and concluded all the major contracts in Egypt.
Ms Zulficar is particularly recognized for handling ground breaking or precedent transactions, such as the first Egyptian BOOT Power Plant in Sidi Krir, the first GSM Telecom Concession to MobiNil, the first leverage buyout of Helwan Cement Company, and the first successful PPP in Egypt in relation to the New Cairo Wastewater Treatment Plant. She has also handled the largest bond issues, such as the bond issue in excess of L.E. one billion by Egyptian Cement Company and by MobiNil for L.E.1500 million. She regularly handles other major investment banking transactions, IPO’s, securitization and GDR/ADR issues. In 2010, she acted as Counsel to Vimpelcom in the Share Sale and Exchange Agreement between Vimpelcom and Weather for approximately USD6.6 Billion. In 2011, she led the negotiations for the Sale and Purchase Agreement between Electrolux and Paradise Capital SAE, with a total transactional value exceeding USD 450 million.”
“Ashraf Ihab is a founding partner, head of the banking department and deputy to the chair of executive committee at Zulficar & Partners. A practicing attorney for more than 29 years, Ashraf specialises in finance and banking matters and has advised lending banks and borrowers in various large syndication agreements. In 2002, he was appointed as a board member of the Egyptian Industrial Development Bank, as part of the government reform of the banking sector. He headed the legal department of Mashreq Bank Dubai in 2005 to 2006.”
“Dr Ingy Badawy is a founding partner and head of Zulficar & Partners’ mergers and acquisitions department. She specialises in mergers and acquisitions, public and private equity funding, debt funding and joint ventures and arbitration.
Furthermore, she consistently provides corporate advice to some of the firm’s major clients including Citadel Capital and its subsidiaries, SODIC, Guardian Industries Corporation and Tanjong Energy.”
Ms. Mona Zulficar oversees the operations of the Firm’s six departments; specialized in assisting our clients in various areas.
Ms. Zulficar is a founding partner and chair of the Executive Committee.
A practicing attorney for more than 30 years, she is a specialist in major financial, industrial, and commercial transactions and has negotiated, drafted, and concluded all the major contracts required by some of the most important joint venture businesses in Egypt. Involved in major restructuring of companies, M&A transactions, and is particularly recognized for handling ground breaking and precedent transactions, such as the largest transaction in the history of the Middle East relating to the sale of Orascom Building Materials Holding SAE to Lafarge, for approximately USD13 billion in addition to USD2 billion of assumed debt, and most recently, she lead the team responsible for the first successful PPP Project in Egypt. She has played and continues to play a key role in drafting new legislation and developing existing economic legislation as adviser to the various governmental entities and as member of the national drafting committees on many important laws, such as the new Telecom Law, the new Capital Market Regulations, the new Special Economic Zones Law and the new Banking Law regulations. She has also been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Egypt and is directly involved in the ambitious Egyptian institutional and regulatory reform program of the banking and finance sector. Complementing her professional activities with a commitment to community activism, she has been an active advocate for human rights and women’s rights in Egypt and internationally. She has recently been elected member and Vice Chair of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and she is also a member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt. In 2009, she received la legion d’honneur from the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy for her significant professional role in concluding landmark commercial and financial transactions between Egypt and France and for her achievements in the field of human rights.
Zulficar & Partners has recommended lawyers in The LEGAL 500.
- Mona Zulficar
- Ashraf Ihab
- Dr Ingy Badawy
- Mahmoud Shaltout
- Dr Firas El Sammad
- Anwar Zeidan
- Dr Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab
Chambers & Partners