Pinsent Masons boosts Paris office with energy double hire

16 Dec 2021 | 03:34 pm | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has ramped up its French energy expertise with hire of Sub-Saharan Africa-focused specialists Matthieu Le Roux and Olivier Bustin as partners in its Paris office.

The duo, who join from Vieira de Almeida (VdA), specialises in advising on Sub-Saharan Africa energy mandates with an emphasis on projects based in the West and Central African nations operating under the OHADA legal framework.

Matthieu specialises in providing legal and tax assistance to international investors in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. Having lived and worked in Chad and Gabon for almost 10 years, Matthieu has a thorough understanding of the culture and business practices of the sub-Saharan Francophone African jurisdictions. Since 2001, his practice has focused exclusively on providing legal and tax assistance to international investors, with a particular emphasis on the oil and gas industry. Matthieu has an in-depth understanding of the complex legal, regulatory, and practical challenges faced by international companies investing and operating in sub-Saharan francophone Africa. His experience covers a wide range of areas including negotiation and execution of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC), corporate law, exchange control, tax, customs litigation, compliance and anti-corruption, project finance, insolvency and corporate restructuring, and commercial contracts.

In addition to being qualified to practice in France, Olivier is a member of the Kinshasa-Matete Bar in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His practice is focused on the negotiation of exploration and exploitation contracts/permits, subcontracting law, mergers, acquisitions and restructuring, financing of infrastructure projects, negotiation of public-private partnerships, primarily in the energy and natural resources sector in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa. His assistance and experience includes advising on complex regulatory issues (foreign exchange regulations, local content, environment, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering legislation).

The lateral hires follow a period of growth for Pinsent Masons in France. Last year the firm hired Energy and Infrastructure partner Eran Chvika into its Paris office and has won mandates on a number of high-profile projects. Standout matters include advising the International Finance Corporation on the structuring and re-financing of a hotel group in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Cameroon and advising Monaco Energies Renouvelables on the acquisition of a solar plants portfolio in France.

Global head of energy at Pinsent Masons, Melanie Grimmitt, said: “As the growth of the Sub-Saharan African energy and infrastructure sectors gathers pace, our expertise across the region is developing. Olivier and Matthieu add strength and depth to our Paris-based sector team and a wealth of experience which will ramp up our efforts in collaborating with clients on groundbreaking, innovative OHADA law energy projects.”

Valérie Blandeau, Head of Pinsent Masons Paris, said: “Paris is a central hub for vital and innovative energy projects in Francophone Africa. The drive for wealthier nations to support developing jurisdictions in their energy transition is increasing and there are significant opportunities to support investors and developers on a variety of important and transformational projects.

“We welcome Olivier and Matthieu to the firm and look forward to working alongside them as they further enhance our team on the ground in Paris and our multinational capabilities.”

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