In just 10 years JLA Advogados has gone from strength to success. The Mozambique-based firm has made a name for itself both domestically and abroad for some landmark cases orchestrated through its small, high-powered and highly-skilled team.
In recognition of this, the firm most recently won the African Law Firm of the Year (small practice) award at the African Legal Awards. It also has the distinction of being Chambers ranked in Tier 3 for general business law, where it is characterised as “well-respected for its expertise in handling energy and corporate matters” in addition to providing skilful advice in financial services, construction, regulation, real estate and litigation.
The successes do not stop there.
At the African Legal Awards awards Dr Zara Jamal, a partner at JLA, was named as a finalist in the Partner of the Year category (as she was in 2019). She had also already won the distinction of being one of the “40 under 40” top lawyers on the Iberian Peninsula.
Success for JLA has come from providing excellent foundational services for clients, while at the same time being a trailblazer in the nascent Mozambican legal market, which the firm has been part of expanding and professionalising.
Jamal says, “We are high performers and have attracted and are retaining a very solid team of legal professionals. This has allowed us to grow for the past four to five years and means we are a very local firm but with an international mindset.”
The firm’s varied recent work history shows its locally-focussed but internationally-aware mindset is paying off – from working on one of the biggest real estate projects in Mozambican history to helping a major new domestic cement factory get off the ground.
JLA works in partnership with Abreu Advogados in Portugal, which has been key to its growth in Mozambique. This has provided access to a global network of professionals reinforced through shared platforms and partners in multiple jurisdictions. For instance, if the firm has a case dealing with oil and gas in Angola, it can seamlessly use this network to seek out the best professionals and legal advice for Mozambique.
The core team is essential to JLA’s success and the firm puts major resources into fostering talent. Jamal says, “We promote not only academic, but soft skills among our staff which is key to developing our team. We also offer English language classes to ensure our staff are bilingual (Portugues/English).”
JLA’s ambition for the future is strong and the team is intent on growing sustainably alongside the local community. The firm’s social credentials are notable, ranging from providing pro-bono work to partnering with universities to delivering projects with embassies and NGOs.
The firm is growing in many sectors, especially energy, real estate, banking and finance. Jamal is optimistic about the future, but is cognisant of Mozambique’s overall economic outlook.
“Besides the pandemic, we have some struggles in Mozambique such as the tension in the north of the country which remains a challenging situation.”
“Regardless, JLA’s plan is to grow and to help the development of the legal community and, in so doing, be one of the strongest and most reliable law firms for foreign and domestic work in Mozambique.”
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