Zara Jamal is a partner with Abreu Advogados and its Mozambican associate firm, JLA Advogados, based in Maputo, while Ana Sofia Batista is a partner with Abreu in Lisbon.
At the recent African Legal Awards JLA Advogados was named African Law Firm of the Year (small firm) – recognition for the incredible work being done in a country that is finding its place on the global stage.
The award has shone a spotlight on a firm where the team is determined to grow – more than half the lawyers are enrolled in master’s programmes for instance. Its relationship with Abreu Advogados is also enabling two-way learning through exchange programmes and a host of other learning opportunities.
Zara’s focus is on the implementation of international business and project finance transactions in Mozambique. These are particularly in banking, insurance, real estate, agriculture and the energy sector. She also has vast experience in Islamic banking and provided services to Murabaha for its first transaction in Mozambique.
Ana’s practice focuses on corporate work and M&A in Portugal. Her expertise is in business restructuring with a focus on corporate structures, contracts and financing. Mozambique has been a country where Ana has been heavily involved in investment operations through providing legal advice.
In the conversation, the lawyers explain how the two law firms are intricately linked. Abreu Advogados has a “Mozambican desk” and, with its strong ties to JLA Advogados, (a relationship that has been cemented over the past decade) offers clients international expertise and on-the-ground local insight.
Zara explains how this collaboration was born out of the two countries' close historic ties and subsequent shared legal background.
“After Mozambican independence in the 1970s the country did not repeal all its legislation – only the legislation that was contrary to the new constitution which means you still have Portuguese diplomas in force in the legal system. This partnership explores these commonalities.”
Ana explains that this shared jurisprudence and the relationship between the firms gives international clients confidence their interests are in knowledgeable hands.
Mozambique is often overlooked by the Anglophone and Francophone investment communities and this conversation gives insight into the world class legal support available in the Lusosphere – including places like Angola, Cape Verde, Macau and Brazil, East Timor and Guinea-Bissau.
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