Corpus Legal Practitioners recently received high acclaim for their expertise in the banking and finance sector, winning Best Finance Team – Small Firm, at this year’s African Legal Awards. In this podcast, Lupiya Simusokwe, Head of Banking and Mergers & Acquisitions at Corpus, chats to Tom Pearson on why they are the go-to firm in this arena.
Assembling the best talent in the industry and pushing boundaries to provide premier legal services, was what earned this Zambia-based law firm the award, said Simusokwe.
Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, Corpus’s finance team worked on a crucial project with the United Kingdom export finance department to secure lending for health facilities in Zambia.
“It was a £280-million transaction where lending was being made for the purpose of constructing 108 health ports dotted around the country and three district hospitals. It was an interesting transaction in that the client had to make sure they had come to the right people who could help them navigate the various local law hurdles, particularly when you are lending to a sovereign country like the government of the Republic of Zambia. We continue to be a go-to firm when it comes to development finance institutions (DFI),” said Simusokwe.
He also noted the shift in the source of funding insofar as DFIs in Africa are concerned, adding that “the future looks good”.
“I can talk about transactions that we have handled, where African DFIs provide finance not only to the government but also to local companies that are seemingly viable financially. The trend is looking very promising, and we expect more in the short-, medium- and long term. I don’t imagine that the source of finance would be limited to outside the African continent.”
Another positive trend on the domestic front is the creation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises under the new Zambian Government.
“This is meant to deal with specific issues that businesses in this stage of development would be facing, most of which you would imagine would be finance. It is expected that the financial sector would be very busy in the medium term and beyond. As one of the leading service firms in the country, we are extremely excited about the future,” Simusokwe told Tom.
He also discussed the challenges clients face in the fintech space, the firm’s progressive attitude towards the country’s regulators, and how they can influence regulatory reforms which can then support businesses.
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