Drawing on over 40 years of experience working on Africa-related matters and the expertise of more than 130 lawyers, we offer our clients unparalleled experience and support in Rwanda and Burundi, advising them in all aspects of cross-border and domestic transactions (corporate, finance, regulatory, mining, IP/IT, data protection, real estate, international dispute resolution, transport and employment law).
With wide-reaching technical experience of the law and strong local know-how, we provide our clients with both optimal legal solutions and administrative support on the field, including in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi.
Our understanding of local legal systems and cultures enables us to cultivate relationships with skilled law firms in jurisdictions across Africa where we do not have offices, and to select the right local counsel for every assignment.
The many opportunities offered by Rwanda still face investors (both local and foreign, investment funds or corporates) with a fast moving legal framework requiring diligent monitoring. The regulatory innovations underlying the creation of the Kigali International Financial Centre position Rwanda as a financial and services hub in the region, where Liedekerke aims to be the go-to business law partner.
Liedekerke Great Lakes offers assistance from experienced Rwandan lawyers in Kigali, backed up by a vast pool of skills across our international practices. This improves our ability to understand clients’ expectations and needs and allows us to offer a local know-how allied with international best-practices to meet those expectations and needs.
Banking & Finance
Our experts advise clients, whether local or international, in all matters related to banking and finance, most notably:
loans or convertible debt instruments;
financing and securitization deals.
We guide our clients throughout the entire transaction, from structuring to drafting and reviewing the documentation, through the implementation of ancillary agreements. We assist them with the satisfaction of conditions precedent and ensure the smooth completion of transactions.
Corporate, Commercial and M&A
Local and international clients come to us for advice and assistance on cross-border deals, investment funds set-up or restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. We assist our clients in a large variety of sectors, including:
We also advise on corporate governance and regulatory compliance.
Having started operations at the birth of the Kigali International Financial Center (KIFC; of which we are a member) and the legislative changes it spawned, we have first hand experience in and are a leader in funds structuring and have advised international players in setting up their funds in Kigali.
Our team assists clients on regulatory matters in various sectors, including banking, fintech, energy, mining, gaming, aviation, and others. We assist our clients in assessing their regulatory compliance and determine the appropriate actions to be undertaken to remedy any flaw in their regulatory set-up. We facilitate applications for licensing, non-objection statements, and other regulatory approvals.
Our team maintains excellent working relationships with regulators in key regulated sectors and remains up to date on major regulatory developments in the country.
Our team assists clients on all mining matters, including setting up local entities, assisting in the negotiation of partnerships and joint venture agreements, obtaining mining licenses, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.
Our team maintains excellent working relationships with the regulators and remains up to date on major regulatory developments in the sector.
International Dispute Resolution
Our lawyers have significant experience in relation to international arbitration, with several matters on the African continent, representing both private and public companies and governments before several international bodies.
We have acted as counsel in many high-profile ICSID and UNCITRAL arbitral proceedings as well as judicial proceedings in Europe regarding Central African businesses.
We have a broad knowledge and capabilities in the energy sector, and we have advised numerous clients in the past years, mainly in the hydropower sector. Our expertise covers pure regulatory issues (in power and gas, renewables etc.), procurement in the energy sector, power project development and acquisitions, pipeline issues (including permitting, building, relocation, expropriation, safety and liability issues), amongst others.
IP & data protection
We advise our clients on all types of data protection questions and issues, and assist them with their overall compliance with the applicable data protection rules. Our team also handles matters related to IP law in general, whether it is advisory or transactional work.
Our services cover legal advice, negotiating, handling complex procedures such as collective dismissals or company closures, and direct communication with regulatory authorities. We assist local and international clients, multinationals, as well as non-profit organisations, executives and self-employed service providers. We cover all aspects of employment and social security law.
Our Kigali-based team works seamlessly with the firm’s other offices and practice groups, providing a multidisciplinary approach to our clients.
Combining proven local knowledge and experience with international expertise, we excel in rendering innovative, business-oriented, quality advice, whether on a stand-alone basis for purely local matters, or as an integral part of a full legal service offering aimed at international matters.
Our clients include local and foreign investors, fintech companies, private equity firms, fund managers, mining companies, banks, government or governmental bodies and international organisations.
Our Relevant Experience
Banking & Finance
Assisting a government sponsored organisation to establish a “green financing” framework in view of accelerating the financing of clean energy technology projects in Rwanda.
Assisting a US government development agency in partnering with local institutions for the implementation of a crowd-in financing scheme designed to fund small and nonfarm rural companies in Rwanda.
Assisting a US non-profit on the set-up of a Rwandan “green fund” that will provide financial support to climate resilient business projects in the Rwandan private sector.
On a pro-bono basis, advising on the Rwandan tax regime for international non-profit organisations.
Assisting a US-based finance provider in the negotiation of a quasi-equity financing of a Rwandan company.
Assisting a French biomed group in negotiating and vesting security interests in Rwanda in the context of a majority acquisition and of its financing.
Corporate, Commercial and M&A
Assisting the majority owners of a financial conglomerate in the sale of a 85% controlling interest in two Rwandan insurance and reinsurance companies.
Advising a multinational investment bank’s foundation in relation to its equity investment in an education financing fund.
Assisting an international non-profit in the set-up and successful closing of an impact investment funds with an educational focus.
Assisting a global biopharma multinational with a risk assessment and legal advice in respect of its Rwandan activities.
Advising a major African telecoms company on whether a shelf company in Rwanda would require any approvals/notifications to any regulatory authority relating to a change in shareholding.
Advising a global food company on the acquisition of a majority stake in a Rwanda based company.
Advising a major African bank in relation to developing a structure suitable to function as a Venture Capital Fund adapted to the African economic landscape to be sponsored by the bank.
Advising a leading Belgian leisure and entertainment company on the regulatory framework for its entry into the Rwandan market.
Assisting an EU-based payment processing company based on licencing requirements for its Rwandan activities.
Assisting an international client in reviewing the regulatory requirements and the registration process of an aircraft with the Rwandan Civil Aviation Authority.
Assisting an international mining company in the set-up of its local subsidiary in Rwanda and in the negotiation of a joint-venture agreement.
Advising a leading manufacturer of fashion fabrics with respect to the dismissal of the company’s former manager and other dismissals, including on strategy and formalities.
Advising a global food company on implications related to living and working in Kigali.
Providing a global food company with a comparative analysis on Rwandan and Belgian tax and residency requirements for prospective expatriate employee.
Advising a Rwandan energy company on specific employment related matters in Rwanda.
Assisting in relation with the merger between two Rwandan mobile telecommunication companies.
Advising on the framework and regulatory applications regarding the roll out in Rwanda, including remote/rural areas, by an internet provider company in partnership with mobile telecommunication companies and the largest online social media.
IP & data protection
Assistance to an entrepreneur in healthcare, in reviewing and updating their SAAS and Data Processing Agreements to ensure they are up-to-date and comply with healthcare and data privacy laws in Rwanda.
Reviewing of the legal status of an international animal conservation programme in Rwanda and performing a risk assessment for them.