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Firm Overview

 

We are a law firm offering a wide range of legal services established in 1995. We have offices in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Emery Mukendi Wafwana & Associates, SC-P), New York City in the United States of America (Emery Mukendi Wafwana & Associates, P.C.), Brazzaville in the Congo Republic (Emery Mukendi Wafwana & Associates, SARL), and Johannesburg in the Republic of South Africa (Emery Mukendi Wafwana & Associates (Pty) Ltd). We are present, through partner firms and partner lawyers, in the Francophone African countries, particularly in the countries who are members of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).


Lawyers


Emery Mukendi Wafwana, Founding Partner

Degree in economic and social law from the University of Kinshasa

Specialises in:
Mining and hydrocarbon law | Electrical power law | Energy law | Investment law | Corporate law | Aviation law | OHADA law | Intellectual property law | Legal evaluation of projects | Litigation

Achievements:
International “Who’s Who Legal of Mining Lawyers 2012” as a legal expert in mining law.

Edmond Cibamba Diata, Managing partner 
Degree in economic and social law, economic development and a degree in insurance law from the University Libre of Kinshasa

Specialises in:
Mining and hydrocarbon law | Corporate law | OHADA law | Tax law | Legal evaluation of projects | Labor law | Insurance law and litigation.

Eugenie Elanga Monkango, Managing partner 
Degree in economic and social law from the University of Kinshasa

Specialises in:
Mining and hydrocarbon law | OHADA law | Corporate law | Investment law | Intellectual property law | Legal evaluation of projects | Labor Law | Land and real estate law | Maritime law | Family law | Litigation

Emery Jose Ilunga Kapanda, Partner
Degree in private and procedural law

Specialises in:
Mining and hydrocarbon law | OHADA law | General commercial and corporate law | Transport and aviation law | Tax law | Litigation

Firm Highlights

 
Significant marketplace recognition include:

Corporate International Legal Awards 2010 Winner of Corporate Law Firm of the Year
Corporate International Legal Awards 2011 Winner of Corporate Law Firm of the Year in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Who’s Who Legal Nomination of Managing Partner in 2012 and 2013.

 

Significant cases include:

Advised and assisted a Canadian company in the conversion of its exploration permit into an exploitation permit for the Kamoa Project representing an investment of US$ 930,000,000
Performed due diligence investigations, advised and assisted a Canadian Company for the acquisition of the Kipushi Mine valued at US$200,000,000
Advised and assisted an Australian mining company in the acquisition of gold and silver projects in the Province of Moku, DRC.
Advised and assisted British Island Mining Company in its acquisition of 17 exploration permits in Katanga, DRC which included assisting, drafting and registering the assignment deeds of the exploration permits.
Advised and assisted Jersey Company in the negotiation with the Minister of Mines to obtain authorization to export minerals outside of the DRC.
Acted as the legal counsel and assisted a U.S Financial Institution in connection with a US$5 Million loan made to a foreign investor for the purchase of manganese mines in Burkina Faso and Mali.
Key clients include Ivanhoe Mines.

 

Strategic associations/memberships include:


International Association of Lawyers (UIA)
The International Bar Association (IBA)
The New York City Bar Association (NYCBA)
The International Law Firm (ILF)
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA)
The International Association of Young Advocates (AIJA)
The American Bar Association (ABA)
The International Conference of Common Tradition Bars (CIB).
In South Africa, some of our lawyers are also members of the Law Society of Northern Provinces, theGauteng Law Council, and the Black Lawyers Association.

Practice Areas

Business Law

We intervene as lawyers and legal counsels in business law, specifically in such areas as investment law, general commercial law, corporate law, telecommunications law, intellectual property law, insurance law, customs law, tax law, labor and social security law, transport law (air, maritime and fluvial), and security interest law. We also intervene in the legal evaluation of projects as well as litigation and dispute resolution.

 

Natural Resources Law

Natural resources law is our main area of practice.

In our professional practice, we intervene as lawyers and legal counsels in the area of natural resources law (mining law, hydrocarbon law, electrical power law and forestry and agricultural law) in Africa, and particularly in countries member of the OHADA.

We also intervene in all litigation procedures related to these areas and help our clients with the legal evaluation of their projects.

 

OHADA Law

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s membership to the Organization for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) has led lawyers of our firm to focus on this new continental business legislation.

Currently enforced in 16 African countries, OHADA law covers several aspects of business law, including  general commercial law, corporate and economic interest groups (GIE) law, and various legal frameworks regulating such areas as accounting, security interest, bankruptcy, arbitration, and contracts of carriage by road. As a result, we have partnered with several lawyers and law firms established in OHADA member states to assist clients involved in OHADA-related ventures and investments.

Drawing on the expertise of our network of highly competent lawyers, we advise and assist foreign businesses and investors with regard to their projects in the OHADA region, particularly with incorporation, setting up, management and dissolution of companies and GIEs, launching of general business ventures, establishment and management of sureties (mortgage, pledges, and liens, as well as privileges and guarantees), recovery procedures and execution measures, amicable settlement of disputes, judicial recovery and liquidation of assets, bankruptcy, rehabilitation, and insolvency.

In the context of the transition to the OHADA legal system, we assist with the assessment of our clients’ legal situation, then advise and help them organize accordingly.

 

Civil Law

With regard to Civil Law, we intervene in various areas, including such procedures as citizenship acquisition or loss in the DRC, name changes, and applications for birth certificates and identity documents from the registry office, among others. In addition, we assist embassies with the certification and verification, with the registry office and similar agencies, of the authenticity of the documents submitted to them.

We also advise, assist, and represent our clients in land concessions procedures as well as in administrative and judicial proceedings pertaining to such concessions, including easements and mortgage registrations with the appropriate authorities, among other things.

 

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Our lawyers are experienced in the practice of litigation and dispute resolution.

We assist and represent our clients in disputes arising from the implementation of laws, regulations or contract provisions. 

Based on our experience, we tend to favor alternative dispute resolution procedures and keep our clients informed of all negotiations or settlements arising from such cases. However, we also zealously represent and defend our clients in civil, commercial and criminal litigation as needed.

Arbitration having become common-place practice in the settlement of international disputes, we assist our clients in the determination of pre-dispute strategies and in drafting of arbitration agreements. When necessary, we represent them before such arbitration courts as the International Arbitration Court (ICC-CIC), the International Center for Settlement of Investments Disputes (ICSID) and the Common Court of Justice and Arbitrage for OHADA (OHADA-CCJA).

With regard to administrative disputes, we advise and assist our clients in the drafting and filing of administrative appeals (preliminary or hierarchical), and represent them before administrative courts.

 

Legal Evaluation of Projects

We offer legal evaluation of projects for acquiring or participating companies interested in the financing of projects, including those financial institutions wishing to engage in equity acquisitions or takeovers, or looking to finance projects or invest in specific economic and/or social sectors.

These evaluations generally help to establish the compliance of corporate documents, permits, licenses, and authorizations with the laws and regulations of the region, province, state or country where the project is implemented. We also confirm the authenticity of these documents with the authorities that issued and/or archived them. At the same time, we verify the existence or absence thereof of any common law or tax issue, or any other type of dispute likely to jeopardize or compromise the implementation or acquisition of interests in the project. Following our investigation and evaluation, we represent our clients in the settlement of any legal issues encountered.

We further intervene in the drafting and production of legal documents such as minutes of corporate as well as board of directors meetings, loan agreements, mortgage documents (land and mining concessions for instance), securities, and stock pledge agreements.