FOCUS – May 2020

Published: 19/05/20

Once again we have a lot to update you on in this edition of Focus.  Since our last issue of Focus, the world has seen dramatic changes as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have collectively entered unprecedented times and the issues facing all sectors in Africa and other emerging markets continue to present challenges for all stakeholders and market participants.

In line with the growing attention on these issues, Trinity has been heading up an initiative by advising existing and new clients on the impact and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic on existing contractual arrangements and the methods by which such issues can be also be addressed in transactions that are heading towards completion. Read more

As part of this initiative, Trinity as a founder member of the African Infrastructure Development Association (AFIDA) (Read more), has been working with its members and other industry participants with a view to creating a co-ordinated response which it believes will assist in the ongoing required discussions with donors, governments and other participants as to how best to deal with the COVID related impacts across infrastructure sectors in the African continent. Read more

By way of further COVID 19 mitigation advice, Trinity has also been examining the impact of the pandemic and associated “lockdown” rules on the practical implications for parties wishing to sign and execute concluded contractual agreements. Trinity’s first-hand experience of these matters means it is in an ideal position able to provide practical guidance on “e-signing” and associated techniques for executing contractual documents in the current climate. Read more

In keeping with this advice, Trinity has also been working with stakeholders on the effect of COVID 19 on specific contractual provisions within existing agreements. Particular focus has been on the force majeure provisions of such contracts and the requirements and procedures that need to be satisfied in order to make or respond to claims for force majeure based on the COVID 19 crisis. By way of case study, this edition of Focus examines the issues surrounding claims for force majeure in construction documents. Read more

Also in this edition of Focus, Elizabeth Handley looks at an important case regarding arbitration provisions and asks all to “pick a seat” carefully. Marianna Sédéfian also updates us on recent evolutions in currency exchange regulations adopted in Africa and the implications for infrastructure and energy projects.

Away from COVID-19 issues, we are pleased to announce that we advised A.P. Moller Capital on its first investment in Kenya, the acquisition of the 52.5MW Nairobi based thermal power plant Iberafrica from Naturgy. In addition we also pleased to announce that we advised CDC Group plc, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (“FMO”) and Norfund on their financing of Greenlight Planet.

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