Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates win big at prestigious IFLR Africa Awards

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Celebrated top city law firm Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates has started the year on a high note claiming a treble of accolades at the first ever in-person International Financial Law Review- IFLR Africa Awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 11 April 2024. IFLR1000 is a leading international legal market research product specialised in ranking financial and corporate law firms and lawyers.

According to the IFLR website, they help consumers of legal services make informed strategic decisions when hiring external counsel. They annually rank close to 5,000 law firms and more than 21,000 lawyers across 12 practice areas and 250 jurisdictions. Uganda is one of these jurisdictions.

The first in-person Africa Awards dinner welcomed legal practitioners from across the continent to celebrate and acknowledge the most impressive achievements of the legal community in Africa. The event was held at the stylish Protea Hotel Johannesburg Balalaika and was the fourth edition of the IFLR Africa Awards. The event saw nearly 100 attendees come together to celebrate the most legally innovative financial and corporate deals, teams and firms as well as outstanding individuals over the past 12 months. The winners were decided based on a rigorous research process that involved reviewing hundreds of entries and interviews from across the African region and beyond.

IFLR’s awards are unique in the market for focusing on legal innovation through deal making and celebrating work that improves the cross-border investment environment. The 2024 Africa Awards highlight some of those most impressive legal achievements of 2023 across the continent.

Dr Alan Shonubi, a senior partner at Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates gives an acceptance speech after receiving a lifetime achievement award at the IFLR Africa Awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates won two other accolades as a firm.

Alan Shonubi, the senior partner at Shonubi Musoke & Co. Advocates in Kampala, won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his influence on legal practice, deal making and the cross-border environment and leadership/mentorship of the next generation of lawyers. This was the highlight award of the evening. Past winners of the award are Kojo Bentsi-Enchill, Iqbal Rajahbalee and Gbenga Oyebode.

Dr Alan Shonubi, a senior partner at Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates receives a lifetime achievement award at the IFLR Africa Awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Speaking to IFLR after winning the award Shonubi stated, “I made a blind decision in 1978 to study law when I was unsure of what else to do. I made another decision in 1987 to start a law firm from scratch when I had no family members who were lawyers. I met a man in 1990 who I decided to make my mentor. He and his family encouraged and supported me in my venture. The award means I made three of the best decisions of my life”. He is committed to continue mentoring the young lawyers.

Shonubi Musoke & Co. Advocates was crowned National law firm of the year – Uganda, in addition to winning the much-coveted Loan deal of the year in respect of a receivables-based secured syndicated facility to M-Kopa Uganda Limited. This syndicated financing comprised parallel dual currency (Uganda Shillings and US Dollars) receivables-based secured facilities. The lending was backed by a mix of development finance and commercial lenders, tied together through complex intercreditor agreements. The dual-currency structure was achieved through a swap arrangement, while the financing was guaranteed by entities in the UK and Delaware. The use of such a structure is highly novel for a borrowing base deal, where lenders are lending against a pool of receivables. The complex deal, which marked the largest sustainability-linked syndicated facility in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023, has since been replicated in other jurisdictions, including Ghana and Nigeria.

Representatives from Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates pose for a photo with some of the awards the firm won at the IFLR Africa Awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates won a total of three awards.

Transactions of this nature would normally have a multiplicity of parties including mandated lead arrangers, lenders, borrowers, guarantors, agents and various local and international counsel acting for the array of the parties. Shonubi Musoke & Co. Advocates together with Allen & Overy, a London-based law firm (through its South African office), acted for the arrangers, agents and lenders. The lending institutions involved included Standard Bank of South Africa, Stanbic Bank Uganda, International Finance Corporation, Africagogreen Fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Investments S.C.S. and Nithio FI.

ALN, whose local member is another top tier law firm-MMAKS Advocates, won the award for Legal Network of the year.

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