Practice areas

Competition (Antitrust)

Ethiopian law proscribes various practices that it deems anticompetitive. It also aims at the protection of consumers. That means your business could be subject to investigation by the Trade Competition and Consumers Protection Authority or even be sued before the adjudicative bench of the Authority. Some transactions you may be contemplating may also require securing approvals. Support from our experienced team comes in handy in such situations.

We assist clients with a wide range of issues they may be facing. Among other things, we help our clients navigate the merger control and assessment process and secure them approvals. We assist them if they are subject to investigation by the Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority and defend them against allegation of anti-competitive behavior before its judicial bench, and if need be, the Appellate Tribunal and ordinary courts. Overall, we provide support in minimizing liability and protecting your business from unfair practices by your competitors.

Construction and Real Estate

Numerous infrastructure and housing projects are fueling Ethiopia’s economic transformation.  That said, actors involved in the sector face serious challenges. These include shortage of funding, lack of technical and managerial capability, volatility in the price of construction material and poor practice in contract administration.  All these translate into complex legal problems.

We provide top-quality, integrated service tailored to meet the unique requirements of each client that covers the entire construction and real estate lifecycle. Our services include provision of legal support in raising capital, advice on contracts, insurance, suitable warranties and the rights of third parties.

Our goal is to help clients avoid disputes. But if push comes to shove, we know inside out expert determination, mediation, arbitration and litigation.

Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions

Our team consists of lawyers who have had varied roles in companies in Ethiopia. Some were in-house counsels in leading companies playing roles that went beyond the purely legal.  Others had experience teaching Ethiopian company law for years in law school. Still others had role in the revision process of the Commercial Code of Ethiopia. Besides, we have assisted a wide range of companies in an array of domestic and international transactions.

We, thus, offer the full remit of corporate expertise. We advise on corporate finance, private equity, IPOs, joint ventures and corporate governance. We carry out due diligence, represent issuers, selling shareholders, debt issuance programs, mergers and acquisitions in both domestic and cross-border context. We use our diverse experience to blend insightful legal advice with tactical and strategic commercial input for the benefit of our clients.

We also provide to our clients specialist legal advice and tactical input to help them navigate regulatory hurdles including in the formation of companies, issuance of investment and business licenses and anything else that comes up in the context of investing in Ethiopia.

Employment

Careful handling of human resource and employment matters throughout all the different phases of any transaction is of a fundamental importance. We have advisory and disputes capabilities to handle all aspects of employment and industrial relations in the private and public sectors.

On the advisory front, we provide counsel on aspects of employment relationship such as hiring and firing, incentives schemes, management and union relations, statutory benefits and human rights issues that arise in the context of employment relations. We also help draft work rules, collective agreements and contracts.

Regarding contentious matters, we regularly handle all sorts of employment disputes through negotiation, before labour tribunals and ordinary courts.

Energy, Infrastructure and Mining

Energy and infrastructure projects underpin the growth that Ethiopia registered in the last two decades. That said, Ethiopia has only started delivering major projects like railways, power plants, airports and roads. The country is intent on harnessing its untapped potential for the generation of renewable energy, for example. To this end, Ethiopia is opening up to participation by the private sector in a variety of ways.

Delivering these projects presents the Government, investors, debt arrangers and providers, industry consultants, construction companies, operators, and regulatory bodies with a variety of significant challenges. The stakeholders need to work through a number of legal complexities at every stage of projects. Our team understands the difficulties and helps clients get the job done.

Coming to mining, we support our clients from exploration to feasibility through construction and operation. We help with all issues from regulatory to mining approvals.

Financial Services

Three members of our team had their very first paid professional jobs in the banking and insurance sectors. Members of the team have, thus, followed developments in these sectors closely over the last twenty years. We are, therefore, at the forefront of legal practice in this sector.

Our banking and finance team is noted for proficiency in advising investors on financing services, regulatory issues that impact on their investment, structured products and securitisation. We also advise financial institutions themselves on regulatory matters.

We understand that the insurance sector provides our clients security and confidence across a breadth of their business activities. We, therefore, help them understand and structure their transactions with an eye to risk management. We provide complete service covering both contentious and non-contentious insurance issues.

Franchising and Distribution

A nation of over a hundred million people, Ethiopia is a huge market for goods and services. The country also boasts nine UNESCO world heritage sites, diverse and distinctive cultures, landscapes and wild life including colorful birds. It has a tremendous potential for tourism. Investors involved in the food, beverage hospitality and leisure sectors are well aware of the opportunities that the country presents.  Global players in these sectors are, thus, expanding into the country.

We, at GeTS Law, help such investors determine the most efficient expansion strategies. We advise them on franchising, licensing, agency and distribution. We also assist them in negotiations, arbitration and litigation, if they are involved in disputes.

Information and Telecommunications Technology

Digitalization is beginning to impact businesses in all industries in Ethiopia. The country is also slowly but surely opening up its telecom sector to private investment. At GeTS Law, we recognize the need to support clients adapt to this changing reality and devise their digital strategies. More importantly, we provide legal support to help our clients develop new services and business models.

Our lawyers work hand in hand with technology specialists to support providers and users of information and communication technology. We provide legal support in data privacy, information management, designing structures for new technology offerings and compliance programs. We also provide comprehensive legal solutions in all key areas of relevance to ICT.

Intellectual Property

Protection and maximization of the commercial potential of brands, ideas and technologies is a front-and-center concern of businesses. To this end, they seek IP services in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

At GeTS Law, we provide innovative, practical and commercial solutions to challenges that our clients face in this regard. Particularly, we assist clients with obtaining patents or industrial designs, registering trademarks and leveraging their copyrights. We support clients in the licensing and sale of IP assets. We help them navigate the regulatory landscape and pursue legal remedies if their IP rights are infringed.

Litigation and Arbitration

We offer a wide range of services to our clients throughout all stages of the dispute life-cycle.   We prioritise alternative dispute resolution to ensure, if possible, legal issues are resolved without the need for resorting to litigation and its attendant uncertainty and costs. In particular, we support clients in negotiations and mediation.

We also represent clients in hearings before all administrative tribunals, arbitral tribunals and federal courts. We supplement our expertise, where necessary, with that of co-counsels that have specialised knowledge in the different areas that a case may involve.

Non Profit Organizations

We are passionate about partnering with not-for-profit organizations and supporting their work.

We assist nonprofits register in Ethiopia economically, smoothly and legally. Once they are up and running we assist them with governance issues. We draft a full range of board and organizational procedures, operating manuals and review by-laws, if need be. Generally, we help them meet regulatory requirements such as regarding public disclosure, finances, property, tax, audits, employment and the like.

We help settle disputes involving nonprofits amicably. And when push comes to shove, we represent them.

Public Procurement

The pressure on public money and the requirements of development partners of Ethiopia have resulted in complex laws and processes governing public procurement. The federal organisation of the state has further complicated matters.

We provide legal solutions that cover the complete public procurement cycle in Ethiopia. In particular, we provide the necessary expertise in connection with planning, advertising, short-listing, negotiation, contract award, contract management and dispute resolution.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Members of our team are among a handful of Ethiopian lawyers who have meaningful knowledge of restructuring and insolvency issues as this has been among the least tested areas of Ethiopian law. We also draw on the expertise of non-lawyer professionals with whom we have established good working relations.

We support our clients on all aspects of business rescue, restructuring and insolvency. We represent creditors and investors in insolvency proceedings. We also facilitate raising capital, turnarounds and settlements. Besides, we assist with the preservation of assets and their disposal in ways that maximize value for all stakeholders in the context of insolvency.

Tax

Whatever they do business firms take taxation as a serious consideration. This is more so in Ethiopia as the taxation system could prove a minefield for the unwary.

At GeTS Law we work with our clients to find tax-efficient and compliant solutions that match their priorities at every stage of their business.  We help them devise tax structures, strategies and plans and interpret technical statutory provisions.

We also assist our clients secure clearances from Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority in relation to proposed transactions. Besides, we represent them in disputes before the Tax Appeal Commission and ordinary courts.