Orrick Rambaud Martel announced that Jean-Jacques Essombè has joined the firm as a partner in its Banking & Finance Group, resident in Paris. Mr. Essombè advises leading French and international financial institutions in connection with capital markets, bank regulatory and fund formation matters. A native of Cameroon and French-educated, he also focuses on advising financial institutions and funds in connection with financings and other activities in Central and Western Africa.

“It is an extremely exciting time in Africa. We see not only extensive project finance investment but also the consolidation of the financial services sector, the modernization of the stock markets and the formation of numerous funds focused on the region,” said Pascal Agboyibor, head of Orrick’s Africa practice. “Orrick’s clients are at the center of this activity and we are delighted to be able to offer them Jean-Jacques’ transactional and regulatory experience and insight.”

“Orrick’s commitment to the growing African market, and the firm’s role in some of the most interesting financial institution matters in France, are a real attraction to me,” said Mr. Essombè. “I have known Pascal since we were seconded at the same time to the African Development Bank at the beginning of our careers. I am excited about what we will be able to build together and about what Orrick will offer my clients.”

Orrick’s French team is top ranked by Chambers in the areas of Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Restructuring and International Projects. Chambers praises the team for its “ability to work on international deals with integrated teams,” for its “excellent standard of work” and for its “highly prized relationships with decision-makers.” The team’s recent work includes: representing the lenders in the restructuring of the Sauer Group, which IFLR named Restructuring Deal of the Year; structuring the first-ever bond-financed public-private partnership (PPP) in France, which will be used to build the City of Music cultural center on Sequin Island; counseling the Peugeot family in the US$4.1 billion capital investment by China’s Dongfeng Motor Group and representing the board of Alstom in the US$13.5 billion sale of its power unit to GE. In addition, Orrick is well recognized as a leading legal advisor in Central and Western Africa, where the firm is representing clients in every major infrastructure project underway today, as well as a wide range of financing, M&A, regulatory and dispute resolution matters.

Mr. Essombè counsels French and international banks and other financial institutions on matters involving lending, financing, refinancing, restructuring and financial market regulation. He advises on fund formation, the creation, reorganization and merger of banking and financial institutions, and compliance matters, including proceedings before the French Banking Commission and the French Financial Market Authority. He has recently advised the World Bank on a variety of matters related to OHADA law in Africa.

Mr. Essombè began his career at Gide, where he represented French and international financial institutions, as well as market authorities, in connection with regulatory matters. He moved in-house to serve as Deputy General Counsel and Head of the Financial and International Law Department at the leading French financial institution Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. He was then recruited to Linklaters to serve as partner in charge of its French Financial Services Department. Most recently, he has been a partner with the Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie, where he served as head of the French Banking and Finance Group. He also served two secondments with African Development Bank. Mr. Essombè earned his PhD, with distinction, from the University of Montpellier, his post-graduate diploma in business law, with distinction, from the University Jean Moulin and his M.A. in business law from the University of Montpellier.

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