Titus Edjua, director, Africa Group (second left) and Florian Mahler, partner, collect the award from host, broadcaster Leanne Manas (left), and awards judge Gail Evans, Steinmuller Africa Titus Edjua, director, Africa Group (second left) and Florian Mahler, partner, collect the award from host, broadcaster Leanne Manas (left), and awards judge Gail Evans, Steinmuller Africa

Finalists: Baker & McKenzie (highly commended); Dentons; Herbert Smith Freehills; Norton Rose Fulbright; Vieira de Almeida & Associados (VdA); White & Case

Clifford Chance claimed the accolade for International Law Firm of the Year in recognition of its continued commitment to Africa, where the firm combines its global expertise with local insight, most recently opening an office in Casablanca that serves as a hub for North Africa and the sub-Saharan Francophone region.

The firm prides itself on being the go-to practice for foreign investors in Africa, guiding a number of large multinational companies through the M&A process on the continent, such as advising American Tower Corporation on investments in Nigeria and Tanzania.

It is frequently at the forefront of deal innovation in Africa, helping pioneer an energy platform investment structure for its private equity clients (it advised Actis, for instance, on a $1.9bn pan-African renewable energy generation platform joint venture).

Big-ticket restructuring work is also high on the firm’s list of specialisms, having advised Edcon – South Africa’s largest non-food retailer – on restructuring more than 20bn rand of debt, one of the largest recapitalisations of 2015. And new client wins, including appointments to the panels of Seplat and China Mobile, add to the firm’s already bulky roster of key players on the continent.