FIVE Tanzanian lawyers are among those ranked as the world's top in the legal profession by the 2013 Chambers Global Guide.
The guide ranks the world's leading law firms and attorneys based on client feedback and peer input. "The lawyers have been listed and recommended as leaders in their field, in the Chambers Global 2013".
According to the guide, Tanzania's Ms Fatma Karume was recommended in General Business Law: Dispute Resolution, while Mr Gasper Nyika in General Business Law: Dispute Resolution and Mr Protase Ishengoma in General Business Law. Others are Mr Sadock Magai in General Business Law and Samah Salah in General Business Law: Dispute Resolution.
Reacting to the news yesterday, the IMMA new Managing Partner, Mr Lawrence Masha, who recently took over from Mr Protase Ishengoma, said it was a confirmation that Tanzanian lawyers were up to the standards of handling international cases.
IMMA, which is part of Juris East Africa, has a partnership with DLA Piper, a Global Law Firm, This comes against the backdrop of Tanzania's increased attractiveness to international investors and multinationals having sparked a scramble for the country's top corporate lawyers by the world's firms hunting for new revenues in frontier markets.
About 10 of the top 16 global law firms have inked partnership deals with the region's top corporate law firms, according to the International Financial Review 1000 (IFRL1000), a research firm that ranks global legal houses. The research indicates that 12 international firms are active, aiming for an edge in bidding for international legal tenders in projects located in eastern Africa.
The rising interest in East Africa is linked to the recent trooping to the region of foreign investors chasing multi-billion shilling infrastructure deals, legal work for multinationals with regional operations and natural resource projects, especially oil and gas exploration deals.
These activities are generating millions of shillings in legal fees, making it critical for top international firms to have a local footprint. Mr Ishengoma said the region is considered as the last frontier and this has seen many multinationals come to do business in different African countries.
"The big boys in the gas business have come into Tanzania and this calls for increased capacity in the legal handling of such international deals including project finance,infrastructure among others," he said. In recent months, the region has been a centre of oil and gas exploration after several big discoveries including Tanzania's success to reach 33m tcf of gas so far.