Raphaël JAKOBA

Diploma in International Business law from the University of Paris. Former Special Counsel at the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris, 1989-1999.

Former General Secretary of the Malagasy Arbitration and Mediation Center (CAMM).

Practice Areas:

  • Arbitration
  • International Business Law
  • Contracts Law

Firm Overview:

MCI is the first international law firm based in Madagascar whose fields of activities are mainly oriented towards international areas.

Sahondra Rabenarivo

Sahondra Rabenarivo is the Managing Partner at Madagascar Law Offices. She specialises in corporate and transactional matters, with extensive experience in project finance, M&A, corporate and employment law. She regularly advises clients investing in petroleum, mining, telecommunications, hospitality, and energy projects in Madagascar.

Sahondra is a graduate of Harvard Law School who returned to Madagascar in 2004 after having practiced for several years in San Francisco, California. She is also a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and Reed College. She is a dual citizen of Madagascar and the United States, and is fluent in English, French and Malagasy.

Sahondra is an active member of Malagasy civil society, as a member of Sehatra Fanaraha-Maso ny Fiainam-pirenena (SeFaFi) or Observatoire de la Vie Publique, and a former chairman of the Madagascar Biodiversity Fund.

Professional Qualifications:

  • 1998 Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School, Harvard University
  • 1995 Masters in Public and International Affairs (Economic Development), Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • 1992 Bachelor of Arts in History, Reed College, Université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • 1987 Baccalauréat, Série C, Collège Saint Antoine, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Career Summary:

  • OCT 2006 TO DATE: Managing Partner, Madagascar Law Offices, Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • SEPT 2004 – SEPT 2006: Partner, HK-SR, Keyserlingk-Rabenarivo Associés, Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • OCT 1998 – AUG 2004: Associate, Thelen Reid and Priest LLP, San Francisco, California, USA
  • SUMMER 1997: Summer Associate, Thelen Reid and Priest LLP, San Francisco, California, USA
  • SUMMER 1996: Legal Intern, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • SUMMER 1995: Summer Assistant, The World Bank, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Division, Washington, D.C., USA

Firm Overview:

The firm advises on all matters affecting the day-to-day operations of businesses in Madagascar, including corporate compliance, sectoral compliance, high level tax, land and real estate, labor and environmental compliance, amongst others. It also gives advice on specific investment sectors, including mining, petroleum, telecommunications, electricity, tourism and hotel, agri-business and manufacturing. Our team has the unique ability to draft, negotiate, understand and comment on documents in both English and French. The firm has experience in cross-border transactions and has assisted national and international investors doing business in Madagascar.

MLO offers an essential combination of knowledge of local content, on the one hand, and an understanding of international business practices, on the other. Its understanding of civil law regimes on which Malagasy law is based, and common law systems from which many investors come from, is a key component of its practice. The firm provides advice and assistance to first tier international companies seeking to invest in Madagascar or to enter into agreements with Malagasy entities, whether private or governmental. Its main clients include financial institutions funding projects in Madagascar, large multi-nationals involved in mining or petroleum exploration, established Malagasy companies seeking partners or financing from abroad, and investors or potential investors in a wide variety of regulated and unregulated sectors.

The firm is staffed with a team of attorneys and paralegals, who have a wide array of experience and training. The firm’s managing partner, Sahondra Rabenarivo, is a 1998 graduate of Harvard Law School who returned to Madagascar in September 2004 after practicing law for over six years in San Francisco, California. Her area of expertise is in corporate and transactional matters. She has extensive experience in project finance and in sectoral representation of clients investing in petroleum, mining, telecommunications, hotel and electricity projects in Madagascar. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (Class of 1995) and Reed College (Class of 1992). She is a dual citizen of Madagascar and the United States and speaks English, French and Malagasy fluently.

Madagascar Law firm has recently joined ALN, Africa’s widest and most integrated legal alliance of independent top-tier law firms and the largest and only grouping of its kind in Africa. ALN members are committed to working together to provide extensive coverage and on-the-ground experience. ALN is present in thirteen jurisdictions, including Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa (associated office), Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This network allows its member firms to offer unparalleled depth and breadth of legal advice in key African investment destinations. As a member of ALN, MLO has the ability to work on deals across jurisdictions using a “one-stop shop” approach.