Africa Global Logistics (AGL) provides the ultimate supply chain management solution across Africa.
The company has recently been transferred to the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) family. The acquisition aims to extend MSC's business in Africa, a continent in which the group expects to see sustainable growth.
Being present with its own local entities across the continent makes it truly a one-stop-shop for African logistics, multimodal transport and warehousing.
But how does AGL keep track of legal obligations in each of these African countries?
We talked to Tania Els, Regional General Counsel for Southern and East Africa, about how her legal team gets access to the most current laws and legal insights in each African country.
How to cover the continent with a small legal team?
Africa Global Logistics has legal managers in some (but not all) of the countries, reporting into a regional legal department operating out of South Africa.
Ms Els says, “This four-person team is responsible for finding and researching current and pending laws in all of the countries under our umbrella.
“That is time-consuming, costly, and inefficient because laws are not always available in English, which forces us to rely on local lawyers that aren’t necessarily sharing accurate information. The time it takes to conduct thorough research, contact local counsel, verify the information, and convey it to head office causes significant delays.”
In addition, AGL's legal managers in each country don’t always handle all aspects of law, so they often had to consult with external legal experts anyway.
In order to boost the legal teams’ capabilities further, AGL turned to Afriwise.
Manage the legal aspects of multiple jurisdictions easily
“Using Afriwise, we now have easy access to up-to-date legal information for almost every African country within our region. What’s great is that we are able to note the differences between what laws stipulate and what actually happens on the ground. This enables us to clearly assess the situation, fill gaps, and review our approach,” says Ms Els.
“Another enormous benefit, working across countries, is that we can easily compare the laws and standards of the various African countries on the Afriwise platform. We have quick access to current information and reliable, qualified legal experts; saving time and money.”
Communicate with the head office more effectively
AGL's regional team is in regular contact with the Paris-based head office. Ms Els says, “Our Afriwise membership has helped AGL to provide prompt and relevant legal information to head office. Legal documents are translated accurately into English, making the country’s law accessible and understandable. We get advance notice of pending changes in legislation too, as well as all of the necessary information to lay the groundwork so that any external counsel only adds benefit. Afriwise also gives us accurate guidance for day-to-day aspects, such as contracts and labour disputes.”
Getting a clear view of that deal, quickly
International mergers can be challenging. When AGL engages in any international transaction, it is imperative for the legal team to have a clear view of the anti-competition regulation across the different African jurisdictions.
The accessibility to current, relevant laws that AGL enjoys as an Afriwise subscriber makes it possible to prepare international mergers where different entities require advice and answers. Each country gets one set of all regulations (including processes and requirements) and the company is able to expand while remaining on the right side of the law in each area.
Using the Report Builder function has been extremely valuable to AGL recently as the company faces exciting prospects of mergers and growth in the near future.
A partnership that benefits the business
AGL has experienced impressive benefits since partnering with Afriwise.
- Direct access to the latest laws without consulting external legal counsel.
- AGL is empowered and informed with updates on the latest legal developments.
- Savings on time and money with easy access to up-to-date legal information.
- Easy communication with local-language laws being available in English.
“Afriwise provides a real-time, quick, easy tool. It’s user-friendly, and there’s always the option for external assistance at a cost-comparative rate.” - AGL's Tania Els, Regional General Counsel for Southern and East Africa.