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Planning and Land Use

Our dedicated team of planning lawyers is ready to act across the African continent for clients seeking planning permission, development consent orders and compulsory purchase orders. 

Obtaining consent can be a minefield of legal risks, political pressure, environmental issues and other factors. Our job is to help clients negotiate that minefield in the most cost-effective and effective ways. 

We act for clients in both the private and public sector across the region including developers, infrastructure providers, national government, local authorities and multinational corporations. Clients trust us to lead their most politically sensitive and legally contentious projects. 

Local insights, international resources: with teams in 20 African countries, we offer a strong local presence backed by one of the world’s biggest law firms. Our lawyers understand the specific political, cultural, regulatory and economic issues that affect planning, development and land use in the region. 

Our global Africa team comprises more than 200 lawyers in Johannesburg, Casablanca, London, New York, Paris, Dubai, Perth, Hong Kong and Beijing. We also draw on the multidisciplinary resources of a global business law firm, meaning we can provide a fully integrated cross-border service as required. 

Getting an application right from the start is critical to secure legally robust planning permission quickly and effectively, so detailed preparation is essential. Our people work closely with clients from the outset to ensure any application and all supporting documentation can withstand the scrutiny of decision-makers, objectors and the courts. This upfront effort can mean quicker determinations and fewer legal challenges. 

Key capabilities include: 

  • development and regeneration – planning and drafting applications and associated documents, working with planning consultants, advising on appeals
  • energy and infrastructure – advising on the best ways to secure consent, evaluating different regimes, negotiating side agreements, analyzing the political/policy context, applications, environmental assessments, supporting the decision-making process, hearings
  • compulsory purchase and compensation – for large and complex projects on behalf of acquiring authorities, developers and funders, negotiating with landowners and objectors, securing confirmation of the order, implementation, compensation claims, proceedings
  • planning litigation – we have been involved with leading planning-related cases around the world; very few consents that we have advised on have been challenged in the courts; of those, no challenges were successful 

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you to achieve your objectives.