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About Orient Chambers
Orient Chambers a is a full-service law firm, registered and operating in the City of Kigali in the Republic of Rwanda. The firm offers a wide range of professional services to individuals, public institutions, private companies and civil society organisations (CSOs). The firm strives for excellence and aims to exceed clients’ expectations. It works hard to achieve its goals and it encourages its team to constantly retain its competitive edge through innovations.
Why Orient Chambers?
Orient Chambers is a law firm that you should choose because of the dedication, skills, knowledge, energy and selfless attitude of its team of legal experts, research professionals and consultants and other like-minded individuals it works with in the Eastern and Central African Region. The firm is committed to offering high-quality research, legal and consultancy services. It has excellent insights and in-depth knowledge of the local market. The firm invests significant resources in understanding the clients’ business and their strategic objectives to act in their best interests. This, combined with its dedication to professional integrity, forms the fundamental principles that define the firm’s strength and reputation in providing exceptional services. Our advantage is the unique mix of legal advisory services, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), litigation, consultancy services and research, all under one roof. This enables us to identify all potential challenges and risks and propose appropriate strategies for the clients’ business. We appreciate that our clients recognise and value our services as we continue to distinguish ourselves in restoring clients’ trust and confidence.
Our Core Values
The firm’s core values are honesty, integrity, professionalism, respect, accountability, commitment, independence, innovation and non-discrimination.
The core business areas of Orient Chambers Ltd are in three broad categories, namely:
- Legal services;
- Consultancy services; and
- Compliance and risk management
While risk is inherent in business, Orient Chambers offers a comprehensive service in compliance and risk management. The firm helps investors doing business to make the right decisions by assessing and managing risk exposure in the East and Central Africa Region. The firm’s strengths are rooted in cross-border capabilities, a multi-disciplinary approach, deep knowledge of the region’s laws and culture, familiarity with regional enforcement trends and proficiency in dealing with local authorities.
To address risk proactively, we offer a comprehensive package of services, including risk-based due diligence and corporate compliance. The firm acts on behalf of clients in sensitive investigations, enforcement proceedings and cross-border business, and represents domestic and international companies at all stages of procedures.
With emerging markets and cross-border business in the East and Central African Region, tax systems have become more complex. Therefore, expert knowledge and timely advice are required to maximise business results and investment decisions. Orient Chambers, with a dedicated tax practice, whose experts have earned a region-wide reputation for innovative tax solutions, offers tax-efficient advisory services that help clients meet their objectives. The firm’s services include tax planning and structuring, structured finance and capital markets, international taxation, tax litigation, transfer pricing, VAT and other indirect taxes, and employment remuneration schemes.
In structured finance and capital markets, we conduct a due diligence review on the issuer of the securities, draft the prospectus and other disclosure documents describing the issuer and its securities to the potential investors, and negotiate agreements.
- Mergers and acquisition, corporate and private equity
We are experts at implementing cross-border transactions, including negotiating acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, corporate reorganisation, restructuring, mergers, spin-offs, foreign direct investment, management buyouts, privatisation and public takeovers, and we provide timely, commercially focused advice based on deep knowledge, real experience and the right networks. Our in-depth understanding of clients’ business objectives coupled with on-the-ground knowledge of local markets makes us unique in the Eastern and Central African Region.
- Energy and natural resources
Orient Chambers’ experts deliver industry-specific knowledge to a diverse range of clients, including power plant operators, multinational energy holding companies, energy traders, project companies and consortia, lenders and governments. Our services include private and public energy mergers and acquisition, energy project finance, energy regulatory issues, long- and short-term energy trading contracts, major energy infrastructure developments, large power plant projects, carbon dioxide (CO2) trading-related issues, carbon dioxide (CO2) management agreements, and renewable and alternative energy sources.
- Environment and social governance
The increasing need for regulatory requirements has become a critical part of the decision-making process both in personal data protection and environmental, social and governance-related issues, causing companies and industries in all sectors to re-think their strategies and priorities. Orient Chambers’ cross-border expertise helps clients navigate the multidisciplinary challenges of the environmental, social and governance by mitigating risk and enhancing value.
Our approach to environmental, social and governance challenges is forward-leaning and draws on our experienced team of regulatory, transactional and litigation practitioners, who combine in-depth legal expertise with a strong commercial focus to help clients align their activities with the many aspects of environmental, social and governance requirement, including responsible investment, sustainability, and corporate integrity issues.
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
There are times in business when you need experienced dispute resolution practitioners when there is a breakdown in relationships involving investors doing business in Eastern and Central African Region. We understand the risks and the need for focused advice and clear communication. Our experts bring the right mix of local knowledge regarding legal frameworks and judicial structures together with in-depth understanding of international law and disputes with multijurisdictional implications. We have extensive experience in representing international and domestic clients on individual or collective claims throughout the region. On behalf of our clients, we have successfully negotiated arbitration and out-of-court settlements.
- Litigation services
Orient Chambers handles contentious matters and lawsuits by representing its clients at all stages of a lawsuit from get-up for trial to briefing, and is responsible for carrying the lawsuit through the court process. Before handling any case, the firm analyses the complexity of the matter and gives advice to the client on the best option available to handle the dispute, no matter where it has reached. The firm assigns a team of lawyers based on their areas of specialty to provide full litigation support services. In litigation, the firm’s experienced lawyers have won the biggest commercial cases involving hundreds of millions and billions of Rwandan francs for clients including commercial banks, corporations and insurance companies.
- Intellectual property rights and commercial services
Orient Chambers represents clients in trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret matters arising under Rwandan law. The firm’s practice is in the creation, registration, protection and enforcement of all forms of intellectual property rights, negotiation of technology transfer, technical assistance and licensing agreements, negotiation of franchise agreements, patent infringement and trade secret litigation.
- Corporate and commercial practice
Orient Chambers offers expert legal services in corporate and commercial law matters to clients, both national and international. The firm conducts complex commercial transactions, sale of companies, corporate restructuring acquisitions and joint ventures, company administration and liquidation and other services related to changes in companies’ legal status and drafting shareholder agreements as well as offering day-to-day business support services.
- Debt recovery
Orient Chambers helps companies get paid their debts by tracking down debtors. Based on overdue bills the client presents, the firm negotiates payment arrangements. The firm has demonstrated its potential and ability to assess and reach out to all clients’ debtors, listen to them, and understand why they are not able to keep up with the payment. Once it finds that there are genuine grounds and that there is the will to pay, Orient Chambers proposes alternative and flexible payment terms, including putting in place instalment plans in a specified period of time, either weekly or monthly, depending on the set rules of payment. Orient Chambers has the ability to take legal action against any debtor either by writing demand notes or compelling the debtor to appear in courts of law for forced payment.
- Insolvency, rstructuring and bankruptcy
Orient Chambers, having the right legal advisors, offers the best preventive measures against entering into insolvency or and even bankruptcy to those companies unable to pay their debts. The firm tries to mitigate insolvency risks by providing pre-insolvency negotiations which has proved to be more effective for companies struggling to recover. By doing this, the firm always identifies insolvency challenges and designs appropriate strategies for restructuring, taking into consideration the client’s special conditions. In case of ligation, the firm guides the clients through the whole insolvency litigation procedures and administration.
- Insurance and reinsurance services
In an environment of ever-increasing regulatory oversight and legal compliance for insurance companies, Orient Chambers deals with legal and regulatory compliance needs, risk prevention and management. The firm conducts due diligence and investigations in the context of incidents and advises management and boards on issues pertaining to risk prevention and management. Given the firm’s insight into the reinsurance industry, it represents reinsurers and reinsurance intermediaries in connection with the negotiation and drafting of reinsurance agreements and registration of foreign reinsurers.
- Employment and labour matters
Orient Chambers delivers practical assessments and advice to help companies manage labour law risks in their day-to-day operations, as well as in relation to complex restructuring and merger and acquisition transactions. We advise on collective labour law matters, negotiate with workers’ councils and labour unions, and assist in resolving complex litigation matters.
- Social responsibility
Orient Chambers targets disadvantaged communities affected by social and economic exclusion in Rwanda. It encourages and supports the poor who cannot afford legal services by volunteering, making a donation or providing pro bono legal services. The firm supports individual initiatives in order to access justice and equal opportunity for the most vulnerable and poor members of the community. The firm works to protect the property rights of indigent persons and pursues justice for those who experience violation of their property rights.
- Consultancy services
In the present developmental paradigm, where corporations and institutions need to improve their business performance in terms of operations, profitability, structure and management, as well as strategy, consultancy services have become the mainstay of developmental imperatives. Therefore, the provision of innovative and sustainable solutions to clients has become the priority of Orient Chambers with a view to improving organisations’ profitability and efficiency, advising on solutions for client development strategies, marketing and productivity, and consulting on legal and programme issues to actively manage risks, analyse problems and develop solutions.
- Research and diagnostics studies
As the demand for evidence-based interventions to make well-informed decisions increases, Orient Chambers has taken heed of the need for strategic performance management and organisational development approaches. The firm diagnoses organisational problem areas by identifying gaps and other emerging challenges, employs organisational development strategies and documents lessons learnt and best practices in priority development areas for the achievement of targets.