Commercial Disputes: Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation
The resolution of international commercial disputes through arbitration and mediation continues to grow as international investment and trade expand in Somalia. Our team maintains a deep understanding of local and pan-African legislation, well suited to resolving complex cross-border disputes under a wide range of arbitral bodies.
MLO offers comprehensive and cost-effective arbitration and mediation services, including acting as party-appointed or neutral arbitrators, drafting arbitration clauses and agreements, representing respondents and claimants before institutional or ad hoc tribunals, and serving as mediators in international mediation proceedings. In the past, lawyers have worked for both private and state parties.
Foreign Trade and Investment
MLO is internationally recognized for its successful foreign investment practice, as it is the leading legal advisor for international investors and companies looking to enter the Somali market. MLO offers quality legal services throughout the lifespan of a commercial investment.
We have considerable experience in negotiating international joint ventures between private entities, as well as with the Government of Somalia. Our expertise in this regard includes preparing joint-venture agreements, advising on governance and profit-sharing arrangements, and dispute resolution.
Spanning over 3,300km, Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa. With the recent rehabilitation of the Somalia International Port, Mogadishu will soon be a regional gateway to East Africa.
Related to our foreign trade and investment practice, MLO provides legal counsel on customs brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing, and distribution. We pride ourselves in assisting international clients navigate the Somali market, as well as linking domestic producers to the international economy.
MLO has been steadily building its maritime practice, advising on a wide range of maritime issues including marine insurance, collisions, salvage and pollution prevention within Somalia’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.
MLO recognizes the need to prosecute Somali pirates captured at sea, as well as the criminal networks that plan and finance armed robbery and hostage-taking operations in international waters. Failure to prosecute suspected pirates critically undermines anti-piracy efforts.
Closely involved with the legal reform initiatives in Somalia, MLO has been working diligently with the Federal Government of Somalia in strengthening the Criminal Justice system, and providing an adequate legal framework to determining appropriate jurisdiction, and in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy.
MLO welcomes working with international organizations to facilitate the national and regional capacity to prosecute suspected pirates in accordance with international and domestic law.
Construction and Commercial Real Estate
MLO advises on a wide range of construction issues including drafting construction contracts, insolvencies, and insurance. As active contributors to the Somali legislative context, our firm is best positioned to offer advice on emerging legislation such as environment regulation and labor management.
We regularly advise governments, public entities, contractors, suppliers, engineers, architects, and developers in construction projects, contract support and dispute resolution.
We advise private owners, international public bodies, banks, corporations, and property developers in all phases of a real estate transaction from financing to sale or acquisition of property. We work closely with colleagues around the globe to provide seamless advice on international real estate transactions. Our expertise includes lease and service agreements, land restitution matters, subdivision of land, and title registration.
Civil and Criminal Litigation
The partners at MLO have a combined experience of over 50 years in civil and criminal law. With an intimate knowledge of the Somali civil and criminal justice system, MLO offers effective consultation and responsive services.
If you, your client, or an employee of your company is accused of a crime or potentially liable for civil damages, the lawyers at MLO are the best situated to offer the most effective legal representation in Mogadishu.
Legislative Drafting and Policy Review
MLO has advised a number of parliamentary committees on the legality of the proposed legislation and regulations. Our lawyers assist Members of Parliament to propose and draft Bills and amendments in committee. We have extensive policy research capabilities, as well as the expertise in commenting on defat legislation in both English and Somali. We also conduct archival research harmonizing pre-war legislation with new realities.
MLO is continuously engaged with the Federal Parliament of Somalia and international organizations to improve the capacity and quality of the legislative process and resulting statute.