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Benyam Tafesse


Selected Experience

Intellectual Property & Technology
  • Handled the registration and maintenance of hundreds of trade and service marks, patents, utility models and industrial designs before the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority (EIPA);
  • Represented globally renowned multinational corporations in the enforcement of their intellectual property rights in Ethiopia and handled landmark intellectual property cases before the EIPA Tribunal;
  • Assisted with the negotiation and conclusion of numerous franchise agreements;
  • Advised several international and local companies on various aspects of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property law;
  • Regularly advises companies (including leading social media platforms) on data protection and privacy requirements under Ethiopian law;
  • Assisted a globally renowned telecom infrastructure company in relation to its operations in Ethiopia;
Projects, Infrastructure and PPP
  • Advised a sponsor in a solar PPP Project on the Ethiopian PPP legal framework, rules and regulations germane to project finance, energy law and various other matters;
  • Assisted syndicate financiers in a geothermal PPP project on a wide range of issues including reviewing different agreements (implementation and power purchase agreements, direct agreement, etc.), advising on permits, licenses and other requirements under the geothermal laws of Ethiopia;
  • Advised and assisted a huge green-field beverages investment co-owned by a regional government and the private sector on various matters including negotiating contracts worth more than USD 100 Million for the purchase of machinery, pre-fabricated steel structure and civil works and advising on different corporate governance matters;
Employment & Immigration
  • Advised a number of multinational companies, non-profit organizations, embassies and international organizations on wide range of employment law matters including structuring employment contracts, employee benefits (statutory and discretionary), workforce reduction, transfer of employees, social security requirements, outsourcing and secondment arrangements;
  • Conducted employment due diligence on target companies in the context of mergers and acquisitions;
  • Assisted an international NGO from Australia on various employment law matters including drafting work rules, advising on workforce reduction and termination related benefits;
  • Advised a U.K based international non-profit organization on engaging the services of independent contractors in Ethiopia; the legal constraints of employing personnel via an employment intermediary and requirements applicable to the recruitment of interns;
  • Advised a world known television broadcaster in relation to the legal implications of hiring employees prior to establishing permanent presence in Ethiopia;
  • Assisted an American multinational hospitality company with localizing expatriate employment contracts and provided legal advice in relation to repatriation of salary;
  • Advised a prominent Dutch floriculture business in Ethiopia on various employment law matters including workforce reduction, termination and workplace accident and attendant employer obligations;
  • Provided extensive support to an international hotel chain operating in Ethiopia in connection with its negotiations with a trade union;
  • Advised aircraft and engine leasing companies in connection with aircraft/engine/parts sale, lease, Sale and Lease Back (SLB) and JOLCO transactions;
  • Conducted general jurisdictional due diligence reports for aircraft leasing companies and financiers;
  • Advised a leading aircraft engine leasing company in relation to a sale and lease back transaction and processed local filings on behalf of the Client before the ECAA;
  • Advised a major jet leasing company in connection with novation of two jet lease contracts;
  • Conducted due diligence on aircraft lessee/operator in Ethiopia in connection with a proposed aircraft lease transaction;
  • Authored the Ethiopian Chapters on Aircraft Finance and Aircraft Liens on Sweet & Maxwell and Thomson Reuters Publications;