Mona Zulficar impresses peers and clients alike with her considerable experience advising on project financings and transactions across the region.
As a founding partner and chairperson, Mona Zulficar oversees the performance and business development of Zulficar and Partners Law Firm, a leading law firm in Egypt. A practising attorney for more than 30 years, she is a specialist in major restructuring, project finance and M&A transactions, and has been consistently ranked by international legal directories as the leading and eminent Egyptian lawyer in banking, finance and M&A.
She is particularly recognised for handling groundbreaking and precedent transactions. These include the first three Egyptian BOOT power plants in 1998 and 2002, the first commercial aircraft mortgage financing for EgyptAir in 1989, the first GDR issue and listing on the LSE for CIB in 1996, the first leverage buyout of Helwan Cement Company in 2005, the first subordinated bond issuance for MobiNil in 2005, the first PPP for Orasqualia related to the Cairo Wastewater project in 2010, the first demerger of Orascom Telecom in 2012, the first dual listing for Orascom Construction on NASDAQ Dubai and the EGX in 2015 and, more recently, in 2016 the first multibillion-dollar repo by the Central Bank of Egypt and in 2017 the first FiT project to develop the largest solar park in the world in Benban near Aswan comprising 32 projects for over US$2.2 billion.
She handled many large M&A transactions over the years, including the mega transaction of OCI in 2008 relating to the sale of Orascom Building Materials Holding to Lafarge, for approximately US$13 billion in addition to US$2 billion of assumed debt. More recently, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, she handled the sale of Citibank’s retail business to CIB, the acquisition of Piraeus Bank by ABK and the sale of Barclays Bank to AWB.
She has played and continues to play a key role in developing and drafting new economic legislation as adviser, expert or member of national drafting committees on important laws, such as the Investment Law, the Telecom Law, the Companies and Capital Market Laws and the Banking Law, as well as the Special Economic Zones Law, which she drafted by assignment from the government. She served as a member of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Egypt and has been directly involved in the institutional and regulatory reform programme of the banking sector during 2003–2011. Most recently, she has served as vice president of the Constitutional Commission of 50 and played a key role in drafting the 2014 Egyptian Constitution.
With a commitment to community activism, she has been an advocate for human rights and women’s rights in Egypt and internationally since 1985. She has led several successful campaigns resulting in legal reforms, including the “New Marriage Contract”, the Equal Right to Divorce Law “Khul”, the Family Courts Law and the amendments to the Nationality Law.
She founded and chairs the Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation, focused on the economic empowerment of poor women and currently chairs the first Egyptian Microfinance Federation; she also chairs the Women’s Health Improvement Association in Cairo, as well as the EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development. She was elected an expert member and deputy chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council advisory committee from 2008 to September 2013, and currently serves as a member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt.
Ms Zulficar obtained her political science and law degrees from Cairo University and Mansoura University and an honorary doctorate degree from the faculty of law at the University of Zurich. She has also received many local and international awards, including the Legion of Honour from the president of France in 2008 and the IFLR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.