The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) issues Ethiopia’s first law firm license to Habesha Legal Advocates (HLA).

April 14, 2022

Habesha Legal Advocates LP is the first law firm in Ethiopia to receive a license from the Ethiopian Bar Association. HLA registered with 1.5 million ETB in initial capital and was founded by three partners who practiced law for over ten years. Wubshet Demissie studied law and graduated from the Ethiopian Civil Service College in 2008. He has been practicing law since 2012. Bayou Mekonnen graduated from Haromaya University in 2006. Gebeyhu Zikaregachew studied law and graduated from Hawassa University in 2009. He served as a public prosecutor for six years and specialized in tax and construction-related laws.

Habesha Legal Advocates previously operated through offices in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar. It plans to expand to more regional capitals. The firm’s practice areas are corporate, business, insurance, property, employment, criminal, and family law. It has Wubshet stated that the firm expects to add two more lawyers. Addis Mengistu has expressed his interest in joining the partnership. He was the Supreme Court Justice of the Amhara Regional State for five years.

The new proclamation allows firms to provide advocacy services such as consultation on legal matters, conducting negotiations except in criminal cases, drafting or submitting legal documents on the client’s behalf, and representing a client before law courts. Article 37 of the new Lawyers Law stated that a minimum of two law-abiding lawyers are required to form a law firm. Another law office, Mehrteab Leul & Associates Law Office, is converting into a law firm. Its founder, Mehrteab Leul, stated that the market requires fully-fledged law firms.

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