Stéphane Brabant is a Paris-based partner of global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He is head of the firm’s Africa practice, as well as co-head of its mining group. Stéphane has over 20 years’ experience (including seven years in Gabon) advising on matters in Francophone Africa, principally in the energy and natural resources sectors. His practice in recent years has focussed increasingly on risk mitigation and crisis management, with demonstrated experience handling crisis situations in Africa, and negotiating with African governments (often successfully) in an attempt to find solutions to contentious issues without resorting to arbitration. His experience includes appearing before local courts. Stéphane has been consistently ranked in the top tier by the leading legal directories for his expertise in relation to Africa. He was described to researchers of Chambers Global as early as 2002 as the “African expert par excellence”, while more recent accolades include “the leading lawyer for mining in francophone Africa”, and “a person who lives and breathes Africa and is superb as regards francophone Africa work”.