International Finance, Banking Law and Regulation

Georges Affaki is the Chairman of ICC France Banking Commission. He founded and currently chairs the Legal Committee of the ICC Banking Commission.

The Firm is ranked by Chambers in France, Banking & Finance: Financial Services Regulation.

International Secured Finance.
Combining academic and professional experience in international banking and finance, lawyers at AFFAKI are acknowledged experts in structuring and implementing complex, cross-border secured financing in civil, common law and Islamic legal systems. Dr Georges Affaki has led or contributed to the drafting of domestic and international laws in relation to secured transactions and guarantees, the comparative law of which he has researched and taught for over 30 years.
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Trade and Commodity Financing.
AFFAKI enjoy a broadly acknowledged expertise in trade and commodity financing, advising global and regional trade finance banks around the world on secured commodity financing in virtually every emerging market including CIS, PRC, Africa and the Arab world, involving structuring countertrade, borrowing base, warehouse financing, pre-payment, pre-financing and deferred payment secured financing structures and associated complex letters of credit, guarantees, payment undertakings, letters of indemnity and other trade finance instruments in cross-border contexts. Dr Georges Affaki has led or participated in trade finance-related standard-setting or rule-drafting international groups under the aegis of international organisations, including URDG 758, UCP 600, DOCDEX and the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions. He has recently advised the ICC Banking Commission on the issue of its Guidance paper on the impact of COVID-19 on trade finance transactions issued subject to ICC rules.

International, European and French Bank Regulation.
All the lawyers at AFFAKI are experienced in advising financial institutions on international, European and French bank and financial market regulatory matters, including in relation to new activity/new product licensing, compliance with economic sanctions and anti-money laundering regulation, and representing them in regulatory audit and disciplinary proceedings before the French bank regulator: Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), and the French Financial Market Authority (AMF). Dr Georges Affaki is a founding member of the ICC Financial Crime Risk and Policy Group and has led the effort to draft the ICC Position Paper on Sanction Clauses in Trade Finance Instruments.
ICC Guidance Paper on the Use of Sanction Clauses in Trade Finance-Related Instruments Subject to ICC Rules

Bank Restructuring and Legal Department organisation.
The leading position that he held for 18 years at the helm of the legal department of a major international bank both as a member of the Executive Committee and as Global Head for Structured Finance puts Dr Georges Affaki in a unique position to advise financial institutions on corporate restructuring, the set-up of legal departments and the control of legal risks as part both of permanent and periodic internal control regulatory requirements.

Representative experience includes the following:

– Advising an on-line gold bullion exchange on complex bank and financial market regulation and disclosure requirements in relation to anti-money laundering laws.
– Advising on various disclosure and filing duties in relation to the application of the General Regulation of the French Financial Market Authority (AMF).
– Advising a company in the fintech sector on EU and French licensing requirements to operate a payment service network in France.
– As in-house counsel, representing a major bank in a regulatory audit by ACPR under French banking regulation No. 97-02 on Internal Control, involving extensive coordination with the bank supervisor regulatory audit unit, multiple submissions on behalf of the examined bank and overseeing the bank’s response to the audit report and the implementation of its findings.
– Leading a number of international rule-setting projects resulting in globally-accepted rules under the aegis of ICC and other international organisations, including in relation to demand guarantees, documentary credits, standby letters of credit and trade finance dispute resolution.
– As Chair of the ICC Banking Commission Legal Committee, leading group works on the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive – CRR/CRD IV including, in particular, credit mitigation techniques under article 194 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (CRR), as well as on the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) including, in particular, contractual recognition of bail-in in certain credit agreements pursuant to article 55.
– As in-house counsel in a major international bank, structuring, negotiating and implementing secured financing, including many “deals of the year” energy and infrastructure projects, export and commodity finance in Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Gulf and South-East Asia.
– Advising on complex Islamic finance transactions, including the identification of appropriate contracts in Fiqh and their adaptation into conventional legal systems.

Other related experience include:

–  Successfully representing a global foreign bank in an investigation led by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) for alleged breaches to money laundering and the financing of terrorism statutes and to internal control standards.  No charges were brought against the bank.
– Representing a foreign bank subpoenaed by a French investigating judge to provide statutory-protected information located abroad, with the result that a process was implemented for the legal transmission of evidence through the respective government agencies in compliance with the applicable laws.
– Acting as Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Banking Commission.
– Acting as Vice-Chairman of the Banking Commission (2001 – 2013).
– Acting as Chairman (2002-2012), and now Honorary Chairman, of the Task Force on Guarantees.
– Acting as Chairman of the drafting group for the ICC Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG 758) – rules adopted in 2009.
– Acting as Chairman of a Paris Europlace Working Group on Applicable Law and Dispute Resolution in Islamic Finance. The Group delivered its report in June 2009. The report was translated into English and Arabic and has been the subject of a number of articles and comments in law reviews.
View Islamic Finance Report (English)
View Islamic Finance Report (French)
View Islamic Finance Report (Arabic)
Between 2004 and 2006, acting as delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the drafting of a legislative guide on secured transactions.
– Acting as member of the Expert Panel of UNCITRAL on secured transactions, the UN Convention on International Guarantees and Standby Letters of Credit and on the UN Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade.
– Acting as expert on international banking and trade finance for the International Trade Center of the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Related publications include:

– “Case Studies in Documentary Credits and Bank Guarantees”, International Trade Center (Geneva), UNCTAD/WTO, 2013.
– “Guide to ICC Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees” (with Sir Roy Goode), ICC Publishing, 2011.
– “Increasing Access to Credit – Reforming Secured Transaction Law”, International Trade Center (Geneva), UNCTAD/WTO, 2010.
– “Cross-border Insolvency and Conflict of Jurisdictions”, Georges Affaki Ed., Bruylant, 2007.
– “Paiements et sûretés dans le commerce international”, International Trade Center (Geneva), CNUCED/OMC, 2002, Winner of the European Prize for Interdisciplinary Research (2002). Translated into Spanish: Financiaciones y garantias en el comercio internacional, 2003, and into English: Trade Finance, 2004.
– “A User’s Handbook to the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees”, ICC Publishing S.A., publication No. 631, 2001.
Regular column on international banking law, co-authored with Professor Jean Stoufflet, published in Banque & Droit since 2003.
– “La Chari’a en dehors des terres d’Islam: Essai sur la reception de la finance islamique en France”, Revue internationale de droit comparé, No.3, 2014.
– “L’arbitrage en matière bancaire et financière” (avec B. Hanotiau et alii), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, No.3, 2014.
– “L’accueil de la finance islamique en droit français – essai sur le transfert d’un système normatif”, in La finance islamique, J.P. Laramée (ed.), Secure Finance, 2008.
“Le nouveau droit des crédits documentaires”, Banque & Droit, No. 112 – mars 2007, pp. 3-22.
– “Analysis of obstacles to the proper functioning of the internal market: legal, economic and social aspects”, in Divergences of property law, an obstacle to the internal market?, U. Drobnig, H. Snijders and E. Zippro Ed., Sellier, 2006.
– “Des aspects bancaires dans le guide législatif de la CNUDCI sur les opérations garanties”, in Réforme des sûretés mobilières, B. Foex (ed.), Schulthess, 2006.
– “De la relation perfectible entre le crédit et les sûretés”, in Repenser le droit des sûretés mobilières, M-E. Ancel (ed.), 2005, LGDJ.
– “De la relation perfectible entre le crédit et les sûretés”, Banque & Droit, No. 97 – September 2004, pp. 26-34.
“Progress in the use of the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees”, Documentary Credits Insight, Vol.9 No.3, 2003, pp.17-19.
– “L’apport de la Convention CNUDCI sur la cession de créances aux opérations de banque”, Banque et droit, n°90, 2003, pp. 3-36.
– “Documentary dialogue with W.T.A. Riddall”, Documentary Credits Insight, Vol. 7 No.1, 2001, pp.14-17, and Vol.7 No.2, 2001, pp.15-17.
– “Les sûretés dans le négoce international”, Journal du droit international (Clunet), No.3, 2000, pp. 647-708.
– “Promoting the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees”, Letter of Credit Update, 1999, Vol. 15 No.7.
– “ ISP, UCP or URDG : What are the Optimal Rules for your Undertaking ?”, Documentary Credit World, Vol. 3, No.6, June 1999.
– “ The ISP98, the UCP, the URDG and the UNCITRAL Convention : Are they really complementary? ”, Letter of Credit Update, Vol. 15 No.5, May 1999, pp.20-22.
– “ How do the ISP standby rules fit in with other uniform rules?”, Documentary Credits Insight, Vol.5 No.1, 1998, pp.3-6.
– “ La mention manuscrite dans les engagements unilatéraux ”, Les Echos, 26 mai 1998.
– “ Sûretés bancaires en danger ”, Bull. Cercle des Banques Etrangères, No. 9, 1997, pp. 3-5.
– “Demand Guarantees in the Arab countries”, Journal of International Banking Law, [1997], Vol. 12, Issue 7, pp. 271-276.
– Chapter on Documentary credits, in Letters of Credit, Michael Rowe (Ed.), 2nd edition, 1997, Euromoney.
– Chapter on countertrade, in Countertrade, Michael Rowe (Ed.), 3rd edition, 1997, Euromoney.
– “Islamic Banking: an overview”, Documentary Credits Insight, No.2, 1996, pp. 9-11.
– Case note under the Paris Court of Appeal decision of 23 juin 1993, JCP-E, 1995, II, 735, dealing with the effect of the EU embargo on Iraq on private contracts.
– “ Le syndrome de l’autre bénéficiaire dans l’appel à la garantie indépendante ”, Banque & Droit, 1995, No.43, pp. 12-20.

Download complete list of publications in pdf.

Banking law classes taught by Prof. Dr. Georges Affaki include:

– Post-graduate classes at the University of Paris II on Secured Transactions and on International Financial Law.
– Visiting professor at the University of Paris Dauphine on Islamic finance and at Queen Mary University of London on topics related to international banking law.

Dr Affaki is a frequent speaker or moderator in international for a on international banking and financial law topics.