International Finance

With the Firm’s broad experience, spanning in-house legal responsibilities and external counsel regulatory advice and litigation support, combined with leading positions in international organisations active in rulemaking and standard setting for banks, AFFAKI provides its clients with comprehensive legal services in global banking and finance. AFFAKI’s advice addresses the needs of financial institutions and their clients in French, European, and international banking and financial regulation, and includes legal services at every stage of a financing transaction or project: from the key structuring stage to the perfection of the security package, along with any recovery and enforcement action required.

AFFAKI’s reputation for excellence in international banking and finance has led Chambers and Partners to list AFFAKI as a top Banking & Finance: Financial Service Regulation firm in France.

International Secured Lending

With Professor Affaki’s academic and professional experience in international banking and finance, AFFAKI is highly experienced in structuring complex, cross-border secured financing in civil law, common law, and Islamic legal systems. Georges Affaki has drafted domestic legislation for several countries in relation to secured transactions and guarantees, as well as globally accepted rules in relation to demand guarantees, documentary credits, standby letters of credit, and trade finance dispute resolution for a number of international institutions.

Project, Trade, and Commodity Finance

AFFAKI has widely acknowledged expertise in project, trade, and commodity financing, advising banking institutions and companies around the world on secured financing in emerging markets, involving structuring countertrade, borrowing bases, warehouse financing, pre-payment, pre-financing, and deferred payment secured financing structures and associated letters of credit, guarantees, and other cross-border trade finance instruments. In addition, Georges Affaki has led or participated in trade finance-related standard-setting, including URDG 758, UCP 600, and the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions. His advice is sought by banking institutions, businesses, lawmakers, and regulators worldwide.

International, European, and French Bank Regulation

AFFAKI specialises in advising financial institutions and multinational companies on international, European, and French bank regulatory matters. The Firm’s expertise includes new activity and product licensing, regulatory requirements in the wake of Brexit, compliance with economic sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations, and representing its clients in regulatory audit and disciplinary proceedings before the French Autorité des marchés financiers and the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution.

Georges Affaki also contributes to global banking and financial policy and rulemaking. He is a founding member of the ICC Financial Crime Risk and Policy Group and, as Chairman of the Legal Committee of ICC Banking Commission, has led the organisation’s global effort to issuing market standards on Sanction Clauses in Trade Finance Instruments, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, and the Capital Requirement Regulation (CRR/CRD IV). See the ICC Position Paper on Sanction Clauses in Trade Finance Instruments.

Bank Restructuring, Internal Control, and Legal Department Organisation

AFFAKI has considerable experience in preventing and resolving difficulties encountered by multinational companies and financial institutions. Having helmed the legal department of a major international financial institution, Georges Affaki is in a unique position to advise on corporate restructuring and legal risk control as part of both permanent and periodic internal control regulatory requirements.

Significant Representations
  • Representing a leading international financial institution in relation to a dispute with a European exporter under a series of high value, complex bank undertakings as concerns the application of European financial sanctions regulations, conflict of laws, and a large spectrum of disputed contractual issues.
  • Representing a foreign bank in a regulatory audit by the ACPR under French banking regulations in relation to internal controls, involving extensive coordination with the bank supervisor regulatory audit unit, filing multiple submissions on behalf of the examined bank, and overseeing the bank’s response to the audit report and the implementation of its findings. The supervisor assessed no sanction against the bank at the end of the proceedings.
  • Representing a leading foreign bank in the bank regulatory aspects of a criminal investigation in France, involving the filing of memoranda and successfully arguing before the French bank regulator on the application of a multilateral legal assistance treaty.
  • Advising a foreign bank on the legal effect of sovereign debt rescheduling on bank financing, including cases of national debt moratoria and IMF-approved currency and capital control.
  • As Chair of the ICC Banking Commission Legal Committee, leading group works on the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive – CRR/CRD IV. This included a particular focus on credit mitigation techniques under article 194 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (CRR), as well as on the E.U. Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) including contractual bail-in recognition in certain credit agreements pursuant to article 55.
  • Advising an international bank on the application of E.U. sanctions regulations in relation to a complex set of counter-guarantees governed by different national laws.
  • Advising an online gold bullion exchange on complex bank and financial market licensing regulation and disclosure requirements in relation to anti-money laundering laws.
  • Representing a major bank in a regulatory audit by the 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. The supervisor assessed no sanction against the bank at the end of the proceedings.
  • Drafting and implementing a comprehensive secured financing set of terms and conditions for an international bank in relation to its commodity and trade financing operations.
  • Advising and issuing regulatory opinions on the risk treatment of credit mitigation techniques under article 194 of Regulation (EU) No. 575/2013 (CRR).
  • Advising an international bank on the structuring and the drafting of payment undertakings in relation to a series of complex refinancings of commodity-related documentary credits.
  • Advising on the structuring of off-balance sheet financial undertakings to meet eligibility requirements to benefit from the protection of investment treaties.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 region, and Southeast 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
  • Chairman of the Legal Committee of the ICC Banking Commission (2013–present).
  • Vice-Chairman of the ICC Banking Commission (2001–2013).
  • Chairman (2002–2012), and now Honorary Chairman, of the ICC Task Force on Guarantees.
  • Chairman of the drafting group for the ICC Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG 758), which were adopted in 2009.
  • 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)
  • Delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the drafting of a legislative guide on secured transactions (2004–2006).
  • Member of the Expert Panel of UNCITRAL on Secured Transactions, the UN Convention on International Guarantees and Standby Letters of Credit, and the UN Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade (2002–2008).
  • 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) (1993).
Publications
  • “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 al.), 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 of 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.

Teaching

Professor Dr Georges Affaki teaches university courses on banking law, including:

  • Post-graduate classes at the Université Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) on Secured Transactions and International Banking and Financial Law.
  • Courses at the Université Paris-Dauphine on Islamic Finance and at Queen Mary University of London on topics related to international banking law as a visiting professor.

Professor Dr Affaki is a frequent speaker and moderator at international forums on international banking and financial law topics.

Show All
International Secured Lending

With Professor Affaki’s academic and professional experience in international banking and finance, AFFAKI is highly experienced in structuring complex, cross-border secured financing in civil law, common law, and Islamic legal systems. Georges Affaki has drafted domestic legislation for several countries in relation to secured transactions and guarantees, as well as globally accepted rules in relation to demand guarantees, documentary credits, standby letters of credit, and trade finance dispute resolution for a number of international institutions.

Project, Trade, and Commodity Finance

AFFAKI has widely acknowledged expertise in project, trade, and commodity financing, advising banking institutions and companies around the world on secured financing in emerging markets, involving structuring countertrade, borrowing bases, warehouse financing, pre-payment, pre-financing, and deferred payment secured financing structures and associated letters of credit, guarantees, and other cross-border trade finance instruments. In addition, Georges Affaki has led or participated in trade finance-related standard-setting, including URDG 758, UCP 600, and the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions. His advice is sought by banking institutions, businesses, lawmakers, and regulators worldwide.

International, European and French Bank Regulation

AFFAKI specialises in advising financial institutions and multinational companies on international, European, and French bank regulatory matters. The Firm’s expertise includes new activity and product licensing, regulatory requirements in the wake of Brexit, compliance with economic sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations, and representing its clients in regulatory audit and disciplinary proceedings before the French Autorité des marchés financiers and the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution.

Georges Affaki also contributes to global banking and financial policy and rulemaking. He is a founding member of the ICC Financial Crime Risk and Policy Group and, as Chairman of the Legal Committee of ICC Banking Commission, has led the organisation’s global effort to issuing market standards on Sanction Clauses in Trade Finance Instruments, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, and the Capital Requirement Regulation (CRR/CRD IV). See the ICC Position Paper on Sanction Clauses in Trade Finance Instruments.

Bank Restructuring, Internal Control, and Legal Department Organisation

AFFAKI has considerable experience in preventing and resolving difficulties encountered by multinational companies and financial institutions. Having helmed the legal department of a major international financial institution, Georges Affaki is in a unique position to advise on corporate restructuring and legal risk control as part of both permanent and periodic internal control regulatory requirements.

Significant representations

  • Representing a leading international financial institution in relation to a dispute with a European exporter under a series of high value, complex bank undertakings as concerns the application of European financial sanctions regulations, conflict of laws, and a large spectrum of disputed contractual issues.
  • Representing a foreign bank in a regulatory audit by the ACPR under French banking regulations in relation to internal controls, involving extensive coordination with the bank supervisor regulatory audit unit, filing multiple submissions on behalf of the examined bank, and overseeing the bank’s response to the audit report and the implementation of its findings. The supervisor assessed no sanction against the bank at the end of the proceedings.
  • Representing a leading foreign bank in the bank regulatory aspects of a criminal investigation in France, involving the filing of memoranda and successfully arguing before the French bank regulator on the application of a multilateral legal assistance treaty.
  • Advising a foreign bank on the legal effect of sovereign debt rescheduling on bank financing, including cases of national debt moratoria and IMF-approved currency and capital control.
  • As Chair of the ICC Banking Commission Legal Committee, leading group works on the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive – CRR/CRD IV. This included a particular focus on credit mitigation techniques under article 194 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (CRR), as well as on the E.U. Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) including contractual bail-in recognition in certain credit agreements pursuant to article 55.
  • Advising an international bank on the application of E.U. sanctions regulations in relation to a complex set of counter-guarantees governed by different national laws.
  • Advising an online gold bullion exchange on complex bank and financial market licensing regulation and disclosure requirements in relation to anti-money laundering laws.
  • Representing a major bank in a regulatory audit by the 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. The supervisor assessed no sanction against the bank at the end of the proceedings.
  • Drafting and implementing a comprehensive secured financing set of terms and conditions for an international bank in relation to its commodity and trade financing operations.
  • Advising and issuing regulatory opinions on the risk treatment of credit mitigation techniques under article 194 of Regulation (EU) No. 575/2013 (CRR).
  • Advising an international bank on the structuring and the drafting of payment undertakings in relation to a series of complex refinancings of commodity-related documentary credits.
  • Advising on the structuring of off-balance sheet financial undertakings to meet eligibility requirements to benefit from the protection of investment treaties.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 region, and Southeast 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

  • Chairman of the Legal Committee of the ICC Banking Commission (2013–present).
  • Vice-Chairman of the ICC Banking Commission (2001–2013).
  • Chairman (2002–2012), and now Honorary Chairman, of the ICC Task Force on Guarantees.
  • Chairman of the drafting group for the ICC Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG 758), which were adopted in 2009.
  • 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)
  • Delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the drafting of a legislative guide on secured transactions (2004–2006).
  • Member of the Expert Panel of UNCITRAL on Secured Transactions, the UN Convention on International Guarantees and Standby Letters of Credit, and the UN Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade (2002–2008).
  • 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) (1993).

Publications

  • “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 al.), 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 of 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.

Teaching

Professor Dr Georges Affaki teaches university courses on banking law, including:

  • Post-graduate classes at the Université Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) on Secured Transactions and International Banking and Financial Law.
  • Courses at the Université Paris-Dauphine on Islamic Finance and at Queen Mary University of London on topics related to international banking law as a visiting professor.

Professor Dr Affaki is a frequent speaker and moderator at international forums on international banking and financial law topics.