DLA adds a slew of African firms to its network
09 November 2012
has added five firms to its burgeoning Africa Group. While Allen & Overy
is rumoured to be scoping out South African firms in advance of opening up shop in the country.
Australia, it seems, is so last year (unless you're Freshfields that is
) as law firms start to focus their attentions on resource-rich Africa, with the promise of all that lucrative mining, energy and infrastructure work. DLA Piper has been making friends in the continent for a while now, and over the last few months has added firms in Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, Mauritius and Ethiopia to its umbrella of associated African firms. This brings DLA's Africa Group to a total of 11 firms.
According to the firm's CEO and Obama fan
Sir Nigel Knowles, foreign investment into Africa is "expected to grow significantly to US$150 billion by 2015
". And, he explains, DLA is now "uniquely placed
" in the continent to be engaged in all the usual marketing-speak activities: sharing "know how
", working "seamlessly
" etc. etc.
||A famous African lawyer yesterday
DLA is clearly trying to steal a march on some of its rivals for African dominance. Norton Rose is also opening up in Tanzania, Clydes has had a presence in the country for a few years, and Herbert Smith is set to open an office in Guinea
. But few firms have developed their offering beyond one country.
In other Africa news, sources have told RollOnFriday that Allen & Overy, which made its first foray into the continent with the opening of a Casablanca office
last year, has got its sights set on South Africa. It's rumoured that the firm has been speaking to several South African firms with a view to opening an office in the region. A&O said that lawyers are travelling to the country for work, which inevitably involves speaking to other South African firms, but for the moment there is no office planned.
Still, it's probably worth watching this space.