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DLA Piper expands Africa group across the continent with new member firms

DLA Piper‘s Africa Group has expanded in north, southern and eastern Africa with the addition of three new member firms.

Algerian firm B L & Associés, Rubeya & Co Advocates of Burundi and Namibian firm Ellis Shilengudwa Inc joined the 4200-lawyer firm’s Africa Group as of 1 October 2013. The firm now has member firms in 14 countries in Africa, and is located in 30 countries around the world.

Two-partner B L & Associés is run by Algerian-based partner Fatima Zohar Bouchemla and Paris-based partner Mohamed Lanouar and is based in Algiers. The firm also comprises eight associates, all of whom are admitted to practice in either Algeria or France.

The team handles advisory matters including investment law, commercial contracts, M&A, capital markets, tax and customs law, insurance, construction and real estate as well as criminal, civil and commercial litigation matters.

Established in 2000, Rubeya & Co Advocates is run by highly regarded commercial lawyer Willy Rubeya. The firm has an eight-strong team of lawyers with particular experience in IP and competition law.

Established in 1997, Namibian corporate and commercial law firm Ellis Shilengudwa Inc currently comprises four directors and seven associates.

Federico Sutti, managing director of Europe & Africa at DLA Piper, said: ‘We are very pleased to have expanded our network into the key developing markets of Algeria, Namibia and Burundi. The new member firms are highly regarded for providing exceptional standards of work for clients locally and internationally. As we continue to build our capabilities and presence across Africa, we will maintain our commitment to carefully selecting strategic partners that will be beneficial for our Group members and will add value for our clients.’

The DLA Piper Africa Group is operational in Algeria, Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Its full-service lawyers have direct experience of African transactions across all key sectors, including banking and finance, telecommunications, hospitality and leisure, mining, oil and gas, energy and projects and infrastructure.

This comes shortly after Hogan Lovells announced in November last year that it was the latest to enter the South African market as it tied up with former Eversheds ally Routledge Modise after ten months of talks. The 40-partner South African firm now operates under the Hogan Lovells banner but will not share the same profit pool, as local regulations prohibit it.

Eversheds meanwhile, which split with Routledge in October 2013, confirmed in the same month that it would be significantly expanding its Africa offering and is currently in discussions to establish offices in the key markets of Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya over the coming months.

The 1760-lawyer firm also announced the launch of the Eversheds African Law Institute (EALI), which will share knowledge, training and regional and international commercial opportunities with member firms.