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‘Immediate opportunities’: Norton Rose adds to Africa presence with Kenyan alliance

Norton Rose Fulbright has expanded its Africa offering by entering an alliance with Kenyan law firm Walker Kontos.

Nairobi-based firm Walker Kontos has nine partners and 11 fee earners, specialising in banking and finance as well as M&A, project finance, energy, capital markets and real estate. The alliance will be formally launched in October.

Led by managing partner Michael Kontos, the firm is rated tier one in Kenya for banking and finance and tier two for commercial, corporate and M&A and projects and energy in the Legal 500.

Norton Rose global chief executive Peter Martyr (pictured) said: ‘We have ambitious growth plans for the African continent and east Africa is a key hub for our clients. We see immediate opportunities in Africa in particular across energy, infrastructure and commodities.’

The alliance adds to Norton Rose’s already significant presence in Africa, having sealed two new alliances last year with Ugandan firm Shonubi Musoke & Co Advocates and Zimbabwean firm Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans.

The firm has further alliances in Burundi as well as its own offices in Africa, comprising of Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Casablanca, having entered the market through a merger with leading South African firm Deneys Reitz in 2011.

Norton Rose South Africa managing director Donald Dinnie added the alliance brought ‘an unparalleled breadth of experience’ to the firm’s east Africa activities.

Norton Rose’s recent work in Kenya has included advising Norwegian investment fund Norfund on its $250m acquisition of a 12.25% stake in Equity Bank Kenya from Helios, led by London-based corporate partner Bayo Odubeko.

To read more on the African market see: ‘A safe bet – charting the rise of private equity in Africa’