The race by firms to establish a presence in Africa continues apace as Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has today (20 October) announced the launch of an affiliated office in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the third-largest French speaking City in the world, while leading European firms Gide Loyrette Nouel and Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira have created a union of their Morocco practices in a bid to bolster their presence in one of North Africa’s most politically stable regions.
Operating under the name Orrick RCI, the new office will provide ‘on the ground’ support for the firm’s practice serving African and international clients in connection with investments in Western and Central Africa.
Set to be staffed full time by locally-qualified counsel Karamoko Fadiga and Paris-based of counsel Sydney Domoraud-Operi, the duo will work closely with members of the firm’s 50-lawyer Africa team across Paris, London, New York, Washington DC, Silicon Valley and China.
Pascal Agbogibor, head of Orrick’s Africa practice, said: ‘This is a critical time for the people of Africa – they face many challenges but also have an unmatched spirit.’
Meanwhile, French firm Gide and Spanish firm Cuatrecasas have united their respective offerings in Morocco in a bid to ‘consolidate the position of both international firms in North Africa’.
The combined team will comprise 17 lawyers and legal consultants and will be headed by Gide partners Julien David and Jean-Francois Levraud. The objective is to draw on a pool of expertise in Morocco in areas of business law, particularly M&A, banking and finance, real estate, commercial law, tax and public law.
The pair’s close collaboration dates back to 2007 when Cuatrecasas established its practice in Morocco. The duo’s expansion plans into the region follow that of multiple firms since last year, including Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy which earlier this month (October) announced its entrance into South Africa with the launch of an office in Johannesburg, hiring a seven-strong banking and finance team from local firm Bowman Gilfillan.