Hogan Lovells is to combine with South African law firm Routledge Modise, with the union set to go live on 1 December.
The Johannesburg office will comprise 120 lawyers, including 40 partners, and will focus on corporate, commercial, litigation, mining and employment work, while Routledge Modise is expected to rebrand and relaunch as Hogan Lovells in early 2014.
The top 10 LB100 firm informed its partners of the move today (19 November) and said in a statement that a physical presence in Africa has become increasingly important as the majority of its top 200 clients have operations on the continent.It also noted that South Africa is regarded as the ‘gateway into sub-Saharan Africa more generally, with many companies basing their regional headquarters there, particularly in Johannesburg.’
Hogan Lovells global co-CEO David Harris, said: ‘Africa is an extremely important market for our clients and to us as a firm. A significant number of our clients have an interest or a presence on the continent and with Africa’s substantial natural resources, expanding economies and growing consumer base, the level of interest will continue to increase rapidly.
‘We already have a very active and successful Africa practice which currently has over 40 lawyers based in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This combination will significantly expand our Africa capabilities and will be beneficial to a large number of our key clients.
‘Routledge Modise is an excellent fit with Hogan Lovells – they are recognised for having high quality partners, a cohesive partnership ethos, ambition, and an international outlook, and we look forward to our future together as one firm worldwide.’
Routledge Modise was formerly an ally of Eversheds but that alliance came to an end in October last year.
Chairman of Routledge Modise, Lavery Modise, added: ‘Both firms have proven track records. This is a merger of expertise and knowledge to ensure we continue to offer our clients the very best legal services.’