Top-20 UK firm Simmons & Simmons has become the latest firm to establish a presence in Africa, by forming an alliance with Fasken Martineau, in a bid to ‘enhance their respective African offerings’.
Announced today (1 August), the alliance will provide ‘immediate access to leading Africa practices’ with recognised expertise across multiple sectors including energy & infrastructure and natural resources.
Canadian-based Fasken Martineau already has over 80 lawyers located in Johannesburg after merging in October 2012 with local firm Bell Dewar. The union boosted the firm’s capabilities in mining infrastructure, energy, project finance, capital markets and M&A work.
Simmons London-based energy partner Patrick Wallace and Paris-based partners Yves Baratte and Christian Taylor will be involved in spearheading the alliance, as well as Fasken Martineau’s South Africa managing partner Blaize Vance.
The news comes just days after Simmons announced it is set to expand in Saudi Arabia through the opening of a new office in the country’s capital, Riyadh, by alliance firm Hammad & Al-Mehdar.
On its latest venture, Simmons’ senior partner Colin Passmore, said: ‘This alliance builds on the strength of both firms’ expertise in the region enabling us to meet our clients’ needs more effectively. Energy & Infrastructure is one of Simmons & Simmons’ five priority sectors, and this is a major step in implementing our African strategy.’
Fasken Martineau managing partner David Corbett added: ‘Fasken Martineau has long been recognized for our unique understanding of the African marketplace. This alliance with Simmons & Simmons allows us to further expand our capabilities and the services which we offer clients.’
Other firms to announce an expanded capability on the African continent in recent months includes Dentons which in April tied up with local associate firm KapdiTwala to launch an office in Cape Town while in November Hogan Lovells confirmed it was combining with former Eversheds ally Routledge Modise. Eversheds made good on its African expansion strategy by signing a partnership agreement with existing relationship firm CWA Morocco in late March, establishing new offices in Casablanca and Tangier.