Bakers follows UK firms into Morocco with Casablanca launch

Baker & McKenzie is set to launch a new office in Morocco with a team led by corporate partner Kamal Nasrollah, who joins from the local office of French law firm August & Debouzy.

Nasrollah will head the new Casablanca base, which will become Bakers’ third office on the African continent alongside Cairo and Johannesburg. He will join the firm alongside four associates, two of whom will be based in Paris.

Nasrollah, who specialises on complex corporate deals and disputes in Morocco, set up a Casablanca office for August & Debouzy in 2007, having previously worked for US firm Sullivan & Cromwell in Paris, New York and London. The team also has experience of cross-border projects and corporate reorganisations.

The Casablanca launch marks Bakers’ fourth office opening in the past 18 months. In addition to opening in Johannesburg in May through the hire of a 30-strong team from Dewey & LeBoeuf, the firm has recently opened offices in Istanbul and Doha.

Chairman Eduardo Leite commented: “We are deeply committed to Africa and to clients who do business on this fast-rising continent. Africa now accounts for almost a quarter of the world’s foreign direct investment. This strong Casablanca team, together with our highly regarded teams in Cairo and Johannesburg, further enhances our ability to help clients navigate with confidence in the region.”

The move comes after Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Norton Rose all announced launches in the Moroccan city during the summer of last year, while Eversheds and Bird & Bird have both entered into exclusive alliances in the local market.