DLA Piper boosts Africa coverage with addition of five firms to network

DLA Piper has expanded its Africa presence with the addition of five independent law firms to its network on the continent.

The new additions to DLA’s Africa Group, all of which have joined over the last 12 months, take the total number of firms within the network to 11.

The new additions are Rwandan outfit Equity Juris Chambers; Ugandan firm Sebalu & Lule Advocates; Botswana’s Minchin & Kelly; Juristconsult Chambers in Mauritius; and Ethiopian firm Mehrteab Leul & Associates.

The firms join six existing alliance members in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt, with DLA expecting more to be added in the coming months as it looks to take further advantage of the continent’s rapid economic growth.

DLA Piper joint chief executive and managing partner Nigel Knowles said the firm is aiming to “develop the leading business law practice across the continent”, with foreign direct investment into Africa expected to grow to $150bn (£94bn) by 2015.

DLA’s other alliance partners across Africa are: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in South Africa; Ghana’s Reindorf Chambers; Chibesakunda & Co in Zambia; Tanzania’s Ishengoma Karume Masha & Magai; Egypy’s DLA Matouk Bassiouny; and Iseme Kamau & Maema Advocates in Kenya.

The news comes amid a flurry of international law firm activity across Africa in recent weeks, with Herbert Smith Freehills recently confirming it is expanding into Africa with the launch of a new office in Guinea, and Norton Rose opening for business in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Slaughter and May is making a push to tighten its links with African law firms, with the magic circle firm recently hosting a conference in Botswana attended by 27 law firms from 16 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar.

The initiative is expected to result in Slaughters building closer relationships with a number of firms across the continent.

Legal Week’s inaugural Corporate Counsel Forum Africa is set to take place on 8 November – click here for more information.