Addleshaws moves Africa energy market up agenda with double partner hire

Firm aims to leverage UK energy client relationships in Africa with partner pair 

Addleshaw Goddard is driving Africa up the agenda with a push into the energy and resources markets following the hire of Shepherd and Wedderburn partner duo Angus Rollo and Guy Winter. 

The pair, both of whom previously worked at Linklaters and Shearman & Sterling, will boost partner numbers within the firm’s Africa group to six.

Led by corporate partner Andrew Rosling, the team also comprises M&A partner Chris Taylor, commercial litigation partner Mark Molyneux and regulatory partner Ian Hargreaves, all of whom are based in London.

Rollo, who made partner at Shepherd in 2007 after joining from Shearman, will join Addleshaws in the coming weeks, while Winter, who made partner at the Scots firm in 2010, made the move in early July.

Addleshaws’ Africa business group, which was formed in 2001, has to date primarily targeted the consumer sector, building a client base comprising the likes of Diageo and PZ Cussons. 

However, through the hires of Rollo and Winter, the firm is hoping to tap into the energy markets on the continent, and leverage relationships the firm has already forged with clients including British Gas and Drax, particularly in east Africa.

According to Rosling (pictured), the markets which have to date been the most lucrative for the firm include Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Gabon and, in the past two years, Ethiopia. 

“Our work in the continent has traditionally been focused on the consumer, in the fast-moving consumer goods sector but also in financial services and telecoms,” Rosling said.

“This has seen strong growth with 20%-25% year-on-year increases in instructions in recent times. Angus and Guy add on the more traditional African sector focus on energy and resources, which is a perfect build for us.” 

In the 12 years since the Africa group was launched, Addleshaws has built almost 100 non-exclusive relationships with local law firms across the continent, including Aluko & Oyebode in Nigeria, CRB Attorneys in Tanzania and Coulson Harney in Kenya. 

The firm also recently sent associate Tess Forge on a six-month secondment to a leading Lagos firm, and is planning to second more of its lawyers to Africa in the coming months. 

Rosling added: “Providing clients with the best service delivery is not a question of whether you have a brass plate on a wall or a local best friend; it is about the quality of relationships with the best local lawyers and there is no substitute for getting out to the African markets to build these relationships.”