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DENTON Hall is setting up an association with an East African firm in a bid to dominate the emerging energy and finance markets. It is understoodto be the first of its kind by a UK company.The firm is cementing the move by taking on East African specialistCharles Morrison, who was previously a litigation partner in insurance,banking and insolvency at Goodman Derrick for four years. He becomes atrade finance partner at Denton Hall.Geoffrey Wynne, head of the trade finance team at Denton Hall, says hisfirm is setting up an association with a Tanzanian firm but will not nameit until the deal is finally sealed.He says: "What we are working towards is an association. We have nocurrent plans to set up there but the idea is to find a good local firm towork with."Commenting on Morrison's appointment, Wynne says: "He has had contact withthis local firm for years and the Denton Hall group thought we coulddevelop that."But he stresses that the firm had already begun talks with the Tanzanianfirm before taking on Morrison and the connection was merely a coincidence.Patrick Swaffer, managing partner at Goodman Derrick, says: "Charles wantedto specialise in banking and finance work while we really are a mediapractice."But he adds: "It was very amicable. I regret Charles going as I liked him.But it is a sensible commercial decision." Swaffer says the firm will notbe replacing Morrison.Denton Hall is already active on the East African coast, specifically inMozambique. It also lists Kenyan Power and Light as a client.Wynne says the area is still relatively untouched by foreign firms withonly Clifford Chance, Cameron McKenna and some US firms having a presencethere.He says: "There are not going to be that many transactions but there are anumber of key projects there."Morrison is a Tanzanian advocate by special licence but Wynne says thatthe region practises English common law.
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