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Eversheds is adding Morocco to its expanding international network through a cooperation agreement that is expected to develop into a Casablanca office in the future.
Former Eversheds associate Mohamed Oulkhouir is establishing his own practice in Morocco to work in cooperation with the UK firm. Oulkhouir left Eversheds’ Paris office in 2008 to become Tangiers managing partner for Moroccan firm Balms & Cruz.
Eversheds Africa co-chair Boris Martor told The Lawyer that the firm was seeing “growing opportunities in North Africa, especially in Morocco”. He described Morocco as the most “significant hub” for the region.
Work generated in North Africa at present includes finance transactions as well as solar and wind-power projects. Infrastructure development in general is booming across the African continent, with significant investment from outside investors, particularly Chinese companies.
Oulkhouir’s speciality is employment law, but he has also advised on corporate transactions and commercial contracts.
Martor said Eversheds would trial the agreement for six months. He added that the firm plans to begin practising in Casablanca under the Eversheds name if the trial goes well.
Casablanca would be Eversheds’ second on-the-ground office in Africa. Earlier this year the firm won the right to trade under its global brand name in South Africa, where alliance firm Routledge Modise formally changed its name to Eversheds in July 2009.
The firm also manages African clients from its Paris and London offices.
Other international firms with Moroccan offices include Garrigues and Gide Loyrette Nouel.