Eversheds has merged with South African firm Routledge Modise to open its first office on the African continent.
The deal, which was signed last Friday (11 April), increases?Eversheds International's global reach to 37 offices in 23 countries, adding 120 legal advisers, of whom 60 are partners.
Eversheds chairman Alan Jenkins said: "Eversheds International has increased its cover in Europe and the next stage of the development is into emerging markets, of which Africa is one of the fastest-growing."
Jenkins?added?that having a presence in Africa meant Eversheds could now focus on the Indian and Chinese markets. "Both governments' publicly owned businesses and private companies are investing heavily in Africa and trading heavily in Africa," he said. "This gives us a great opportunity to link the three continents together."
Terry Mahon, Routledge director and chairman, said the two firms had been working together for some time and that the union was the obvious next step.
The news comes as Eversheds partner Stephen Hopkins has been appointed as international integration chief to ensure Eversheds' brand and client service is uniform across all offices. His role will also include ensuring that South Africa is on board to manage accounts such as Tyco International.