French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel is opening an office in Morocco in July and also plans to open in Algeria.
Gide has signed an agreement with Naciri & Associés that turns the Moroccan firm into Gide's Casablanca office, despite local bar rules preventing a full merger. The French firm will open its own office in Algiers as there are no local laws preventing it.
Gide senior partner Gérard Tavernier told The Lawyer:"Algeria is much more complicated from a political perspective." He added: "We have a number of clients who are interested in doing business in Algeria, but they want to make sure the situation is stabilised. We're already doing business in Algeria. We believe, and our clients are telling us, that we should be on site."
Gide has been working with Naciri & Associés for more than 20 years. Now the relationship has been formalised, name partner Hicham Naciri will become a Gide partner on 1 July. The office has 12 lawyers and will be boosted by the arrival of Gide associates from the Paris office.
Gide has advised the Moroccan government on its privatisation programme and has also advised Vivendi Environnment.