Hogan Lovells agrees South African merger with former Eversheds ally

Hogan Lovells has confirmed it will merge with full-service South-African outfit Routledge Modise on 1 December.

Routledge Modise is expected to relaunch as Hogan Lovells in early 2014.

The Johannesburg-based office consists of 120 lawyers, including 40 partners, and specialises in corporate and commercial, litigation and dispute resolution, energy, mining and employment, with clients such as the South African government, businesses and subsidiaries of international corporates.

Routledge Modise formally had an association with Eversheds before the two firms went their separate ways last year after The Law Society of the Northern Provinces raised concerns over the firm rebranding itself as Eversheds (22 October 2012).

Hogan Lovells global co-CEO David Harris emphasised the importance of the African market to the firm and said: “A significant number of our clients have an interest or a presence on the continent and with Africa’s substantial natural resources, expanding economies and growing consumer base, the level of interest will continue to increase rapidly.”

Routledge Modise chairman Lavery Modise said: “Both firms have proven track records.” He added that the tie-up was “a merger of expertise and knowledge”.

Meanwhile, in London Hogan Lovells has picked up four senior partners in just over a month, with Norton Rose Fulbright competition partner Mark Jones the latest addition (19 November 2013).