Denton Hall plans first East African tie-up deal

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 understood

to be the first of its kind by a UK company.

The firm is cementing the move by taking on East African specialist

Charles Morrison, who was previously a litigation partner in insurance,

banking and insolvency at Goodman Derrick for four years. He becomes a

trade finance partner at Denton Hall.

Geoffrey Wynne, head of the trade finance team at Denton Hall, says his

firm is setting up an association with a Tanzanian firm but will not name

it until the deal is finally sealed.

He says: “What we are working towards is an association. We have no

current plans to set up there but the idea is to find a good local firm to

work with.”

Commenting on Morrison's appointment, Wynne says: “He has had contact with

this local firm for years and the Denton Hall group thought we could

develop that.”

But he stresses that the firm had already begun talks with the Tanzanian

firm before taking on Morrison and the connection was merely a coincidence.

Patrick Swaffer, managing partner at Goodman Derrick, says: “Charles wanted

to specialise in banking and finance work while we really are a media

practice.”

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 not

be replacing Morrison.

Denton Hall is already active on the East African coast, specifically in

Mozambique. It also lists Kenyan Power and Light as a client.

Wynne says the area is still relatively untouched by foreign firms with

only Clifford Chance, Cameron McKenna and some US firms having a presence

there.

He says: “There are not going to be that many transactions but there are a

number of key projects there.”

Morrison is a Tanzanian advocate by special licence but Wynne says that

the region practises English common law.