Norton Rose has expanded its burgeoning Africa practice with two major corporate partner hires ahead of its South African merger next month with Deneys Reitz.
Partner Poupak Bahamin joins from the Montreal office of Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie. SJ Berwin Africa group head Bayo Odubeko is also set to join the practice as a partner.
Both have strong links with African clients. Bahamin’s practice centres on mining, oil and gas and environmental projects in francophone Africa, while Odubeko has advised a number of sub-Sahara-focused private equity houses.
Odubeko will work in Norton Rose’s London office, while the firm is yet to decide where Bahamin will be based.
Corporate head Tim Marsden said: “The expansion of the Norton Rose Group means we’re in a unique position to develop Africa’s business ties with the rest of the world.
“Poupak’s and Bayo’s understanding of the African market, plus their sector expertise, will help us grow our leadership position.”
The firm’s tie-up with South African firm Deneys Reitz, as well as that with Ogilvy Renault in Canada, goes live on 1 June.