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Norton Rose has been raided by South African law firm Deneys Reitz, losing senior associate Steven Gamble from its banking group.
Gamble joined Deneys as a director under one of its subsidiary groups, Africa Legal, which was co-founded by former Clifford Chance international projects lawyer Julian Jackson.
Nairobi-born Gamble will continue to build his banking and finance practice, which has seen him advise highprofile clients including ExxonMobil, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Previously Gamble was also in charge of the day-to-day running of Norton Rose's banking and finance capability in Thailand.
Michael Hart, the chairman of Deneys, said that Gamble's appointment "demonstrates the firm's Africa focus and continues the rapid development of its pan-African practice".
Hart added: "Our decision to invest in our pan-African and international capabilities, made some years ago, has been vindicated and is obviously meeting the needs of our international and South African clients."
Norton Rose has been working in Africa for more than 25 years. It has an African capability of 32 partners, focusing on areas including energy, mining and trade finance, but has no offices in the continent.