Eversheds beefs up Africa presence with Morocco bases

Eversheds is formalising a three-year cooperation agreement to launch two offices in Morocco.

The firm is opening in Casablanca and Tangier through a tie-up with associated firm CWA, run by former Eversheds associate Mohamed Oulkhouir.

The offices will be known as Eversheds CWA Morocco and will be led by Oulkhouir as managing partner. The firm will have seven fee-earners in Casablanca and four in Tangier, within the port city’s free trade zone.

Eversheds first signed a cooperation agreement with CWA in 2011 with the ultimate aim of turning the relationship into fully-fledged offices (28 March 2011).

The move follows recent growth of the firm’s Africa presence through the expansion of its Eversheds Africa Law Institute, a network of independent firms from across the continent (7 March 2014).

The firm also has a presence on the ground in Africa through recent mergers in Tunisia and South Africa (4 December 2013).

Eversheds’ Africa practice head Boris Martor said the move into Morocco would give “more visibility and consistency” to the firm’s offering in Africa.

“Morocco is a key market for investors and stakeholders developing on the African continent,” Martor added.

He said CWA and Eversheds had collaborated on a range of work over the past three years, including working on the Desertec project to build a giant solar field in the Sahara desert, the redevelopment of Tangier harbour, and assisting the Moroccan government to redraft renewable energy regulations.

Clients the firm has worked with in Morocco included Veolia Environnement, technology giant Lenovo, and agriculture company Archer Daniels Midland.

Further development in Africa was likely, said Martor.

“We’re not going to stop here,” he added, saying that the firm was still pursuing development in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria in particular.

Eversheds joins a number of international firms on the ground in Morocco, including Allen & Overy (20 July 2011), Baker & McKenzie (25 July 2012), Clifford Chance (25 July 2011) and Norton Rose Fulbright (28 July 2011).