Eversheds expands Africa network to 33 firms

Eversheds has added 10 more African firms to its swiftly-growing Eversheds Africa Law Institute (EALI), just six months after launching the initiative.

EALI now has 33 members in 31 countries. The latest firms to join the platform come from jurisdictions including Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon and Zimbabwe.

Eversheds launched EALI in October last year (1 October 2013), while announcing plans to expand its own presence on the ground in Africa. It followed up with a merger with South Africa’s Mahons and Tunisian firm El Heni (4 December 2013), and brought a further five firms on board to EALI earlier this year (23 January 2014).

Africa group head Boris Martor said Eversheds had been working with many of the EALI firms for many years but had been ”extremely surprised by the enthusiastic response” to the initiative.

EALI is designed to offer member firms access to training, secondment and knowledge sharing as well as increasing referral opportunities within Africa and further afield. Martor said he was confident it would be able to support clients on pan-Africa transactions, while also enabling the African firms to improve their capabilities.

The project has already generated several pieces of work, with a referral from Tunisia to Mali of a real estate project, a referral from Senegal to Tunisia of an industrial project and a referral from Cameroon to Angola of a commercial project.

“All the firms have been buying in because they feel they need some assistance in their own development,” Martor added, stressing that EALI was designed as a platform for this purpose rather than a referral network. 

Martor said he thought EALI was now the largest grouping of its kind in Africa.

Other international firms with African alliances include Dentons, which has associations with 18 firms across Africa and DLA Piper, whose Africa Group now consists of 14 firms (17 January 2014). Baker & McKenzie last year launched its own version of EALI, hosting a conference for 25 African firms in London (25 November 2013) in a bid to deepen its relationships on the continent.

Meanwhile independent pan-African networks Lex Africa and the Africa Legal Network boast 21 and 12 members respectively, the latter recently adding Nigerian firm G. Elias & Co to its members (21 February 2014). South Africa’s Bowman Gilfillan and ENSafrica are both also building their own networks of offices across the sub-Saharan continent.

EALI member firms by country:
Angola – FCBA (Eduardo Vera Cruz Advogados)
Benin – Cabinet Djogbenou
Benin – Cabinet HK
Cameroon – SCP Ngassam Njike
Cape Verde – Eva Caldeira Marques
Chad – Cabinet Thomas Dingamgoto
Comoros – Avocat Comores
Côte d’Ivoire – Cabinet Bilé-Aka Brizoua-Bi & Associés
Djibouti – Martinet & Martinet
Egypt – Sarwat A. Shahid Law Firm
Ethopia – Fikadu Law Office
Gabon – Bikalou Avocats
Ghana – JLB & MB
Liberia – Liberian Legal Service International, Inc.
Malawi – Mbendera & Nkhono Associates
Mali – Cabinet BRSylla & Associés
Mauritania – Cabinet EL Yezid
Mauritius – Eversheds Mauritius
Morocco – Eversheds CWA Morocco
Mozambique – FCBA (AG Advogados)
Namibia – Koep & Partners
Niger – SCP Yankouri
Nigeria – Perchstone and Graeys
Rwanda- K-Solutions & Partners
Senegal – Cabinet 2S
Senegal – Cabinet Ba & Tandian
Seychelles – Pardiwalla Twomey Lablache
Sierra Leone – Basma & Macaulay
South Africa – Eversheds South Africa
Sudan – El Hussein Ahmed Salih Law
Togo – SCP Akakpo
Tunisia – Eversheds El Heni
Zimbabwe – Dube Manikai & Hwacha Legal Practitioners