Canada’s Fasken Martineau heads south with South African merger

Canadian firm Fasken Martineau is merging with South African law firm Bell Dewar.

The addition of the 76-lawyer Johannesburg-based Bell Dewar lawyers brings in expertise in mining, infrastructure, energy, project finance, capital markets and M&A.

Fasken, which specialises in international business law and litigation and has around 800 lawyers, confirmed this morning that the merger will go live on 1 February 2013.

David Corbett will continue as Fasken’s firm managing partner while Blaize Vance, the current managing partner of Bell Dewar, will be the regional managing partner for Africa .

In a statement, Corbett said: “Our firm has long been known for our unique understanding of the African marketplace. This merger speaks both to the power of our brand and to the expanded capabilities and services we now offer to our global clients.The addition of the Bell Dewar team of lawyers along with our existing teams in Johannesburg, London, Paris and Canada provides us with an unrivalled base of talent and experience to bring to the African and world markets.”

Vance added: “As we looked to expand our base and grow our Africa business, we considered a number of potential partners. Fasken Martineau was the obvious choice given the firm’s reach, expertise and global capabilities.”

In 2007, Fasken merged with Stringer Saul, becoming the first Canadian firm to merge with a London firm (4 December 2006).