Herbert Smith Freehills has confirmed that it will launch an office in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, in early 2013.
The Lawyer revealed in May (21 May 2012) that the firm was closing in on a decision to launch on the ground in Africa and that Guinea was a strong contender for the new office.
The firm has now taken space in the country and picked Paris-based projects partner Bertrand Montembault to initially lead the practice. Montembault will relocate to Guinea along with senior associate Salimatou Diallo. The office will focus on corporate and projects work in relation to West Africa.
In a statement, Herbert Smith Freehills senior partner Jonathan Scott said: “A major priority for Herbert Smith Freehills over the next few years will be to grow our on-the-ground African capability in line with our developing pan-African strategy. The broader context for this is the firm’s commitment to develop an integrated global platform. Such a capability will enable us to provide an end-to-end service aligned to the investment corridors being built between Africa and countries such as China, India, Japan, Russia and Australia.”
Stéphane Brabant, the firm’s Africa head, added: “Our Conakry office will for example give us an opportunity to support the development of graduates and young lawyers in Guinea and the West African region, and also to support the investment that’s being made in legal resources for the country and the broader region.”