• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Norton Rose Fulbright eyes Nigeria, others for further Africa growth

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In line with its global expansion efforts, new global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright has outlined its intention to extend its network to African jurisdictions such as Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Angola and Egypt.

The firm is looking to add new bases in the five African countries following the $1.9bn merger of the UK’s Norton Rose and US firm Fulbright & Jaworski, which went live earlier this month.

Rob Otty, managing director, Norton Rose Fulbright South African, said: “Our immediate priority is of course integration with the US. In terms of any further expansion, Brazil is a priority for us this year and we already have a licence to practice there. The links between Brazil and Africa are increasingly important. Mexico is rapidly becoming more important as it is economy becomes more important.”

“We have a strong presence in Africa and we constantly keep further opportunities under review. There are a number of areas of growing significance that we are watching with interest – like Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique and Angola – and, over the longer term, Egypt. There is no set timescale to any of these.”

It is unclear whether the African entries would take the form of a deal with a local firm or a unilateral office opening, but Norton Rose Fulbright has confirmed the Brazil launch will not be through a merger due to regulatory restrictions, says a report on thelawyer.com.

Commenting on the nature of a further launch in Africa, Otty added: “The form, if we decide to do something in any [country], will depend on the potential opportunity, the local regulatory framework and client preferences.”

Legacy Norton Rose’s last move in Africa was its recent opening of an office in Tanzania, which followed the termination of its association with local firm CRB Africa Legal.