Local offices not right for African expansion says Freshfields partner

by Steve Randall06 Jan 2017
Local offices not right for African expansion says Freshfields partner
While many international law firms are opening offices in Africa, one Magic Circle firm is choosing an alternative route to cover the continent.

Freshfields is opting to maintain and grow its current network of local firms rather than open its own offices on the African continent, as it believes it can better cover the region that way.

“Creating the right solution for our clients is about more than opening an office in one or two jurisdictions. We do not think that doing so would then allow us to cover all of Africa,” Shawn de Kinderen, co-head of Freshfield’s Africa practice told African Law Business.

He added that if the firm was to open an office in Johannesburg for example, it would still need to find local firms in other jurisdictions in the region for the kind of multi-jurisdiction work it is known for.

Amsterdam-based de Kinderen also noted that opening select local offices in Africa could harm its relationship with the local firms it currently works with.
 
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