Casablanca: start of a beautiful friendship for Baker & McKenzie?
Casablanca is widely perceived as an important gateway to North Africa’s Maghreb region, with the firm following several English practices to the area. According to The Lawyer newspaper, magic circle firms Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, as well as international firm Norton Rose, all launched Casablanca offices in the last year.
Koen Vanhaerents, chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s Europe, Middle East and Africa desk, expressed hope that the move would ‘help us become the premier law firm in North Africa and the wider continent’.
The office will be led by partner Kamal Nasrollah, who, along with a team of senior lawyers, will join Baker & McKenzie from Paris-based firm August & Debouzy. Mr Nasrollah was responsible for opening August & Debouzy’s Casablanca office in 2007.
The team focuses on corporate deals and disputes in Morocco, as well as cross-border matters across North Africa, West Africa and the Middle East.
The Casablanca office will be Baker & McKenzie’s 71st, following recent additions in Johannesburg, Istanbul and Doha.