DLA Piper adds Africa-focused projects partner in London from Fasken

Energy and natural resources specialist Karin Maalioun joins as latest in a string of hires in DLA Piper’s international projects practice
A photo of crude oil pumps silhouetted against the sunset

Energy specialist Karin Maalioun was previously GC at oil company ContourGlobal Shutterstock

DLA Piper has added an Africa-focused projects partner in London from Canadian law firm Fasken.

Karim Maalioun specialises in the energy and natural resources sector and brings more than 20 years of experience in projects across the Middle East and Africa. Before joining Fasken in 2018 he was a partner at Squire Patton Boggs in Paris and London and earlier was general counsel for EMEA at US oil and gas company ContourGlobal.

“Karim’s appointment builds on our recent investments, supporting one of our key strategic priorities – expanding our capability in the African and Middle Eastern markets,” said Colin Wilson, head of international projects at DLA Piper. “Karin adds a wealth of specialist expertise and significant, culturally minded, in-country experience to our team that is active in the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors.”

Maalioun advises purchasers, vendors, lenders, developers and equity investors on complex large-scale projects and transactions. DLA Piper highlighted his experience in working with African governments, financial institutions and indigenous communities to provide legal and policy advice, in particular addressing sustainable energy and mining policy.

His arrival is the latest in a string of partner hires the firm has made over the past year in its energy and natural resources practice, including that of Iain Elder last December from Shearman & Sterling. The firm has also added a partner apiece from Baker Botts and Linklaters and added Caroline Hoste in Brussels from local firm Lydian CV and Owen Alcorn in Perth from Herbert Smith Freehills.

DLA Piper is ranked band 4 by legal rankings guide Chambers for its Africa-wide energy and projects work, which includes lender and sponsor-side work on sizable projects as well as asset transactions, M&A and disputes in the energy sector. Noted for its abilities in the renewables sector, including on solar, hydropower, biomass and geothermal projects, a work highlight includes advising the African Development Bank and the US International Development Finance Corporation as co-lenders in the $92m financing of a wind farm in Kenya.

“DLA Piper has an impressive track record in the key business sectors that are driving the frontier markets’ development and African economies in particular,” said Maalioun. “I look forward to providing clients with a one-stop projects solution, drawing on the combined capabilities and network of the international firm and in-particular its 20 offices across Africa”.

In other Africa-focused legal news, Baker McKenzie unveiled a new leadership team in Johannesburg earlier this year after implementing a ‘three-step plan’ to address management issues in the office.

And last December Hogan Lovells underscored its commitment to building its presence on the continent with a leadership shakeup that saw energy partner duo Olivier Fille-Lambie and Arun Velusami take over as co-leaders of its global Africa practice. The move came just a few weeks after the firm made its first partner level hire in Johannesburg – its sole physical presence in the region – since 2019.

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