JOHANNESBURG – The managing director of Norton Rose South Africa, Rob Otty, says the firm hopes to further expand its operations into Africa. Currently Norton Rose Group is active in 39 offices on five continents. We have 39 offices across Europe, Asia Pacific, Canada, Africa and the Middle East. On June 1 2011 Deneys Reitz, and its pan-African division, Africa Legal merged with Norton Rose Group making it one of the top 10 international legal practices by the number of its lawyers.
Otty, who was also the managing director of Deneys Reitz before the merger, said Deneys Reitz needed a global partner that it felt comfortable with in order to service clients in the rest of Africa and across the Globe. The global aspect meant that clients abroad, who were thinking of doing business in Africa, would have the expertise to draw on in this country and overseas. Otty says Norton Rose has the interests of Africa at heart and is completely committed to black economic empowerment, thus providing growth opportunities for black lawyers. The global executive board recently met specifically to discuss BEE and ways of providing education and development opportunities on a global level for Norton Rose South Africa’s lawyers, Otty said.
He says plans for the immediate future are to tie up the loose ends of the merger which had involved business teams working flat out for the last six months. The next would be to expand to other parts of Africa to augment teams already operating in, among others, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Morocco and Dar es Salaam. With the combined global expertise, Norton Rose is able to service clients in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. Otty says the new developments are not only exciting for the firm, but also for the country in creating employment in South Africa.