ENS, Africa’s largest law firm, has become the world’s first, fully integrated, pan-African law firm. This comes off the back of the firm’s ground-breaking announcement that Désiré Kamanzi (Rwanda) and Gilbert Nyatanyi (Burundi), will join forces with ENS and head up ENS Africa | Rwanda and ENS Africa | Burundi, respectively. This will create the first and only African law firm to have fully integrated offices in Africa – a law firm united not only by a brand name or through an alliance, but by virtue of being inherently one-firm. The firm has said it has plans to open across the African continent in due course. “Our vision has always been to be the African law firm of choice. Today, we are one step closer towards realizing our vision. We are humbled by the warm and open reception we have received from Africa’s best and brightest lawyers. We are now more committed than ever before to establishing a truly pan-African law firm, made up of people who are in Africa, for Africa. ” said Piet Faber, Chief Executive of ENS.
Désiré Kamanzi, Managing Partner of Kamanzi and Associates in Kigali, Rwanda, commented, “In order for our practice to grow and to respond to the needs of our market, and to embrace the full impact of the opening up of Africa to the world, we believe that we have to be part of a pan-African law firm. This will not be achieved within a pan-African Network of Independent Law Firms as this does not serve the interests of Africa and/or that of business investors into Africa.” Gilbert Nyatanyi, previously Managing Partner of Mkono &Co.’s Burundi office, agreed saying, “I am convinced, considering the current economic climate, the only way forward is for us to be part of an integrated law firm that spans Africa – to create a world-class service offering that will re-define how business is done on the Africa continent. The new firm will provide huge benefit to our clients, to the international players we deal with and even more so, to us as Africans.”
Africa provides endless opportunities for investment and business development. This is especially true following the recent first-world economic crisis and its implications for global economies. “Multinational companies are moving into Africa at a rapid pace, and are looking for legal counsel they can trust with geographical presence and capability.” said Mzi Mgudlwa, Deputy Chief Executive.”Vital to the ongoing success of any business is a need for advice that takes into account local regulatory requirements as well as the specific legislation applicable in each of the Africa’s 54 countries. Moreover, it makes no sense for work to be done off-African shores when it can be done more effectively by local firms offering the expertise and the capability required to meet the demands of exacting clients and at far more cost-effective rates. We are excited about the future of Africa, and we are privileged to be able to stand together with the likes of Désiré and Gilbert and join hands in building a firm which is truly African.” “This year has been an exhilarating year for ENS and Africa at large. We are looking forward to expanding our footprint even further into Africa and to providing our clients with the same quality of legal, tax, forensic and IP advice they would expect from a world-class law firm,” says Michael Katz, ENS Chairman.