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Herbert Smith Freehills boosts Francophone Africa presence in Johannesburg

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has announced the appointment of market leading Africa specialist Olivier Binyingo in Johannesburg. He has joined as a Director and his appointment positions Herbert Smith Freehills as the firm with the largest francophone offering in Johannesburg.

“We are delighted to welcome Olivier to the Johannesburg and Africa team,” says Edward Baring, Managing Partner in the Johannesburg office.  “Olivier has worked in over 40 countries on the continent and is incredibly well respected for his experience, insight and ability to assist clients to navigate the intricacies and challenges related to doing business across the continent.”

Binyingo’s appointment boosts the team’s already entrenched leadership position on the continent, where it has advised in all 54 jurisdictions and across all key industry sectors.

“Our strength and success has always been rooted in our deep understanding of the local and regional legal, business, political and socio-economic landscape and being able to assist our clients in navigating both the risks and opportunities. With the addition of Olivier, our francophone team continues to grow to meet the demand for this level of expertise, experience and knowledge of the region,” says Baring.

Binyingo will work closely with francophone Africa specialist and partner, Bertrand Montembault, as well as Rudolph du Plessis, who leads the firm’s M&A offering from Johannesburg.

Key successes under the Corporate team’s belt include advising Norilsk Nickel Africa and Norilsk Nickel Mauritius on the sale of Norilsk Nickel Mauritius’s interest in the Nkomati Joint Venture to BCL in Botswana and the disputes which have subsequently resulted from this transaction.  It is also advising on the English, South African and US law aspects of the listings of Old Mutual on the LSE and JSE as part of the managed separation of Old Mutual PLC (acting for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as financial adviser and SA sponsor).

Olivier Binyingo concludes: “Herbert Smith Freehills is a widely respected firm with deep knowledge and experience across the continent.  I am delighted to join this energetic and successful team and look forward to contributing to its success. “

Chambers Global consistently ranks Binyingo amongst the leading advisors on the continent and has especially recognised his expertise in the DRC and in francophone Africa.