Africa Bulletin December 2021 | ADNA Bolsters ALN’s Pan-African Offering for Integrated Legal Services
As we reflect on milestone developments across the ALN alliance for 2021, the merger of four major law firms across North and West Africa is certainly one of the year’s highlights. The emergence of ADNA is a significant move towards a promising 2022 for ALN, as consolidation within Africa’s legal services market continues to gather pace.
ADNA has offices in Algeria, Morocco, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, bringing together respectively Bourabiat Associés, BFR & Associés, SD Avocats and EMIRE Partners – the new firm has four offices and over 30 lawyers, with ambitious expansion plans over the next 12 months.
With the merger complete, ALN sets itself apart from the majority of independent firms by offering a truly pan-African perspective and service, focusing on Francophone countries – rather than operating from the French or UK markets. ADNA shares expert knowledge of not only the legal landscape for these countries, but also of OHADA, addressing legal and judicial insecurity in Africa. The newly established firm boasts a team accomplished in a multitude of sectors and services, including major public and private companies and international financial institutions, particularly within agriculture, energy, mining and infrastructure. The firm, whose name means “togetherness” in the Bantu group of languages, will work with national, regional, and international clients as part of the mission of contributing to ‘build Africa’s legacy’. ADNA aims to become a leading institutional player and will assume and develop its full role in nurturing the continent’s next generation of lawyers.
The longstanding professional camaraderie between ADNA’s four founding members is a huge asset in this mission: “The idea of working together and of joining forces was there from the outset,” commented Salimatou Diallo, the Managing Partner. “To date, the legal market in francophone Africa doesn’t have a strong player in the market. We have a lot of very good law firms but most of them are operating on a domestic basis.” In addition to the four’s unparalleled insight into francophone Africa law, their experience and understanding of working together will serve as a unifying factor, and one that will no doubt aid in all matters and transactions, as well as in strengthening client relationships.
To this point, Diallo added, “ADNA’s creation stems from a mutual professional goal, developed throughout the long-standing friendship of the four founding partners, who all share the same ambitious entrepreneurial spirit,” said Diallo in a statement. “The launch of ADNA strengthens the increasing attractiveness and influence of the fast-growing African continent.”
Foued Bourabiat, one of ADNA’s founding partners, said the new firm would “bring a tailor-made legal service to our domestic and foreign clients” whilst Karim Anjarwalla, ALN Director and Managing Partner, ALN Kenya, commented: “ADNA’s major step in transforming Africa’s current legal services is a crucial turning point for the continent. This decisive process significantly increases ALN’s influence and provides a solid foundation for the future development of our pan-African offering.”
Following a strong initial six months post-launch, both ADNA and the wider ALN alliance look forward to a prosperous and exciting new year, 2022.