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DWF continues international expansion with French merger

Legal business DWF has merged with Heenan Paris, an established office in Paris with an international outlook. Four partners from Heenan Paris have joined DWF as part of the merger.

DWF Managing Partner and CEO Andrew Leaitherland said: “We are committed to growing our business internationally to best service our clients’ needs. France is a key market for us, both in terms of its size and importance within Europe and because our clients are instructing us on an increasing amount of work with a significant French legal component. As one of Germany's largest and most significant trading partners, the merger also complements our growing European footprint.

“Heenan are a particularly strong fit for us, given the quality of their partners, their strong international client base and overlapping sector focus. They share our values and our business approach. We have already successfully referred work back and forth and been impressed with the quality of their work and client service.

“France plays a key role too as a gateway to Africa, which is of strategic importance to our clients in the Middle East and Germany. Africa is an emerging growth region in its own right with many opportunities to develop business and revenues in sectors that play to our strengths such as energy, regulation, regulated activities, insurance and financial services.”

Heenan Paris is recognised as one of the leading international law firms in Sub-Saharan French speaking Africa. They have an exclusive strategic alliance with South African law firm Thomson Wilks, a full service law firm with offices in each of the major commercial centres in South Africa. Thomson Wilks has established a Chinese department that targets the enormous amount of Chinese investment being made into Africa.

Heenan have a strong international client base and have a particular focus on Corporate, Private Equity, Commercial, IP/IT and Litigation.

Heenan Paris Managing Partner Jean-François Mercadier said: “We are delighted to join DWF with whom we share the same values and approach to clients and operate in the same key sectors. We are particularly happy to contribute to the development of an international platform whose ambition is to be present in key financial centres and with a focus on key growth markets such as Africa to the benefit of our clients.”

The merger went live on 1 January 2017 with Heenan partners Jean-François Mercadier, Ali Boroumand, Pascale Gallien and Anne-Sylvie Vassenaix-Paxton joining DWF.