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Allen & Overy law firm offers expanded language and geographic capabilities across Africa

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Allen & Overy law firm offers expanded language and geographic capabilities across Africa

7th September 2017

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Allen & Overy South Africa today announced the appointment of two Portuguese qualified Senior Associates, Filipa Serra and Goncalo Noronha Andrade, who have relocated to Johannesburg from the firm’s Dubai office.

The latest appointments complement Allen & Overy South Africa’s existing language and geographic capabilities, which include an on-the-ground English law team, headed by partners Michael Duncan and Kathleen Wong. Both partners have relocated from London to Johannesburg. The language capabilities of the office, in addition to English and numerous South African languages, are French, Portuguese and various Chinese dialects including Mandarin, Cantonese and Hoisanese.

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“We are very excited to welcome Goncalo and Filipa to our team in Johannesburg. Having Portuguese qualified capabilities in South Africa is key to our ability to assist clients across the continent. The Lusophone countries are becoming increasingly important in African transactions. A clear example of this is the Coral South Floating LNG project in Mozambique. Both Filipa and Goncalo are part of the team that is advising the lenders on this landmark deal. It is the world’s first project financed floating liquefied natural gas project, Mozambique’s first LNG project and Africa’s largest ever project financing,” said Duncan.

Duncan says that Allen & Overy feels that is important that companies are able to compete in a globally-connected and multilingual world. “Our office is able to offer a range of geographic and language capabilities that support our growing base of global clients in Africa. These appointments are in line with the demand from our global network and clients for strong multi-language executional ability throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This move further solidifies Allen & Overy’s position as one of the leading law firms on the continent,” he added.

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Filipa Serra has 10 years’ experience in advising project companies, public entities, sponsors and financial institutions on infrastructure, transport, mining, energy, water and waste sectors, both in the domestic Portuguese market and on cross-border transactions.  Before joining Allen & Overy she was based in Portugal and then in Timor-Leste, where she advised clients investing in the upcoming PPP market. She is a native Portuguese speaker.

Goncalo Noronha Andrade has 14 years’ experience in structured finance transactions – project finance, acquisition finance, margin loans - in the energy, transport and infrastructures, corporate and private equity sectors, both in the domestic Portuguese market and on cross-border transactions. He has advised all parties involved, including government and public sector entities, syndicate lenders, development finance institutions, borrowers and sponsors. He also has experience in general banking law, having been responsible for the implementation of several legislative acts on the banking and financial services area while working for the Government. Gonçalo’s experience in corporate law includes advisory to the management bodies of several listed companies and M&A transactions.

In 2016, Allen & Overy advised on more than 1,500 deals globally, a level unmatched by any other law firm in the world. A top priority is expanding and implementing a global elite law practice that can help drive that growth.

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