International law firm CMS has further expanded into Africa after combining with RM Partners in South Africa and Daly & Inamdar Advocates in Kenya. Going forward, the firms will be known as CMS RM Partners and CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates.

The addition of these firms strengthens CMS’s presence in Africa, having already established itself in Angola, Algeria and Morocco. The firm now has 75 offices in 43 countries and more than 4,800 lawyers worldwide.

Duncan Weston, executive partner at CMS, comments on the move: “Our clients see Africa as a major growth opportunity, and many are looking to expand into key markets on the continent. South Africa and Kenya are both sizeable economies, but they’re also gateways into other Sub-Saharan markets.”

CMS RM Partners specialises in providing practical and innovative legal, tax and transaction advisory services, including in relation to trade finance. The Johannesburg-based firm was established by a group of senior lawyers in 2018 and now comprises more than 20 lawyers.

Riza Moosa is the firm’s founder and director, having left his position as director, head of banking and finance at Norton Rose Fulbright in March last year to set up the business. He has since been joined by other Norton Rose Fulbright colleagues, including Keith Mukami, formerly head of the firm’s commodities practice, who joined RM Partners in July as director, head of Africa, banking and regulatory.

“We are on a journey to transform and modernise the South African legal market, but we also recognise the importance of an African and international footprint,” says Moosa. “Joining CMS is the right step for our firm because they recognise the importance of growing an African business from Africa, and have a clear, regionally-focused growth plan for Africa which aligns with our own strategies.”

CMS Daly Inamdar Advocates was formed via the merger of two of Kenya’s oldest law firms and comprises more than 35 lawyers working out of offices in Nairobi and Mombasa. Its partners have handled numerous commercial transactions and contentious civil disputes.