Canadian-based law firm Fasken Martineau is merging with Johannesburg-based Bell Dewar, in an effort to expand its African footprint.

The merger will be completed by February 1, 2013, making Blaize Vance, currently Bell Dewar managing partner, the firm’s regional managing partner for Africa. Bell Dewar’s existing 76 lawyers will be joined by a Fasken Martineau team, adding to the firm’s capabilities in the areas of mining, infrastructure, energy and project finance.

David Corbett, firm managing partner of Fasken Martineau, says: “Our firm has long been known for our unique understanding of the African marketplace. This merger speaks both to the power of our brand and to the expanded capabilities and services we now offer to our global clients.

“The addition of the Bell Dewar team of lawyers along with our existing teams in Johannesburg, London, Paris and Canada provides us with an unrivalled base of talent and experience to bring to the African and world markets.”

Vance adds: “As we looked to expand our base and grow our Africa business, we considered a number of potential partners. Fasken Martineau was the obvious choice given the firm’s reach, expertise and global capabilities.”

Already present in six Canadian cities, as well as London and Paris, Fasken Martineau aims to become the Canadian-based law firm with the largest international footprint.