Africa-focused law firm expands into Guinea and Togo

A law firm which focuses on francophone Sub-Saharan Africa has consolidated its relationships in West Africa by merging with commercial firms in Conakry and Lomé.
John W Ffooks & Co (JWF), an independent law firm focused on francophone Africa, has expanded into Guinea and Togo via a double merger with local firms.

Conakry-based Joe-Adams & Madison and Lomé-based Cabinet Maître Yayi Ekoé have joined JWF’s existing offices in Madagascar, Senegal and Mauritius, bringing the firm’s headcount to 11 partners and 40 associates.

Founded in 2006, JWF was part of African firm Bowmans (then known as Bowman Gilfillan) from 2014 to 2017, due to differing strategies. The firm advises on a range of mostly transactional matters in mining, oil and gas, banking and finance, telecommunications, mergers and acquisitions, stock market listings, real estate and employment.

With the mergers, it now works across 17 countries covering the bulk of francophone Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Rwanda.

JWF senior partner and founder John Ffooks said in a statement that the merger was the culmination of many years working with the firms in Conakry and Lomé. “As business in Africa becomes increasingly cross-border in nature, our combination helps develop our pan-African offering for the good of our respective clients and referral partners. These mergers do exactly that,” he continued.

Joe-Adams & Madison founder Jean Pascal Ouendéno is a former PwC tax and legal adviser, who set up the firm in mid-2020 alongside managing partner, co-founder and fellow PwC alumnus Mohamed Baldé, and the firm also includes partner Adama Souaré and five associates. Between them, the Guinean partners have tax, financial, natural resources and energy, infrastructure, commercial and investment experience.

Ouendéno said: “The merger allows us to grow our businesses together, better serve mutual clients and new ones, and provide our lawyers with new and interesting opportunities.”

Baldé added: “We have built up a strong working relationship with John, Richard, and their fellow partners and offices, which has given us a good understanding of each firm’s business, culture, and people which led to this merger.”

Sole practitioner Justin Yayi Ekoé established his Lomé-based solo firm in 2018 while holding a role as counsel with JWF, so the merger formalises their relationship. Ekoé has experience of natural resources, commercial and employment matters, among others.

Ekoé said: “The combination will enable us to enhance our response to mutual engagements and the quality of our legal services across Africa, thus meeting the demands of an increasingly international marketplace.”

JWF managing partner Richard Glass added that the merger “will enhance our ability to respond rapidly to the changing needs of the African legal market”.

In August 2021 a new law firm named ADNA Guinea, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Algeria, joining Africa Legal Network (ALN).


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