Winston & Strawn adds Africa finance expertise in DC – Articles

Two Washington-based hires have brought energy and telecommunications finance experience of Africa and Latin America to US law firm Winston & Strawn.

Winston & Strawn has hired two Washington, DC-based lawyers based with African finance practices from fellow United States firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Thomas Trimble has joined the Chicago-headquartered firm as partner, having been head of the Africa practice at Akin Gump, while John David Bryant has been recruited as counsel. Both have joined the corporate practice, where they will continue their work on project finance and private equity, across industries including energy, telecommunications, mining, infrastructure and healthcare.

The pair, and Trimble in particular, have worked extensively in relation to both African and Latin America, and Trimble has worked on energy and telecommunications transactions in countries across East and West Africa including Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Trimble’s expertise includes advising companies and funds on the acquisition and disposition of assets, project development and infrastructure transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures and equity investment.

Bryant was formerly general counsel at Californian wind power company Cannon Power Group and brings plenty of experience of the renewable energy sector. That expertise will be valuable at a time when countries across Africa are grappling with power shortages which are limiting their ability to industrialise and expand economically, and there has been a big push into renewables.

Last month, both South Africa and Rwanda received USD 500 million in loans from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fund the improvement of their power grids.

Winston & Strawn chairman Tom Fitzgerald said in a statement that “the firm is committed to strengthening the capabilities of our transactions department” and highlighted Trimble’s “market-leading representation of investors in emerging markets”.

Washington managing partner David Rogers said of the pair that “their skills and experience augment our existing energy, M&A, and project finance practices and will help us strengthen our DC transactional offering, as well as our presence in Africa and Latin America”.

Another Chicago-headquartered firm, Baker McKenzie, recently hired South African corporate and tax lawyers in Johannesburg.

It follows the September hire of London-based finance lawyer Robert Franklin by Sullivan & Worcester from Clyde & Co.

Franklin’s practice covers infrastructure and energy projects across renewable energy, power, transport, telecommunications and natural resources, advising public and private sector clients, in particular, relating to projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

He also promotes small and medium-sized (SME) business development in Ghana, Kenya and Senegal as a board member of non-profit organisation Invest in Africa.

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