Africa Specialist Boosts Pinsent Masons Energy Team

International law firm Pinsent Masons has appointed Akshai Fofaria as a Partner in the firm's Energy and Natural Resources team. 

Fofaria joins from Jones Day's well-respected Africa team based in Paris. The move will see him relocate to London but continue to focus on projects work in the oil and gas and mining sectors across the African continent, particularly on the development side. 

Fofaria has built up an impressive track record of acting on some of the largest energy projects in Africa, working across 32 different countries on the continent. He has acted on several stand-out mandates in the oil and gas sector in Africa, including acting for Tullow in the renegotiation of its production sharing agreements with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and advised Acergy (now Subsea 7) on its engineering joint ventures in Nigeria and Angola. He also advised Nigeria's MRS on the acquisition of all of Chevron's fuel marketing businesses in five African countries. 

In the mining sector, Fofaria has advised the likes of Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration on the acquisition of iron ore mining rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was a leading member of the team advising China Power Investment Company on its mineral investments in Guinea Conakry. 

Fofaria regularly lectures senior African regulators on natural resources transactions at the Paris School of Mines. He also lectures on Joint Ventures in India at the International Development Institute and has significant experience of advising investors from Asia Pacific and Subcontinental Asia on investment in Africa. 

Bob Ruddiman, head of Energy and Natural Resources at Pinsent Masons, said: “Akshai’s experience in development is a natural fit with our existing capability in the financing and construction sides of major energy projects and his international ambitions sit perfectly with our own. There are very few who have his mix of expertise in oil and gas, nuclear and mining in addition to international contacts across Africa, India, China and France. His pedigree is therefor all to see and we are confident that he will be able to help meet increased client demand for this kind of experience.” 

Akshai Fofaria said: “The opportunity to work for a firm with a clear commitment to the Energy and Natural Resources sector on a global level was too good to resist and I look forward to building a practice which will leverage our presence across the UK, Asia and the Gulf.” 

The appointment of Akshai Fofaria follows the promotion of two lawyers to Partner in the Energy and Natural Resources team. Aberdeen-based Shirley Allen, who specialises in oil and gas work, and Edinburgh-based Gillian Frew who advises on banking and finance matters within the energy sector, were made partner on 1 May. 

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Notes to Editors

In May 2012 international law firm Pinsent Masons and national law firm McGrigors merged. The combined firm, operating worldwide under the name and brand of Pinsent Masons, employs over 2500 people in total including over 1500 lawyers, 500 of whom are based in Pinsent Masons' international headquarters in the City of London.

The firm has market-leading UK coverage, with a significant presence in each of the UK's three legal jurisdictions. Its international profile, which already encompasses four offices in Asia Pacific, includes two offices in the Gulf (Doha and Dubai). Two more offices in France and Germany are expected to launch during 2012. 

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