Leading African firm TEMPLARS is expanding its ethos with a new office in Ghana. Oghogho Akpata, Desmond Ogba and Dorothy Mensah shared their thoughts behind the move with Craig Sisterson.
Opening a new office in Ghana’s capital, Accra, not only marks the first international expansion by award-winning law firm TEMPLARS, it also heralds the next step in the Nigeria headquartered law firm’s evolution into a pan-African vision and presence, say Oghogho Akpata and Desmond Ogba.
“We’ve always had significant interest in opening an Accra office, not only because we’ve got deep client connections across Africa, but also because, given our significant market share in Nigeria, we believe that our natural next step is going into other markets where our clients and business relationships require our services,” explained Akpata, TEMPLARS’ Managing Partner. “Given the economic ties between Nigeria and Ghana, and with it being the second-largest market in West Africa, for us it was a natural progression to go into Ghana.”
Akpata and Ogba note that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is opening many new opportunities across the entire continent, and that TEMPLARS has seen increasing demand from clients for support throughout Africa. “Basically, we follow our clients,” said Akpata.
Ghana has grown into one of Africa’s leading economies since the Global Financial Crisis and has become an attractive destination for international businesses. As a full-service law firm with a strong entrepreneurial ethos, TEMPLARS’ expansion into the country was made in collaboration with AMPEM Chambers.
“That firm’s members have all joined our TEMPLARS brand,” clarified Ogba, a partner in the firm’s Finance & Projects practice group. “We’re starting out with about 12 lawyers, all of whom are qualified in Ghana as well as in some other jurisdictions like Nigeria, England and New York. They are experts who fully understand the Ghanaian economy and market, and have also been tested and trusted in their various areas of focus.”
TEMPLARS’ new Accra office will offer the same full-service legal capabilities as the firm’s Nigerian offices across a variety of industries, but will also add a major focus on mining which is a more significant industry in Ghana than in Nigeria, Akpata explained.
“What we’re bringing to the table in Ghana is more focused service delivery, responsiveness, sophistication, a practical approach to issues and a lot of technical skills, because we put a very strong team together that understands what the international legal market and business community require,” said Akpata.
Dorothy Mensah, a partner at TEMPLARS Ghana, believes that with only a handful of top-tier firms with the capacity to do complex, multifaceted and fast-paced transactions in the Ghanaian market, there’s certainly room at the top. “TEMPLARS’ value proposition includes commercial astuteness, market-leading cross-border experience, efficient use of skill sets, excellence, and a pragmatic approach to solving issues. Our plan is to use this new office in Ghana to offer the same value proposition to new and existing clients in this market,” she commented.
Akpata sees the successful launch of this office as part of the firm’s vision to create a truly pan-African institution, and Mensah agreed that this expansion is coming at a very exciting time when the conversation around Africa’s single market agenda is happening. “I am confident that with the quality of lawyers that we have at TEMPLARS, coupled with their combined years of noteworthy experience, our clients who are operating or investing in Ghana will hugely benefit from this expansion and everyone will be better for it,” she said.
Culled: Africa Legal