Despite challenging economic conditions, our HSF Africa practice has thrived, thanks to the dedication of over 200 partners in 22 offices who have advised on more than 970 matters over the past year. This success would not have been possible without our relationship firms spanning all 54 jurisdictions in Africa. To further enhance these partnerships, the Africa Group hosted its 2nd Annual Africa Relationship Law Firm event, 54Plus, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 11, 2023. The event brought together 35 African lawyers from 29 leading firms across 18 jurisdictions on the continent.

Joining the team on the ground in South Africa, which now boasts over 100 employees in the Johannesburg office, were co-heads of the Africa Practice, Nina Bowyer and Martin Kavanagh, Chair of the Africa Practice Peter Leon, Lead Territory Partner for the EMEA region Clement Dupoirier, Disputes Partner Charlie Morgan, and Territory Associate for Lusophone Africa Edgar Monteiro. Nina Bowyer emphasised the significance of the event, stating, "This event is crucial in fostering strong collaboration, building trust, and unlocking future opportunities."

The event featured various sessions covering crucial topics such as Africa's M&A Future, Crisis Management on the continent, panel discussions on ESG, and a thought-provoking talk by guest speaker and tech entrepreneur Rapelang Rabana. These sessions provided excellent opportunities for engagement, debate, and conversations centred on harnessing Africa's potential through collaboration.

Partner, Charlie Morgan acclaimed, "The packed schedule included hot topics and dynamic discussions, which continued well into the evening with a fantastic group of clients."

Ferdinand D. Adadzi from AB & David in Ghana commended the event, saying, "This is one of the most well-organised and informative relationship conferences I've attended. The sessions were well-timed, the content was valuable, and the discussions were engaging. Additionally, it provided the opportunity to network not only with lawyers from different jurisdictions but also to meet some of our clients."

The event culminated with the annual Johannesburg client party held at the spectacular venue, Marble. The party attracted over 100 local and international clients. Abi Odeinde from Olaniwun Ajayi in Nigeria expressed his delight, stating, "It was wonderful to meet and connect with such a remarkable group of professionals and experts in their field." Another attendee remarked, "While many international firms organise African relationship events, what sets yours apart is the exceptional content quality and the collaborative atmosphere. I genuinely feel like I am among friends, working together towards a shared goal."

These two events provided an excellent platform to strengthen existing relationships, establish new connections, and, most importantly, drive future African success. Many attendees expressed their enthusiasm about returning for the third event, emphasising their anticipation for continued collaboration.

The Africa Relationship Law Firm event showcased the commitment to collaboration and partnership that underpins the success of our Africa practice. The event's engaging sessions, enthusiastic participants, and positive feedback underscored the significance of fostering strong relationships and working together to unlock Africa's vast potential. As we look towards the future, HSF remains dedicated to building on these connections and driving further achievements for African success.