Australian lawyers head to Africa behind mining boom

Australian lawyers are following their clients into the mining boom to Africa, supporting over 230 Austrlaian mining companies with a physical presence on the continent. The new data was released by Freehills as part of its Top 10 trends in the Australian mining industry for 2012. The report’s author, Perth-based partner Justin Little, said: “There is a view that much of the near surface discoveries at shallow depth have been made in Australia. So particularly at the junior end of the mining industry, those that tend to favour the ‘risk and reward’ approach, a lot of them have headed to Africa to broaden the regions to which they can continue their explorations, and various parts of Africa are highly receptive of that.” Energy and resources specialist Michael Blakiston, whose specialist firm merged with Gilbert + Tobin last year, said that around 65 per cent of his work is now centered in Africa. “I am having to work harder due to demand, not because of competition from global law firms in Australia,” he said. “A global law firm does not set up offices in Zambia, the Congo or Equatorial Guinea. They are trying to service those markets as best they can, but I spend a lot of time in those marketplaces, so I am their equivalent and their competition.”

Australian lawyers head to Africa behind mining boom Tue, Feb 28, 2012