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South Africa

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South Africa > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Legal market overview

South Africa, or more specifically Johannesburg, has become a bona fide international legal centre over the last five years. Pinsent Masons LLP is the latest international firm to make a series of headline lateral hires and establish an impressive team in Sandton, Johannesburg. Covington & Burling LLP also launched a small projects-oriented practice, taking on the legacy Sandton team of Chadbourne & Parke, just as the international firm merged with Norton Rose Fulbright.

The influx of international law firms in recent years, including DLA Piper, Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP, Baker McKenzie Johannesburg, Hogan Lovells (South Africa), Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP and Clyde & Co LLP, has simply added to the fluidity in the market. Senior-level lateral moves happen with great regularity as partners seek new opportunities and are then replaced with by other lateral recruits. For example, construction partners Rob Morson, Shane Voigt and Junaid Banoobhai left Bowmans to join Pinsent Masons LLP and were replaced by Andrew van Niekerk and Spencer Naicker from Webber Wentzel.

Other notable lateral moves include Baker McKenzie Johannesburg losing prominent litigator Gerhard Rudolph to Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP, though Rudolph’s former firm did hire a prominent team of tax partners in Stephan Spamer, Arnaaz Camay and Nishana Gosai from ENSafrica. Elsewhere, project finance specialist Biddy Faber and litigation expert Jonathan Ripley-Evans joined Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. In another key development, Johannesburg firm Prinsloo, Tindle & Andropoulos Inc closed its doors in 2017 with name partners Paul Tindle and Danny Andropoulos joining Werksmans Attorneys.

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