The Legal 500

South Africa

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Editorial

Legal market overview

South Africa’s dynamic legal market experienced increased interest from foreign law firms entering the market in 2013 and 2014. This was exemplified by the arrival of Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP in October 2014 and its recruitment of pre-eminent banking lawyer Lionel Shawe and a substantial team from Bowman Gilfillan.

Another new arrival was insurance, trade, disputes and transport heavyweight Clyde & Co, which established a presence in Johannesburg and Cape Town with the hire of Daniël Le Roux and a group from Webber Wentzel.

White & Case LLP also upped its efforts in South Africa with the arrival of Joz Coetzer and Craig Whitley from Bowman Gilfillan, as well as Chris Utting and Mukund Dhar from White & Case LLP’s London office. In February 2015, Chadbourne & Parke (South Africa) LLC opened a new office in Johannesburg under Lido Fontana and Dentons now has two offices in the country after arriving in 2014.

Each of these firms is following in the footsteps of Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc), which has a sizeable presence in South Africa, and Baker & McKenzie Johannesburg, which has established a strong foothold since launching in the jurisdiction in 2012.

The interest from international firms illustrates the pivotal nature of South Africa as a major legal market and also as a hub for Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa.

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