Legal market overview in South Africa

South Africa's legal market is characterised by high levels of uncertainty. The economic climate is not conducive to confident growth and many firms have directed their attentions to the rest of the continent for additional engagements. Firms such as Bowmans and ENSafrica have continued their aggressive Africa growth strategies by launching new offices and alliances with other firms in key jurisdictions. Back in South Africa, Hogan Lovells International LLP elected to slim its operations and have a smaller but financially integrated team in Johannesburg. The bulk of its legacy South Africa office separated and became Lawtons Africa. Elsewhere, lateral moves are a frequent phenomenon in the country. Of particular note was Pinsent Masons LLP's hire of Jurg van DykCliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's former head of construction. Notably, Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP recruited Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc's former head of M&A Ross Lomax and Baker McKenzie Johannesburg's head of competition Nick Altini.