This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – South Africa
Webber Wentzel is awarded law firm of the year for South Africa for the second year running. With more than 400 lawyers across its two offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the firm is a “corporate powerhouse” according to sources. With 29 listings achieved across 15 practice sectors, the firm demonstrates its outstanding capabilities.
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 29|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Competition||4||Oil & Gas||1|
|Labour & Employment||2|
The firm’s competition practice receives high acclaim in our research with four practitioners selected for inclusion in the corresponding chapter. Recent high-profile work of the practice includes advising on the Actis/Tracker merger. Lesley Morphet is a “first-rate” lawyer with experience in a wide variety of industries including financial services, mining, telecommunications and petrochemicals. Her practice extends to a number of African jurisdictions including Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia where she has assisted clients with competition queries and notifications. Desmond Rudman is praised for his “extensive knowledge” in the sector and is a former head of research at the Competition Tribunal. Martin Versfeld concentrates on the construction, tobacco, air travel, health, forestry, fishing and liquid fuels industries and his clients include BA and Tanzanian Cigarette Company.
Mining emerges as another strong suit with the firm achieving four listings. The dedicated practice consists of over 40 lawyers and is the largest of its kind on the African content. Peter Leon is co-head of the mining, energy and natural resources practice group and a “leading practitioner” in the field. His highlight matters include advising investors on the Bisha mining project in Eritrea. Manus Booysen is head of the natural resources and environmental law department and a “great talent”.
In the field of mergers and acquisitions, Webber Wentzel has a leading market position. Four lawyers at the firm receive international recommendations. Christo Els is co-head of the mergers and acquisitions practice group and specialises in both cross border and domestic M&A. Johannes Gouws is considered “top rate” and his experience includes acting for FirstRand and Momentum in the 30 billion-rand merger of Momentum Group and Metropolitan Holdings. Sally Hutton is co-head of the private equity practice and is a “leading light” in the field of buy-out and exit transactions for private equity funds.
Four lawyers are selected for inclusion in the insurance and reinsurance chapter. Daniël Le Roux is head of the insurance and legal liability practice group and also makes an appearance in the aviation chapter. Described as “excellent” by his peers, Le Roux’s top matters include representing insurers of air carriers in accidents. Johann Scholtz is “greatly respected” for his insurance expertise and is equally well regarded for his work in the environment sector. Johan Henning acts for both South African and offshore insurers and is described as a “great technician” by clients.
Further recognition goes to Brigette Baillie who appears in three practice areas in our research: banking, project finance and public procurement. A “very able” practitioner, Baillie heads the project development and finance practice at the firm and has experience in PPP projects including energy, resources, infrastructure, utilities and water. Peter Grealy also stands out in our research with his listings in the internet, e-commerce and data protection chapter and regulatory communications. Grealy heads the media and technology department of the firm and has represented Vox Telecom Limited in its 500 million-rand buy-out and delisting by a consortium comprising the Lereko Metier Capital Growth Fund and Investec Bank Limited.
Webber Wentzel’s impressive performance in our research highlights the firm’s international standing alongside its leading domestic position.
Webber Wentzel is one of the leading corporate law firms on the African continent. The firm’s strategy is to be able to help its clients wherever they do business in Africa.
In addition to the over 400 professionals located in its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices, the firm has made significant strides in developing its African footprint by joining ALN, a group of leading African law firms. ALN is an established group of Africa’s foremost law firms, the only one of its kind in Africa. The group currently includes 12 top-ranked law firms in Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Webber Wentzel is also the only African law firm to be a member of the World Law Group, a network of 50 leading independent law firms with more than 260 offices in major commercial centres worldwide. Members are selected on the basis of strict selection criteria, one of the most important being that they are the top or one of the top law firms in their country or state. Other criteria include an excellent business reputation and a commitment to international practice.
The firm is consistently recognised by industry commentators as South Africa’s leading legal adviser in the areas of corporate and finance, which account for over 60 per cent of current turnover.
In 2011 Who’s Who Legal named Webber Wentzel “South Africa Law Firm of the Year”.
The expertise of 38 of Webber Wentzel’s lawyers has been recognised by Chambers Global 2012. The firm is recognised in 12 of Chambers Global’s rankings by practice. The firm has been included in the top band for banking and finance, capital markets: debt, capital markets: equity, competition, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, energy and natural resources: mining, IT and telecommunications, media and broadcasting, projects and energy, and tax.
A number of English, French, Belgian and Portuguese-qualified partners enable Webber Wentzel to advise on transactions governed by the corresponding legal systems in Africa.
Webber Wentzel is a full-service corporate law firm offering expertise across a range of legal areas including dispute resolution, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, tax and project finance. Practice areas include the following:
Banking & Finance
Black Economic Empowerment
Climate Change & Carbon Trading
Employment & Employee Benefits
Environmental & Natural Resources
Insurance & Legal Liability
IT, Electronic Business, Media & Telecoms
Mergers & Acquisitions
Mining, Energy & Natural Resources
Project Development & Finance
Shipping, Marine Insurance & Transport
These practices work together to harness the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to assist with the legal challenges facing individual clients.
It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication
Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.