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Alliance with Linklaters

- 04 December 2012

4 December 2012

JOHANNESBURG (4 December 2012): Leading South African law firm Webber Wentzel announced today that it is to enter a collaborative alliance with Linklaters, a leading global law firm.

Linklaters is one of the world’s most successful law firms, supporting its clients’ strategies around the globe from 28 offices and with over 4,500 people. It is consistently ranked in the top tier for legal advisers both globally and in Africa by independent benchmarking publications; and currently has over 200 live matters relating to Africa, with experience in over 45 African countries.

The alliance, which launches on 1 February 2013, offers clients a unique advantage in Africa through the firms’ combined experience, know-how and international and on-the-ground resources.

Webber Wentzel’s clients will benefit from access to Linklaters (and its alliance firms’) lawyers located in Africa’s key trading partners in Asia-Pacific (specifically China, India, Korea, Japan and Australia), Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, as well as specialist Africa-focused resources in Linklaters' London, Paris and Lisbon offices.

David Lancaster, senior partner of Webber Wentzel, said: “Our alliance with Linklaters is a vote of confidence in South Africa and Africa. It’s also a strong endorsement for Webber Wentzel. With the demand for cross-border legal services continuing to grow, Webber Wentzel and Linklaters will be working together for the benefit of clients across Africa. This arrangement is consistent with our strategy of helping clients wherever they do business in Africa.”

Lancaster noted that Africa’s fast-growing economy was attracting record investment and subsequently international law firms: “There is huge potential for African growth - and therefore legal work - in a large and complex market. We have worked closely with lawyers from Linklaters on many occasions and have always been impressed with their knowledge, experience and unwavering client focus. The firms have similar values with complementary practice areas, many shared clients and strength of brand in our respective markets. We have been working with Linklaters for 20 years, often advising the same clients. It makes sense to enter into a more formal arrangement.”

Simon Davies, firmwide managing partner of Linklaters, said: “Our alliance with Webber Wentzel, South Africa’s premier legal firm, is an exciting development. Our strategy is to meet our clients’ needs in markets across the world by focusing on delivering an excellent quality client experience whether through our own offices as we build out our network or working in partnership with the very best firms in particular markets such as Webber Wentzel.

“We are confident that this collaborative alliance will further enable us to build lasting relationships with clients in Africa and those outside looking to invest in this dynamic market.”

Robert Elliott, senior partner of Linklaters, said: “Linklaters has a proven track record of supporting clients in achieving their Africa-focused strategies, having worked on many of the landmark deals on the continent over many years. Our alliance with Webber Wentzel further strengthens our market-leading service through an enhanced on-the-ground presence and the combining of teams of the best local and international lawyers, and underlines our long-term commitment to clients doing business across the African continent.”

About Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is one of the leading corporate law firms in South Africa, being consistently ranked at the top by a diversity of international ratings agencies in 2012. It has a staff complement of approximately 750 people (including over 150 partners and more than 400 professionals in 21 legal disciplines) in offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Its client base includes many of South Africa’s Top 100 companies in mining, banking, insurance, media, property and telecommunications.

Webber Wentzel’s strategy is to help clients wherever they do business. Work on the African continent represents a growing area of practice and the firm is currently advising clients in over 47 African countries.

About Linklaters

Linklaters is a leading global law firm, supporting clients in achieving their strategies wherever they do business. It uses its expertise and resources to help clients pursue opportunities and manage risk across emerging and developed markets around the world.

Linklaters has a long and deep experience of working on projects throughout Africa, helped by its unique ability to cover all three principal legal systems through its offices in London, Paris and Lisbon. These core offices are complemented by Africa experts across Linklaters’ and its relationship firms’ offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas allowing Linklaters to service investors into Africa worldwide.

Linklaters has worked on numerous transactions across the key traditional sectors in Africa including energy, mining, infrastructure/power, telecoms, and financial services as well as increasingly in newer sectors such as private equity, insurance, food and beverage and agribusiness. Linklaters’ sector approach allows the firm to be both proactive and fully responsive to its clients’ industry-specific needs.

Linklaters has the know-how and the experience to help clients mitigate risk when doing business in Africa and navigate its clients through the complex issues that exist in cross-border deals and projects within both established and developing African economies. It is able to deploy this know-how across the full range of products in Africa including M&A, Projects, Banking, Capital Markets, Litigation, Anti-trust and Environment.

Linklaters was the top ranked international law firm in Africa in Chambers Global 2012, an authoritative and independent guide to global law firms.