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Who we are

Webber Wentzel is one of South Africa’s leading law firms providing clients with innovative solutions to their most complex legal issues. 

Founded in 1868, Webber Wentzel is today one of Africa's leading law firms with a total staff of approximately 800, including over 450 lawyers and offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  Our core strategy is to support our clients wherever they do business.

A deep understanding of our clients' needs and our tailored approach has led to numerous independent awards, both in South Africa and on the continent.  These include being named Africa Law Firm of the Year at the African Legal Awards, Sub-Saharan Africa Legal Advisers of the Year at the European M&A Awards hosted by the Financial Times and Mergermarket, and Who's Who South African Law Firm of the Year for five consecutive years.

An increasing amount of our activity is focused on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  We have worked with our clients in most SSA countries.  Supporting this strategy is our important collaborative alliance with Linklaters, which is recognised for its leading and long-standing Africa practice. We are associated with ALN, a group of top tier African law firms, and have a complementary network of best friend law firms across SSA.  Through the firm’s alliance with Linklaters we are able to provide clients with access to Anglophone, Lusophone, Francophone and US law capability. This model enables the firm to put together a flexible fit-for-purpose team to meet our clients’ most complex business and legal needs.

Our market-leading position is reinforced by a number of accolades and achievements, see below:

THE AFRICAN LEGAL AWARDS 2016
Webber Wentzel won both the M&A and TMT Teams of the Year at the prestigious African Legal Awards 2016 hosted by Legal Week and the Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa. The firm also won Diversity Initiative of the Year and one of our lawyers was awarded Lawyer of the Year.

IFLR1000 FINANCIAL & CORPORATE 2017
IFLR1000 ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE 2016

Webber Wentzel is proud to have been ranked by IFLR1000 in the top tier for the categories of Banking, Capital Markets, Competition, Energy, Infrastructure, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining, Oil & Gas and Project Finance.  The firm is described by IFLR1000 as "…one of South Africa’s finest financial and corporate law firms, with excellent teams active in all multiple areas".

CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2016
Webber Wentzel attorneys received 49 individual rankings - recognising them as ‘Leaders in their Fields’ in a diversity of areas.  This is once again the highest of any law firm in South Africa.  The firm has been ranked in the top band in 12 categories including, Banking & Finance, Capital Markets: Debt, Capital Markets: Equity, Competition/Antitrust, Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, Energy & Natural Resources: Mining, Environmental, IT & Telecommunications, Media & Broadcasting, Projects & Energy and Tax.

LEGAL 500 2016
The firm received the most Tier 1 rankings than any other firm in South Africa - being recognised in the top tier for its work in Banking and finance, Commercial, corporate and M&A, Competition, Construction, Investment funds, Labour and employment, Mining, Projects and infrastructure, Real estate, Shipping and transport and Tax.

BEST LAWYERS 2017
Fifty five Webber Wentzel partners have been recognised as leading individuals by peer-review publication Best Lawyers® in a variety of law specialities for 2017.  These include Arbitration and Mediation, Banking, Capital Markets, Competition / Antitrust, Corporate, Derivatives, Employee Benefits, Finance, Health Care, Information Technology, Insolvency and Reorganization, Labour and Employment, Litigation, Media, Mergers and Acquisitions, Mining, Personal Injury Litigation, Private Equity, Real Estate, Regulatory Practice, Tax and Trade.

PRIVATE EQUITY | AFRICA 2016
Webber Wentzel reinforced its pre-eminent position in the private equity sector at the 5th Annual PEA GP & Advisor Awards by winning Deals Legal Advisor of the Year 2016.  This is the third consecutive year that the firm has been recognised in the prestigious PEA Awards.

WHO'S WHO LEGAL 2015
Webber Wentzel has been named South African law firm of the year 2015. Once again we have received the country award for South Africa from Who's Who Legal.  This is the seventh time, and the fifth consecutive year, that we have received this credible and sought after award.

AFRICA INVESTOR (AI) INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AWARDS 2015
Webber Wentzel was awarded as Legal Advisor of the Year 2015 at the 8th Africa investor (Ai) Infrastructure Investment Awards which are held to honour the achievements made by those involved in infrastructure projects across Africa.

DEALMAKERS ANNUAL AWARDS 2015
Webber Wentzel was awarded the most prestigious legal award at the 15th Annual DealMakers Gala Awards - top legal advisor of the year in the category of Mergers and Acquisitions by Deal Value.  The firm was the only law firm to have acted on all four deals that were shortlisted for Private Equity Deal of the Year, and on four of the five transactions that were shortlisted for Deal of the Year. 
In addition Webber Wentzel is the lead legal advisor on both the Deal of the Year - Anheuser-Busch InBev's ZAR 1.4 trillion acquisition of SABMiller - and Private Equity Deal of the Year - the exit by Ethos of Plumblink.  We also achieved the top three positions in all of the legal categories researched including::

  • third by deal volume in the Mergers and Acquisitions Category; and
  • third by deal volume and transaction value in the General Corporate Finance Category.

IJGLOBAL AWARDS 2014
Webber Wentzel received the African Mining & Metals Deal of the Year award at an awards ceremony held in London.  The award was given for the firm's work on the Kalagadi Manganese Mine Project.  The project, according to IJGlobal, is significant, because it is, "the largest project of its kind to be launched in South Africa in the last 30 years".  It is also "the first to be started from scratch, to be developed into a mine, a sinter plant and a smelter by women".

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM GLOBAL GROWTH COMPANY 2014
Webber Wentzel has been named a Global Growth Company for 2014 by the World Economic Forum.  It is the only South African law firm to have received this prestigious accolade, which acknowledges industry leaders from more than 65 countries that have the "potential to become a leader in the global economy owing to their business models, growth records, leadership and markets they serve".

Our specialist expertise is grouped into:

  • Banking, projects & regulatory law
  • Commercial law
  • Corporate law
  • Dispute resolution
  • Tax law

Our lawyers collaborate across these areas to provide comprehensive legal solutions across a variety of sectors including:

  • Agribusiness, Food & Beverage
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Industrials
  • Insurance
  • Mining
  • Oil & Gas
  • Private Equity
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications, Media & Technology
  • Transport

Through our collaborative alliance with Linklaters, our clients have access to a leading Africa practice (Linklaters was named Africa Law Firm of the Year 2013 by Chambers Global) and international expertise including Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and New York law capability. 

Our offering is enhanced by our network of best friend law firms across sub-Saharan Africa, and our associate membership of the ALN, an integrated network of 13 African law firms.

Together we provide clients with local capability coupled with market leading experience and expertise.