In 2012, in a ground-breaking move, Webber Wentzel and Linklaters, created a long-term formal collaborative Alliance. This month Webber Wentzel and Linklaters celebrate the 5 year anniversary of that Alliance.
The Alliance was formed in response to the increasing complexity of the legal and tax issues that businesses face when they move into, or out of, Africa. The Alliance is distinguishable from other competitor relationships in the market through the flexibility that it offers. Depending on client requirements, Webber Wentzel and Linklaters are able to advise individually or jointly, based on the right global and on-continent expertise in any jurisdiction, sector or language.
The success of working together through the Alliance is most evident in the complex Africa-related matters, where a bespoke combination of relationships, skills and experience is often required. Since forming the Alliance, over 1000 lawyers across 31 offices have worked on over 500 Africa-related matters.
Together, both firms have advised on numerous headline M&A matters, such as Woolworths in respect of its ZAR 23 billion takeover of David Jones in Australia; Al Noor Hospitals Group Plc on the combination of Al Noor and Mediclinic International Ltd; and on Africa outbound investments of listed companies into the Eastern European property market.
The Alliance has also added value in advising on banking and project finance matters in Africa where English and/or US law expertise is key; for example with its work on the African Bank matter, the second curatorship of its kind under the South African Banks Act and unprecedented on the continent in terms of its scale.
"Having worked with Linklaters for over 40 years preceding the formal alliance we were confident that the values of our firms were aligned and we were certain of the opportunities that formalising our relationship could bring. Over the past five years we have invested in our relationship and strategically built an incredible platform to ensure exceptional service wherever our clients do business. We are proud of what we have achieved in building our relationship to date and excited about what more we will achieve in the years to come." Christo Els, Webber Wentzel Senior Partner.
“As a South African, I have real passion for our Alliance with Webber Wentzel. When we set out five years ago our vision was to be able to offer clients the best of both worlds – full service offerings from a leading global firm and from the top law firm in South Africa. As markets and our clients have evolved, the flexibility of this combination has become more relevant than ever, allowing us to mix and match talent from within the Alliance to service clients in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, as well as worldwide.” Charlie Jacobs, Linklaters Chairman and Senior Partner.