Sally Hutton has been re-elected to serve a second five-year term as managing partner of leading law firm Webber Wentzel. Hutton will continue to combine her client facing and leadership roles during her second term.
As managing partner, Hutton's primary responsibility is the execution of the firm's strategy and the day to day management of the firm. Commenting on her re-election, Hutton said: "For me, the real value of a leadership role like this lies in the opportunity to effect change and make a difference. My focus over the last five years has been on innovating the way we practise law for the benefit of our clients, modernising our platform and enhancing our talent proposition to continue to attract and retain top talent. It is an enormous privilege to have received the support of the partners to continue on this path."
As the first woman appointed to a senior leadership position at a major South African law firm in March 2015, Hutton has also been instrumental in driving initiatives to retain women into the senior ranks of the firm. More than 40% of the firm's partners and senior leadership teams are now women.
This re-election coincides with Webber Wentzel's recognition at the recent 2019 African Legal Awards where the firm scooped the two highly coveted awards -
African Law Firm of the Year and Alliance of the Year (with Linklaters). Hutton was named "Professional of the Year - Law Class" and "South African Professional of the Year - Overall Winner" at the 2018 South African Professional Services Awards, as well as "Woman Professional of the Year" in 2016.
Hutton has been with the firm for more than 24 years, having joined as a candidate attorney in 1995. She is a private equity specialist and has acted in most of South Africa's highest profile private equity transactions over the past 24 years. Her expertise is consistently recognised by various international research organisations including Chambers Global, Legal 500 and IFLR1000. She has BA and LLB degrees, both awarded with distinction, from the University of Cape Town, a Master of Studies in Legal Research from the University of Oxford and an LLM degree in Taxation, also awarded with distinction, from the University of the Witwatersrand. She also completed a course in leading professional services firms at Harvard Business School.
Hutton’s second term will commence on 1 March 2020. The firm also recently
announced the re-election of Christo Els as senior partner of Webber Wentzel for a second term. Els and Hutton will continue to lead the firm for the next five years.