Leading law firm Webber Wentzel's
Christo Els has been re-appointed to serve a second five-year term as senior partner after an uncontested election. As a leading mergers & acquisitions lawyer, he will continue to combine his work with clients and his role in leading the firm.
Commenting on his re-election, Els said: "It is a privilege to be entrusted by my fellow partners with the opportunity to lead Webber Wentzel for a further 5 years. I look forward to building on the firm's strengths and I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. My focus will be to continue driving the firm’s Africa growth strategy and seeking ways to partner with our clients in driving business success across the African continent."
Els's re-election coincides with Webber Wentzel's recognition at the recent 2019 African Legal Awards where the firm scooped the coveted awards of the evening - African Law Firm of the Year and Alliance of the Year (with Linklaters). The judges said: "Webber Wentzel continues to demonstrate excellence in all of its key sectors and has prospered under a successful alliance with a global law firm. It has also shown a real commitment to promoting access to justice". On the Webber Wentzel/Linklaters alliance - the first and only of its kind in Africa, they said: "The firms demonstrate a strong deal presence across multiple jurisdictions, and consistently work to ensure that the client has the experience of working with one firm".
Els, who leads the firm's Africa and broader international strategy and who was pivotal in negotiating the Linklaters alliance in 2013, said in response to the awards: "We are particularly proud of being awarded African Law Firm of the Year as it endorses our ability to provide our clients with tailored solutions to their business aspirations on the African continent. When we entered into our alliance with Linklaters seven years ago, it was our vision to build an alliance model that would support our clients as they expand into Africa and globally. So it is also gratifying to have been awarded Alliance of the Year as it affirms our model in providing clients with a flexible offering wherever they do business."
Christo Els has been with the firm for 23 years, having joined as a candidate attorney in 1996. He is regarded as a leader in his field, having advised on transformational and cross-border transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa and some of the most complex acquisitions in dealmaking history, such as Old Mutual on its recent Managed Separation and AB InBev's take-over of SABMiller. His corporate and capital markets expertise is consistently recognised by various international research organisations.
Christo's second mandate will commence on 1 March 2020. The managing partner election process will follow on from this.