Law firms expand in Africa

South African law firm Webber Wentzel has bagged a team of M&A lawyers from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, while Fluxmans Attorneys has hired a new director.

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South African law firm Webber Wentzel has bagged a team of M&A lawyers from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, while Fluxmans Attorneys has hired a new director.

Linklaters’ South African law firm Webber Wentzel has hired mergers and acquisitions (M&A) partner Lilia Franca and her team from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH), where Franca was most recently director. It follows CDH’s hire of two new directors to its commercial and corporate practice from ENSafrica.

Franca and Giada Masina have both joined the firm as partners, Franca specialising in M&A and capital markets work, with a particular focus on the regulatory side and take-private transactions, while the core of Masina’s practice is M&A and mining law. She has brought over a decade of experience in the mining sector to Webber Wentzel, and also advises on the full cycle of mining regulatory aspects of commercial transactions.

Franca and Masina previously spent 17 and 14 years at CDH, respectively.

Gopolang Kgaile and Justin Roberts have also joined the firm alongside Franca and Masina, at the associate level.

In a statement, Webber Wentzel’s corporate business unit head Ziyanda Ntshona said that Franca and her team “are highly regarded in the market”, also noting their “experience, expertise and well-established client relationships” as key to solidifying the firm’s market position in the M&A and capital markets space.

Meanwhile, construction and litigation lawyer Khaya Mantengu, also a former CDH and ENSafrica lawyer in his early career for two and three years, respectively, has made the lateral move from Gwina Attorneys to Fluxmans Attorneys, as a director.

Mantengu, who represents clients in construction disputes, involving the construction of power stations, roads, mines, dams and smelters across Africa, “offers specialist experience acting for clients in most sectors, including public and state companies and private parties involved in infrastructure projects, such as ports, dams, power stations, toll roads, hospitals and government accommodation facilities,” said Fluxmans’ joint CEO, Ira Epstein, in a statement.

Epstein added: “His extensive experience in mediation, adjudication and arbitration means he will be an asset to our already formidable litigation team.”

Prior to a year in his most recent position, Mantengu was director of his own firm, Mantengu Attorneys, for a year, before which he was also a director at KM Consulting in Johannesburg, for two years. Earlier in his career, he also served as group legal counsel at Dynamic Instruments, design, construction and maintenance company for the required infrastructure for power stations in Africa.

Pinsent Masons added a Johannesburg corporate partner, also this month, while in February, operational control of DLA Piper in Africa was taken over by the firm’s existing Middle East managing partner, and BonelliErede continued to build its Africa team.