Baker & McKenzie Launches Office in Johannesburg
Baker & McKenzie is firmly strengthening its Africa operations and launched its Johannesburg office this month. During the launch of the office, on November 1, Eduardo Leite, the Chairman of Baker & McKenzie said "Over the past few years, Africa has captured the attention of the global business community with its potential for growth in terms of investment and change... In the past decade, the continent's GDP growth rate doubled, signifying one of the swiftest expanding economic areas in the world today."
South Africa, being the largest economy in Africa, and the largest recipient of foreign investment, has always been a key to the expansion strategies of Baker & McKenzie, and the launch of the Johannesburg office, which was attended by a 100 clients, affirmed the law firm's consistent strategy in Africa.
Speaking on the importance of South Africa, Leite said, "in South Africa Foreign Direct Investment inflows quadrupled last year. Consequently, the majority of our biggest clients are building businesses in Africa, and many are building out their presence from South Africa due to its stability and strong legal framework. Major pan-African companies are also emerging from South Africa, some of which will become global corporations of the future."
Baker & McKenzie's office at Johannesburg is focusing on M&A, finance, energy, mining and infrastructure, project finance, banking and capital markets, securitization and private equity. Wildu du Plessis, who is one of the most well-known and respected banking and finance lawyers in South Africa will lead the office along with Scott Brodsky, who is one of the biggest project lawyers in SA.
Speaking on the occasion, Du Plessis said, "We are delighted to be part of Baker & McKenzie, enabling us to offer clients a unique combination of unrivalled international depth and breadth combined with expert local knowledge around the globe."