Herbert Smith Freehills following others into Johannesburg
Herbert Smith Freehills is planting a solid base into Johannesburg, South Africa, following a trend among big law firms recently to establish ground operations in the region. To lead the creation of the new office, HSF has hired two partners from South African firm Webber Wentzel, finance lawyer Brigetter Baillie and mining specialist Peter Leon. Webber Wentzel is an ally firm with Linklaters.
The pair will lead HSF's new venture in the region. They will be joined by Ed Baring, current Moscow banking and finance head, Bertrand Motembault, current Paris energy and infrastructure head, and Yann Alix, who is an English and French qualified senior associate.
Several firms have focused efforts on the region recently. DLA Piper recently ended its alliance with South African firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and will establish its own office in Johannesburg. Dentons and Chadbourne & Parke both opened offices there this year. Allen & Overy was the first of magic circle firms to open an office there, when it entered the region last year.