Legal Business Blogs

Clyde & Co ramps up South African offering with Norton Rose, ENS hires

Clyde & Co has continued its seemingly relentless international push of the last 18 months, this time recruiting ten new lawyers including five partners in South Africa, bringing the total number of legal staff across its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices to 30.

The Global 100 firm, which has been in South Africa since May 2014, bulks up its presence at a time when major firms such as Herbert Smith Freehills and DLA Piper are just establishing practices on the ground.

From Norton Rose Fulbright the firm has hired head of insurance Tony Hardie and former director Amelia Costa, who is also an insurance specialist. The duo join as partners and will be accompanied by Christopher MacRoberts and Ina Iyer at the firm’s Johannesburg office.

Hardie is recommended by The Legal 500 for dispute resolution and was with Norton Rose for almost 30 years, while Costa had been with the firm since 2006.

Two more partners join Clyde & Co from local leader Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS) Africa, with litigators Robert Scott and Alon Meyerov joining the Johannesburg office along with Nicole Gabryk and Kate Swart who join as associates. Scott has spent six years in the disputes department at ENS, while Meyerov’s focus is on disputes in the construction and engineering sectors.

The firm has also appointed Athol Gordon from another strong domestic firm, Bowman Gilman. Gordon is a medical malpractice lawyer who joins as partner. With more than 20 years’ experience, he will be posted in the Cape Town office.

Clyde & Co international arbitration group partner Maurice Kenton, who has been involved in the firm’s expansion into South Africa, said: ‘With this latest expansion we are now not only firmly established as a top tier insurance practice in the region but have also positioned ourselves in a position of strength in the commercial and construction disputes space. Our clear strength in disputes, whether domestic or international, and the insurance sector minimises conflicts and means we are uniquely positioned to provide our clients with muscular litigation and arbitration services.’

This latest move in Africa follows Clyde & Co securing a merger with Scottish firm Simpson & Marwick in September, as well as hiring a string of partners to join its global arbitration group over the past 18 months.

The firm has been one of the fastest-growing UK-based firms in recent years, with revenues growing 8% to £395m in 2015.