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Hogan Lovells eyes growth in South Africa with hire of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs partner as banking head

Transatlantic giant Hogan Lovells has made its first lateral hire in South Africa since merging last December with Routledge Modise, taking on finance partner Anina Boshoff from leading local firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS) to head up its banking and finance department in Johannesburg.

Boshoff (pictured), who returned to South Africa early in 2010 after working in the Singapore office of Allen & Overy for three years, will begin her new role on 1 March, and will be joined by ENS associates Candice Morgan and Sanrie van Tonder.

Admitted as a solicitor in South Africa and England & Wales, Boshoff is experienced in local and cross-border transactional work and during her time at ENS she advised both funders, including offshore banks and development finance institutions, and corporates on finance and restructuring transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has been involved in transactions across sectors including media, mining and energy.

Hogan Lovells global finance practice head and incoming deputy chief executive, David Hudd said: ‘Anina’s recruitment is part of an on-going investment programme, ensuring we have a combination of both borrower and lender experience and expertise in our major markets around the world.’

The hire comes after the top 10 LB100 firm – which announced its entry to the South African market in November 2013 via the tie-up with 40-partner former Eversheds ally Routledge Modise – revealed in early February that it will be setting up a business support services function in Johannesburg.

The new function will see vacancies from Europe and Asia evaluated in terms of whether they could as easily be done from the lower cost site.

The new centre follows a strategic review of how the firm provides business services support, and will initially provide a reasonably low-level range of services including conflict checking, client due diligence and research.

The firm is adopting a ‘seed and grow’ strategy with an expected 20 roles implemented in the beginning.

Chief operating officer Nick Cray said at the time of the announcement: ‘This means we will initially start with a small number of roles which we will then increase over a period of time as our experience develops. In almost all cases, roles will be transferred to Johannesburg only as and when people leave the firm. When a vacancy arises in London and in the future in other offices in Europe and Asia, we will evaluate whether that role could be done in South Africa instead.

‘We are working with our new colleagues in South Africa on setting up the service and beginning the recruitment process.’