Daniel Le Roux, current head of Webber Wentzel’s insurance and legal liability practice group, will leave to lead the South African operations together with other Wentzel’s employees including Rashad Ismail and Warren Hiepner in Johannesburg, and Arthur James and Max Ebrahim in Cape Town.
13 lawyers will also be hired for the operations, with 10 joining the Johannesburg office and three working in Cape Town.
The company said the offices will initially focus on insurance and dispute resolution.
“The South African insurance market is highly sophisticated, while still having considerable growth potential,” said the firm. “Our new offices will provide a strong base for our activities across both South Africa and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.”
In February, a report by Clyde & Co revealed that the cost of doing business for brokers in the UAE was to rise significantly owing to legislation introduced by the Insurance Authority.
The law firm’s report revealed a number of new broker costs including a jump in the paid up capital for firm from AED1m to AED3m for locally incorporated firms and to AED10m for foreign companies.
Author of the report and a partner at Clyde & Co, James O’Shea, said as paid up capital is not the same as solvency, “it is difficult to see these new requirements as anything other than an incentive to get the smaller players out of the market and discourage foreign entrants”.
Clyde & Co is a global law firm with over 1400 lawyers operating from 37 offices in six continents. The firm advises corporates, financial institutions, private individuals, and governments. It has become known for its work in emerging markets, and is the largest international law firm in the Middle East.