08 October 2019

Eversheds in Africa push

Firm strengthens the leadership team for legal services in Africa and outline five year vision.

Anton Balazh

Eversheds Sutherland’s Africa Group has announced a number of new leadership roles which it says will support its clients’ needs and drive further growth across the continent over the next five years.

New team

Eversheds Sutherland’s Africa group is currently working with a wide range of both local and international clients on contentious and non-contentious mandates throughout Africa. The team works in conjunction with its offices in Tunisia, South Africa and Mauritius as well as the Eversheds Sutherland’s Africa Alliance (ESAA) firms in over 35 countries in Africa. With effect from 1 October 2019, the new leadership team comprises: John Kemkers, commercial disputes partner, London who has been appointed head of the Africa group; Wesley Pydiamah, international arbitration partner, Paris who has been appointed deputy head of the Africa group; and, Farès Koussay El Heni, who remains managing partner of the Tunisian office, and who has also been appointed deputy head of the Africa group in Paris. The team will lead on the implementation of the firm’s Africa strategy, focusing on priority sectors, principally energy, infrastructure, financial services and technology, and in key practices areas including mergers & acquisitions, private equity, projects, finance and international dispute management. In line with the firm’s Africa strategy, the leadership team is being supported by a wider leadership group with substantial Africa experience in these key sectors and practice areas. This group includes Peter van Nierkerk and Michael Hough, the managing partners of the firm’s South Africa and Mauritius offices, respectively, as well as sector and practice group leaders in the firm’s principal international offices which have an Africa focus, notably London, Paris, Dubai, Beijing and the US.

Africa vision

Mr Kemkers, the Head of the Africa Group at Eversheds Sutherland comments, “The bolstering of the Africa Group’s leadership team reflects the importance which the firm attaches to the Africa practice. We are already working on significant, high profile mandates across Africa and we are committed to growing the practice further by providing clients with specialist sector and practice area support, working in conjunction with our offices and ESAA firms on the continent.” He explained, “As an African by birth and upbringing, I am passionate about Africa and the opportunities it affords our business. I am also delighted to welcome Wesley and Fares to the leadership team. They are both first rate practitioners with in depth African knowledge and experience and I look forward to working with them and the wider Africa Group in the coming months and years to drive our Africa strategy forward”. Mr Pydiamah added, “All three of us were born and raised on the continent but, more importantly, we share a common vision as to how we will take our Africa practice to the next level.” Mr El Heni explained, “The three of us have a common vision for our Africa practice.  That vision is informed by the needs of our clients which are our first priority and underpin our Africa strategy and team structure.”

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