Bowmans adds M&A team in Johannesburg from Baker McKenzie

Bakers’ South Africa M&A co-head Angela Simpson moves over alongside three more lawyers

Big Five South African law firm Bowmans has bolstered its M&A bench in Johannesburg with the hire of a team from Baker McKenzie. 

The team is led by veteran partner Angela Simpson, who co-headed Baker McKenzie’s M&A team in Johannesburg, and includes newly-minted partner Janine Howard, a senior associate and an associate. 

The group have moved to Bowmans having joined Baker McKenzie early last year from South African firm Webber Wentzel, around the same time Bakers hired corporate partners Lydia Shadrach-Razzino and Veruscha Pillay from ENSAfrica and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr respectively. 

Chairman and senior partner, Ezra Davids, said: “Bowmans is known as a leader in the M&A market, offering advice that is sought after particularly, but not exclusively, in challenging market conditions. Our new M&A team members share our commercially oriented, problem-solving mindset and we are delighted to welcome them to Bowmans.”

Simpson brings 25 years’ experience in public and private corporate transactions and M&A across sub-Saharan Africa to her new firm, with a focus on the private equity and venture capital industry. Her expertise spans the financial services, logistics, mining, telecoms and renewable energy sectors, among others, and she has worked for clients including Actis, RCL Foods and CSSAF Holdings, a PE investment vehicle managed by The Carlyle Group. 

Meantime Howard, who was a director designate at Bakers, has nine years’ post-admission experience advising on corporate, mining, B-BBEE and private equity transactions in South Africa and other jurisdictions. 

Tholinhlanhla Gcabashe, who was named Bowmans’ head of corporate/M&A last month as part of a wider leadership shakeup at the firm, said the team would “be of great value in our aim to help our clients conclude some of the largest and most complex transactions in the region”. 

He added: “I’m confident that they will help us to build on the strong foundation that we have established in the M&A space.” 

A Baker McKenzie spokesperson commented: “I can confirm Angela Simpson, Janine Howard, Dominika Pietrzak and Tsholofelo Mofokeng left the firm on 31 March 2024. We wish them all the very best in their new roles.”

Shadrach-Razzino, who co-led Bakers’ Johannesburg corporate/M&A practice with Simpson, will remain as practice head, working alongside partners Mike van Rensburg, Ashlin Perumall and Pillay. 

Bowmans also bolstered its business rescue, restructuring and insolvency (BR&I) capabilities in Johannesburg in January with the hire of a team from Cliffe Dekker that included the latter’s BR&I sector head, Tobie Jordaan, alongside three more partners and two associates.

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