Dentons combines with Zimbabwean elite firm

Firms' combination with MawereSibanda aims to position both firms to meet client needs in Africa and around the globe.


Dentons has announced a proposed combination with MawereSibanda, a leading law firm in Zimbabwe. This combination builds on Dentons’ ambition to become the first pan-African law firm owned and controlled by Africans. The combination, following approval by partners and subject to meeting regulatory requirements, is expected to launch in the next several months.


MawereSibanda has 21 lawyers, a full range of practice areas and a presence in Botswana. “We are enthusiastic about joining Dentons, their polycentric approach provides us with a unique platform.” said Tatende Mawere of MawereSibanda. Co-founder, V B Sibanda said “This platform will allow us to offer our clients access to lawyers in all the places they do business.” Dentons says its polycentric approach and “in and of the community” philosophy creates a competitive advantage in connecting talent to opportunity in Africa. In a country scarred by the legacy of colonialism and in a market where the operations of every leading law firm are hierarchical, Dentons says its unique polycentric and anti-colonial approach has been a stark differentiator, disrupting the traditional model for providing legal services in Africa. Dentons is the first global firm in which its African operations are 100 percent owned by local partners from the black indigenous community. “The combination with MawereSibanda builds upon our strategy to become the first pan-African law firm owned and controlled by Africans”, said Elliott Portnoy, Global ceo of Dentons. “As the world’s first truly polycentric global law firm, we are able to meet client demands for a law firm that can deliver high-quality legal counsel and business solutions, informed by an in-depth understanding of the various cultures in which our clients operate.”


Joe Andrew, global chair of Dentons, explained  “We are building a pan-African law firm through whole firm combinations of locally owned and controlled firms, that serve both local and global clients. While I appreciate that this may sound like a nuance, it is the kind of small difference that other firms in Africa, that are truly in and of each community, will understand and appreciate.” The combination in Zimbabwe follows the firm’s launch with Kenya's Hamilton, Harrison & Mathews and Mauritius' Mardemootoo Solicitors and Balgobin Chambers and builds on the strength of the brand Dentons has established in Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. “The combination in Zimbabwe with a strong firm like MawereSibanda will help us continue to attract even more top talent and top law firms in Africa," said Noor Kapdi, ceo of Dentons Africa region.

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