DLA Piper taps Gouws for Africa push

The multinational megafirm has chosen Webber Wentzel corporate partner Johannes Gouws as the first managing partner of its new South Africa office.

Johannesburg, South Africa. Felix Lipov

After launching dually in Johannesburg and Casablanca at the end of last year, DLA Piper has chosen Mr Gouws to spearhead its expansion in the Africa region. He joins the firm’s Johannesburg office from Linklaters-allied firm Webber Wentzel, where he served in the firm’s Legal 500 tier one-ranked M&A team. A specialist in cross-border M&A, corporate finance and securities regulation, Mr Gouws began his legal career at legacy firm Hofmeyr of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, DLA Piper’s former South African ally. He also oversaw one of the country’s largest in-house legal teams as the former general counsel of South African bank Absa.

Committed to growth

‘We are committed to growing and developing our presence in Africa to provide our clients with the specialist legal services they need in a key growth market,’ commented DLA Piper co-chief executive Simon Levine to Legal Business. ‘Johannes is an extremely well-regarded and experienced practitioner and is the ideal person to establish and lead our office in Johannesburg.’ Mr Gouws will be joined at the helm by South Africa chief operating officer Michael Whitaker, who has been with the Johannesburg office since its launch. 

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