HSF strengthens Jo'burg bench

Herbert Smith Freehills expands South African office with three senior hires and their teams.


HSF has announced that three leading South African lawyers are joining the firm in its Johannesburg office. The hires - two partners and a senior consultant - are bringing well established teams with them, resulting in a total of 13 appointments.

Bench strength

The move expands the corporate, competition and technology & telecoms offerings. Ross Lomax, a seasoned corporate transactions lawyer with a track record of advising on M&A deals focusing on the mining and renewable energy sectors, joins the firm on 1 August, together with a five-strong team. He brings the experience of developing a practice in the area of black economic empowerment (BEE), a key economic driver of commercial activity in South Africa that covers all industries and sectors, Mr Lomax comes to the firm from Norton Rose Fulbright in South Africa, where he was Head of Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions. Nick Altini joined the firm as a partner on 1 July from Baker & McKenzie, where he headed the firm's South African competition practice. He joined with director, Leana Engelbrecht. Together they add to the bench strength of the firm's competition, regulation and trade practice. Rohan Isaacs joined Herbert Smith Freehills in June as a senior consultant alongside one other technology and privacy law specialist. With a focus on outsourcing, system implementation, public procurement and privacy he will support the expansion of the Johannesburg office's TMT offering. Rohan was most recently the head of the TMT practice at Norton Rose Fulbright in South Africa.

“Unparalleled reputations”

These are the latest in a series of hires for the Johannesburg office, which has grown to a total team of about 70 since it opened in October 2015. The latest cohort brings the number of partners in the office to seven. Ed Baring, managing partner of the Johannesburg office, said “Client demand for expertise and advice on mergers and acquisitions, competition and innovation through technology is constantly rising and we are meeting this demand by building our offer across the firm. The additions of Ross, Nick, Rohan and their teams, all of whom enjoy unparalleled reputations in the market, serve to demonstrate our determination to provide clients with access to the highest-quality advice under one roof.” Over the past 30 years, Herbert Smith Freehills has established a strong position in Africa, acting on matters in all of Africa's 54 countries.

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