Linklaters appoints Andrew Jones as head of its Africa group to further boost its Africa business

Linklaters has appointed London partner Andrew Jones as head of its Africa group, succeeding Sandeep Katwala. Recognised as one of the leading international lawyers operating in Africa, Andrew takes on the role from today. 

Building on the firm’s track record of Africa related work spanning 30 years, which has seen Linklaters work on landmark deals in almost every African country, Andrew’s appointment is the latest in a series of strategic steps designed to enhance the firm’s Africa business, continue the implementation of its alliance with Webber Wentzel and further develop relationships with other African firms across the continent – starting with a three-day London event, involving a large number of African lawyers from relationship firms, taking place next week.  

“Africa is and remains a huge growth opportunity. Activity in traditional sectors such as natural resources and infrastructure remain strong, but we are also seeing a great deal of activity across retail, financial services, private equity, agribusiness, real estate and food and beverage”, said Andrew Jones. 

“When you look at Africa today, continuing discoveries of natural resources and the developmental impact of infrastructure projects are completely changing the face of economies and populations. The nature of these changes are indicative of the long term potential and the prospects for growth right across the continent”, he continued.  

Commenting on Andrew’s appointment, Simon Davies, Linklaters’ firmwide managing partner said: “Given Andrew’s Africa track record and deep rooted knowledge of the region, he is ideally suited to leading our client offering in Africa. The continent is increasingly becoming a key part of our business offering and one in which clients are looking to us for significant support. Whether it is through supporting clients Africa in Anglophone, Francophone or Lusophone countries or facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and Europe and the Middle East,  the Americas or Asia, we believe that we have the most comprehensive and well resourced client proposition in the market.” 

Track record

Through our Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa experience, and our UK, U.S. and Islamic Finance capabilities, together with a deep rooted alliance with Webber Wentzel in South Africa, Linklaters offers clients an unrivalled legal offering to support their Africa related work. At any given point we are working approximately on around 200 live matters across 30 African countries and have significant sector experience particularly in financial services, mining, telecoms, agribusiness, real estate, infrastructure and energy.  

Through an alliance with leading South African firm Webber Wentzel which began in February 2013, we have complemented and strengthened our pan-African offering, enabling us to provide clients with a unique combination of international and local experience, know-how and resource in South Africa and the accompanying region of Southern Africa. 

With 400 lawyers in South Africa and over 350 lawyers with significant Africa experience elsewhere, the alliance offers clients a full service and integrated offering. To date we have exchanged around 230 referrals between the two firms.

Together, Linklaters and Webber Wentzel emerged as the most active law firms in Africa M&A in 2014, together advising on 45 deals with a combined value in excess of US$26.27 billion*. The figure represents a 43% increase in value compared to 2013.  

Jones added: “2014 was an incredibly busy year for our Africa practice across M&A, project and debt financing and capital markets and with a strong visible pipeline of work, we’re expecting that to continue into this year. These figures also show just how successful our relationship with Webber Wentzel has been, something which the league tables clearly demonstrate.” 

Relationship firms

In relation to other African jurisdictions, Linklaters has longstanding relationships with the best local law firms across the continent. In order to further enhance these, Andrew’s term will begin in earnest with hosting the Leading Lawyers Forum, a three-day programme organised and run by Linklaters involving numerous lawyers from our network of local counsel firms in Africa. The event, which will begin on 2 February 2015, will bring together law firms from across the continent, together with representatives from a range of multinational corporations and financial institutions for a networking reception.  

Discussing the event, Jones says: “In the past we’ve held bespoke training sessions involving lawyers from different parts of Africa but this is the first time that we’re bringing everyone together. It’s a unique opportunity to learn from one another and share legal best practice, and, at the same time, boost the strong relationships we already have with the local firms.”

For further information, contact Surinder Sian on 0207 456 4842