The South African office of international firm Baker & McKenzie has added a new partner to its competition team in Johannesburg from a domestic rival.

Nick Altini joins the team from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr where he had headed up the competition practice since 2006.

Altini works on abuse of dominance cases, cartels and merger control include representing in securing merger approval for its acquisition of, who are the leading online retailers in South Africa.

This move is the firm's third hire from Cliffe Dekker in recent times, with Altini following in the footsteps of Jennifer Stolp in 2014, as well as Kieran Whyte, who was head of the projects and infrastructure team until his move in 2015.

The move follows the joint decision of Cliffe Dekker and DLA Piper to end their longstanding alliance in August 2015, and highlights a growing trend in South Africa of local lawyers joining international firms.

Although this trend could sound alarm bells for local outfits, in a recent interview with IFLR1000, Dave Walker of Werksmans Attorneys said that the influx of international firms could be a positive development for the South African market: "It's a good thing. Every international firm is taking a team of lawyers from South African law firms. We are going to see a lot of consolidation within the next two or three years, and the South African market has learnt a hell of a lot in the process."