South African firm Webber Wentzel, which launched a formal alliance with Linklaters in 2013 and continues to be a member of the African Legal Network (ALN), has in the past few days added seven lawyers from rival firms and industry to deepen its bench for oil and gas mandates, mining and general corporate and commercial.
The firm recruited Aberdeen-based Bond Dickinson partner Kenny Paton and brought in PetroSA's general counsel Owen Tobias and senior legal advisor Candice Gabriel. The fourth move saw the firm hire Pulane Kingston, a former Absa Capital lawyer and co-founder of investment company Sphere Holdings who brings strategic government and regulatory expertise.
Paton was a partner of Bond Dickinson's oil and gas team within the energy and natural resources department and has been heavily involved in the Guangdong Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, China's first LNG terminal and associated high-pressure gas supply pipelines.
The new team of four will work alongside oil and gas department head John Smelcer, who joined the firm from Latham & Watkins last year.
The firm has also pinched two senior lawyers from Brink Falcon Hume, including named partner Johan Brink, who originally founded Brink Cohen le Roux, and director Leroux Odendaal. Along with them Nerina Erasmus will join Webber Wentzel as an associate. The team brings with them corporate, M&A and commercial experience across a variety of sectors including mining, TMT, agriculture, engineering and industry.