White & Case in Johannesburg has strengthened its office with the hires of Joz Coetzer and Craig Whitley from Bowman Gilfillan. The duo will join the US firm in early 2014. 

The firm has renewed its commitment to sub-Saharan Africa and the Johannesburg office is set to become a hub for banking and project finance in the region. 

"A strong Johannesburg office is fundamental to our strategy in Africa," White & Case Chairman Hugh Verrier says. "The addition of these senior partners in Johannesburg underscores our commitment to our clients in South Africa, as well as the increasing number of multinationals and financial institutions doing business in the region."

The firm has also decided to relocate London-based project finance partners Mukund Dhar and Christopher Utting, who will join the South African office in January 2014. It will be providing its clients English and South African law finance advice on the ground. 

Lee Cullinane, head of White & Case's EMEA bank finance group said: "South Africa is a natural target for expansion, given marketplace growth and the attractiveness of Johannesburg to both local and international financial institutions. The redeployment of Chris and Mukund from London will be invaluable in strengthening ties throughout the firm."

In 1995 White & Case became the first international firm to establish an office in post-apartheid South Africa. In recent years its presence has been subdued but it has renewed its commitment in an increasingly globalised market.