After much speculation as to what the first move would be for DLA Piper in Johannesburg, the firm has announced the appointment of its new managing partner to establish itself in the city.

Joining the firm from Linklaters alliance firm in South Africa, Webber Wentzel, is Johannes Gouws, a cross border and domestic M&A specialist with several years of experience.

His other areas of expertise include securities regulation, corporate finance and general corporate law. Recent mandates while working at Webber Wentzel include taking a lead role for FirstRand Bank in connection with it's acquisition of Discovery's credit card business. 

Following DLA Piper's split with former ally Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in August 2015, and the firm establishing an office in the country shortly afterwards, a move for a rainmaker in the country was inevitable, and this lateral hire is likely to be the first of many as the firm looks to increase its presence. 

This is the latest in a string of hires by international firms in South Africa, in what has been a turbulent couple of years in the jurisdiction.