05:04, March 13 653 0

2018-03-13 05:04:06
A&O raids Bakers’ South Africa office in 12-lawyer group hire

Allen & Overy (A&O) has hired a team of 12 lawyers from Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office, including five partners.

The team is led by litigation partner Gerhard Rudolph, who has been a partner in Bakers’ disputes team since 2012.

He joined from local boutique Rudolph Bernstein & Associates, which was subsumed into Baker McKenzie’s South Africa operations in 2012.

Some of Rudolph’s former colleagues are joining him on his move to A&O, including partners Michelle Porter Wright and Widaad Ebrahim. Both left Rudolph Bernstein for other firms in 2012 (Berwin Leighton Paisner and Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs respectively), before joining Bakers soon after.

Bakers partner Callum O’Connor is also joining A&O’s litigation team in South Africa, alongside Kate Daniels. Daniels was a partner at Rudolph Bernstein before its acquisition by Bakers.

Rudolph is understood to have left Bakers at the end of last year, although it has taken several months for the magic circle firm to confirm who would be joining him.

The group will focus on construction, infrastructure and mining disputes throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as well as financial services industry disputes.

A&O opened its Johannesburg office in October 2014, becoming the first magic circle firm in the region. It launched after a group hire from Bowman Gilfillan’s banking team.