• Scott Nelson to play key role advising private equity funds on their African cross-border deals and investment
  • Clients include the leading international Africa-focused private equity fund
  • PE interest in Africa at record levels with value of investments almost doubling in 2015 and exits at 8-year high

We have further enhanced its Global Private Equity practice with the appointment of Scott Nelson from ENSafrica, where he was Head of their Africa Practice group.

Scott, a Private Equity and Corporate Funds partner, joined the firm on 1 March 2016. He is an English-qualified lawyer, also admitted in Scotland, with almost two decades of experience in the private equity industry.

Scott specializes in cross-border and corporate transactions, representing many of the international Africa-focused private equity funds and sponsors. He will be responsible for driving forward the Firm's Pan-African Private Equity offering, playing a key role advising specialist Africa-focused funds.

Mike Fieweger, Global Head of Baker McKenzie's Private Equity practice, said: "Seeking growth opportunities in emerging markets is currently the number one priority for the PE industry. With interest in Africa at record levels we are delighted to welcome Scott to the Firm at a time when fundraising, investments and exits are all rising and look set to continue to do so over the coming years."

Scott's appointment adds additional English law capability to the Firm's rapidly growing transactional practices in Johannesburg which have been bolstered by the relocations of Banking & Finance partner Frances Okosi and Capital Markets partner Chris Hogan from London in 2014. Scott will work closely with Head of Corporate/M&A in Johannesburg, Morné van der Merwe, and London Head of Private Equity, David Allen, as the Firm continues to build out its corporate capabilities.

Morné van der Merwe added: "Scott is one of the most highly regarded Private Equity and Corporate Funds lawyers in the market and we're delighted that he's joined the Firm. His arrival not only signifies the continued growth of our transactional practices but also presents enormous possibilities for our clients in the pan-African Private Equity space."

Scott joined ENSafrica in 2009 as a partner and has been ranked as a Leading Lawyer (Corporate/Commercial) in the Africa-wide section of the Chambers Global Guide from 2012 to date.

Commenting, London Head of Private Equity David Allen said: "Scott brings a wealth of private equity experience across multiple jurisdictions, particularly on the sponsor side. As we continue to grow our transactional practices and build out our capabilities in London, he is also going to play a crucial role in enhancing our UK private equity benchstrength."

Baker McKenzie's Johannesburg office launched in May 2012 with 31 lawyers and staff and has since grown to more than 100 lawyers and staff. Baker McKenzie has an extensive practice covering the African continent with three offices in Cairo, Casablanca and Johannesburg.

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