Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie, is pleased to announce that its Johannesburg office has appointed Gerhard Rudolph and Morné van der Merwe as co-managing partners, and Wildu du Plessis as Africa head, with effect from 1 July 2016.

Wildu du Plessis will serve the firm in a new role as Africa head for the Johannesburg office. This is part of our strategic plan to coordinate the Johannesburg office's efforts in Africa and raise our profile and traction throughout the continent. The firm has an extensive practice covering the African continent, with three offices in Cairo, Casablanca and Johannesburg, over 100 fee earners based in Africa and more than 200 across the rest of the firm with a focus on Africa.

Wildu du Plessis has over 25 years’ experience and represents and advises leading domestic and international financial institutions, private equity groups and corporates in connection with a wide range of financing transactions, acquisitions, restructurings, regulatory and general finance matters. He has advised on many of the highest profile first-to-market transactions in South Africa.

Bruce Schubach, COO of the Johannesburg office, welcomed the appointments. "We believe these appointments will contribute to the firm's growing success and allow us to build on our current momentum. We are excited about the firm's growth plans."

Gerhard Rudolph resumes his role as joint managing partner for the next financial year. Gerhard founded dispute-focused firm Rudolph, Bernstein & Associates in 2008 before joining Baker McKenzie with his team in December 2012. Gerhard has over 20 years of extensive experience in Dispute Resolution and since taking on the role as managing partner has proven himself to be a proficient and insightful leader.

Gerhard will be joined by Morné van der Merwe as co-managing partner. "I am energized by our ambitious goals for expansion and confident we will continue to innovate and grow." Morné has over 20 years of experience and is often called to advise on complex matters which are highly technical and novel in nature. He assists clients in matters involving mergers and acquisitions, securities law, mining transactions, Black Economic Empowerment, capital markets, corporate finance, buy-outs and private equity transactions.

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