Global law firm Baker McKenzie has won the International Law Firm of the Year Award at Legal Week’s African Legal Awards ceremony for the second year in a row. This is the third time the firm has won the award, having received it in 2017 and before that, in 2015. The awards, which recognise exceptional achievement in the African legal sector, were held in Johannesburg on Friday 7 September 2018. The firm was also highly commended in the Transportation and Infrastructure category for its advisory work on the modernisation of the railroad between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Morne van der Merwe, Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, notes "In uncertain times, and an increasingly complex world, the African market has begun demanding a new pace and scale of doing business. In the past 18 months in particular, businesses in Africa have begun to demand legal services and products that allow them to finalise deals across numerous borders with vastly different legal systems, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
"Our clients know that when we are working on transactions in Africa, there will be a fluent service across all our offices and relationship firms in Africa and that we will work as one global, integrated team. And as part of a global law firm, they expect us to have access to the best innovation and technology, which has made a huge difference to the speed and efficiency with which we are support our clients across borders. This has made us extremely competitive in Africa.
"Congratulations to the entire African team for bringing this award home once again."
Baker McKenzie’s EMEA Regional Chair Erik Scheer adds, "In the past 12 months alone, the firm’s Africa team has acted for clients in more than 30 African countries. With over 100 lawyers on the ground in Cairo, Johannesburg and Casablanca, we have one of the largest presences of any international firm in Africa. Combined with over 200 lawyers elsewhere globally with African legal and commercial expertise and am extensive network of African Relationship Firms across the continent, Baker McKenzie is uniquely positioned to support our clients on African transactions, projects and disputes. Receiving this award three times is proof that we are doing so successfully."