The firm has always offered clients competition law, trade and investment (CTI) advice, but in response to changing times and client needs, they decided to merge their expertise into one more formally integrated client offering. Webber Wentzel believes this shift will enable them to better assist clients with all the legal nuances of investing in and into Africa.
The new practice area also aligns with Webber Wentzel’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, their Africa vision and their goal of having a transformative and sustainable impact through their work and actions.
Daryl Dingley, partner and head of the Competition, Trade and Investment Practice, explained why there’s a need for an integrated trade and investment offering in South Africa. “Given all the complexities, conflicts and the importance of trade, competition and investment to firms and policy makers alike, we decided that it was time to offer our clients a holistic service offering that covers all these areas from within a single practice group,” he said.
Across the world, competition laws are constantly changing and increasingly influencing key aspects of every firm’s corporate and commercial strategies. This trend is particularly prevalent in Africa, where the establishment and enforcement of domestic and regional competition laws have increased significantly over the last few years.
Webber Wentzel already has a large team of competition law experts with both commercial and economic training and experience. This team is well known in the market for assisting clients with complex competition law issues and for being able to provide cost-effective, business-centric solutions.
Clients across all economic sectors in Africa look to them for solutions that manage their compliance requirements and that are suitable to their unique business needs, including cross-border capabilities.
The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will encourage more businesses to take a regional view on CTI, and presents an important opportunity to enhance long-term growth in Africa. Webber Wentzel’s new CTI practice offers one point of contact to handle transactions over multiple jurisdictions and works closely with their alliance partner Linklaters and other relationship firms across the rest of Africa.
In addition to the current competition, trade, and investment advisory and approvals services they offer, the CTI practice will be able to assist with trade compliance; drafting and negotiating trade agreements; trade due diligence in M&A transactions; Africa market entry and industrialisation strategy; input on import, export and supply chain legal strategy; investment promotion and protection; drafting trade remedy laws; and advising African governments on trade policy.
The CTI practice will also work with various chambers of commerce, regulators and trade contacts at key regional bodies to promote trade and investment in Africa.
Webber Wentzel’s core CTI team will draw from the best by collaborating with a virtual trade and investment team comprising experts from other practice groups such as dispute resolution, tax, funds, M&A, corporate, banking and finance, export finance, public law and intellectual property.
The firm’s expertise, ability to innovate, and commitment to go the extra mile to achieve significant outcomes for their clients, ensures they remain at the forefront of ground-breaking developments. To learn more about the new CTI practice, watch the launch presentation here or visit the Webber Wentzel website here.
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