21 January 2016 by

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr scoops PMR Africa large law firm award for sixth year in a row

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) has been named South Africa’s number one large law firm in the prestigious PMR Africa client research report for the sixth year in a row.

CDH was highest rated after a national sample of 300 respondents from across in-house corporate legal advisors, MDs, CEOs, financial directors, company secretaries and senior managers was canvassed in October and November 2015.

"We are extremely proud to have been able to maintain such a high level of service for a sustained period and are gearing up to deliver even higher levels of service in the future," says Brent Williams, CEO of CDH.

To ensure it continues to raise the bar and offer the best possible solutions for clients, CDH made eight partner appointments to its finance and banking, employment and tax practices in late 2015. This is line with the strategy of the firm to grow its practice areas in the key sectors in which its clients do business, both in South Africa and in other African jurisdictions. These appointments come after director appointments in the M&A, Tax, Private Equity, Telecommunications, Finance and Banking, Energy and Oil & Gas were announced late last year and earlier this year. Law firms in the PMR survey were rated across a range of 29 attributes/criteria, with each attribute rated on a scale of 1.00 to 5.00; where 1.00 is poor and 5.00 is outstanding. Attributes ranged from accessibility of partners to turnaround times and value for money. The firm achieved a mean score of 4.31 (up from 4.27 last year) out of a possible 5.00 and receives the Diamond Arrow Award.

In September, CDH updated its corporate branding to reflect its innovative and integrated service offering. The new brand focuses on its position as a known and trusted top tier South African legal advisor with strong networks across Africa, offering services to clients that reduce their exposure when entering jurisdictions with which they are unfamiliar on the continent.

The firm is adopting a future-focused outlook and the new branding reflects its commitment to partnering with clients to find the optimum ways to service their needs and thereby form enduring relationships despite tough economic conditions.

It is also confident that despite economic headwinds, business opportunities are still firmly in place for its clients. Williams says despite the general emerging market malaise affecting South Africa and other African economies, there remains opportunities in African markets, specifically in financial services, mobile telecommunications, technology, commercial real estate, as well as infrastructure, including road, rail and water, and energy and gas. There is also increased activity in the private equity and M&A space as well as a demand for tax and employment law specialists in South Africa and in other jurisdictions in Africa. 

Prior to receiving the PMR award, the Best Lawyers edition listed nine directors in the CDH Cape office and 25 lawyers from the Johannesburg office. Most notably, David Thompson was rated Best Lawyers’ 2015 Cape Town Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year and Peter Hesseling Best Lawyers’ 2015 Cape Town Corporate Lawyer of the Year.

“Our approach to the integration of service and sectoral offerings, the addition of value-added services, a focus on innovation, partner collaboration and client–tailored solutions, is made easier because of the impressive caliber of people (both professional and support staff) behind the CDH brand,” concludes Williams.

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