DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, the South African affiliate of the DLA Piper Group, has announced that Willem Jacobs has been appointed National Practice Head of the firm’s Corporate and Commercial practice. The practice comprises more than 30 partners, making it one of the largest corporate and commercial legal teams in the country.
Jacobs is a home-grown appointment, having commenced employment with the firm in 1995. He is a highly regarded specialist in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity.
Jacobs commented on his appointment, “Our Corporate and Commercial practice comprises a large group of excellent, energetic, highly motivated and committed lawyers. For me, is it not about how one leads, but who one leads. Being at the helm of this team of extremely good lawyers makes the task of guiding them an easy one. Our strategy is to continue to expand, not only in terms of our client base, but also within our team.”
“The Corporate and Commercial team includes partners such as Johan Latsky, Quintin Honey and David Pinnock, who advised on the 2011 Dealmakers Deal of the Year; Banzi Malinga, who advised on the biggest commercial property deal of the year in 2011, as well as Gasant Orrie, Allan Reid, Peter Hesseling, Peter Prinsloo and David Thompson, to name a few.”
Jacobs has advised on a number of the country’s largest transactions. During the last year he advised Steinhoff International Holdings on its acquisition of controlling interests in both KAP International Holdings and JD Group, which transactions were valued at over R10 billion, and he was the lead legal advisor on the merger of Tiso Group and Kagiso Trust Investments to form Kagiso Tiso Holdings, a major black economic empowerment investment holding company.
Chris Ewing, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Chairman and highly recognised M&A lawyer within the Corporate and Commercial team, noted, “Willem is a popular and diplomatic leader and under his guidance, the team has new vision and dedication.
Brent Williams, CEO, said, “Willem is an extremely competent corporate lawyer, with a substantial client base, the ability to maintain and develop close relationships with clients and to very quickly become their trusted corporate adviser. His ability to provide astute and responsive advice together with his strong personality and ability to develop close relationships are some of the reasons for his appointment.”
Jacobs is continually recognised for his expertise. Chambers Global has recommended him in Corporate/M&A from 2007 to 2012. The Legal 500 EMEA series 2012 rated Jacobs as having 'an excellent grasp of what (clients) need', and being 'particularly good', in Corporate/M&A.
“We look forward to our Corporate and Commercial team going from strength to strength under Willem’s leadership,” added Ewing.