Strengthening the leadership team for legal services in Africa

Strengthening the leadership team for legal services in Africa
11 Oct 2019

Eversheds Sutherland’s Africa Group today announces a number of new leadership roles which will support its clients’ needs and drive further growth across the continent over the next five years.

Eversheds Sutherland’s Africa Group is currently working with a wide range of both local and international clients on contentious and non-contentious mandates throughout Africa. The team works in conjunction with its offices in Tunisia, South Africa and Mauritius as well as the Eversheds Sutherland’s Africa Alliance (ESAA) firms in over 35 countries in Africa.

With effect from 1 October 2019, the new leadership team comprises:

  • John Kemkers, Commercial Disputes Partner, London who has been appointed Head of the Africa Group
  • Wesley Pydiamah, International Arbitration Partner, Paris who has been appointed Deputy Head of the Africa Group, and
  • Farès Koussay El Heni, who remains Managing Partner of the Tunisian office, and who has also been appointed Deputy Head of the Africa Group in Paris

The team will lead on the implementation of the firm’s Africa strategy, focusing on priority sectors, principally energy, infrastructure, financial services and technology, and in key practices areas including mergers & acquisitions, private equity, projects, finance and international dispute management.

In line with the firm’s Africa strategy, the leadership team is being supported by a wider leadership group with substantial Africa experience in these key sectors and practice areas. This group includes Peter van Nierkerk and Michael Hough, the Managing Partners of the firm’s South Africa and Mauritius offices, respectively, as well as sector and practice group leaders in the firm’s principal international offices which have an Africa focus, notably London, Paris, Dubai, Beijing and the US.

John Kemkers, the Head of the Africa Group at Eversheds Sutherland comments:

“The bolstering of the Africa Group’s leadership team reflects the importance which the firm attaches to the Africa practice. We are already working on significant, high profile mandates across Africa and we are committed to growing the practice further by providing clients with specialist sector and practice area support, working in conjunction with our offices and ESAA firms on the continent.

“As an African by birth and upbringing, I am passionate about Africa and the opportunities it affords our business. I am also delighted to welcome Wesley and Fares to the leadership team. They are both first rate practitioners with in depth African knowledge and experience and I look forward to working with them and the wider Africa Group in the coming months and years to drive our Africa strategy forward”.

Wesley Pydiamah, the Deputy Head of the Africa Group comments:

“It is a true honour to form part of the leadership team with John and Fares who I have known and worked with for many years. All three of us were born and raised on the continent but, more importantly, we share a common vision as to how we will take our Africa practice to the next level. Our presence on the continent, coupled with our and close collaboration with our ESAA firms on projects throughout Africa, puts us in a unique position to address our clients’ needs and challenges wherever they arise.”

Farès El Heni, the Deputy Head of the Africa Group comments:

“I am really proud to join John and Wesley on the leadership team. As Wesley has said, the three of us have a common vision for our Africa practice. That vision is informed by the needs of our clients which are our first priority and underpin our Africa strategy and team structure. I am looking forward to working with John, Wesley and other colleagues involved in our Africa practice in supporting our clients across the continent”.

See also: Eversheds Sutherland growing the South African office

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
John Kemkers
John Kemkers

John Kemkers focuses on managing disputes across the Middle East and Africa. He is also Co-Head of the firm’s Africa Group. His experience includes: advising on claims with a total value in excess of USD 2 billion in local Courts across the Middle East and Africa; advising on disputes with a combined value of USD 130 million involving proceedings in the English Courts, and subsequent enforcement proceedings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; advising in relation to a +USD 100m dispute in the DIFC Courts in Dubai; advising on a USD 20 million dispute relating to a real estate project in Libya; and advising on a +USD 125m dispute in relation to a project in Iraq. He has also advised on the enforcement of judgements and arbitral awards across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Send a legal query to John Kemkers
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