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White & Case Strengthens Johannesburg Office

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White & Case

In an effort to boost the law firm’s project finance and bank-finance work in sub-Saharan Africa, White & Case has hired three partners in its Johannesburg office and relocated two others from its London office. On Monday, the law firm announced the efforts to strengthen its Africa practice.

White & Case has always been serious about its practice in South Africa and it was the first international law firm to establish an office in post-apartheid South Africa. Emphasizing the same, White & Case Chairman Hugh Verrier said, “A strong Johannesburg office is fundamental to our strategy in Africa … The addition of these senior partners in Johannesburg underscores our commitment to our clients in South Africa, as well as the increasing number of multinationals and financial institutions doing business in the region.”

The three new partners recruited by White & Case for its Africa operations are Joh Coetzer, Johan de Lange, and Craig Whitley. They will be joining in the banking project and finance groups.

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Coetzer and Whitley are joining from Bowman Gilfillan, while De Lange will be leaving Webber Wentzel, where he was head of the banking and finance department.

Christopher Utting, a member of the firm’s global partnership committee, will be relocating from the London office to Johannesburg to head the Africa operations. Uttling is a senior project finance lawyer and has been with White & Case since 2002. He will be joined by project finance partner Mukund Dhar, who would also be relocating from the London office.

Lee Cullinane, the head of White & Case’s EMEA Bank Finance group said, “The redeployment of Chris and Mukund from London will be invaluable in strengthening ties throughout the Firm.”

Philip Stopford, head of White & Case’s EMEA Energy, Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance group said the addition of the senior lawyers “represents an important landmark in the development of the Firm’s practice in Africa.”

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