Webber Wentzel is anticipating increased demand for restructuring and insolvency advice and has hired two Johannesburg restructuring partners to meet that demand.
South African law firm Webber Wentzel has added depth to its restructuring and insolvency practice with the hire of a pair of partners.
Julian Jones was recruited from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr where he spent 12 years and was a director and head of the business rescue, restructuring and insolvency practice. He advises clients including boards, creditors, liquidators, business rescue professionals and financial institutions on liquidation and insolvency procedures, debt recovery and contracts.
Khurshid Fazel was previously acting as a consultant from the firm, having previously worked for London-headquartered Allen & Overy, where she was a partner.
She specialises in banking and finance, advising on debt reorganisation and advising funders, corporates, lenders and borrowers on a range of matters. Fazel also has tax advice experience and focuses on South African matters, both on behalf of local and international banks.
Webber Wentzel senior partner Christo Els said in a statement that the hires came at a time of increasing demand: “In our experience, early interventions are critical to keep a business going and, right now, we all have a vested interest in the long-term health of South African businesses.”
He explained that the new arrivals provided depth to the practice “at a time when many businesses are facing the economic threat of Covid-19, and an increasing number are calling on our assistance. Even some of South Africa’s most established companies may face liquidity problems and difficulties dealing with their liabilities – whether in making required payments on borrowed money, raising additional debt to address liquidity needs or selling assets to raise capital or pay down debt”.
Lara Kahn, a partner in the business rescue practice, commented: “Our ability to lead on a transaction of this scale and complexity validates the strength and depth of our R&I [restructuring and insolvency] offering. These transactions require advice on other key areas such as tax, litigation and employment law as well as regulatory expertise.”
It follows the promotion of nine lawyers to partner and senior associate by Eversheds Sutherland in Johannesburg in March.