Executive partner Christopher Utting (with award) and his team collect the award from awards host broadcaster Leanne Manas (left) and judge Gary Berndt, Barloworld Executive partner Christopher Utting (with award) and his team collect the award from awards host broadcaster Leanne Manas (left) and judge Gary Berndt, Barloworld

Finalists: Baker & McKenzie; Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr; Norton Rose Fulbright; Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie

White & Case was named joint winner of the Construction Team of the Year award for helping coordinate the first major pan-African housing development programme by a Chinese company (CITIC Construction Co). The $300m (£246m) investment platform – which is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – is designed to deliver affordable housing in sub-Saharan Africa, with initial projects being developed in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria.The platform structure allows greater flexibility for long-term investments in further housing projects across Africa, which will range in size from 2,000 to 8,000 units and be developed alongside local housing companies.

Led by Johannesburg-based partner Mukund Dhar, White & Case acted as lead counsel on the deal, liaising with local counsel in places such as Mauritius, Hong Kong and mainland China, and showcasing the firm’s project management capabilities by directing this complex cross-border transaction, spread across two different continents and a six-hour time difference. White & Case regularly represents IFC in Africa and has been advising Chinese clients for more than 30 years, increasingly in cross-border deals in Africa.