Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells are among the firms in contention to be named International Law Firm of the Year at the African Legal Awards.

Completing the line-up in this flagship category are Norton Rose Fulbright, White & Case and Covington & Burling, which set up shop in Johannesburg in April after acquiring a team from Chadbourne & Parke ahead of its acquisition by Norton Rose.

Hosted by Legal Week and the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA), and supported by The American Lawyer, the awards – which are in their fifth year – will take place on 8 September at The Wanderers Club, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Among the firms competing for African Law Firm of the Year are the leading South African trio of Bowmans, ENSafrica, Linklaters’ ally Webber Wentzel, as well as Kenya-based Anjarwalla & Khanna, Ghana’s AB & David and Cameroon firm Ngassam, Fansi & Mouafo Avocats Associés.

This year’s General Counsel of the Year shortlist includes: Kelebogile (Lele) Modise, general counsel, corporate investment banking, Barclays Africa; Tinuade Awe, general counsel and head of regulation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange; and Warren Van Rooyen, head of legal at South African Breweries.

Meanwhile, 10 practice awards highlight the variety of legal work taking place in Africa as it continues to attract investment from international law firms, keen to benefit from the continent’s economic growth.

In June, DLA Piper added Senegal and Tunisia firms to its Africa network, DLA Piper Africa, which is shortlisted in the Africa Network/Alliance Category.

Key winners in 2016 included Clifford Chance, which was named International Law Firm of the Year, and Standard Chartered (pictured), which collected the award for Legal Department of the Year – Large Team category.

The judging panel includes: Ian Isdale, general counsel, TigerBrands; and two former award winners – Jonathan Maphosa, general counsel, BankservAfrica, who was named Legal Counsel of the Year in 2015, and Josie Lyon, group legal director, Protea Hotel Group, last year’s General Counsel of the Year.

The evening will culminate in the announcement of the winner of the CCASA Achievement Award, which is chosen by the association and last year went to outgoing public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Click here to read the full shortlist, and click here to find out more about Corporate Counsel Forum Africa, which takes place in Johannesburg on 7 September.

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