South African black owned law firm KapdiTwala has joined hands with globalised law firm SNR Denton in a move designed to corner the exploding African energy sector.
In statement released this week, the firms announced an association top work together with an emphasis on capturing the African energy sector. The move can also be seen as significant within the push to transform the commercial legal industry which continues to be dominated by a few established and mainly white legal giants.
Noor Kapdi, managing partner of KapdiTwala the agreement is historic for a number of reasons. “It is the first time in the South African legal profession that we will see collaboration to this extent between an international law firm and a local black-owned and managed practice, giving us a firm foothold in the highly competitive corporate legal sector.”
KapdiTwala is the largest specialised energy law practice in South Africa whose partners collectively enjoy more than 20 years’ experience in the energy industry. SNR Denton is an international legal practice with more than 1300 lawyers across more than 60 offices around the world, and 21 associations in Africa alone. The company has over 100 professionals who specialise in energy law, making it a considerable force in the energy sector.
The statement saidaAs a result of the association agreement, KapdiTwala now has access to this wealth of knowledge and experience, building a depth of capacity for the local firm to not only meet its current clients’ demands for first class legal services but to service other companies and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the country and more broadly across the southern African region.
“The impact of this agreement on transformation in the industry will be profound,” explains Kapdi. “Through knowledge transfer, skills development and intellectual capacity building we will be able to establish black-owned institutions which, in due course, will own a respected and globally comparable repository of energy industry knowledge.
“Furthermore, exposure to the caliber of legal expertise that we will now have access to through this association will significantly advance the development and independence of young black lawyers, and will hopefully encourage more aspirant black youth to join the legal profession.”
For SNR Denton, the association provides a useful platform to grow its African footprint, which is important when one considers the increasing economic activity on the continent and the significant role of the energy sector. KapdiTwala provides access to an extensive public and private sector network and experience specific to the region.
“Our association with KapdiTwala allows us to deepen our offerings both to South African clients and to clients seeking to do business there,” says SNR Denton’s Global Chief Executive Elliott Portnoy. “We are driven to connect clients around the world to the best legal talent wherever they need it. Partnering with KapdiTwala and their talented cadre of lawyers enables us to meet client expectations for the highest quality legal counsel in an increasingly important market.”