Clyde & Co expands leading South Africa Insurance practice with key partner hires

01 August 2019 Clyde & Co
Lee Astfalck, Partner at Clyde & Co

Lee Astfalck, Partner at Clyde & Co

Wim Cilliers, Partner at Clyde & Co

Wim Cilliers, Partner at Clyde & Co

Global law firm Clyde & Co has today announced the appointment of Lee Astfalck and Wim Cilliers as Partners in its leading Insurance practice in South Africa. They will be based in Johannesburg.

Lee joins from Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) in Johannesburg, where he was a litigation and dispute resolution director and head of risk advisory for South Africa. Wim Cilliers joins from Gildenhuys Malatji (GMI) in Pretoria, where he was a commercial litigation and insurance law director.

Lee and Wim are both highly experienced insurance lawyers, with respectively 15 and 20 years' experience within the South African insurance market. Lee advises insurance and commercial clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with particular emphasis on financial institutions. His expertise includes professional negligence, fidelity and commercial crime, medical malpractice, pension fund trustee liability, directors and officers liability insurance, warranties and indemnities insurance and general commercial litigation.

Wim specialises in all aspects of insurance law with a particular interest in all aspects of professional indemnity, construction law and engineering claims, product liability, personal injury and medical malpractice, financial lines, D&O liability, fire claims and public liability, as well as general liability insurance. Wim also specialises in general commercial litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution processes, with experience in cross-border commercial litigation in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and the European Union.

Lee and Wim are complemented by a string of additional hires, including senior associates Erin Carlson from GMI and Megan Claassens from NRF. Additionally, Warren Hiepner, who joined Clyde & Co in 2014 as a consultant in Johannesburg, has been appointed Partner as well.

Tony Hardie, Managing Partner at Clyde & Co in South Africa, comments: "Lee and Wim are both strong additions to our practice and a great fit thanks to the calibre of their experience and reputation in the market. Bringing them on board will help support our continued growth in the region and further confirms our position as the only specialist insurance law firm in South Africa."

Commenting on the move to Clyde & Co, Lee Astfalck says: "This is an exciting time to join Clyde & Co. It has one of the strongest representations in the continent and will provide me with the perfect platform to further its development, especially on the financial lines front."

Wim Cilliers adds: "I am looking forward to bringing my experience to a firm with such a recognised market-leading insurance practice. My practice is well placed to complement the firm's current insurance offering and will help create new opportunities in other South African jurisdictions and markets such as Namibia for instance. "

With the new additions, Clyde & Co continues its steady growth and further strengthens its position as the leading international insurance firm in South Africa, with 16 partners and over 40 experienced lawyers across its two offices. The South Africa team advises domestic and international clients, including insurers, reinsurers, brokers, underwriting managers, banks and insureds, across all lines of insurance and reinsurance business.

Clyde & Co is one of the largest international law firms operating on the continent, with over 100 professionals based full time in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam. Clyde & Co offers both local and cross-border legal services with deep-rooted market knowledge based on over 20 years' experience, supporting clients operating and investing in emerging markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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