Werksmans attorneys announces merger with Nalane Manaka Attorneys

13 March 2006 Werksmans Press Release

Leading South African commercial law firm Werksmans Attorneys has announced its merger with black-owned and managed law firm, Nalane Manaka. The transaction takes effect on 3 April 2006.

Nalane Manaka was established by two young and ambitious black commercial lawyers in 1999. It currently comprises four directors, one professional assistant, two candidate attorneys and ten support staff, all of whom will move across to Werksmans.

Werksmans chairman Des Williams says that while the firm has been committed to transformation for many years, this changes the complexion of the firm, as well as enabling it to offer all clients an enhanced range of skills and expertise.

The Nalane Manaka team brings with it excellent experience in government and parastatal work which will add depth to our existing client offering, says Williams.

They are highly regarded lawyers, and we know that they will fit in immediately as valuable members of the Werksmans team. The synergistic benefits of the merger will undoubtedly facilitate and encourage further growth in the firm.

Says Joe Nalane, senior partner at Nalane Manaka: We are a young firm with good clients but we realised we needed to be part of a larger more established practice for access to the kind of transactions and client base we have in our sights. Having worked with Werksmans in the past, we had first-hand experience of their reputation and work ethic and so knew that we would be a good culture fit.

This merger will contribute to the transformation of the legal profession in South Africa as well as meet the challenges of globalization faced by the profession. We are both committed to creating a truly South African legal firm which will make a meaningful contribution to the development of our country.

Werksmans and Nalane Manakas relationship dates back to 2002 when the two firms worked together on the Telkom IPO. Says Williams: Because of the working relationship we already have with Nalane Manaka, we know this makes strategic business sense for Werksmans.

This process has been driven internally by our partners who formed a Transformation Task Team two years ago. Our clients expect quality so we have invested considerable time and effort to reach this agreement with the right team.

Ronald Mabuza, Nalane Manaka partner, says this merger represents our respective aspirations to be a model South African entity which, while meeting the transformation brief set out nationally, also goes beyond our mutual clients expectations in service delivery.

Nalane Manakas clients include: Transnet Group, Denel, Pikitup, IDC, Dell Computers, Merafong Municipality, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Alexkor, Business Partners and Arivia.kom.

Nalane Manakas entire team will move across from its premises in Saxonwold, Johannesburg to Werksmans offices in Sandton. Werksmans is currently working closely with Nalane Manaka to facilitate the move for the firm and its clients.

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