US firm White & Case has poached a senior South African lawyer, John Janks, from leading South African firm Werkmans to join its Johannesburg office.
Janks is the firm's first appointment of a South African lawyer at partner level. White & Case set up the six-lawyer office in Johannesburg in 1995, becoming the only foreign practice to venture into the country.
Ronald Goodman, the US lawyer in charge of the Johannesburg office, said: "Our interest in John is that he was a partner for 15 years in an excellent South African firm and is well known in the community."
The acquisition is a mark of White & Case's commitment to developing a South African practice. Goodman said his firm would be confined to advising on international transactions with South African elements.