Hogan Lovells snares ENS tax and China specialist

Hogan Lovells has made its second South African lateral hire since its launch in the jurisdiction, picking up ENSafrica China group head Ernie Lai King.

Lai King will head up Hogan Lovells’ tax and China practices in South Africa. He joins the firm’s Johannesburg office.

The move follows the firm’s merger with Eversheds’ former South African ally Routledge Modise in December last year (19 November 2013).

Hogan Lovells also recruited a finance team from ENS earlier this year, hiring partner Anina Boshoff to head up its banking and finance department in Johannesburg. Boshoff brought two associates with her.

Lai King joined ENS as an executive in November 2011 from legacy Norton Rose, having previously worked at that firm’s South African merger partner Deneys Reitz.

He is tasked with growing both the China and tax practices for Hogan Lovells in South Africa. China is a key market for sub-Saharan Africa, with a number of Chinese companies investing in a wide variety of projects in the region, including South Africa.

There have been a number of lateral hires in the South African legal market recently, including the recruitment by Werksmans of two finance partners from Baker & McKenzie (13 March 2014) and Clyde & Co’s South African launch through a raid on Webber Wentzel’s insurance team (16 May 2014).