01 August 2017

Dentons appoints Noor Kapdi as CEO of newly established Africa region

Noor Kapdi has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the firm's newly established Africa region.

Formerly a part of Dentons' UK, Middle East and Africa region, Africa has now been established, from a governance and structural perspective, as a region within Dentons. Mr Kapdi has been managing partner of Dentons in South Africa since 2014. Mr Kapdi was instrumental in launching Dentons in South Africa, marking the first time a global law firm became a Level 1 Black Economic Empowerment law firm, after combining with KapdiTwala in 2014. For his efforts in establishing the first black law firm in South Africa with global reach, Mr Kapdi, along with South Africa partners Shahid Sulaiman and Zithu Twala, was presented with the Presidential Award from the Cape Law Society in 2016.  

Rapid development

Dentons global chairman Joe Andrew said, 'Under Noor's leadership, Dentons has experienced rapid development in South Africa since 2014, launching a new office in Johannesburg and more than trebling the size of the team. He has been instrumental in building Dentons' market position on the continent, and improving the depth and quality of our offer. We have a clear strategy to become a truly pan-African law firm by growing, as we have in other regions, through whole firm combinations. 'We understand the need to be in and of the community, and how important that is to getting sophisticated deals done and complex disputes solved," continued Andrew, "and Noor epitomizes this approach.'

Latin America expansion

Dentons has undergone unprecedented expansion into new markets in recent months, particularly in Latin America where the firm, having appointed a regional CEO, went on to launch in Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala. Dentons has also announced a further combination with Gallo Barrios Pickmann in Peru, as well as a proposed strategic alliance in Brazil with Vella Pugliese Buosi Guidoni.  

African opportunities

'We are now setting our sights on the opportunities available to us in Africa to ensure we are making the most of our longstanding presence on the continent,' said Dentons Global CEO Elliott Portnoy. 'We are very excited about the growth potential of Africa. Billions of dollars' worth of foreign direct investment goes into Africa each year, with the largest sources coming from North America and Western Europe. China has also committed $60 billion of new investment in major capital projects to the continent up until 2019. With our strong presence in all of these regions we see enormous opportunities for the firm in Africa and look forward to working closely with Noor in order to accelerate our growth in this market.'

South African managing partner

In addition to his new role, Kapdi will continue to act as South Africa managing partner at Dentons. An experienced commercial lawyer with a specialty in oil and gas and private equity, Mr Kapdi has served as the deputy chairperson of the Western Cape Investment & Trade Promotion Agency (WESGRO) and as the acting chairperson of the executive committee of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA). He is also a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).