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Top M&A lawyer, Ezra Davids, named chairman and senior partner of African law firm Bowmans

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Top M&A lawyer, Ezra Davids, named chairman and senior partner of African law firm Bowmans

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30th September 2021

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Leading African law firm Bowmans has elected Ezra Davids, a top mergers and acquisitions lawyer, as its new chairman and senior partner, effective 1 October 2021.

Davids, who has been deputy chairman of Bowmans since March this year and chairman of its Corporate/M&A Practice for a number of years, succeeds Robert Legh, who passed away in July.

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‘Ezra is a superb M&A lawyer who understands the complexity of our clients’ businesses and the increasingly sophisticated regulatory environment across Africa. Within the firm, he is seen as an inclusive, inspirational leader with a strong commitment to fairness and social justice,’ says David F.K. Mpanga, deputy chairman based in Bowmans’ Kampala office.

Davids, the first practising African lawyer to be featured on the front page of the American Lawyer, has advised or been lead adviser on some of the largest and most significant transactions on the continent in recent times.

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Bowmans managing partner, Alan Keep says, ‘The partnership was unanimous in our selection of Ezra as leader. I can think of no one better to take us forward in our quest to build the pre-eminent African law firm, supporting our clients and our people as they seek to unlock opportunities, overcome challenges and realise the potential on the continent.’ 

Apart from his responsibilities at Bowmans, Davids is actively involved with various NGOs in the spheres of education, social justice and rule of law advocacy. He serves on the boards of the Social Justice Initiative and Freedom of Law, advises the Legal Resources Centre on fundraising and is a patron of the student sponsorship programme, which raises funds for the high school education of talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He also serves on the Council of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is an officer of the International Bar Association’s Corporate/M&A Committee.

Davids, who has BA and LLB degrees from UCT, as well as a Higher Diploma in Tax from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Certificate in Leadership in Law Firms from Harvard Law School, is also a visiting lecturer in the international LLM programme of the University of Pretoria’s law school.

He will continue to be actively involved in advising Bowmans’ clients. His term as chairman and senior partner of Bowmans runs for five years, during which time his focus will also be on further enhancing client service and widening the firm’s African footprint.

He says, ‘Success to me means ensuring that Bowmans is the undoubted leader in the provision of world-class legal services to our clients across the African continent. To do this we need to attract, develop and retain the best and most diverse talent, and create an environment in which they flourish. We also need to do what we can for the betterment of the societies in which we operate so that the continent as a whole develops and prospers.’

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