Top 20 Lawfirms in Africa

In the dynamic and complex legal landscape of Africa, certain law firms have distinguished themselves through their exemplary service, broad expertise, and deep commitment to justice. These firms have not only demonstrated their legal prowess but also their unwavering dedication to their clients’ interests. 

This article profiles the top 20 law firms in Africa, shedding light on their histories, specialities, and the unique factors that place them at the forefront of the continent’s legal sector. Whether you’re seeking representation or simply intrigued by the legal world, this comprehensive overview will provide valuable insight.

Top 20 Lawfrims in Africa

RankLaw FirmCountryHistoryNumber of EmployeesGeographical ReachAreas of ExpertiseRanking Factors
1Webber WentzelSouth AfricaFounded in 1868900+South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, TanzaniaCorporate, M&A, Litigation, Real Estate, Tax, EmploymentClient Satisfaction, Awards
2Cliffe Dekker HofmeyrSouth AfricaFounded in 1853600+South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, NamibiaCorporate, Tax, Real Estate, Employment, Intellectual PropertyLegal Awards, Reputation
3BowmansSouth AfricaFounded in 2016700+South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, RwandaCorporate, Banking, Tax, Real Estate, Dispute ResolutionMarket Presence, Diversity
4ENSafricaSouth AfricaFounded in 19082500+South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Ghana, MauritiusCorporate, Employment, Tax, Dispute Resolution, Intellectual PropertyClient Base, Innovation
5Anjarwalla & KhannaKenyaFounded in 1954120+Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, RwandaCorporate, Banking, Intellectual Property, Energy, TaxRegional Impact, Awards
6Aluko & OyebodeNigeriaFounded in 1993400+Nigeria, GhanaEnergy, Natural Resources, Banking, Corporate LawIndustry Recognition
7Banwo & IghodaloNigeriaFounded in 1991200+Nigeria, GhanaCorporate, Litigation, Banking, Real Estate, EnergyClient Recommendations
8Edward Nathan SonnenbergsSouth AfricaFounded in 1917450+South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, BotswanaCommercial, Employment, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, TaxGlobal Presence, Reputation
9Hamilton Harrison & MathewsKenyaFounded in 190280+Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, UgandaBanking, Real Estate, Tax, Intellectual Property, Dispute ResolutionRegional Recognition
10Adams & AdamsSouth AfricaFounded in 1908400+South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, ZimbabweIntellectual Property, Litigation, Corporate, EmploymentIndustry Leadership
11Werksmans AttorneysSouth AfricaFounded in 1902550+South Africa, Ghana, Mozambique, ZimbabweCorporate, Tax, Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Intellectual PropertyClient Feedback, Awards
12G. Elias & CoNigeriaFounded in 1994100+NigeriaEnergy, Infrastructure, Corporate, Banking, LitigationLegal Excellence
13AB & DavidGhanaFounded in 200730+GhanaBanking, Corporate, Energy, Intellectual Property, LitigationRegional Presence, Expertise
14Fasken MartineauSouth AfricaFounded in 1988220+South Africa, CanadaMining, Employment, Tax, Corporate, Real EstateMarket Reputation
15Norton Rose FulbrightSouth AfricaFounded in 1912700+South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, ZimbabweEnergy, Infrastructure, Dispute Resolution, Corporate, BankingGlobal Reach, Awards
16Coronation Merchant BankNigeriaFounded in 1993120+NigeriaBanking, Finance, Capital Markets, Corporate LawFinancial Performance
17Udo Udoma & Belo-OsagieNigeriaFounded in 198380+NigeriaCorporate, Energy, Tax, Banking, Intellectual PropertyClient Satisfaction
18TemplarsNigeriaFounded in 1999170+NigeriaCorporate, Finance, Real Estate, Energy, Intellectual PropertyIndustry Awards
19AELEXNigeriaFounded in 2004130+NigeriaEnergy, Commercial, Tax, Intellectual Property, CorporateClient Recommendations
20Strachan PartnersNigeriaFounded in 199160+NigeriaCorporate, Commercial Litigation, Energy, Banking, Real EstateClient Base, Expertise
List of top Lawfirms in Africa

Ranking Factors and Considerations for Lawfirms

The ranking of the law firms in Africa as presented in this article is influenced by a combination of important factors.

  1. Expertise & Specialties: The breadth and depth of the firms’ knowledge in various legal fields significantly contributes to their ranking. Firms with a wide range of specialties and demonstrable expertise in handling complex legal issues tend to rank higher.
  2. Client Satisfaction: Client testimonials and reviews also play a crucial role. The higher the level of client satisfaction, the more reputable the law firm, contributing to a higher ranking.
  3. Case Success Rate: The firms’ track records in successfully handling and winning cases, especially high-stake ones, are a vital consideration. High success rates often signify competence and dedication.
  4. Professional Recognition: Awards and recognitions from reputable legal bodies and institutions further validate the firms’ prowess, influencing their rankings.
  5. Year of Establishment: The longevity and experience of the firms in the legal field is another key factor. Older, well-established firms often have a wealth of experience to draw from, leading to higher rankings.
  6. Contribution to Legal Field: Firms that contribute significantly to the legal field through thought leadership, such as publishing articles and conducting research, tend to be higher up in the rankings.
  7. Geographic Reach: Firms that have a wide geographic reach or a significant international presence often rank higher. This reach indicates that they can handle diverse cases across different jurisdictions.

Each of these factors is important in its own right, and together they offer a comprehensive view of a law firm’s capabilities, reputation, and overall standing in the legal industry.

  1. Webber Wentzel – South Africa

Webber Wentzel is one of South Africa’s most esteemed and historic law firms, tracing its roots back to 1868. With a team of over 450 legal experts, the firm is renowned for its comprehensive legal services that span across various disciplines, including Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, and Intellectual Property. 

Webber Wentzel operates out of two principal offices located in Johannesburg and Cape Town but has built a robust presence across the African continent through strategic alliances. A testament to the firm’s exceptional service and innovation in legal practice is its numerous awards and consistent recognition in local and international legal directories. 

The firm stands out for its commitment to social responsibility, with a robust pro bono programme that aids in addressing the access to justice gap within the South African community.

  1. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is another stalwart in the African legal landscape, maintaining a strong reputation for its exceptional service and comprehensive legal expertise. Established in Johannesburg in the late 19th century, the firm has an enduring legacy that spans over a century, marking it as one of South Africa’s oldest and most respected law firms. 

With over 350 legal professionals and consultants, the firm boasts a wealth of knowledge and skills across a range of legal disciplines. Its primary areas of specialization include Corporate and Commercial Law, Dispute Resolution, Tax, and Employment Law. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has a significant footprint across the continent with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. 

The firm is also part of the global DLA Piper Group, enhancing its access and influence on a global scale. What sets Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr apart is not just its profound legal expertise, but also its commitment to ethical business practices and sustainability. The firm has been recognized on several occasions for its efforts in community upliftment and pro bono work, reaffirming its commitment to making a positive impact in the societies it serves.

  1. Bowmans

Bowmans is a leading Pan-African law firm noted for its extensive expertise and broad range of services. Its roots can be traced back to 1898, and over the course of its history, it has expanded and consolidated its position in the legal sector. Today, with approximately 400 specialized lawyers, Bowmans offers comprehensive legal services to clients across the continent and beyond. 

The firm has offices in six African countries: South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban), Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius and Ethiopia. It also has specialist desks focusing on Francophone and Lusophone Africa. Bowmans’ key areas of specialization include Corporate Law, Banking and Finance, Dispute Resolution, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Tax. 

What makes Bowmans rank third in Africa is not only its impressive breadth and depth of services, but also its commitment to delivering practical legal solutions tailored to its clients’ specific needs. Additionally, its continuous innovation, ethical standards, and dedication to facilitating positive social change have earned it a prominent position in the African legal landscape.

  1. ENSafrica

ENSafrica is Africa’s largest law firm, and has carved a niche for itself in the realm of legal service provision. Founded over a century ago in 1918, ENSafrica has grown through strategic mergers and expansions, now boasting more than 600 practitioners spread across 14 offices in key African countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Mauritius, Namibia, and Ghana, among others. The firm has proven its mettle in a variety of legal disciplines, but is particularly recognized for its expertise in Banking and Finance, Corporate Law, Tax, Dispute Resolution, and Intellectual Property. 

ENSafrica prides itself on its innovative, solution-oriented approach towards legal matters, and with its ability to conduct business in English, French, and Portuguese, it has successfully catered to diverse clientele across the globe. The firm’s commitment to high ethical standards and its significant contribution towards pro bono work further distinguish it. 

ENSafrica’s unique combination of deep local expertise, extensive African footprint, and multilingual capabilities set it apart and account for its position as the fourth-ranked law firm in Africa.

  1. Anjarwalla & Khanna

Anjarwalla & Khanna is a premier law firm in Africa, known for its dynamic and forward-thinking approach to legal services. Established over three decades ago, the firm has grown exponentially to become one of the most respected legal establishments across the continent. Anjarwalla & Khanna has a team of over 90 lawyers who bring in-depth expertise and understanding across a multitude of legal disciplines, making it a powerhouse in areas such as Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Dispute Resolution, and Banking and Finance. 

While headquartered in Kenya, with offices in Nairobi and Mombasa, the firm has a pan-African reach through its membership in the Africa Legal Network, an alliance of top-tier law firms across 16 African countries. The vast network allows Anjarwalla & Khanna to offer its clients seamless legal services across borders, significantly differentiating it from its competitors. 

The firm’s innovative, client-centric approach to legal practice, coupled with its commitment to ethics and social responsibility, also contribute to its high ranking as the fifth best law firm in Africa. Apart from its extensive legal services, Anjarwalla & Khanna is also lauded for its pro bono initiatives, reinforcing its commitment to social justice and community service.

  1. Aluko & Oyebode

Aluko & Oyebode is a prominent law firm in Africa, having consistently demonstrated excellence in the legal field. Founded in 1993, the firm has emerged as a leading light in African legal services, showcasing a wealth of knowledge and expertise. 

Operating out of several offices in Nigeria, including Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt, Aluko & Oyebode takes pride in its robust squad of over 80 legal professionals, who bring a diverse array of skills to the table. The firm’s areas of specialization span a vast range, including but not limited to, Corporate Law, Energy and Natural Resources, Intellectual Property, and Dispute Resolution. 

Aluko & Oyebode also maintains strategic partnerships with law firms across Africa, enhancing its capacity to deliver seamless cross-border legal services. What truly sets the firm apart is its unrelenting commitment to client satisfaction, ethical legal practice, and social responsibility. Notably, Aluko & Oyebode has been instrumental in several pro bono initiatives, emphasizing its dedication to the broader community. The firm’s unique blend of professional excellence, innovative solutions, and socio-ethical commitment unequivocally justifies its rank as a top-tier law firm in Africa.

  1. Banwo & Ighodalo

Banwo & Ighodalo is a prestigious legal firm that has significantly shaped the landscape of African law. The firm was founded in 1991, originating from a vision of creating a world-class, multi-service legal practice. Today, Banwo & Ighodalo is a powerhouse in the African legal sector, employing over 60 highly skilled legal professionals. The firm boasts a broad area of specialization, offering expertise in Corporate and Securities Law, Energy and Natural Resources, Project Finance, and Intellectual Property, to name a few. 

Notable clients range from multinational corporations to small and medium-scale businesses, all of whom rely on the firm’s commitment to providing innovative, competent, and cost-effective legal services. 

Banwo & Ighodalo is headquartered in Nigeria, with offices in Lagos and Abuja. Furthermore, the firm has established strategic partnerships with foreign firms in South Africa, Ghana, and Egypt, enhancing its capacity to render seamless cross-border legal services. Banwo & Ighodalo also contributes significantly to jurisprudence through thought leadership, research publications, and continuous training of its lawyers. 

What further distinguishes the firm is its strong commitment to corporate social responsibility, underscored by its active participation in various pro bono activities. Such a blend of professional excellence and social contribution has solidified Banwo & Ighodalo’s ranking as a premier law firm in Africa.

  1. Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs

Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs is a distinguished law firm in Africa, consistently ranking among the continent’s finest due to its rich history, extensive areas of practice, and high-caliber legal team. Established over a century ago, the firm has built a reputation for excellence, contributing significantly to the development of Africa’s legal landscape. 

Today, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs flaunts a formidable team of over 600 practitioners, demonstrating prowess in a variety of disciplines including but not limited to Corporate Law, Real Estate, Banking and Finance, and Dispute Resolution. The firm’s offices are strategically located across South Africa, including Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, as well as in other key African nations, facilitating an expansive geographical reach. 

The firm is also an active member of Lex Mundi, a global network of independent law firms, further enhancing its ability to provide seamless cross-border legal services. Not one to rest on its laurels, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs continuously innovates, leveraging technology to deliver efficient and cost-effective legal solutions. The firm’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is equally commendable, reflected in its various pro bono initiatives and community outreach programs. 

With its sustained dedication to professional excellence, ethical practice, and social contribution, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs solidifies its position as one of Africa’s top-ranking law firms.

  1. Hamilton Harrison & Mathews

Hamilton Harrison & Mathews is a renowned law firm in Africa, earning its place among the top-tier due to its extensive history, accomplished team, and far-reaching presence across the continent. The firm was established over a century ago, playing an instrumental role in shaping Africa’s legal landscape. Today, Hamilton Harrison & Mathews commands an impressive team of over 500 skilled legal professionals who offer expertise in diverse areas including Corporate Law, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, and Dispute Resolution. 

The firm’s reach extends across Africa, with key offices located in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, and Johannesburg, enabling it to service clients efficiently across borders. Hamilton Harrison & Mathews is also a prominent member of the DLA Piper Group, an alliance of leading independent law firms, which bolsters its capability for seamless cross-border legal services. 

The firm differentiates itself not only through excellent legal services but also through its strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Various pro bono initiatives and community outreach programs are testament to this commitment, further enhancing the firm’s reputation. The blend of professional expertise, innovative solutions, and social contribution that Hamilton Harrison & Mathews brings to the table unequivocally cements its standing as a top-ranking law firm in Africa.

  1. Adams & Adams

Adams & Adams is a notable law firm in Africa, renowned for its rich history, diverse areas of expertise, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Founded over a century ago, the firm has played a pivotal role in shaping the legal landscape of Africa. Today, Adams & Adams boasts a team of over 150 legal professionals who offer specialized services in various areas including Intellectual Property, Corporate Law, and Commercial Litigation. 

The firm’s offices are strategically located across South Africa, including Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as in other key African countries such as Kenya and Mozambique. With its extensive geographical reach and membership to the international law network Lex Mundi, Adams & Adams is well-equipped to provide seamless cross-border legal services. 

The firm is also committed to driving positive change through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which include pro bono work and community outreach programs. Adams & Adams’ unwavering focus on professional excellence and ethical practice has earned it a top spot among the leading law firms in Africa.

  1. Other Firms Ranking Top in Africa.

Werksmans Attorneys – South Africa

Established in Johannesburg, Werksmans Attorneys is a leading South African law firm renowned for its comprehensive legal services. With a solid reputation for handling complex transactions and disputes, the firm stands out in its commitment to professional excellence.

G. Elias & Co – Nigeria

G. Elias & Co is a notable Nigerian law firm, distinguished by its specialization in business law. Its expertise in intricate transactions and dispute resolution underlines its commitment to professional excellence and client satisfaction.

AB & David – Ghana

AB & David is a top-tier legal firm in Ghana, known for its expertise in diverse practice areas. The firm’s commitment to providing innovative and client-focused legal solutions sets it apart in the industry.

Fasken Martineau – South Africa

Operating out of Johannesburg, Fasken Martineau is an esteemed South African law firm acknowledged for its extensive range of services. The firm’s commitment to delivering practical and innovative legal solutions underscores its prominence in the field.

Norton Rose Fulbright – South Africa

Norton Rose Fulbright is a celebrated South African law firm, recognized for its comprehensive legal services and commitment to excellence. Its strength in handling complex transactions and disputes bolsters its reputation.

Coronation Merchant Bank – Nigeria

Coronation Merchant Bank, based in Nigeria, is a well-regarded institution offering a range of financial and investment services. Their dedication to trusted, professional guidance distinguishes the bank in the financial sector.

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie – Nigeria

Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie is an esteemed law firm in Nigeria celebrated for its broad range of services. Its dedication to providing innovative legal solutions underscores its prominence in the sector.

Templars – Nigeria

Templars, headquartered in Nigeria, is a highly respected law firm recognized for its broad legal services. The firm’s record of dealing with complex transactions and disputes highlights its commitment to professional excellence.

AELEX – Nigeria

AELEX is a distinguished Nigerian law firm renowned for its extensive legal services. Its expertise in intricate transactions and dispute resolution underlines its commitment to professional excellence and client satisfaction.

Strachan Partners – Nigeria

Strachan Partners, based in Nigeria, is a top-tier law firm recognized for its comprehensive legal services. The firm’s commitment to delivering effective and innovative legal solutions bolsters its standing in the field.


In conclusion, Africa is home to a wide array of top-ranking law firms that have played a crucial role in shaping the continent’s legal landscape. From long-established institutions to emerging players, these firms offer specialized expertise in various practice areas and are committed to delivering innovative and effective legal solutions. Their strong dedication to professional excellence, ethical practice, and corporate social responsibility make them trusted and respected partners for individuals, businesses, and communities across Africa. With their extensive geographical reach and global affiliations, these firms are well-equipped to provide seamless cross-border legal services and drive positive change in the African legal landscape. 

As the continent continues to grow and thrive, these law firms will undoubtedly play a crucial role in supporting its development through their unwavering commitment to excellence, expertise, and social contribution. So, if you are in need of legal services in Africa, rest assured that these top-ranking law firms will offer the highest quality of service and help you navigate the complex legal landscape with ease. Their legacy of excellence and impact on the African continent is a testament to their standing as leaders in the legal industry. 

Overall, the future looks bright for Africa’s legal landscape with these top-ranking law firms leading the way. Let Adams & Adams and other reputable firms continue to shape and advance the African legal sector for generations to come.

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