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JOHANNESBURG – 04 May 2017. Allen & Overy (A&O), a leading international law firm, recently announced that two of its Johannesburg based lawyers, Ngisana Mngomezulu and Ben Whitelaw, would participate in the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership programme run by the African Leadership Institute (AFLI) and Oxford University.

The 2017 Tutu Fellowship cohort comprises 27 candidates picked from a pool of nearly 300 nominees from more than 30 African countries. They are considered to be among 27 of Africa’s highest potential young leaders between 29 and 39 years of age, all selected to take part in the programme that is now in its 12th year.

AFLI has hand-picked individuals who represent various industries, across 12 African countries. The selected candidates demonstrate the wealth and breadth of leadership talent that exists in Africa’s youth.

A&O has a strong African presence, providing legal services for global business and industry, and is delighted with its employees participating in this acclaimed programme.

Jane Waters, Chief Operating Officer of A&O South Africa said: “We were thrilled to host Jackie, the AFLI CEO, as keynote speaker at one of our quarterly breakfast briefings, held for our lawyers and support staff. As a result of learning about the work that the AFLI does in developing young African leaders, we felt that this was an ideal moment for us to partner with AFLI, as a sponsor, in advancing opportunities for young leaders in Africa.”

According to Dr Jackie Chimhanzi, CEO of AFLI, “The calibre of applicants was particularly high and we battled to arrive at our final selection.  It was clear, from the applications received, that there are many young people committed to and actively working towards a better Africa. The Tutu Leadership Fellowship was created in order to maximise the impact that leadership can have, whether at a country level, across the continent or even globally.”

Tutu Fellows are exceptional African leaders from all walks of life and different parts of society who use their leadership abilities to help transform the continent.  Selected candidates are those who have demonstrated they have the potential to be top level leaders in their chosen fields in Africa within the next few years and who will lead with integrity, strong values and passion for their fellow Africans.  The Class of 2017 will be exposed to some eminent African and global leaders, strategists and thinkers.

Background on A&O candidates

Ngisana Mngomezulu (33) specialises in debt and equity capital markets for international and domestic clients across a range of sectors including financial services, mining, minerals and aviation. He has spent some time in his career based in Nairobi, Kenya and was awarded the South African Legal Fellows Fellowship, a partnership between the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar and the Law Society of South Africa. This fellowship saw Ngisana spend time as an International Associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s New York office and at Morgan Stanley as a legal advisor.  In his personal capacity, he volunteers as a mentor in the Bokamoso Mentorship Programme for students in their penultimate year of high school.  Moreover, Ngisana holds a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Business Finance and Bachelor of Laws both from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Ben Whitelaw (29) specialises in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance. He has been involved in a number of large cross-border corporate and funding deals.  The foundation of Ben’s academic background is in fields of finance and economics but, ultimately, he decided to pursue a career in law. He is particularly passionate about the improvement of access to education and has taught Grade 3 children in Khayalitsha and provided legal assistance to the underprivileged in his efforts to add value in communities. Ben has an honours degree in Business Science and an LLB from the University of Cape Town.

For more information about AFLI please visit: http://alinstitute.org/about-afli

For further information, please contact Tamsin Freemantle, Tamsin.Freemantle@AllenOvery.com / +2710 597 9850.


Notes to editors




  1. Allen & Overy is an international legal practice with approximately 5,000 staff, including some 525 partners, working in 46 major centres worldwide.


  1. In this press release ‘Allen & Overy’ means Allen & Overy LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings.


  1. The term ‘partner’ is used to refer to a member of Allen & Overy LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or an individual with equivalent status in one of Allen & Overy LLP’s affiliated undertakings.

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