Johannesburg and Cape Town, 17 November 2022 – Today marks an auspicious occasion within the revered halls of Fairbridges Wertheim Becker (FWB) with the appointment from 1 March 2023 of Adela Petersen to the role of Managing Partner, Lucinda Verster as Deputy Managing Partner, and Waheeda Shreef as Chairperson at the multi-disciplinary legal practice.
Since opening for business in 1812, South Africa and Africa’s oldest law firm has committed more than 200 years to inform, protect, and promote the rule of law by investing in people the calibre and qualification of Adela, Lucinda, Waheeda, and many others.
Adela is the first female Managing Partner appointment at FWB, with the firm having welcomed Anne Boag as its first female Director in 1987. Today, FWB’s multigenerational, multiracial, and multinational directorship is 50% female, and from 1 March 2023 will be managed by this dynamic trio.
Upon being informed of her promotion, Adela pointed to the fact that she endorsed the view that a Managing Partners leadership style determines the business’s success and that she intends to continue and accelerate the firm’s transformation journey.
“Our firm runs on democratic principles, and I intend to continue in that vein,” Adela promotes. “I am an empathetic leader. It is important to take people along with you on the journey; the entire team needs to feel empowered to achieve that.
“It is essential to have a team of people committed to helping the organisation achieve its vision and purpose and that you allow the right people to deal with tasks that play to their strengths. That means giving team members your support and autonomy to grow and develop.“
“I believe that one of the most important aspects of running a law firm is communication, and transparency is crucial for its success. There are certain key values that I hope will guide how I will perform in my new role: trust, empathy, integrity, providing security, and being progressive.”
What Adela intends to bring to the firm as Managing Partner is clear, “I aim to develop and grow additional areas of the practice that complement our current services,” she concludes. “It is important to stay abreast of developments, stay relevant and ensure progress within a sustainable environment.”
With Lucinda in support as Deputy Managing Partner, the two new incumbents look set to take FWB to new heights. “As a seasoned practitioner, I have been exposed to and have experienced many different aspects of the workings of firms and companies and the personalities that attract them,” Lucinda shares. “Additionally, I have had wonderful mentors and have worked with some of the greatest minds in the industry. Through the years, I have also learned and picked up a great deal from them, both on what works and what to avoid.”
“I recognise this opportunity as a wonderful gift to take the firm to the next level to outshine even some of our biggest competitors,” she concludes.
“The vote of confidence for these senior management positions confirms FWB’s commitment to cultivating and maintaining an inclusive working environment,” FWB’s newly appointed Chairperson, Waheeda Shreef, endorses. Adela’s “brave” approach and unwavering integrity make her a perfect match for the practice.
“The firm can but only grow on the leadership strengths of our predecessors and current management,” Waheeda says in closing. “With this vision and the support of all involved, FWB will no doubt be able to strengthen relationships with clients and colleagues.”
We wish Adela Waheeda and Lucinda the best in their new, well-deserved roles.