Meet the team

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Steven De Backer
Kim Hawkey
Arnaud Wijbinga
Glenda Benson
Marzanne van den Berg
Waitherero Chege
Michiel De Potter
Kanthi Ori
Giorgia Mattiello
Cheick Sanoh
Cara Pretorius
Kate Conradie
Sara Hilliard Garratt
John Bulmer
Ebube Ogoke
Emma Hooper
Milan Ramjee
Steven De Backer

Steven is the founder and CEO of Afriwise. Afriwise really is the culmination of his career, from top roles at leading African and international law firms, managing internet projects and lecturing about legal-tech possibilities as early as 1999. Early on in his career, Steven was part of a small team at a European stock broker that launched the leading online trading platform in Belgium. It was a good start, but Steven quickly moved on to the legal sector. After a stint at magic-circle firm Freshfields, he returned to Africa (where he grew up) to practise as a lawyer. Since 2003, Steven has relentlessly pursued ways to improve corporate legal services delivery in Africa. He was at the forefront of establishing and deepening a network of associated firms in Africa, helped to develop the Africa practice of what is today one of the leading law firms on the continent and founded an innovative interdisciplinary advisory firm in 2014. His main goal has always been to help businesses work smarter and more effectively in Africa.

A seasoned lawyer in his own right, Steven is named by the prestigious English research firm Chambers & Partners in Chambers Global as one of the leading corporate/M&A; projects & energy; and general business law lawyers in Africa. Chambers has noted that he is very well known for his work for clients across the African continent and is described by clients as “a class act”, stating that “there’s not much he doesn’t know about sub-Saharan Africa”.

Having lived and worked on the African continent for almost 30 years, in five countries and having advised companies in over 40 African countries, Steven indeed has unparalleled on-the-ground, hands-on experience and a unique in-depth knowledge of navigating challenges in Africa.