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South Africa

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South Africa > Mining > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Mining
  2. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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ENSafrica provides a full-service offering to the mining industry. It is ‘the best’, according to one client. From mining and prospecting rights to health and safety and M&A, the firm is deeply committed to natural resources. Key clients include Gold Fields and BHP Billiton. The practice advised Sibanye Gold on its acquisition of Stillwater Mining, the deal being structured as a US merger combined with an international rights offer. Otsile Matlou is a mining law authority, Willem le Roux is a leader in mine and occupational health and safety, Ian Hayes has a long record in mining M&A, and the ‘very practicalLloyd Christie is noted for regulatory and environmental matters. Pieter Colyn is another key contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has taken centre stage in litigation and policy work with the firm’s role in the judicial review of South Africa’s new mining charter. The firm has a diverse and broad-based mining practice, serving clients such as Glencore Operations, Exxaro Resources, Anglo American, BCL and Impala Platinum. Michael Dale remains the doyen of the industry, with Kevin Cron and Georg Kahle both recognised for mining M&A and André Vos for litigation and anti-corruption. Jeffrey Kron is recommended for silicosis class actions.

Webber Wentzel is widely recognised for its work in restructurings and disposals. It has advised on a series of disposals around central and southern Africa, including advising key client Anglo American on the sale of platinum, coal and iron ore assets. The team has also experienced growth in private equity investments and has over 40 partners practising in the natural resources sector. Bruce Dickinson and Rita Spalding are leaders in mining transactions, while Jonathan Veeran and Manus Booysen are noted for regulatory issues and Kate Collier for health and safety.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has a fine record in transactions and regulatory matters; it has an especially strong reputation in the platinum sector. The team is ‘professional’, ‘sound’ and ‘understands the industry’. The department advised Northam Platinum on its R1bn acquisition of a portion of the Amandelbult Mine from Anglo American Platinum. Allan Reid is noted for regulatory matters, along with Giada Masina who ‘knows the mining industry very well’. Environmental expert Terry Winstanley is ‘strong, passionate and sticks to her guns in trying circumstances’.

Fasken has a mix of corporate and community governance expertise that has enabled it to advise mining houses on political risk and regulatory instability issues. It has experienced growth in platinum sector M&A, restructurings and refinancings, and advises a range of large and small mining houses in sub-Saharan Africa. The team represented Eastern Platinum on its proposed sale of Crocodile River Mine to HZT. Lucas Moalusi is recommended for community governance, while Tanneke Heersche has tremendous mining sector credentials. Nicola Jackson has joined Sibanye-Stillwater.

Hogan Lovells (South Africa) is recognised for its expertise in environmental, regulatory, and health and safety matters, thanks in part to the presence of practice leader Warren Beech. The group recently advised Glencore Operations South Africa on the separation and de-linking of two operating smelters from the mines they were attached to. The team is also increasingly active outside of South Africa.

Werksmans Attorneys is recommended for regulatory and transactional matters. It advised ArcelorMittal on its acquisition of the Thabazimbi Iron Ore Mine from Sishen Iron Ore Company and represented Anglo Platinum on the disposal of a half share of the Pandora Joint Venture Mine to Lonmin. Department head Chris Stevens ‘knows mining law backwards’ and Kevin Trudgeon is recommended for mining M&A.

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is working more frequently in matters outside South Africa, while remaining active in corporate restructuring and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) advisory work. The team is best known for advising junior mining companies, with Morné van der Merwe having a solid record in transactions and advisory matters. Marc Yudaken led the team that advised Pan African Resources on its disposal of Uitkomst Colliery to Coal of Africa.

Bowmans has continued its emergence and now has a hugely impressive client base, including Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti, African Rainbow Minerals, Rio Tinto and Anglo American. The firm advised Harmony Gold on its $300m acquisition of the Moab Khotsong mine from AngloGold Ashanti. Regulatory and environmental matters are also core parts of the practice. Charles Young is a recognised leader in mining M&A, Wandisile Mandlana is a mining law specialist and Claire Tucker is noted for environmental issues.

Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP is a global giant in natural resources and the Johannesburg office is increasingly active in sub-Saharan Africa, including Anglophone and Francophone jurisdictions. The practice advised Alufer Mining on its signing of a mining convention with the government of Guinea for the Bel Air Bauxite Project, the first such deal under the country’s new mining code. Peter Leon is a mining law leader and Bertrand Montembault splits his time between Johannesburg and Paris.

Malan Scholes Attorneys is prominent within the industry, with Hulme Scholes taking a public role in challenging the country’s new mining charter. The team represents a number of smaller BEE companies and exploration firms, particularly in the coal sector.

Tabacks is commended for transactions and regulatory issues. Catharine Keene is noted for mining law expertise and James Cross is recommended for mining law, environmental matters, and health and safety work.

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