South Africa > Mining
Index of tables
- Michael Dale – Norton Rose South Africa (Incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc)
- Bruce Dickinson – Webber Wentzel
- Ian Hayes – ENS (Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs)
- Peter Leon – Webber Wentzel
Andrew Mitchell –
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
- Chris Stevens – Werksmans Attorneys
Norton Rose South Africa (Incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) is the ‘best in the business’ and ‘excellent on all counts’, thanks to the presence of market-leading regulatory expert Michael Dale, M&A specialist Kevin Kron and finance expert Jackie Midlane. Jeffrey Kron and André Vos are highly regarded litigators, and the firm has experienced significant growth in mining sector disputes. The practice benefits from the firm’s international network and global practice, and attracts clients including Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and SacOil Holdings. It also recently advised Exxaro on merging its Mineral Sands Operations with Tronox’s own interests under a new Australian holding company, and acted for Kumba Iron Ore in contractual and regulatory disputes.
Webber Wentzel’s outstanding practice has genuine capabilities in transactional, regulatory and disputes work, and it has attracted significant deal flow in and outside South Africa. It provides ‘consistent, high-quality service’, ‘fast turnaround times’, and ‘practical advice’ that accounts for ‘underlying commercial drivers’. The ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘experienced’ Bruce Dickinson and Manus Booysen are top transactional lawyers. Peter Leon is ‘probably the country’s leading regulatory expert’.
Bowman Gilfillan’s greater focus on the mining sector led to the appointment of senior corporate and competition partner Robert Legh as head of the mining, energy and resources department. He has taken over from experienced environmental and regulatory expert Claire Tucker. The firm recently represented African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation in a Supreme Court appeal review application. It also advised African Rainbow Minerals on joint venture financing of the Konkola North copper mine development.
DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr retains a strong emphasis on mining and natural resources work, despite the loss of leading M&A lawyer and mining sector specialist Ian Hayes to ENS (Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs). Clients include BHP Billiton, Platinum Group Metals, Harmony Gold Mining, and Lonmin. The firm has an excellent record in cross-border transactions, particularly on inbound investments from Asia, and recently represented Metorex during its high-profile takeover by Jinchuan. Department head Allan Reid is now the lead contact.
‘Very knowledgeable on mining contracts’, ENS (Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs) enhanced its practice by hiring leading mining M&A expert Ian Hayes from DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and merging with Brink Cohen Le Roux, which had outstanding credentials in health and safety and other regulatory matters. The firm is now gaining instructions from leading mining houses and recently advised Gold One International on its share acquisition in First Uranium. Mining law specialist Otsile Matlou and health and safety expert Wessel Badenhorst are also recommended.
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s combination with Bell Dewar has given it a formidable presence in South Africa and across the continent. This multitalented team’s recent mandates have largely focused on project advice and regulatory issues, but project finance expertise is another core strength. Clients include major mining companies, local community players and key financial lenders. Andrew Mitchell, Matthew van der Want and Nicola Jackson are all leading names in the mining sector. Lucas Moalusi is recommended for traditional community structures and empowerment issues.
Werksmans Attorneys substantially reinforced its mining credentials when it recruited regulatory expert Chris Stevens from Tabacks. He joined a potent commercial M&A team that features Gareth Driver, David Walker and Kevin Trudgeon. The team advised Glencore International on its purchase of a stake in Umcebo Mining, and represented Gold Fields Operations in a R13bn claim brought by Rand Gold & Exploration Company. Shaun Teichner is now in-house counsel at Glencore.
Baker & McKenzie recruited leading corporate mining partner Morne van der Merwe and mining finance expert Wildu du Plessis from the now defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf (PTY) Ltd. The team represented Kudumane Investment Holding in various transactions and also advised RMB and Standard Chartered on a loan facility to Optimum Coal Services. Much of the firm’s corporate work focuses on the mining sector.
Glyn Marais has market-leading environmental law expertise, with Ernst Basson at the forefront of such matters. Brian Frank and Willem de Villiers are experienced commercial and M&A lawyers. The practice mainly focuses on domestic matters but is also active across Africa. Clients include ARM African Rainbow Minerals, Kermas and Samancor.
Routledge Modise’s well established mining practice has represented many large and mid-tier mining companies on large-scale transactions. Debbie Ntombela is a mining regulatory specialist.
Tabacks lost leading figure Chris Stevens to Werksmans Attorneys in 2012 but remains a highly credible practice for M&A and BEE matters through the incredibly ‘experienced’ and ‘very respected practitioner’ Mervyn Taback as well as up-and-comer Catharine Keene.
Malan Scholes Attorneys’ key strengths lie in M&A and BEE transactions as well as mineral rights issues. Hulme Scholes is well known in the mining sector, having worked on various deals in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa.