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South Africa

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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South Africa > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Real estate
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Ashleigh Dawson - Glyn Marais

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Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr remains at the forefront of acquisitions and disposals, commercial and residential developments in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the development of REITs in South Africa, and is also building its name in sub-Saharan Africa. The ‘excellent’ team has ‘great knowledge’ and provides ‘focused attention’ on clients. The firm advised Waterfall CBD Regional Office Park on a development lease connected to the construction of a 28-storey office building on multiple properties. Attie Pretorius is ‘legendary’ in ‘landmark and very complex transactions’. William Midgley is ‘commercially minded’ and brings ‘a wealth of experience to property transactions’. Department head John Webber and Lucia Erasmus are recommended for development work.

ENSafrica has a broad-based development and acquisitions and disposals practice in South Africa and beyond. It advised multiple land owners on the establishment of the Lapalala Nature Reserve, located in the Limpopo Province. Andrew Bembridge has an outstanding record in acquisitions and developments. Fritz Schulz and Len Vorster are also recommended.

Hogan Lovells (South Africa) is strong in commercial and residential developments, especially in Johannesburg. It advised Propertuity Development on the Craftsman’s Ship development in the Maboneng District, Johannesburg. The team provides ‘excellent value for money’ and ‘knowledge and care for the client’. Penny Chenery and Emili Souris are recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has a flourishing practice across its Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban offices, including in transactional, development and finance work. It is frequently engaged on the real estate aspects of major energy projects and advised First Metro Housing NPC on the consolidation of 31 properties for a low-cost housing project. Pieter Niehaus leads the large team.

Webber Wentzel is recommended for residential and commercial developments in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. The team has ‘a strong focus on service and the necessary knowledge’. The team advised Redefine Properties on a new 250-unit mixed-use residential development. Cape Town’s Sulani Jooste is ‘thorough and knowledgeable’. Mark McIntosh and Zunaid Rawoot are also recommended.

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP is a global leader in real estate finance and advises a number of South African banks on financings in sub-Saharan Africa. The practice ranges from financings for new developments to portfolio investments. It advised Standard Chartered on an Australian dollar and Euro denominated financing to Redefine Properties. Lionel Shawe, Michael Duncan, Khurshid Fazel and counsel Nick Grootes are key names.

Bowmans provides an ‘excellent service in terms of response times, business acumen/industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength in depth of team, and value for money’. It advised the lenders on financing the redevelopment of Fourways Mall in Johannesburg. Craig Schafer has ‘in-depth knowledge’ and ‘tenacity in finding solutions’.

Glyn Marais has a history of advising on headline and novel ownership structures. In 2016, the group advised Accelerate Property Fund on the acquisition of Eden Meander Retail Shopping Centre, involving the purchase of a letting enterprise that was partially complete. The team is a leader in advising REITs and other developers in commercial and retail developments and in large-scale conveyancing and portfolio transfer work. Brian Frank has an outstanding record.

Tonkin Clacey Attorneys hired big name Johan Jacobs from Hogan Lovells (South Africa) to cement its strong position in high-end development and conveyancing work, especially in Johannesburg. Michael Clacey is also recommended.

Werksmans Attorneys remains noted for mixed-use and retail developments, including those in Cape Town. It advised V&A Waterfront Holdings on the development of the Silo precinct. Hendrik Kotze and Brian Kew are recommended.

White & Case LLP has a mixture of finance and investment work with the firm noted for its advice to IFC on a series of deals across Africa, its advice to REITs on local their local IPOs, and for advising a number of local real estate funds on investments into Europe. Quintin du Plessis is the key partner.

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