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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 > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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ENSafrica has a giant and versatile team, covering key areas of speciality across the tax spectrum, and is singled out for its transfer pricing expertise. The β€˜exceptional’ department is β€˜very thorough, knowledgeable and detailed’ and β€˜proactive’, having an ability to identify specific risks to an individual client. It advised BMW South Africa on the tax implications of the migration of BMW AG’s sub-Sahara business to BMW SA. Peter Dachs, Bernard du Plessis, Robert Gad and Beric Croome are all recommended.

Webber Wentzel offers a diversified practice driven by a large and stable team; M&A and corporate tax specialist Craig Miller joined from PwC to further reinforce the team. The department advises a range of blue-chip corporates, financial institutions and private equity funds. For example, the team advised Ethos Capital on its JSE listing, the first private equity fund to do so. The team is a β€˜cut above the rest’ and provides β€˜highly impressive’ resources, β€˜outstanding’ knowledge, β€˜practical experience’ and β€˜innovative structuring’. Brian Dennehy is β€˜exceptional’ and β€˜smart’; Graham Viljoen has β€˜a speedy grasp of tricky concepts’ and is β€˜personable’ and β€˜engaging’; Nina Keyser continues to impress in tax disputes; Donald Fisher-Jeffes has β€˜a strong understanding of both accounting matters and legal matters’; and Anne Bennett is recommended for international tax and transfer pricing.

Bowmans is at the forefront of top-end cross-border transactions, significant tax disputes, international tax and fund structuring. The team advised AB InBev on the tax aspects of its $3.15bn exit from Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and represented SABMiller in its Β£71bn acquisition by AB InBev. The team β€˜exceeds expectations’ through a β€˜professional service’ and β€˜a high level of technical knowledge’. Barry Garven is a β€˜problem solver’ and β€˜out of the box thinker’; disputes specialist Patricia Williams is β€˜highly skilled’ and β€˜technically strong on taxation and accounting’. Managing partner Alan Keep and international tax specialist Wally Horak are key team members. Trade and customs expert Virusha Subban is β€˜a fantastic lawyer’.

Considered a β€˜one-stop shop’ for tax advice, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr β€˜has hired strongly’ of late, most recently bringing in Gerhard Badenhorst, β€˜the leading VAT expert in South Africa’, from ENSafrica. Department head Emil Brincker is β€˜number one’ and β€˜the leading tax authority in South Africa’, according to clients, having been pivotal to the practice’s ability to attract a range of financial institutional and corporate clients and advising on a series of major corporate restructurings. Mark Linington is recommended for transactional tax and private equity fund formation. Ludwig Smith is a leader in funding transactions, including preference share transactions. Corporate tax specialist Dries Hoek is also recommended.

Werksmans Attorneys has β€˜many loyal clients’ thanks to the presence of the much-celebrated Ernest Mazansky and international tax leader Michael Honiball. The team has worked on a series of complex cross-border and domestic transactions, for example, advising Transaction Capital on its acquisition of an Australian subsidiary. Doelie Lessing is also recommended.

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP is noted for financing transactions, including preference share funding structures. The team advises most of the major South African banks and a number of international banks. Lionel Shawe has outstanding expertise.

Glyn Marais is recommended by clients for tax opinion work, tax controversy and dispute resolution. The seasoned Richard Glyn is a β€˜deep expert in financial services’ and β€˜a trusted business ally’.

Hogan Lovells (South Africa) is building its name through significant tax disputes, corporate tax and multijurisdictional engagements. The team advised Huge Telecom on the tax aspects of its acquisition of ConnectNet Broadband Wireless. Jackie Peart covers cross-border international tax and disputes; she is β€˜professional, knowledgeable and finds practical solutions’. Consultant Ernie Lai King is β€˜thorough and business minded’ and Natalie Napier is also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has experienced an uptick in compliance and disputes engagements and is active in restructurings and BEE structurings. The group also advised AIG on the tax risks associated with providing warranty and indemnity cover for buyer side insurance in a number of transactions. The team is β€˜incredibly responsive’, providing a β€˜partner-led service’ and β€˜accurate and commercially sound advice’. Andrew Wellsted is β€˜incredibly professional in handling clients’ and Dale Cridlan works hard to understand his clients’ businesses and β€˜provides clear and commercial advice’.

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg expanded its team with the hire of Stephan Spamer, Arnaaz Camay and Nishana Gosai from ENSafrica. The broadly skilled team covers corporate and international tax, transfer pricing, and tax disputes. The group advised Aviat on the restructuring of its shareholding in its African subsidiaries. Other clients include British American Tobacco, Group Five, South32 and Uber. Former counsel Mark Preiss has departed.

Fasken has a solid record in cross-border transactions, transfer pricing and disputes with SARS. In capital markets, the tax team also advised on the convertible bond issuance by Impala Platinum. It has also seen an increase in private equity fund formation tax structuring and in tax matters in the insurance industry. Conor McFadden leads the team.

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