- Work +27 11 535 8000
- Fax +27 11 535 8600
Banking and finance
Werksmans Attorneys has a strong presence in DCM and structured finance, wherein it handles a range of medium-term note (MTN) programmes for local banks and international managers. The firm is also strong in real estate and project finance, particularly in the renewables sector. Elliott Wood, who is a ‘safe pair of hands’, is recommended for acquisition and leveraged finance and Richard Roothman is one of the most experienced DCM specialists in the market; he takes ‘a practical approach’ and is ‘a good leader’.
Werksmans Attorneys’ impressive practice has earned accolades for its record in abuse of dominance disputes, including its role as counsel to Media24 in a headline case brought by the Competition Commission. It is also especially well known for its work in the media and telecoms industries. Paul Coetser heads the department and is ‘a very safe pair of hands’.
Werksmans Attorneys reinforced its construction practice with the recruitment of Jason Smit from Bowman Gilfillan. The team is well positioned to represent contractors and engineers, both in contentious and non-contentious matters.
Corporate and M&A
Werksmans Attorneys’ ‘outstanding’ practice is praised for its ‘very good industry knowledge’, ‘professional competence’ and ‘good value for money’. It has historical prominence in mining-sector M&A, and is gaining traction in the retail, pharmaceuticals and banking spaces. The firm worked on Glencore Xstrata’s secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Key figures include Kevin Trudgeon, and David Gewer, who is ‘smart’, ‘thorough’ and ‘very responsive’. Gareth Driver joined Webber Wentzel in May 2015.
Werksmans Attorneys’ ‘outstanding’ practice appears on many of the major cases in South Africa, including acting for Phuthuma Nhleko, the former CEO and current chairman of MTN, in connection with a dispute over the tender process for the establishment of a cellular network in Iran. Mining litigation is also a significant area for the practice. David Hertz is ‘a brilliant litigator’, who is noted for his ‘incredible ability to find solutions to win cases’. The seasoned Des Williams is equally highly reputed, and Eric Levenstein is a leader in business rescue cases.
David Hertz - Werksmans Attorneys
Des Williams - Werksmans Attorneys
Werksmans Attorneys’ strength in IP prosecution and litigation earns it many accolades. The firm also has a respectable commercial practice. Entertainment, sport, retail, software and the wine industry are key sectors. Janine Hollesen and Stuart Gardiner head the team.
Werksmans Attorneys focuses on private equity and hedge funds, as well as investors going into funds. Shayne Krige heads the practice and Doelie Lessing has excellent tax expertise in the funds environment.
Labour and employment
Werksmans Attorneys has a fine record in TUPE, outsourcing arrangements, restructuring and redundancy work, most notably in the motor industry. Industrial actions, strikes, executive exits and pensions work also accounts for a large part of the practice. The ‘well-balanced team’ is ‘responsive’, ‘professional’ and ‘reliable’. Anastasia Vatalidis is ‘solid’, ‘very professional’ and has ‘a good knowledge of the labour environment’.
Werksmans Attorneys’ department covers M&A, regulatory, litigation and most of the core components of a leading mining practice, and represents many major companies. Chris Stevens – one of the premier names in the industry – is especially active in the coal sector. Gareth Driver is a leading mining M&A expert.
Projects and infrastructure
Werksmans Attorneys’ broad practice advises on a healthy market share of renewable energy projects, oil and gas matters, rail financings, toll road upgrades, nuclear power transactions and a wealth of other engagements. The firm is particularly strong in nuclear, coal and co-generation projects, as well as rail and road matters. The team was augmented by the return of Chris Moraitis and Astrid Berman from Baker & McKenzie Johannesburg in 2014; they link up with oil and gas and renewables expert Greg Nott and energy, rail and road specialist Dave Walker.
Werksmans Attorneys is prominent in mixed-use real estate development and retail property development. The firm has taken an active role in the Waterfront development in Cape Town. Hendrik Kotze has ‘in-depth knowledge’, ‘a wealth of experience’ and ‘a can-do attitude’. The team is also known for its environmental law expertise.
Werksmans Attorneys has a formidable standalone practice, although it does also support the firm’s other practice areas. The ‘outstanding’ Ernest Mazansky is ‘one of the doyens in the tax consulting industry with immense knowledge and understanding of the law’. The firm represents clients ranging from banks right through to high-net-worth individuals, an area in which Doelie Lessing is particularly active. Clients commend the size of the team, its response times and ‘very strong industry knowledge’.
Ernest Mazansky - Werksmans Attorneys
Further information on Werksmans Attorneys
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Werksmans Attorneys in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Johannesburg
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Competition : Competition
- Construction : Construction
- Corporate and M&A : Corporate and M&A
- Dispute resolution : Dispute resolution
- Intellectual property : Intellectual property
- Investment funds : Investment funds
- Labour and employment : Labour and employment
- Mining : Mining
- Projects and infrastructure : Projects and infrastructure
- Real estate : Real estate
- Tax : Tax