Banking and finance
Werksmans Attorneys has a fine record in structured finance, DCM, refinancing, restructuring, acquisition finance and leveraged finance mandates. It is also active in project finance, especially for sponsors. The firm advised a consortium of banks in connection with the restructuring of euro credit facilities provided to Lonmin and its South African subsidiaries. Richard Roothman is a market leader in mainstream lending and DCM, Chris Moraitis is a project finance specialist and Elliott Wood, recognised for his ‘quality drafting’, is an acquisition and leveraged finance expert.
Commercial, corporate and M&A
Werksmans Attorneys’ ‘superb’ practice is ‘responsive, solutions-driven and commercially astute’. The firm has made a mark in private equity, distressed work, equity listings and in unlisted company transactions. Highlights included advising Samancor Chrome on its acquisition of the business and mining assets of International Ferro Metals, and acting for Hammerson on its proposed JSE secondary listing. David Gewer is ‘a dedicated professional’ who ‘applies commerciality to his advice and has the client’s interests at heart’. Kevin Trudgeon is a leader in corporate finance and Elliott Wood in private equity. Gerhard Johannes is also recommended.
Werksmans Attorneys delivers an ‘excellent’ service with ‘in-depth experience and insight’. It has an impressive record across mergers, cartels and abuse of dominance. The firm advised both the Minister of Finance and Distell Group in intervening in the South African merger filing of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller. Paul Coetser is ‘highly rated’ and Ahmore Burger-Smidt has ‘good business acumen’ as well as ‘good relationships with the authorities’. Paul Cleland, Pieter Steyn and Petra Krusche are recommended.
Werksmans Attorneys is recognised for employer, contractor and engineer mandates, including in construction adjudication and arbitration. Airports Company South Africa, Aveng, Glencore Operations South Africa and Actom are clients. The team ‘handles matters very professionally and responds quickly’. Jason Smit is highly regarded.
Werksmans Attorneys has excellent dispute resolution credentials and has experienced considerable growth in regulatory disputes and arbitration. The firm acted for Telkom in review proceedings against the Independent Communications Authority relating to Vodacom’s intention to acquire the licences of Neotel and Cell C. It also represented the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) in major review proceedings to set aside an award of a tender for the sale and acquisition of locomotives. Corlett Manaka is a leader in regulatory disputes and investigations. Des Williams and David Hertz are recommended for litigation and arbitration.
David Hertz - Werksmans Attorneys
Des Williams - Werksmans Attorneys
Werksmans Attorneys’ recent hires Peter Mosebo and Bankey Sono, who joined from Maserumule Inc. Attorneys, have extensive parastatal connections and BEE credentials. They join parastatal expert Sandile July, who represented the suspended National Police Commissioner Riyah Phiyega in an inquiry by the South African President into her fitness to hold office. Anastasia Vatalidis leads the ‘customer-focused’ team.
Werksmans Attorneys is highly regarded for litigation and recently represented Telkom in a dispute against Cybersmart concerning its new fast internet connectivity product. Janine Hollesen and Stuart Gardiner are highly reputed. Clients include South African retailer Shoprite, Santam and South African Rugby Union.
Werksmans Attorneys’ ‘industry knowledge surpasses all other firms’, according to a client. Shayne Krige is ‘outstanding’ in local as well as offshore structuring and regulatory issues. New clients include Air Namibia Retirement Fund, Bidvest Namibia Retirement Fund and Campitor Investments.
Werksmans Attorneys has a tremendous mining heritage and the ‘very knowledgeable as well as approachable’ Chris Stevens is ‘one of the top mineral resource lawyers in Africa’, ‘an innovative thinker and a lawyer of great integrity that is well respected within the industry’. Clients appreciate the firm’s ‘quick, practical solutions’ and solid opinions that are ‘not overly technical’. The team regularly handles disposals, including in distressed and business rescue situations, with business rescue specialist Eric Levenstein providing vital input. Clients include Glencore Xstrata, South32, Goldfields and it has a growing connection to Anglo American. Though the practice is best known for its experience in coal-related matters, it covers all key mineral sectors and advised Elandsfontein Mining on establishing the only new phosphate mine in South Africa. Mining M&A expert Kevin Trudgeon and Stephan Lochner are recommended, along with Jared Nickig, who has several Chinese clients.
Projects and infrastructure
Werksmans Attorneys has ‘all the requisite skills’, is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and is regarded as ‘first choice’ for concession type deals. The firm is noted for its nuclear expertise and its record in refinancings as well as disposals. It is also involved in South Africa’s gas-to-power and coal baseload programmes. Chris Moraitis is ‘pragmatic as well as knowledgeable’, Astrid Berman has genuine ‘competence and experience’ and Jonathan Behr is ‘reliable, capable and experienced’. Deon Griessel and nuclear expert Dave Walker are also recommended.
The ‘fantastic’ Werksmans Attorneys is ‘miles ahead of others’ in mixed-use and retail developments, according to one client. It advised Berman Bros in connection with The Point, a mixed-use and office development at Sea Point Cape Town. Hendrik Kotze and Brian Kew are highly regarded.
Werksmans Attorneys has a tremendous standing in tax through market leader Ernest Mazansky and prominent transfer pricing and international tax specialist Michael Honiball. Clients include Investec Bank, Netcare and Telesure. Doelie Lessing is recommended.
Ernest Mazansky - Werksmans Attorneys
Further information on Werksmans Attorneys
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