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Webber Wentzel

90 RIVONIA ROAD, SANDTON, JOHANNESBURG 2196,, PO BOX 61771, MARSHALLTOWN 2107, SOUTH AFRICA
Tel:
Work +27 11 530 5000
Fax:
Fax +27 11 530 5111
Email:
Web:
www.webberwentzel.com
Cape Town, Johannesburg

South Africa

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has the largest banking and finance team in South Africa and is widely recognised for its expertise in acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, and its growing standing in fund finance. The firm is known for its prestigious lender client base. The β€˜excellent’ Mark Kyle has joined from Standard Bank to further reinforce the team. The firm advised MTN Zakhele on the structured unwind of the company and its new Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) structure. The team is β€˜pragmatic’ and β€˜commercial’ with Johan de Lange and the β€˜high standard’ and β€˜hands on’ Kathy Shepherd as the big names, along with leading DCM specialist Karen Couzyn, Johann Scholtz, Scott Edmundson, and Muhammad Sader.

Leading individuals

Johan de Lange - Webber Wentzel

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has a highly credible standing in the market, most notably in cross-border M&A, public M&A, private equity buyouts, and BEE deals. The team is β€˜hands on’, β€˜practical’ and β€˜the gravitas of the firm adds huge value internationally’. A team, led by Colin du Toit, advised MTN on its new B-BBEE transaction, involving the unwinding and delisting of its existing structure and the acquisition of a new investment vehicle through MTN Zakhele Futhi. Other key names include senior partner Christo Els, Gareth Driver, Mark Phillips, Johan Brink, and Jesse Watson. Safiyya Patel is β€˜timeous and extremely competent’, Hendrik du Preez has β€˜excellent commercial and corporate law knowledge’, private equity specialist Sally Hutton β€˜gets the job done for her clients’ and Ziyanda Ntshona is β€˜a very fast thinking, skilled and clever lawyer’.

Leading individuals

Christo Els - Webber Wentzel

Gareth Driver - Webber Wentzel

Next generation lawyers

Andrew Westwood - Webber Wentzel

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Competition
Competition - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has a big domestic and international reputation and is often engaged to advise on merger control filings in multiple jurisdictions. The group recently represented several banks in the Competition Commission’s investigation into alleged price fixing by foreign currency traders. The team is β€˜extremely professional’, β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ and β€˜exceeds expectations’. Desmond Rudman is a true market leader and Daryl Dingley has β€˜a hands-on approach to problem solving’ and β€˜empowers juniors to attend to appropriate work’. Martin Versfeld is β€˜very committed and loyal to clients’ and β€˜is particularly well connected with the Competition Commission’. Robert Wilson is also outstanding.

Leading individuals

Desmond Rudman - Webber Wentzel

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel continues to impress in front-end work in sub-Saharan Africa. The practice is particularly close to developers and lenders and advised Dankocom as the EPC contractor on the Ilangalethu 100MW solar power project in Upington, Northern Cape. The β€˜practical’ team β€˜has a strong understanding of construction and operations contracts’. Disputes specialist Priyesh Daya β€˜has a level head’, is β€˜great to work with’ and β€˜does not over-lawyer the file’. Robert Appelbaum and Megan Jarvis are recommended for front-end work. Senior names Andrew van Niekerk and DeirdrΓ© Simaan have joined Bowmans and Pinsent Masons LLP respectively

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel’s client list highlights its commitment to public interest litigation. It has impressed in freedom of speech disputes for media houses and is recognised for its expertise in regulated industries; it is especially strong in the financial services and telecoms sectors. Procurement-related cases are also a forte of a practice that continues to set the benchmark in the natural resources sector. The team is defending Anglo American against a class action by former goldmine workers alleging that they have contracted silicosis and/or silico-tuberculosis. The department provides a β€˜consistently outstanding’ service, β€˜sound’ advice and β€˜skilled drafting’. Stuart McCafferty, Trevor Versfeld and Nick Alp are three senior names, followed by Vlad Movshovich, who is β€˜smart’ and tenacious. Kathryn Gawith is recommended for audit-specific litigation and regulatory enquiries. Media and tax litigation specialist Dario Milo and Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti provide β€˜practical solutions’ and Moray Hathorn and Pooja Dela are β€˜thorough, tireless and fearless’.

Leading individuals

Stuart McCafferty - Webber Wentzel

Trevor Versfeld - Webber Wentzel

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel remains at the forefront of mining sector retrenchments, mine closures and general labour relations issues; in this area, Johan Olivier and Eugene Phajane are big players. Phajane defended Royal Bafokeng Platinum Mine against a constitutional challenge application brought by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. Manufacturing, financial services and technology are also key industries for the practice that also impresses in senior executive remuneration packages and incentive schemes. Nick Robb is a β€˜deep thinker’, β€˜measured’ and β€˜deliberate’, and Dhevarsha Ramjettan is β€˜superb’ with β€˜excellent skills’. Pamela Stein, Kenneth Coster and Cape Town’s Claire Gaul are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Johan Olivier - Webber Wentzel

Nick Robb - Webber Wentzel

Next generation lawyers

Kirsten Eiser - Webber Wentzel

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is recommended for commercial and transaction-related IP issues. The β€˜very professional’ team advised Carlyle on its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Amrod, involving an audit of its IP rights. Bernadette Versfeld provides β€˜excellent responses’ and is β€˜extremely detailed’. Leanne Mostert and Lara Brandani are also recommended.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is β€˜one of the leaders’ in both private equity and infrastructure funds, representing many of the major general partners in South Africa, southern, and east Africa. The firm has advised on a series of listings for private equity funds, including that of African Rainbow Capital Investments on the JSE. The team, led by Nicole Paige, who is β€˜knowledgeable’ and has a β€˜great work ethic’, and tax specialist Brian Dennehy, provides an β€˜excellent’ service.

Leading individuals

Nicole Paige - Webber Wentzel

Next generation lawyers

Ashford Nyatsumba - Webber Wentzel

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Mining
Mining - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is widely recognised for its work in restructurings and disposals. It has advised on a series of disposals around central and southern Africa, including advising key client Anglo American on the sale of platinum, coal and iron ore assets. The team has also experienced growth in private equity investments and has over 40 partners practising in the natural resources sector. Bruce Dickinson and Rita Spalding are leaders in mining transactions, while Jonathan Veeran and Manus Booysen are noted for regulatory issues and Kate Collier for health and safety.

Leading individuals

Bruce Dickinson - Webber Wentzel

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel remains at the forefront of major energy and infrastructure projects in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Augmenting its already strong power credentials, the team hired senior figure Gibbs Johnson, who has extensive in-house, private practice and consultancy experience. The practice has strong connections to parastatals and government agencies and oil and gas giants, and advises a growing number of private equity funds on investments in the power sector. For example, it advised Globeleq Advisors on an equity investment in the Kalungwishi Hydro Project, owned by the Lunzua Power Authority in Zambia. The team provides a β€˜high service level’, β€˜is willing to go the extra mile’ and is β€˜commercially minded’. Alexandra Cluver is β€˜commercial’, β€˜has a strong grasp of the key risks and value drivers’ and is β€˜a good negotiator’. Alessandra Pardini has β€˜excellent market knowledge in renewable energy’, β€˜is quick to understand the issues’ and β€˜communicates in a concise and well-thought-out way’. Oil and gas experts Kenny Paton and John Smelcer are also recommended.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is recommended for residential and commercial developments in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. The team has β€˜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 β€˜thorough and knowledgeable’. Mark McIntosh and Zunaid Rawoot are also recommended.

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Shipping and transport
Shipping and transport - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel is a leader in shipping and the wider transport sector, including aviation, road and rail. The team continued to defend Transnet National Ports Authority and its underwriters against claims arising from the grounding of bulk carrier MV Smart. It has β€˜first-class’ and β€˜exceptional’ lawyers with Gavin Fitzmaurice praised for being β€˜commercial, user-friendly and prompt’ and Andre Bowley commended for his β€˜industry knowledge’ and β€˜litigation strategy’, which enables him to β€˜run rings around the opposition’. Patrick Holloway is also recommended and the β€˜excellent’ Scott Edmundson is praised for aviation expertise in sub-Saharan Africa.

Leading individuals

Gavin Fitzmaurice - Webber Wentzel

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Webber Wentzel

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.

Leading individuals

Anne Bennett - Webber Wentzel

Brian Dennehy - Webber Wentzel

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South Africa

Offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town

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