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South Africa : Banking and finance
Within Banking and finance, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel’s growing practice spans debt capital markets and project finance as well as general banking and regulatory advice. It acts for all major South African banks, including Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and Investec, and advised RMB as lead arranger of Exxaro’s R8bn refinancing. Johan de Lange is praised for his ‘business acumen’ and ‘industry knowledge’, and the ‘innovative’ Karen Couzyn is the ‘best debt capital markets lawyer’ in South Africa, according to one client. Johann Scholtz is recommended for regulatory advice.
South Africa : Competition
Within Competition, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel’s sizeable and experienced team has been involved in major cartel proceedings and also advised Wal-Mart on the merger control aspects of its tie-up with Massmart. Lesley Morphet and the ‘commercially astute’ Robert Wilson are excellent for merger filings. Martin Versfeld is ‘very knowledgeable’ and Desmond Rudman has ‘a very analytical mind and gets deeply entrenched in the business’, thanks to his background in economics. Daryl Dingley is also recommended.
South Africa : Corporate and M&A
Within Corporate and M&A, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel’s ‘best-in-class’ corporate practice spans all key industry sectors, including mining and retail, and also encompasses private equity transactions. Private equity specialist Sally Hutton represented a consortium including Actis, RMB Ventures and MIC Investment Holdings on the R3.9bn acquisition of Tracker Investment Holdings. Christo Els advised Anglo American on its $5.1bn acquisition of the Oppenheimer family’s 40% interest in De Beers. The firm shows a ‘high commitment to quality’ and ‘access to experienced partners is always a given’. John Bellew, Stephen Meltzer, Colin du Toit and Johannes Gouws are also recommended.
South Africa : Dispute resolution
Within Dispute resolution, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel is ‘professional’, ‘technically proficient’, ‘pragmatic’, and has ‘very good industry knowledge’. The firm is particularly strong for banking, insurance and mining disputes, and defended Anglo American against claims brought by former gold mine workers alleging occupational lung disease. Stuart McCafferty and Nick Alp, who lead in headline cases, have ‘good business acumen’ and give ‘excellent practical advice’. The ‘technically proficient’ Daniël Le Roux is recommended for insurance disputes.
South Africa : Intellectual property
Within Intellectual property, Webber Wentzel is a second tier firm,
Webber Wentzel’s leading commercial and transactional IP department acts for various multinationals including major mining houses, financial institutions and private equity funds. The firm has also enhanced its litigation capabilities, and represented Specsavers BV in successful infringement litigation over trade mark applications filed in Nigeria by an unrelated company, Spec-Savers SA (Pty) Ltd. Lesley Fitton left the firm, but Bernadette Versfeld and Leanne Mostert ensure the firm’s continued good reputation.
South Africa : Investment funds
Within Investment funds, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
‘Top-calibre investment funds firm’ Webber Wentzel primarily focuses on the private equity sector, with many of its clients having a strong interest in the mining, infrastructure, telecoms and energy sectors. The firm has a longstanding relationship with Ethos Private Equity, while newer clients include Vantage Mezzanine Capital and African Infrastructure Investment Management. It advised the latter on establishing and closing a $1.7bn fund. Senior partner John Bellew has 15 years’ experience in investment funds, and Nicole Paige’s practice is fully dedicated to funds.
South Africa : Labour and employment
Within Labour and employment, Webber Wentzel is a second tier firm,
Webber Wentzel has doubled the size of its employment team, in the process expanding its health and safety and employee benefits expertise. New hires include Johan Olivier and his team, who joined from Brink Cohen Le Roux. The ‘practical’ and ‘pragmatic’ Claire Gaul, Pamela Stein and Nick Robb are key figures in the practice.
South Africa : Mining
Within Mining, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel’s outstanding practice has genuine capabilities in transactional, regulatory and disputes work, and it has attracted significant deal flow in and outside South Africa. It provides ‘consistent, high-quality service’, ‘fast turnaround times’, and ‘practical advice’ that accounts for ‘underlying commercial drivers’. The ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘experienced’ Bruce Dickinson and Manus Booysen are top transactional lawyers. Peter Leon is ‘probably the country’s leading regulatory expert’.
South Africa : Projects and infrastructure
Within Projects and infrastructure, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel is ‘excellent’ in projects and infrastructure matters. The ‘outstanding’ and ‘commercial’ Brigette Baillie is representing Development Bank of South Africa in its renewable energy IPP procurement programme, and a number of bidders and lenders are also instructing the firm on this project. The team has also experienced a considerable upswing in mining finance mandates. Karel Potgieter and Jason van der Poel are also recommended.
South Africa : Shipping
Within Shipping, Webber Wentzel is a first tier firm,
Webber Wentzel has a strong reputation in salvage work, and has experienced significant growth in ship arrests and foreclosure matters. The department has strength-in-depth and provides ‘excellent response times’, ‘second-to-none technical expertise’ and ‘good value for money’. ‘First-class lawyer’ Gavin Fitzmaurice is ‘user-friendly’, ‘sharp’ and ‘exceptional’. Patrick Holloway is ‘very approachable’, ‘first rate’ and ‘very client-friendly’. The ‘outstanding’ Arthur James has ‘a rounded knowledge of all marine matters’. Andre Bowley and leading environmental lawyer Marius Diemont are also recommended.
South Africa : Tax
Within Tax, Webber Wentzel is a second tier firm,
Webber Wentzel is ‘excellent’ and ‘good value for money’, and has a particularly fine record in international tax, M&A and tax litigation. Clients include leading financial institutions, private equity houses and listed companies. Michael Honiball and Anne Bennett, who has ‘excellent technical knowledge’, are recommended for international tax matters. Mark Linington is a leader in the private equity space and Patricia Williams handles tax disputes. Brian Dennehy recently joined Standard Bank.
Further information on Webber Wentzel
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Webber Wentzel in other jurisdictions.
- Banking and finance : Banking and finance
- Competition : Competition
- 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
- Shipping : Shipping
- Tax : Tax