Pinsent Masons LLP's impressive growth trajectory continued in 2019 with the hire of Jurg van Dyk, the former head of construction at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr; he brings additional expertise in front-end construction most notably in the renewable energy space. The rapidly expanding team works especially closely with other international offices, including London and Singapore, and has gained many of the big engagements in South Africa and across the continent. It has seen growth in instructions from developers and lenders, though remains a popular choice for contractors, particularly on the disputes side. Rob Morson leads the office and is a market leading front-end and projects lawyer. Shane Voigt and Junaid Banoobhai are outstanding in disputes, while Deirdre Simaan is another strong front-end specialist.
Construction in South Africa
Pinsent Masons LLP
‘It has hardworking and knowledgeable team members. There is a focus and depth of experience within the firm. It has an ability to leverage a network of lawyers or related firms across the sub-Saharan African region.‘
‘A very practical orientated practice that provides a value for money service.‘
‘They are dedicated to getting the client’s objectives met, in a detailed and exacting manner.‘
‘Rob Morson is an energetic and practical lawyer that finds solutions to benefit all parties.‘
‘Shane Voigt is a good strategist in dispute resolution.‘
RMB Westport Property
- Advised Efora Energy on the construction, supply and finance arrangements for the modular refinery complex next to the Conex Petroleum import facilities at the Port of Monrovia in the Republic of Liberia.
- Acted for Sepchem Industries on the development, including assisting with an EPC agreement, of an anhydrous hydrogen fluoride plant and an aluminium fluoride plant at Ekandustria in the Gauteng Province, South Africa.
- Assisted Stanlib with the construction of the Arena Mall in Kampala; the project aims to set the standard in green buildings and sustainable design in Uganda.
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has a fine record in front-end construction work in South Africa's renewable energy programme. Joe Whittle and Timothy Baker are noted for construction disputes and Emma Dempster is rated for front-end construction contracts including those related to embedded generation projects. Senior associate Siviwe Mcetywa is another key name. Former department head Jurg van Dyk joined Pinsent Masons LLP. Clive Rumsey was a new arrival in December 2020.
‘Detail oriented, but also reasonable and solution oriented.‘
‘Very strong renewable energy knowledge, with commercial acumen to capture technical commercial agreements in legal documents.‘
‘I’ve found Emma Dempster to be a very organised, professional lawyer, who’s understanding of embedded generation legislation has helped us in quite a number of ‘grey’ situations with clients.‘
‘Emma Dempster’s dedication to providing a quick and well-considered response to the client is much appreciated.‘
‘Timothy Baker is focused, responsive, very competent and flexible. The quality of advice is outstanding compared to other lawyers. Not only is his advice sound and accurate, but fits well with business strategy and objectives of my organisation.’
‘Siviwe Mcetywa is a talented rising star in my opinion. An absolute pleasure to work with.‘
Johannesburg Development Agency
Clean Energy Africa
Batsalani Coral Investments
- Represented Sasol in a range of disputes with one of its contractors.
- Advised Suneq on all construction and operation-related aspects of its development of a 5MW captive solar photovoltaic power plant in Namibia.
- Advised BioTherm Energy on the engineering, procurement and construction contract aspects of four renewable energy projects that have been selected by the Department of Energy as preferred bidder projects.
ENSafrica has seen an uptick in front-end employer and lender engagements, particularly in the mining sector. It is also highly rated in disputes, including some of the biggest in the market. Armando Aguiar is a highly rated construction disputes practitioner and advocate. Adriaan Hoeben is also rated for construction disputes, while Loren Tibshraeny is a top front-end and EPC specialist lawyer. Rob Scott has joined from Clyde & Co LLP, bringing additional experience in insurance-related construction disputes.
‘The construction team is very professional and skilled in construction projects and infrastructure project finance. The team is very pragmatic and solution-orientated, that sets it apart from competitors.‘
‘Loren Tibshraeny stands out as a phenomenal lawyer and an excellent resource for the power and infrastructure project finance industry. He is very responsive and assists his clients without question.‘
Old Mutual Specialised Finance
Utopia Power Company
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor
Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa
- Advised Goldwind Africa on the EPC contracts, the O&M agreement, and other contracts relating to the development of two wind farms of 120MW and 32.5MW respectively.
- Acted for Mopani Copper Mines on the development of a suit of template mining contracts for roll-out across its projects in Zambia.
- Advised Utopia Power Company on the construction and operation of a 15MW solar plant in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Lawtons Africa remains best known for disputes engagements, acting for a range of contractors, engineering houses and employers. Many of its cases are linked to renewables and mining projects, particularly in South Africa. Gary Pritchard has considerable experience in this area. Clive Rumsey left the firm.
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has a fine record in front-end construction contracts connected to renewable energy projects in South Africa and beyond. It is also rated for disputes, particularly professional indemnity and insurance-related matters. Contentious specialist Tony Chappel leads the team and, alongside Durban-based Gary Rademeyer, has a fine reputation for front-end construction and disputes.
WSP Group Africa
Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga
Mott MacDonald Contracting
Prospect Resources Australia and Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe
Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies
Development Bank of Southern Africa
- Acted for WSP Group Africa in a contractual dispute with Cape Town International Convention Centre.
- Represented Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga in a coal supply agreement with Eskom for its Matla power station.
- Represented Mott MacDonald Contracting in a dispute related to a contract to supply and provide commissioning support for a waste water treatment plant at Eskom’s Kusile Power Station.
Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP
Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP fields a strong team, which handles contentious and non-contentious construction, and is particularly noted for construction arbitration and other disputes. Gerhard Rudolph is a leading figure in construction and is supported by Michelle Porter-Wright and counsel Kate Daniels.
Nokia Solutions and Networks
ABB South Africa
Murray & Roberts
- Represented Aveng (Africa) in a number of disputes arising from the construction of a two-level conference centre in Johannesburg.
- Acted for Aveng against a syndicate of insurers in seeking indemnification under a layered PI insurance for a professional negligence liability.
Bowmans is best known for front-end work with the team frequently working alongside the firm's leading projects practice. This includes domestic engagements and a growing number of projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Andrew van Niekerk is a leader in front-end construction developments, while Spencer Naicker and contentious specialist Tumisang Mongae are also rated. Lloyd Chater joined Pinsent Masons LLP.
‘The team goes above and beyond, no matter how tight a deadline or short notice they are given for urgent matters.‘
‘The team demonstrates excellent knowledge and sources information when requests are outside their field of practice.‘
‘The team goes an extra mile to give the best advise.‘
‘Dedicated, engaged people, with clear leading-edge knowledge in construction contracts, but an ability to understand the client’s business needs and translate the legal issues into practical language.‘
Tenova Mining & Minerals
ELB Engineering Services
- Advised the concessionaire on the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Scheme (Mozambique), including regulatory aspects, the concession agreement and the power purchase agreement.
- Acted for the concessionaire on regulatory aspects, concession agreement, currency framework agreement, government guarantees, EPC and ICT agreements relating to the Beitbridge Border Post (Zimbabwe) project.
- Advised an institutional investor on the drafting and negotiation of the construction contracts and operations and maintenance contracts relating to three renewable energy independent power producer programme projects.
Fasken is primarily known as a disputes practice with a number of partners handling their own advocacy. The team has seen growth in guarantee and insurance work, along with an increasing sub-Saharan case load. The group advises a range of big-name multinational clients. In front-end work, the firm is experienced in EPC and O&M agreements, particularly in the renewables segment. Simon Pratt, Nic Roodt and Tania Siciliano comprise an impressive senior bench, particularly on the contentious side. Projects partners Ashen Jugoo and Blaize Vance provide additional EPC and O&M agreement expertise.
Sanlam Capital Markets
Amec Foster Wheeler
Development Bank of Southern Africa
- Advised the lenders on the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of two wind farm projects (120MW and 32MW) and two solar plant projects (86MW and 45MW) to be developed by BioTherm Energy.
- Acted for the borrower and the sponsors on the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the 140MW Kangnas wind farm in the Northern Cape.
- Advised Investec on the design, development, procurement, financing, construction, testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of 11 photovoltaic facilities developed by Mulilo Energy in South Africa for Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa.
Webber Wentzel is primarily focused on the South Africa market though with a significant portion of Africa-wide engagements. The team is actively involved in major infrastructure builds and big-ticket disputes. Alessandra Pardini and Megan Jarvis are rated for EPC and transactional matters. Tyron Theessen, who has recently promoted to the partnership, has achieved considerable market recognition, while Priyesh Daya is experienced in major construction disputes.
‘A good client support orientated firm.’
‘Priyesh Daya a practical outcome based lawyer.‘
‘Tyron Theessen is a really good lawyer. He’s transparent and is not afraid to discuss the issues with you. I enjoy working with him.‘
EOH Industrial Technologies
Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao
- Advised Rejem Linton Netcare on the construction and procurement aspects of the Netcare Alberton Hospital development project.
- Assisted Khoemacau Copper Mining with the EPCM arrangements for the development of the copper starter project for the mine located near Maun, Botswana.
- Advised Oil Tanking Mogs Saldanha on the development and construction of a commercial crude oil blending and storage terminal at Saldanha Bay.
Werksmans Attorneys has received a number of major dispute engagements, while remaining active in the front-end space. Jason Smit has an impressive record, frequently acting for employers, contractors and consultants. Deon Griessel is noted for EPC and EPCM matters.
‘The team is always willing to assist. They provided an extremely professional service and never force their opinions on us, rather give us the options and support our decisions in moving forward.‘
‘Jason Smit has an extensive knowledge of NEC, which was invaluable to us. He was extremely efficient and the service was always of the highest standard.‘
Worley South Africa
- Acted for WorleyParsons in a dispute with Group Five relating to the Kpone renewable energy gas cycle power station.
- Acted for Raubex Group in a suite of contracts for the reconstruction of the Beitbridge Border Post between South Africa and Zimbabwe and the development of related infrastructure.
- Acted for Bidvest TMS Industrial Services in a contractual dispute over a rate-based supply contract for scaffolding and related services for Sasol’s CTFE Project in Secunda.
Clyde & Co LLP
Clyde & Co LLP is noted for construction disputes, including numerous cases across Africa. It has a particularly strong record acting for international contractors, including European and Korean companies. Alon Meyerov is the principal partner following Rob Scott's departure to ENSafrica.
‘They are always very professional. They are always proactive.‘
‘Alon Meyerov is really professional and always tries to help where possible.‘