Projects and infrastructure in South Africa
Bowmans has exceptional senior talent and a depth of experience in public and private sector engagements. It advises a range of sponsors, lenders and project companies and is increasingly involved in projects outside of South Africa. The team assisted the lenders with the restructuring and extension of the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project. Anton Barnes-Webb, Daryn Webb, Shamilah Grimwood-Norley and Patrick Hirsch are highly rated.
ENSafrica is increasingly active across the continent, including in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Mozambique. The firm is noted for greenfield mining, renewable energy, gas-to-power, and infrastructure and PPP projects. The team advised Ledjadja Coal on the development and financing of a coal handling and processing plant. Eric le Grange is 'a calm and collected lawyer' and John Ferraz is recommended for projects in Lusophone jurisdictions. Loren Tibshraeny has exceptional project document expertise.
FASKEN handled a significant market share of projects under Round 4 of South Africa's renewable energy programme, impressing with its advice to the lenders on the portfolio financing of five wind energy projects, producing a total of 700MW of electricity; this is thought to be the largest single renewable energy financing in Africa. The team, which is slightly more weighted towards lender-roles, is now increasingly active outside of South Africa and is one of the largest dedicated project finance teams in the market with Ashen Jugoo, Lara Bezuidenhoudt and Blaize Vance earning frequent praise.
Norton Rose Fulbright is known for its lender-side roles and it is leveraging these relationships to advise on a growing number of projects outside of South Africa, including those in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Uganda. Having been at the forefront of South Africa's renewable energy programme, it is now increasingly active in secondary market deals in this segment. Mining, rail and hospital projects are also growth areas. The team is praised for its 'dedication, availability and business-oriented approach'. Jackie Midlane is an outstanding project finance specialist, as is Gregory Nott, while Lizel Oberholzer is noted for her oil and gas expertise.
Webber Wentzel has developed further market share in PPP projects, mining projects and secondary market renewables deals and is increasingly instructed on engagements outside of South Africa. The firm is a popular choice for public and private sector developers and sponsors; it is also a leading player in private equity-driven transactions. It advised the lenders on the 100MW Acwa Power SolarReserve Redstone concentrated solar thermal power plant in the Northern Cape. Alessandra Pardini and Alexandra Cluver are key members of the team. Oil and gas specialists John Smelcer and Kenny Paton have left the firm, with the former becoming an independent consultant in Cape Town. Jason van der Poel rejoined the firm from Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP in June 2019. Gibbs Johnson left the firm.
Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP
Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP has gained a further foothold across the continent including Anglophone and Lusophone jurisdictions. It is especially active in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique for clients including Globeleq, Enel Green Power and a number of South African banks. It was appointed as international counsel to the pre-qualified bidder for the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit PPP road project. The practice also advised Standard Bank on the financing of a liquid bulk storage facility in the Port of Cape Town. Director Allen Leuta and counsels Sibusiso Zungu and Lulama Selele have an outstanding reputation. Jason van der Poel rejoined Webber Wentzel in June 2019.
Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is further building market share in sub-Saharan Africa thanks in part to its mix of South African and English law expertise. It advises a range of key lenders and sponsors. The firm is particularly active in South Africa's renewable energy scene and advised Nedbank on the Zeerust solar photovoltaic project and Droogfontein 2 solar PV projects. Kieran Whyte leads the team, which includes Wildu du Plessis and Jen Stolp.
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is building its standing in energy and infrastructure projects across Africa. The firm has earned key engagements in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal and other jurisdictions. The team's 'directors are available and work on a partnership basis with clients', 'are in touch with evolving market conditions' and have 'extensive practical project finance experience that translates into sound and practical advice'. Jay Govender has a long track record with Eskom in South Africa and now advises a range of developers, lenders (including development finance institutions) and EPC contractors across the continent. She led the team that advised the Ethiopian government on the global competitive procurement conducted for the 100MW Metehara solar photovoltaic project. Emma Dempster has a fine record in major renewable energy projects and small-scale embedded generation. Megan Rodgers leads on upstream oil and gas projects.
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP's practice, led by market leader Brigette Baillie, has made a particular impression in infrastructure and PPP projects. It is actively involved in project development and project finance, advising lenders and an increasing number of investors and sponsors. The group advised the Bombela Concession Company on the procurement of additional rolling stock for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link and assisted Southern African Power Pool Coordination Centre with the Botswana-South Africa transmission line project.
Werksmans Attorneys is recognised for its recent record in infrastructure projects, including toll roads. In this regard, Chris Moraitis has an excellent reputation. The team advised South Africa National Roads Agency on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and a number of other projects in South Africa and across the continent. Conventional power and renewables projects are also strengths of the practice. David Walker, Astrid Berman, Jonathan Behr and Deon Griessel are other names to note.
White & Case LLP's Johannesburg office is a major player in oil and gas across Africa, including deals in Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt. The team has market leading expertise in oil and gas EPC contracts, M&A and reserve-based lending. The practice is also building its presence in southern and East African mid-sized renewables projects. Gareth Hodder is a leading oil and gas lawyer and was part of a multi-office team that advised the sponsors on a $1bn financing for 30 oil fields across 12 oil mining leases under the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s oil debt programme. Craig Whitley and Joz Coetzer are outstanding project finance experts.
Pinsent Masons LLP has an established record in East Africa infrastructure projects thanks in no small part to the presence of key partner Claire Barclay. The practice is a mix of regulatory and transactional, with the team especially active in Kenya and Uganda. It advises a range of sponsors, sub-contractors and lenders, including multilaterals and development banks. The team also advised the Tanzania National Roads Authority on the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a toll road from Dar-es-Salaam to Chalinze through a PPP structure. The Johannesburg team is supported by a market-leading construction practice.