Real estate in South Africa

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is widely recognised as the market leader thanks to its level of commitment to real estate, along with the volume, variety and complexity of its engagements. Attie PretoriusWilliam Midgley  and development expert Lucia Erasmus are highly regarded for both South Africa and Africa-wide matters. John Webber leads the department.

Practice head(s):

John Webber

Testimonials

It offers a complete one stop solution for all corporate legal needs and an ability to source knowledge from other areas when needed. The team is  willing to go the extra mile, offer superb client service and is always available.

The team has the strongest skills and experience in the listed real estate sector in South Africa.

It is an exceptionally professional firm with highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals. Their dedication, availability, and hard work, to name just a few traits, are beyond question.

Attie Pretorius is the preeminent expert in the property law sector.

William Midgley is undoubtedly the most experienced and knowledgeable attorney in the South African real estate industry.

Key clients

Absa Group No

Atterbury Properties

Coca Cola Company (USA)

FirstRand

Growthpoint Properties

Old Mutual

PRASA

Pick ‘n Pay Stores

Work highlights

  • Advised Vukile Property Fund on its acquisition of three shopping centres from Rebosis Property Fund.
  • Acted for Transcend Residential Property Fund on the acquisition of 2,159 residential units from International Housing Solutions Residential Partners 1.
  • Advised Equites Property Fund on its acquisition of a large industrial rental enterprise from Investec Property Fund.

ENSafrica

ENSafrica has a highly reputed practice that advises a range of financial institutions, listed property funds, private equity houses and family offices. Recent instructions centre on the restructuring of portfolios, the acquisition of interests in game reserves and big-ticket land disputes. Johannesburg-based Andrew Bembridge and Len Vorster work alongside Fritz Schulz in Cape Town.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Bembridge

Key clients

Investec Bank

Absa Bank

Tongaat Hulett Group

University of the Witwatersrand

Basil Read

Redefine Properties

Elan Property Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Zwelabantu Dube Community Property Association on an agreement for sale of land to property developers on a phased basis with payment postponed till the transfer of the property to the end-user.
  • Assisted Blyvoor Gold with securing the necessary land rights and protection of the slimes dams for the Blyvoor gold mine.
  • Acted for University of the Witwatersrand on the sale of 290-hectare piece of land that was donated by a mining magnate in 1905 to be used for ‘education in perpetuity’ through a deed of gift.

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has a fine record in high-value asset acquisitions and disposals, along with the key real estate aspects of big-ticket corporate transactions and restructurings. Sulani Jooste leads the team from Cape Town, where Zunaid Rawoot  is also rated. Mark McIntosh is a key name in Johannesburg.

Practice head(s):

Sulani Jooste

Testimonials

Knowledge and experience is beyond questions. The team understands our requirements and is fully committed to meeting and exceeding expectations.

We are appreciative that the team has the knowledge, expertise and skills to operate in a dual environment being the public sector as well as the private sector.

Sulani Jooste is approachable, she together with her team knows what is expected. Matters are attended to speedily and professionally.

Zunaid Rawoot and his team are always available and offer us customised solutions. Zunaid is flexible and offers custom purpose contracts.

Zunaid Rawoot is professional and turns around our requests in good time. He is agile in providing support and advice for our business.’

Key clients

Anglo Operations

Ingenuity

Absa Bank

Nedbank

Investec Bank

Xtraprops 66

Start Trust

FirstRand Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Anglo American on the real estate aspects of Anglo American Inyosi Coal’s sale of the New Largo thermal coal project in South Africa to New Largo Coal.
  • Assisted Anglo American with the real estate matters connected to the disposal of certain Eskom-tied thermal coal operations in South Africa to a subsidiary of Seriti Resources.
  • Acted for Ingenuity Property Investments on a rental enterprise comprising of five high-value commercial properties in Cape Town to Sanlam Life Insurance.

Werksmans Attorneys

Werksmans Attorneys advises an impressive array of real estate developers and key financial institutions. It is noted for big-ticket developments and acquisitions and disposals with high performing teams in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Brownfield, mixed-use and township developments are a particular forte for the team. Hendrik Kotze and Fátima Rodrigues lead the teams in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively.

Practice head(s):

Hendrik Kotze; Fátima Rodrigues

Testimonials

Hendrik Kotze is very capable in property matters.

Key clients

V&A Waterfront Holdings

Investec Property

Berman Bros. Property Developers

Omnigro Property Developers

Redefine Properties

Vantage Property Developers

Shoprite

Pepcor

Work highlights

  • Advised Oakland City Development Company on a large scale mixed-use township development.
  • Assisted Berman Bros with the development of two new luxury apartments blocks, known as The Estate.
  • Assisted Omwieco with the development of Somerset Lakes, a large scale mixed-use township development.  

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP is highly rated for real estate finance. Lionel Shawe is a finance leader and experienced in highly-structured financings in the real estate segment. Nick Grootes and Cynthia Venter provide additional senior expertise at counsel level.

Practice head(s):

Lionel Shawe

Key clients

Absa Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Nedbank

Liberty Two Degrees

Emira Property Fund

Kagiso Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Rand Merchant Bank on the financing to Pareto for its acquisition of a 50% interest in the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.
  • Acted for Kagiso Capital on the acquisition of shares in Growthpoint Healthcare Property Holdings.
  • Assisted Absa Bank with bridge and term facilities for Redefine Properties to make secondary market purchases of shares in Echo Polska Properties.

Bowmans

Bowmans is rated for acquisitions and disposals, developments and redevelopments. It has a strong commercial property practice, alongside finance, projects, private equity and M&A linked to real estate assets. Craig Schafer and Samantha Saffy are the key partners.

Practice head(s):

Craig Schafer

Testimonials

The team is well-versed with the property industry and prevailing legal practices.

Craig Schafer is knowledgeable, helpful and a great asset to Bowmans.’

Samantha Saffy is efficient , knowledgeable and a great resource to utilise.

Key clients

Rainprop

Delta Property Fund

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Absa Bank

RPP Property Developments

Crowie Property Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Rand Merchant Bank on the financing for Michael Family Trust’s acquisition of a portfolio of rental enterprises, including 14 properties.
  • Assisted Rand Merchant Bank with the acquisition financing for Inani Property Holdings’ acquisition of a portfolio of 25 commercial properties from Emira Property Fund.
  • Acted for Dipula Income Fund on its disposal of a residential property portfolio at 25 Ernest Oppenheimer Avenue, Bruma and 10 Boardwalk Midrand, Johannesburg; it also advised the client on its acquisition of a 50.01% share in a residential development in Cosmo City, Johannesburg.

Glyn Marais

Glyn Marais is deeply entrenched in the real estate segment. It advises some of the largest property names in the market. It is also noted for innovative investment and financing structures, including helping to develop the variable loan stock structure in South Africa. Brian Frank is a leading practitioner and Ashleigh Dawson is an emerging talent.

Practice head(s):

Brian Frank

Key clients

Accelerate Property Fund

Alchemy Property Management Services

Alchemy Property Development and Projects

Stadium Management South Africa

V & A Waterfront Holdings

One and Only Cape Town

Eye of Africa Developments

Sector Five Trading

Growthpoint Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised African Kingdom Holdings on the development and registration of developments known as The Signature, Whistling Thorns and The Lakes at Whistling Thorns.
  • Acted for Accelerate Property Fund on the sale of Wanooka Place at Erf 88 Parktown.
  • Acted for Accelerate Property Fund on the sale of Flora Park.

Lawtons Africa

Lawtons Africa's team a track record in commercial and residential developments in Sandton and the wider Johannesburg vicinity. It is also active in asset acquisitions and disposals around South Africa. Emili Souris and Penny Chenery are the key partners. Melissa Leibowitz is also rated.

Practice head(s):

Emili Souris; Penny Chenery

Testimonials

They genuinely care and seek to find the solution that is best work for you. They have a good reputation in the market place and are authentic in their dealings.’

Melissa Leibovitz is very good at networking and pursuing new opportunities. She constantly keeps in touch and engages.

Key clients

Silicon Smelters

Imperial Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Silicon Smelters on the disposal of non-core assets including a portfolio of 26 timber farms with active plantations situated across more than 13,000 hectares of land in three provinces in South Africa.
  • Assisted Imperial Group with a number of asset for share and other inter-group transactions, including the transfer of over 100 properties.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc remains noted for land issues connected to energy and infrastructure projects, particularly South Africa's renewable energy programme. It is also rated for the real estate aspects of mining sector asset disposals. Pieter Niehaus leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Pieter Niehaus

Key clients

Federal-Mogul Motorparts

Barloworld

Standard Bank of South Africa

Assmang

Standard Bank of South Africa

Exxaro Resources

Absa Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Federal-Mogul Motorparts on the relocation of its corporate head office and Gauteng-based distribution centre to a new site in a new semi-industrial office park.  
  • Assisted Standard Bank with the acquisition financing of Busamed Private Hospital Group’s purchase of Hillcrest Private Hospital and Gateway Private Hospital in Durban.
  • Advised Exxaro Resources on the review and negotiation of a lease agreement for its new corporate head office building in Centurion.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is best known for investment, M&A, financings and debt workouts. An enlarged corporate team including Craig Atkinson and Gary Felthun has brought an additional flow of investment and M&A engagements. A large proportion of the practice remains real estate financings, including large syndicated loans. Quintin du Plessis leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Quintin du Plessis

Testimonials

The team is very dynamic and proactive in their engagement with clients. Most appreciated is their ability to find commercially practical solutions. The team also has a depth of knowledge on how financial institutions operate.

The individuals in the team have superior skill and knowledge on a broad range of topics, not just real estate law and banking and finance.

The turnaround time is really outstanding. The document management system really stands out. The practitioners have an exceptional ability to understand complexity.

Quintin du Plessis has fantastic attention to detail and delivers a quick and high quality legal service.

Key clients

Absa Bank

FirstRand Bank

Rand Merchant Bank

International Finance Corporation

Nedbank

Stanlib Asset Management