Tax in South Africa


ENSafrica has a sizeable team with a leading presence across the tax sector. It continues to earn accolades for its international tax and transfer pricing expertise. The group advised Credit Suisse on the tax aspects of it establishing a platform for institutional investors to invest in convertible notes. The hugely experienced Peter Dachs is 'a nice guy and very competent'. Beric Croome and Robert Gad are also highly rated. Andries Myburgh 'has excellent in-depth knowledge and experience in the mining tax' and 'makes himself available at short notice'.

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has 'an excellent tax function' operating across the spectrum, from international tax and transfer pricing to corporate tax, fund formation and tax litigation. Team members are 'out-of-the box thinkers' and provide 'an exceptional client service', 'quick turnarounds'  and 'exceptional quality of work'. The team advised Capitalworks Private Equity on the takeover and delisting of Sovereign Foods Investments. International tax expert Anne Bennett is 'the top specialist in her field', while Brian Dennehy is recommended for private equity fund structuring. Graham Viljoen and tax litigation specialist Nina Keyser are also highly rated.


Bowmans has significantly expanded its offering with a sequence of lateral hires, including private equity sector specialist Michael Rudnicki from KPMG. With greater senior-level capacity, the firm is building on its longstanding experience in M&A, litigation, restructurings and international tax. The team is praised for its 'availability, efficiency and skills'. It advised AfriSam (South Africa) on its debt and equity restructuring. International tax expert Wally Horak is 'very competent and very knowledgeable', while Barry Garven and Alan Keep are key senior team members. Patricia Williams is recommended for tax litigation. Virusha Subban is 'very knowledgeable, experienced and a hands-on customs law practitioner'.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is the undisputed leader in financial services-related tax issues thanks to the presence of Emil Brincker, who is, arguably, 'the number one tax adviser' in the jurisdiction. He and the team act for many of the major banks and financial institutions in South Africa and have an exceptional record in corporate tax and cross-border M&A, tax litigation, VAT and funds-related tax. Ludwig Smith remains a key name for hybrid financing instruments and preference share funding-related tax issues. Gerhard Badenhorst is a leading VAT expert and Mark Linington is at the forefront of corporate tax and fund formation tax issues.

Werksmans Attorneys

Werksmans Attorneys has two seasoned professionals in 'very astute tax adviser' Ernest Mazansky and international tax expert Michael Honiball, who 'dominates the private client space'. The team has been active in a series of major tax disputes and investigations. Other work includes advising Heriot Properties on altering its tax structure in advance of it being listed as a REIT. Doelie Lessing is recommended for funds work.

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP has a leading presence in financing-related tax issues, including preference share funding transactions. In this segment, Lionel Shawe is a market leader.

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg has cemented its position in the tax space, most notably in tax disputes, including disputes and settlements with the tax authorities. The team is also active in cross-border and pan-African tax advisory and due diligence matters.It is also a key name for VAT and private client advice. Clients range from multinationals to local South African corporates and owner-managed businesses. The team has 'broad knowledge of regulations' and 'understands its clients' businesses'. Stephan Spamer  is recommended for tax disputes and M&A-related tax issues.

Glyn Marais

Glyn Marais is a leading figure in financing-related tax issues thanks to the presence of seasoned figure Richard Glyn. He and the team advise a number of major banks, other financial institutions and real estate clients.

Hogan Lovells (South Africa)

Hogan Lovells (South Africa) has 'great expertise' enabling it to identify 'appropriate solutions'. The rounded practice covers corporate tax through to tax disputes and exchange control. Jackie Peart and Natalie Napier lead the way on M&A and foreign direct investment, with Peart also building a standing in tax disputes acting for and against the South African Revenue Service. Charles van Standen leads the exchange control department. Ernie Lai King retired.


FASKEN operates a small but busy practice with a solid record in the renewables, mining, pharmaceutical and agribusiness sectors. It remains active in mergers, exchange control, and customs and tariffs work. Conor McFadden leads the team, which is 'very practical, efficient and technically strong'.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has notable strength in tax disputes, exchange control issues, international tax matters, and tax aspects linked to renewable energy projects. Dale Cridlan leads the team and has advised AIG Europe on a number of warranty and indemnity issues related to acquisitions and disposals.