Firm Profile > Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr > Johannesburg, South Africa

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
1 PROTEA PLACE
SANDTON
JOHANNESBURG 2196
South Africa

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr consistently leads the market in South Africa listed company deals. It routinely advises some of the biggest corporate brands in the jurisdiction. The firm also continues to impress in BEE and private equity transactions. Willem Jacobs is an eminent attorney in listed company deals and David Pinnock is at the forefront of the private equity segment. Peter Hesseling is an eminent figure in the Cape Town market. Rachel Kelly and Vivien Chaplin joined the firm from Hogan Lovells (South Africa) in 2019, while Lilia Franca moved to Webber Wentzel.

Practice head(s):

Willem Jacobs

Other key lawyers:

Johan Latsky; David Pinnock; Peter Hesseling; Rachel Kelly; Vivien Chaplin; Roux van der Merwe

Testimonials

‘Quality lawyers with great experience.’

‘Knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Quick, practical and excellent advice.’

‘The team is incredibly committed to ensuring the success of a transaction. They have seemingly limitless energy, but it is their problem solving that makes them stand out as advisors.’

‘Willem Jacobs leads an excellent team and provides practical advice, focused on ensuring an appropriate commercial and legal outcome.’

‘Willem Jacobs has been stand out in his field and is deeply trusted and respected by us as clients.’ 

‘David Pinnock always makes time for us and is able to digest a situation very quickly. ’

‘David Pinnock is incredibly competent, but more importantly businesslike and practical in the corporate and commercial side of the practice.’

‘Lilia Franca has a phenomenal grasp of technical issues but her most valued attribute is her ability to identify commercial solutions. She is a truly trusted advisor that will always look to solve problems but is equally very clear in advising where no solution is available.’

Roux van der Merwe is an exceptional lawyer. Roux is calm and considered and has vast experience in his field and is able to approach a transaction considering all of the other facets of law that will impact on the transaction.’ 

Key clients

ABSA Group

Accenture

Aegis Group

African Development Bank

Anglo American

Arcelormittal South Africa

Assupol Holdings

Atlatsa Resources Corporation

Avon Justine

Berkshire Hathaway

Biotherm

Brait SE

Brimstone Investment Corporation

Burger King Holdings

Cap Gemini South Africa

Capitalworks

Capitec Bank Holdings

Caterpillar

City of Cape Town

Coca-Cola Company (USA)

Coronation Fund Managers

Dell Computers

Dipula Income Fund

Distell Group

Dubai World Africa Services

Echo Polska Properties

EOH Holdings

Equites Property Fund

Ernst & Young

Ethos

Ethos EVRAZ

Fidelity Security Group

FirstRand

Foskor

Grindrod

Harmony Gold Mining Company

Heineken

IEP Portfolio 1

Investec Bank

Italtile

JCDecaux Group

Kaap Agri

Libstar Holdings

Liquid Telecommunications Group

Liviero Group

Lonmin

Macquarie Group

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has an outstanding record in landmark and precedent setting cases along with a steady flow of big-ticket dispute engagements. The practice spans commercial litigation, international arbitration, mediation, and white-collar crime and forensic investigations. TMT, energy and natural resources and financial services are key sectors for the department. The senior team features the likes of department head Tim Fletcher, financial services sector disputes specialist Eugene Bester and Rishaban Moodley. Executive consultants Pieter Conradie and Jonathan Witts-Hewinson continue to be active contributors to the success of the practice; Conradie in particular, is leading a number of major cases for the firm. Business rescue specialist Julian Jones joined Webber Wentzel in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tim Fletcher

Other key lawyers:

Eugene Bester; Rishaban Moodley; Pieter Conradie; Jonathan Witts-Hewinson; Kgosi Nkaiseng; Tim Smit; Gareth Howard; Lucinde Rhoodie

Testimonials

‘They are able to quickly synthesise and understand complex commercial disputes and identify practical and pragmatic solutions and dispute management options. They communicate well but keep their cool under pressure.’

‘The firm is user friendly in that they are easily and readily accessible as well as approachable.’

‘Tim Fletcher is experienced and adapted well to the ever-changing circumstances to resolve our commercial dispute. He worked well with other experts. He was easily reachable which is very important with these issues, and clear in his communication of facts.’

‘Tim Fletcher is a calm and measured advisor that as a client you want on your side. Tim knows when to be aggressive, when to be conciliatory and is always focused on achieving a beneficial outcome.’

‘Eugene Bester is always willing to go the extra mile and the quality of his work is excellent.’

‘The stand out partner is Tim Smit. He is very knowledgeable, open and frank. His response times are great and he always has invaluable input to complex problems.’

‘Kgosi Nkaiseng has a great blend of experience and skill, while being able to provide solutions to many complex situations.’

‘Gareth Howard is a super professional. Always friendly and understanding. He ensure his pleadings and other submissions are of the highest standard. He comes across very eloquently and is well spoken.’

‘Lucinde Rhoodie is an exceptional lawyer. She always immediately grasps the key issues and is meticulous in analysing the options with a very astute sense of which option will lead to the best result. Her calm demeanour is invaluable in high pressure situations and makes her an excellent negotiator.’

Key clients

ArcelorMittal

Sasol

Vodacom

Barclays Bank

Old Mutual

PRASA

Lonmin

Advtech Ltd

Employment Tier 1

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has gained considerable market recognition, both from the public and private sector. Financial services, mining and transportation are key sectors of activity for the team. The practice covers contentious and non-contentious employment law, workplace health and safety, immigration, and also pensions. The group is also at the forefront of anticorruption-related matters. Department head Aadil Patel has achieved additional prominence through a series of notable instructions, and Hugo PienaarGillian Lumb and mining sector specialist Fiona Leppan are also key members of the team. The firm further expanded the group with the hire of Imraan Mahomed and a team from Lawtons Africa in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Aadil Patel

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Pienaar; Gillian Lumb; Fiona Leppan; Jose Jorge; Anli Bezuidenhoudt; Imraan Mahomed  

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely responsive to clientss needs and deadlines, and are able to give urgent turnaround to instructions. The quality of the advice is excellent, which is very practical and commercially sound.’

‘Ability to advise on complex matters whilst unpacking the issues succinctly. Good value for money. Valuable and regular value adds to clients.’

‘Aadil Patel is client focused, delivers consistent excellent service, commercially sound legal advice, ability to simplify complex legal and factual issues and offers practical solutions, clear identification of potential risk and offers pragmatic risk mitigation measures.’

Gillian Lumb delivers consistent excellent service and clear identification of potential risk and offers pragmatic risk mitigation measures. Presents legal training for a wide client audience as a value add. She is a seasoned employment lawyer and has a collaborative approach.

What makes Hugo Pienaar so unique in his field of expertise is not only his exceptional knowledge of labour law, but also his kindness and humility. He connects with his clients on a personal level and has the gift to come up with solutions for legal problems that are legally sound and commercial viable.

‘Jose Jorge is a practical lawyer, who works hard to find solutions.’

Jose Jorge is always up to speed with what is happening in our matters, and is very responsive. It gives us confidence that the quality of work will be what we expect from the firm and lawyer in question.

Anli Bezuidenhoudt is one of the best attorneys I have worked with. She simplifies matters and does not take a legalistic approach to an enquiry. She listens to the evidence and then makes a recommendation which assists the employer to practically implement certain measures.

Key clients

Uber

City of Cape Town

Old Mutual

Nedbank

Coca-Cola

Clover

Unitrans

South African Broadcasting Corporation

Dischem Pharmacies

Naspers

South African Revenue Service (SARS)

Sun International

Veolia Environment

Anglo American

Standard Bank

The Petroleum, Oil & Gas Corporation of SA

Transnet

Nissan Motor Company

Samsung Electronics South Africa

Public Investment Corporation

Shoprite Holdings

Omnia Holdings

Industrial Development Corporation Of South Africa

Real estate Tier 1

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has the extensive expertise, experience and resources to compete at the forefront of each key real estate segment. It has bolstered its standing in big-ticket real estate financings, including those involving structured finance and securitisation structures. It has earned accolades for its work in major residential developments on the basis of long-term lease models, and it has stood apart in the REITs sector. Although real estate doyen Attie Pretorius has retired, Werner de Waal has taken over much of his legacy practice. At the same time, department head John WebberLucia Erasmus and William Midgley are at the pinnacle of the profession.

Practice head(s):

John Webber

Other key lawyers:

Werner de Waal; Lucia Erasmus; William Midgley; Simóne Franks; Muhammad Gattoo 

Testimonials

‘CDH displays true professionalism, work ethic, a high degree of availability and quick turnaround times on short notice in the majority of cases. Their knowledge and expertise is also first class.’

‘The individuals we deal with are experts in their fields, which ensures that as a client I get a very clear understanding of what I can and can’t do.’

‘John Webber is a pioneer with regard to leasehold developments in South Africa.’

‘John Webber is willing to propose new ideas and solutions to accommodate the interests of various stakeholders. John is almost always contactable and reverts with well considered and formulated solutions.’

Simóne Franks is always quick to respond and addresses any concerns clearly. With more difficult transactions, she facilitates constructive discussions between the parties with a view to resolving any issues amicably.’

‘Muhammad Gattoo is hands on, engaged and actively seeks out solutions. His team is always willing to go the extra mile.’

Key clients

SAC

Total South Africa

Transcend

Pareto Property Fund

Nedbank

Vukile

Abland

TEX

Century Property Developments

Middle Lusutfu Hydropower

Game Camp

Sasol Pension Fund

Libstar

Sanlam Life Insurance

Banking and finance Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's substantial and prominent team has developed closer connections to development finance institutions leading to a number of major engagements on financings in South Africa; much credit should go to Mashudu Mphafundi particularly, along with Stephen Boikanyo, who have the key DFI relationships. The wider group continues to be active in renewable energy sector financings, increasingly on the borrower/sponsor side. Another growth segment is green bonds, which eminent capital markets partner Jackie King is leading. Deon Wilken leads the department, which includes seasoned and respected partner Ludwig Smith, who is part of a sub-group that houses up-and-coming name Jenni Darling and senior associate Jess ReidPierre Swart is making a further impression in debt issuances and MTN programmes.

Practice head(s):

Deon Wilken

Other key lawyers:

Mashudu Mphafundi; Stephen Boikanyo; Jackie King; Deon Wilken; Ludwig Smith; Jenni Darling; Pierre Swart; Jess Reid; Izak Lessing

Testimonials

‘The team is very proactive, not only in relation to matters itself but also in meeting client specific needs. ’

‘Personable service, always contactable and fast turnaround times make this team stand ahead of their competitors.

‘Izak Lessing is a phenomenal English and South African qualified banking and finance lawyer with a tremendous ability to understand the commercial issues on a transaction. He is capable of dissecting almost any issue and supporting the resolution of it. He is most certainly an asset and trusted advisor to any client. ’

‘Deon Wilken is a smart and professional operator. Helps us simplify matters where appropriate and also brings tactical and strategic thinking.’

‘Deon Wilken at CDH is an exceptional lawyer and advisor. With his vast experience and skills he has been able to assist us to navigate complex funding structures. Deon is also a superb negotiator with counter parties. ’

‘Ludwig Smith is a doyen on structuring and tax matters. Excellent legal knowledge, a wealth of experience and the ability to translate this to practical guidance, as well as a willingness to be creative.’

‘Ludwig Smith and with Jess Reid are willing to assist us in a collaborative way to design suitable financing structures for clients. They have confidence in their work, and  have an ability to translate this into lucid contracts enshrining their ideas. This has involved a lot of complicated mathematics which they have not shied away from.’

‘Ludwig Smith and with Jess Reid’s analytical skills are exceptionally strong.’ 

Jenni Darling is a hidden gem and a fantastic lawyer. She is particularly adept in the banking and finance space where she excels in delivering excellent commercial outcomes in a practical and cost effective manner.’ 

‘Jenni Darling also happens to be an excellent commercial and M&A lawyer, meaning she and her team can provide a full service on a transaction and she does not restrict herself to only part of the deal.’

Key clients

Harmony Gold

Sun International

Sola Future Energy

Transcend Residential Property Fund

Simacel/Scatec

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association

Investec Equity partners

Vumatel

Old Mutual

Capitalworks Private Equity Partnership II

Royal Bafokeng National Development Trust

Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

Sanlam

Northern Platinum

Liquid Telecom Group

Vodafone Group Services

Lonmin

Nedbank Group

Tiso Investment Holdings

Anglo American

ISDA

Standard Bank Group

Competition Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s impressive pipeline of corporate transactions has ensured that it is at the forefront of merger notifications. Moreover, it has a healthy share of market inquiry engagements. It also advised on the first successful challenge to a warrant for a dawn raid process conducted by the Competition Commission. Health care, financial services and TMT are particularly active sectors for the team. Beyond South Africa, it frequently deals with other key competition regulators, including those in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and COMESA. The highly rated Chris Charter leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Chris Charter

Other key lawyers:

Andries le Grange; Lara Granville; Susan Meyer; Albert Aukema; Naasha Loopoo

Testimonials

‘Great personal service.’

‘Comprehensive service which addresses the needs of the customer.’

‘Open communication and solution-oriented thinking.’

‘Chris Charter has always gone the extra mile for us and has always been upfront when he is not best placed or lacks experience in an area.’

‘Chris Charter is a professor in his field. He has a deep understanding of the complexities of our business and his advice is premised on this understanding.’

‘Lara Granville is always available and quick to respond to matters. Her advice is always well considered. It is a pleasure to work with Lara.’

‘Andries le Grange is in my view, one of the best competition lawyers. He is always available and provides prompt, quality and practical advice when required. We have worked with Andries over several years and he has become one of our main go to competition lawyers.’

‘Susan Meyer has extensive experience and practical knowledge regarding the processes and has made, what is usually a very time consuming and frustrating process, very easy and hassle free.

‘Susan Meyer has really taken the time to know and understand each of our clients’ businesses and this gives her the unique ability to provide practical and specific advice and insights.’

Albert Aukema has a very practical approach to his legal advice. He understands the commercial realities of the business and provides advice which is not only sound but also practical to implement.

Naasha Loopoo is professional, always available, friendly, reliable, honest, hard-working, practical, she is also always on top of her game and is up to date with current events in the competition space.

Key clients

Coca-Cola

Computershare

Mediclinic

Matlosana Medical Health Services

Tourvest Travel Services

Old Mutual

Twisp

Willowton

Zaad Holdings

GAP Chemicals

EASEED Group

ANZ

Hygrotech Properties

Legae Peresec

Massmart

Lonmin

Pelo Agricultural Ventures

Public Investment Corporation

Roche

Shell

Sovereign Food

Tourvest Financial Services

Vodacom

Remgro

AdvTech

Curro Schools

Aveng

Capital Works

Arcelor Mittal

EnviroServ

Fidelity

Investec

Kagiso Tiso Holdings

Parmalat

Tiso Blackstar Group

Liquid Telecoms

Technology Management Services (TCM)

Avon Justine

Rymco

Oppenheimer Partners

Bud Group

Vumatel

Minister of Economic Development

Business Connexion

Construction Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr continues to impress in front-end renewable energy engagements, and is also at the forefront of the dispute resolution field. It continues to be engaged by major South Africa parastatals and a number of private employers and developers. Joe Whittle leads the team and is a prominent figure in contentious construction matters, most recently in adjudications and arbitrations. Emma Dempster is a front-end specialist with an excellent record in renewable energy projects, while Cape Town-based Timothy Baker provides further senior firepower in construction disputes and contracts (notably FIDIC); he is also English-qualified. The team was further enhanced by outstanding senior figure Clive Rumsey, who joined from Lawtons Africa in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Joe Whittle

Other key lawyers:

Emma Dempster; Timothy Baker; Siviwe Mcetywa; Clive Rumsey

Testimonials

‘Quick turn around time, commercial acumen, thinking outside the box.’

‘The team always is always available to assist in any matter.’ 

‘Emma Dempster is by far the best construction lawyer in South Africa. She provides quick turn around times, commercial acumen and she thinks outside the box.’

‘Joe Whittle is very dependable. He is always available to assist with any matter. Joe is very thorough with attention to detail, just what is required for complex construction law matters.’

Key clients

Busyby Renewables

Sasol

Peri Formwork

Clean Energy Africa

ArcelorMittal

BioTherm Energy

Development Bank of Southern Africa

Investec Bank

Southern Energy

Osborn Engineered Products

Transnet

SUNEQ GmbH

Scatec Solar

Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa

Public Investment Corporation

Abland

Gaia Infrastructure Partners

Acciona Group

Southern African Power Pool

Mining Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr  has a prominent mining team that represents some of the biggest names in the industry, along with mid-tier players and market entrants. It continues to impress in mining M&A, regulatory matters and fund raising exercises. It remains active in Mining Charter-related engagements and environmental compliance, health and safety and black economic empowerment issues. Allan Reid is a leading figure in mining law engagements in South Africa and many other African jurisdictions. Vivien Chaplin has joined from Hogan Lovells (South Africa) to reinforce the transactional side of the practice. Environmental and regulatory lawyer Sandra Gore has left to become a consultant, though continues to work with the firm. Mining law specialist Giada Masina and mining M&A expert Lilia Franca have joined Webber Wentzel.

Practice head(s):

Allan Reid

Other key lawyers:

Vivien Chaplin; Ben Cripps

Testimonials

‘They are more than just lawyers and advisors, but rather business partners who try to help you resolve issues and find solutions.’

‘Strong technical expertise combined with commercial practicality. Exceptional partners backed up by very good senior associates.’

‘Allan Reid brings a great depth of experience to our file. His guidance has been invaluable. Allan is well versed in our industry and the types of issues we face. He is able to help us quickly assess and react to circumstances, which are usually quite dynamic.’

‘Allan Reid combines great knowledge with practical solutions. He has a long history with our company which makes him uniquely positioned to provide the correct advice.’

‘Ben Cripps has often been given complex and cumbersome tasks, which he has been able to manage and complete in a thorough manner. Ben has displayed a good understanding of the legal issues we have faced and is very talented.’

Key clients

AngloGold Ashanti

African Rainbow Minerals

ArcelorMittal

Assmang Limited

Atlatsa Resources

BHP Billiton

De Beers

Evraz

Exxaro Resources

Harmony Gold

Hitachi Construction Machinery Southern Africa

Ivanhoe Mines

Lanxess Deutschland

Lonmin

Pengxin International Mining

Petmin

Northam Platinum

Platinum Group Metals

Samancor

Sentula

Sibanye-Stillwater

South32 SA Coal Holdings

Waterberg JV Resources

Xstrata Coal

Projects and infrastructure Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is making a further impression in projects across sub-Saharan Africa, including electricity and oil and gas projects and is also at the forefront of secondary market deals in the renewable energy sector. Embedded generation projects are another forte for the team. Jay Govender leads the team and has extensive experience across the projects and infrastructure sphere. Emma Dempster is prominent in energy projects, including small-scale embedded generation projects. Cape Town's Megan Rodgers is a key figure in domestic and sub-Saharan oil and gas projects.

Practice head(s):

Jay Govender

Other key lawyers:

Emma Dempster; Megan Rodgers; Tessa Brewis

Testimonials

‘The team is practical and goal oriented.’

‘The approachability and attention to detail makes this practice unique.’

‘The depth of knowledge and technical expertise is unmatched.’

‘Jay Govender is a very professional and pleasant person to work with and she has been a key resource on many of our projects in the power sector. She has great knowledge about the legal and regulatory environments in the various countries in the SADC region.’

‘Emma Dempster is outstanding. Her work ethic, approach and technical abilities sets her apart from her peers. She takes a pragmatic approach and works very well under pressure.’  

‘Emma Dempster has significant experience across Africa in renewable EPC/PPA contracting.’

‘Megan Rodgers’ understanding of the oil and gas industry is second to none and she continuously outshines the competition.’

‘Megan Rodgers has been able to bring a commercial interpretation to industry matters, which has saved us thousands of dollars and time.’

‘Tessa Brewis is smart, quickly understands complex problems and is good at both big picture and small detail thinking. She is a practical negotiator who is no pushover, but is never unpleasant.’

Key clients

Southern African Power Pool

Ethiopian Government

Ethiopia Electric Power

Kenya Urban Road Authority

The Sungu Sungu Oil Group

BioTherm Energy

Old Mutual Alternative Investments

Phakwe Witkop Investments

Azinam

Middle Lusutfu Hydropower

Inspired Evolution

Africa Development

Denham Capital

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia

Blue Crane Breeze

City of Cape Town

Energy Partners Utilities

Tax Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr continues to be recognised for its work in the financial services sector and corporate transactions. It continues to work on a large number of M&A deals, including those by private equity clients. It expanded the team with the hire of Stephan Spamer  and Howmera Parak from Baker McKenzie Johannesburg, bolstering the firm’s standing in international tax, transaction structuring, and M&A-related matters. The team is led by the highly-acclaimed Emil Brincker, a big name in the financial services sector, corporate reorganisations and restructurings, and major tax disputes. Gerhard Badenhorst is a leading indirect tax and VAT specialist and Mark Linington is at the forefront of fund structuring-related tax matters. Ludwig Smith is a senior figure with a long track record in hybrid financial instruments involving tax structuring challenges.

Practice head(s):

Emil Brincker

Other key lawyers:

Stephan Spamer; Howmera Parak; Gerhard Badenhorst; Mark Linington; Ludwig Smith 

Testimonials

‘The CDH Tax team consists of various highly respected and competent tax professionals who are expert in their various areas of specialisation.’ 

‘Emil Brincker is widely recognised as one of the top tax professionals in South Africa.’

‘Emil Brincker is most probably the most astute tax advisor in South Africa. His ability to read situations and adapt is also second to none.’

‘The in depth VAT understanding of Gerhard Badenhorst is more than exceptional.’

‘Gerhard Badenhorst has impacted the course and direction of various indirect tax matters in South Africa in a positive way, being a highly skilled thought leader. He is accessible and supportive. A perfect business partner. I consider Gerhard to be above and beyond any competitor.’

Key clients

Old Mutual Private Equity

Investment funds Tier 3

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has a flourishing funds practice, aimed at major asset managers, mid-tier players and a number of start-ups. The firm is also active in limited partner-side engagements. It is also making a further impression in funds structuring for B-BBEE-compliant private equity funds. Cape Town director John Gillmer is an experienced funds specialist, who has played a pivotal role in pushing the firm into the funds limelight. Mark Linington is a recognised specialist in tax structuring in the private equity space.

Practice head(s):

John Gillmer

Other key lawyers:

Mark Linington; Wayne Murray 

Testimonials

‘Definitely industry experts in private equity fund agreements. Highly recommended.’

‘The CDH team are friendly, collegial, and a smart team of fund structuring lawyers. 

‘John Gilmer and Wayne Murray pay attention to detail and treat the client with the utmost respect. I value the relationship that I have built up with the team.’

‘John Gilmer and Wayne Murray respond to queries timeously, offer practical solutions to issues and go out of their way to assist in getting a transaction concluded.’

Key clients

27Four

Mbuyu Capital Partners

NEP

Investec

Public Investment Corporation

PAPE Fund Managers

Old Mutual

Coronation Fund Managers

Nesa Capital

PSG Capital

CoreShares

The firm: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) is one of the largest full-service business law firms in South Africa, with more than 300 lawyers and a track record spanning 177 years. The firm provides experienced legal support and an authentic knowledge-based legal service for clients looking to do business in key markets across Africa. CDH’s Africa practice leverages resources and expertise of leading business law firms across the continent, tapping into a wealth of experience, particularly when it comes to acting for governments, state agencies and multinational organisations. This strategic network ensures an extensive African capability. The firm also partners with other professional disciplines such as audit firms, business consulting houses and corporate finance institutions to provide a seamless and integrated solution for multi-disciplinary projects. CDH focuses on a number of key sectors which are active and thriving in Africa, including M&A, competition, mining and minerals, telecommunications, construction, projects and energy, oil and gas, banking and finance, hospitality and leisure, and arbitration.

Offering across the African continent: The firm is able to provide experienced legal support and an authentic knowledge-based legal service for clients looking to do business in key markets across Africa. Its Africa practice leverages resources and expertise of leading business law firms across the continent, tapping into a wealth of experience, particularly when it comes to acting for governments, state agencies and multinational organisations. This strategic network, spanning across the continent, results in an extensive African capability. The firm also partners with other professional disciplines such as audit firms, business consulting houses and corporate finance institutions to provide a seamless and integrated solution for multi-disciplinary projects. CDH focuses on a number of key sectors which are active and thriving in Africa, including M&A, mining and minerals, telecommunications, construction, , oil and gas, banking and finance, projects and energy, hospitality and leisure, and arbitration.

With first-hand, in-depth experience, CDH is able to offer sector-specific expertise and knowledge of regulatory nuances to provide an exceptional integrated service across Africa. This includes a proven track record and deal experience across multiple jurisdictions in Africa, a practical and commercial approach, a multidisciplinary team of experts managed from a single point, extensive sector experience, and dedicated, partner-led teams.

On 1 April 2021,  CDH established a partnership with Nairobi-based boutique corporate law firm, Kieti Advocates LLP, which will be known as, Kieti Law LLP.

Areas of practice: The firm’s corporate and commercial offering covers the full spectrum of business legal services, which it delivers through core practice areas and sector teams.

CDH has 11 esteemed core practice areas: corporate and commercial; competition; dispute resolution; employment; environmental; finance and banking; pro bono and human rights; real estate; tax and exchange control; technology, media & telecommunications; and trusts and estates. The firm also has dedicated sector teams composed of lawyers from across practice areas, bringing a wealth of experience to key industries, such black economic empowerment, construction,  energy, business rescue, restructuring and insolvency, as well as insurance, mergers and acquisitions, mining and minerals, oil and gas, government and state-owned entities, private equity and more. 

Whether needing seamless coordination across a number of jurisdictions or delivery in a single location, the firm’s clients can rely on advice that is underpinned by a solid understanding of both local and international considerations.

Diversity: CDH values diversity, respect for the individual and equal opportunity. At CDH, transformation is considered the shared responsibility of everyone in the firm. The firm puts a great deal of energy and time into its ongoing initiatives which aim to achieve CDH’s greater transformation aspirations.

Corporate responsibility: CDH undertakes to look after the communities in which it operates through pro bono and volunteer work. To this end, CDH’s dedicated pro bono and human rights practice facilitates access to justice for the disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Department Name Email Telephone
Competition Chris Charter
Corporate and commercial, and M&A Willem Jacobs
Dispute resolution Tim Fletcher
Employment law Aadil Patel
Finance and banking Deon Wilken
Real estate Muhammad Gattoo
Tax and exchange control Emil Brincker
Technology, media & telecommunications Christoff Pienaar
Pro bono & human rights Jacquie Cassette
Trusts & Estates Allison Alexander
Photo Name Position Profile
 Mmatiki Aphiri  photo Mmatiki Aphiri Mmatiki Aphiri is a director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. She…
Mr Albert Aukema  photo Mr Albert Aukema Director 
 Gerhard Badenhorst  photo Gerhard Badenhorst Gerhard Badenhorst is a Director in our Tax and Exchange Control practice.…
 Timothy Baker  photo Timothy Baker Timothy Baker is a Director in our Dispute Resolution practice and in…
 Gretchen Barkhuizen-Barbosa  photo Gretchen Barkhuizen-Barbosa Gretchen Barkhuizen-Barbosa is a director in our Trusts and Estates practice. She…
 Eugene Bester  photo Eugene Bester Eugene Bester is a Director in our Dispute Resolution practice with experience…
Mrs Preeta Bhagattjee  photo Mrs Preeta Bhagattjee Preeta Bhagattjee is a Director in the Technology and Sourcing practice. She…
 Stephen Boikanyo  photo Stephen Boikanyo Stephen Boikanyo is a Director in our Finance & Banking practice. He…
 Roelof Bonnet  photo Roelof Bonnet Roelof Bonnet is a Director in the Corporate and Commercial practice. His…
Prof Emil Brincker  photo Prof Emil Brincker Professor Emil Brincker is a Director and National Head of the Tax…
 Bronwyn Brown  photo Bronwyn Brown Bronwyn Brown is a director in our Real Estate practice.
 Nayna Cara  photo Nayna Cara Nayna Cara is a director of our Real Estate practice. Nayna has…
 Jacquie Cassette  photo Jacquie Cassette Jacquie Cassette is a director in our Pro Bono and Human Rights…
 Etta Chang  photo Etta Chang Etta Chang is a director in our Corporate and Commercial Practice.  She…
 Chris Charter  photo Chris Charter Chris Charter is a Director and National Head of our Competition practice.…
 Mohsina Chenia  photo Mohsina Chenia Mohsina Chenia is an Executive Consultant in the Employment Practice of Cliffe…
 Faan Coetzee  photo Faan Coetzee Faan Coetzee is an executive consultant of our Employment practice. His areas…
 Clem Daniel  photo Clem Daniel Clem Daniel is a director of our Corporate and Commercial practice, has…
 Jenni Darling  photo Jenni Darling Jenni Darling is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. She…
 Emma Dempster  photo Emma Dempster Emma Dempster is a Director in our Projects and Infrastructure practice and…
 Simone Dickson  photo Simone Dickson Simone Dickson is a director in our Technology and Sourcing practice. Specialising…
 Lucia Erasmus  photo Lucia Erasmus Lucia Erasmus is a Director in our Real Estate practice. She has…
 Petr Erasmus  photo Petr Erasmus Petr Erasmus is a director in our Tax and Exchange Control practice. 
 Jackwell Feris  photo Jackwell Feris Jackwell Feris is a director in our Dispute Resolution Practice with experience…
 Tim Fletcher  photo Tim Fletcher Tim Fletcher is a Director and National Head of our Dispute Resolution…
 Lilia Franca  photo Lilia Franca Lilia Franca is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. Lilia…
 Thabile Fuhrmann  photo Thabile Fuhrmann Thabile Fuhrmann is a director in our Dispute Resolution practice. Thabile has…
 Fatima Gattoo  photo Fatima Gattoo Fatima Valli-Gattoo is a director in our Real Estate practice. She specialises…
 Muhammad Gattoo  photo Muhammad Gattoo Muhammad Ziyaad Gattoo is a director of our Real Estate practice focusing…
 Jay Govender  photo Jay Govender Jay Govender is a Director and National Head of our Projects and…
 Lara Granville  photo Lara Granville Lara Granville is a Director in our Competition practice.  She has extensive…
 Dries Hoek  photo Dries Hoek Dries Hoek is a Director in our Tax and Exchange Control practice.…
 Anja Hofmeyr  photo Anja Hofmeyr Anja Hofmeyr is a director of our Dispute Resolution practice. 
 Quintin Honey  photo Quintin Honey Quintin Honey is a director in the Corporate and Commercial practice of…
 Willem Janse van Rensburg  photo Willem Janse van Rensburg Willem Janse van Rensburg is a director in our Dispute Resolution Department. …
 Julian Jones  photo Julian Jones Julian Jones is a Director in our Dispute Resolution practice as well…
 Tobie Jordaan  photo Tobie Jordaan Tobie Jordaan is a director in our Dispute Resolution practice, focusing mainly…
 Bridget King  photo Bridget King Bridget’s areas of expertise include financial services and markets regulation, banking regulation,…
 Jacqueline King  photo Jacqueline King Jackie is a director in the Finance and Banking practice and is…
 Yaniv Kleitman  photo Yaniv Kleitman Yaniv Kleitman is a director in our Corporate and Commercial practice and…
 Johan Latsky  photo Johan Latsky Johan Latsky is an Executive Consultant in our Corporate and Commercial practice.…
 Fiona Leppan  photo Fiona Leppan Fiona Leppan is a Director in the Employment practice. She has extensive…
 Corne Lewis  photo Corne Lewis Corné Lewis is a director in our Dispute Resolution practice. He has…
 Heinrich Louw  photo Heinrich Louw Heinrich Louw is a senior associate in our Tax and Exchange Control…
 Giada Masina  photo Giada Masina Giada Masina is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice and…
 Nonhla Mchunu  photo Nonhla Mchunu Nonhla Mchunu is a director in our Corporate and Commercial practice and…
 Burton Meyer  photo Burton Meyer Burton Meyer is a director of our Dispute Resolution practice specialising in…
 William Midgley  photo William Midgley William Midgley is a director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. William…
 Rishaban Moodley  photo Rishaban Moodley Rishaban Moodley is a Director in our Dispute Resolution practice focusing on…
 Mashudu Mphafudi  photo Mashudu Mphafudi Mashudu Mphafudi is a Director in our Finance and Banking practice and…
 Byron O'Connor photo Byron O'Connor Byron O’Connor is a director of our Dispute Resolution practice. Byron is…
 Gasant Orrie  photo Gasant Orrie Gasant Orrie is the Cape Managing Partner of CDH and a Director…
 Hugo Pienaar  photo Hugo Pienaar Professor Hugo Pienaar is a Director in our Employment practice. He has…
Mr Attie Pretorius  photo Mr Attie Pretorius Attie Pretorius is a Director of the firm’s Real Estate practice. Attie…
 Thabang Rapuleng  photo Thabang Rapuleng Thabang Rapuleng is a director in our Employment practice. He has experience…
 Muriel Serfontein  photo Muriel Serfontein Muriel Serfontein is a director in our Real Estate practice. 
 Preshan Singh-Dhulam  photo Preshan Singh-Dhulam Preshan Singh-Dhulam is a Director in our Finance and Banking practice. She…
 Ludwig Smith  photo Ludwig Smith Ludwig Smith is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. He…
 Stephan Spamer  photo Stephan Spamer Director
 Ben Strauss  photo Ben Strauss Ben Strauss is a director of our Tax and Corporate and Commercial…
 Pierre Swart  photo Pierre Swart Pierre Swart is a Director in our Finance & Banking practice. He…
 Tamarin Tosen  photo Tamarin Tosen Tamarin Tosen is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. Tamarin…
 Roxanna Valayathum  photo Roxanna Valayathum Roxanna Valayathum is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial practice. Roxanna…
 John Webber  photo John Webber John Webber is a Director and National Head of our Real Estate…
 Joe Whittle  photo Joe Whittle Joe Whittle is a Director in our Dispute Resolution practice and a…
 Charl Williams  photo Charl Williams Charl Williams is a director of our Corporate and Commercial practice. Charl…
Mr Jonathan Witts-Hewinson  photo Mr Jonathan Witts-Hewinson Jonathan Witts-Hewinson is a Director in the Dispute Resolution practice. He has…
 Michael Yeates  photo Michael Yeates Michael Yeates is a director of our Employment practice and has extensive…
 Andries le Grange  photo Andries le Grange Andries le Grange is a Director in our Competition practice. In addition…
 Willie van Wyk  photo Willie van Wyk Willie van Wyk is a director in the firm’s Dispute Resolution practice.…
 Roux van der Merwe  photo Roux van der Merwe Roux van der Merwe is a Director in our Corporate and Commercial…
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Contact : Brent Williams (CEO)
Other offices : Cape Town

CDH acknowledges that South Africa’s apartheid and gender discrimination legacy has adversely impacted on the legal profession and has inhibited access to both the profession and legal services.

We face the challenge of transformation and empowerment head on. We are a truly South African law firm where transformation is about living our values and principles.

We aspire to be a firm:

  • whose partners and professional and support employees are representative of the racial, gender, cultural and religious diversity of the people of South Africa;
  • where men and women at all levels within the firm enjoy equal opportunities and treatment in relation to access to work, recruitment, promotion and remuneration; and
  • that creates a working environment that is sensitive to the particular challenges faced by previously marginalised groups such as women and black people.

Our values
We connect our people, our clients and our communities through our values and are committed to responsible stewardship. We value diversity and respect for the individual. We believe in teamwork for the good of the firm and our clients.

We are an employer of choice who believes in the development of our people that helps them achieve professional and personal fulfilment. We believe client satisfaction is at the heart of our business and we strive to achieve excellence in everything we do for them.

We are committed to long-term relationships with our clients that are based on openness, honesty and integrity. We believe in living our core values and investing in our communities. 

Pro Bono and Human Rights practice 
Our dedicated Pro Bono and Human Rights practice was launched as a commitment to strengthening the firm’s pro bono services.  The practice assists indigent and disadvantaged people to access justice and forwards human rights and constitutionalism through public interest work.  It also focuses on creating partnerships and nurturing relationships with NGO’s, non-profit organisations, and other appropriate institutions on a pro bono basis, as well as undertaking substantive project work.

Every lawyer in the firm is called on to make a contribution, which offers them the opportunity individually to fulfil their social responsibility commitments. Our young lawyers and candidate attorneys gain invaluable experience and perspective through exposure to a wide range of pro bono and human rights matters.

During the 2017 year the Pro Bono Practice assisted many of its clients resolve long arduous legal battles, with great positive impact, made significant progress in furthering the cause of others, partnered in exciting and innovative human rights initiatives, hosted high profile guests, and assisted other Practice areas in carrying out important and meaningful pro bono work. Our firm donated in excess of 6,500 hours and R16 million to deserving individuals and organisations.  In recognition of our contribution and those of others in the firm who have given generously of their time and expertise, we are proud to report that the firm won three awards during the 2017 year for its pro bono contributions and in so doing has cemented its reputation as one of the leading contributors to pro bono amongst law firms across the country.