Firm Profile > Werksmans Attorneys > Johannesburg, South Africa
Werksmans Attorneys Offices
THE CENTRAL, 96 RIVONIA ROAD
Werksmans Attorneys > The Legal 500 Rankings
Dispute resolution Tier 1
Werksmans Attorneys' dispute resolution practice is very much at the heart of the firm. It leads the market in key areas such as administrative and regulatory disputes, mining cases, telecoms litigation and international arbitration. David Hertz is universally regarded as a premier litigator, while Des Williams provides additional gravitas, including in the arbitration space. Corlett Manaka is an experienced figure in constitutional and administrative law cases and Bernard Hotz is noted for corporate investigations and business crime. Darren Willans is also rated.
Banking and finance Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys remains highly rated for acquisition and leveraged finance, syndicated and bilateral finance and project finance. It has made a further impression in refinancings and restructurings, while continuing to stand out for its work in structured finance and DCM. Richard Roothman is a leader in structured financings and DCM. Danny Andropoulos is noted for debt restructurings and Elliott Wood is highly rated.
Werksmans Attorneys has traditionally landed numerous engagements on listed-company deals, along with a steady pipeline of private transactions. Given the economic climate, the corporate team has been brought into handle a series of restructurings, working alongside finance and business rescue colleagues. David Gewer, Kevin Trudgeon and Gerhard Johannes are highly rated.
‘Excellence, flexibility and willingness to accommodate.‘
‘Over and above the exemplary legal knowledge, a client centric approach to all engagements certainly makes David Gewer stand out for me‘.
Steinhoff International Holdings
Blue Label Telecoms
Competition Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys remains noted for advising on prohibited practices, litigation and market inquiries. The firm is at the forefront of predatory pricing and is recognised for its experience in technology, media and telecoms. It has made a further impression in contested merger filings and alleged abuse of dominance and cartel cases. Paul Coetser is a key name, Rudolph Raath and Paul Cleland impress in litigation and merger control cases. Ahmore Burger-Smidt and Pieter Steyn are also highly rated.
‘The team is steeped in the TMT sector as well as competition law. This enables our business to benefit from their in-house expertise in the two critical areas which impact our business.‘
‘The team that assists us is highly responsive and knowledgeable. They are deeply experienced in TMT and competition law.‘
‘Paul Coetser is an extremely knowledgeable competition lawyer who gave practical advice allowing us to make our joint venture arrangements workable from a competition perspective.‘
Credit Suisse Group
Investec Bank Limited
MTN South Africa
Employment Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys remains noted for retrenchment and redundancy exercises. Moreover, it continues to be at the forefront of advice to parastatals. Anastasia Vatalidis, Sandile July and Jacques van Wyk are all key senior practitioners.
Adcock Ingram Healthcare
South African Forestry Company
PRASA Metrorail Western Cape
Environmental Resource Management Services
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)
Mining Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys advises a number of the mining majors in the industry. It has outstanding mining law credentials thanks to the presence of Chris Stevens and is at the forefront of mining disputes with its market leading litigation team. In the business rescue field, Eric Levenstein has been especially active in the mining sector. David Gewer is recommended for mining M&A.
Projects and infrastructure Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys has a diverse projects practice, covering secondary market trading, refinancing, toll road projects and captive solar projects. It acts for a range of government-linked entities, private developers and construction companies. Chris Moraitis is outstanding, David Walker is noted for energy work, Deon Griessel for infrastructure projects and Astrid Berman for project finance. Jonathan Behr is another key projects specialist.
South African National Roads Agency
Gautrain Management Agency
Real estate Tier 2
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.
‘Hendrik Kotze is very capable in property matters.‘
V&A Waterfront Holdings
Berman Bros. Property Developers
Omnigro Property Developers
Vantage Property Developers
Tax Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys has an outstanding record in corporate, M&A and private equity-related tax. It is also noted for big-ticket tax disputes. Ernest Mazansky is highly regarded, while Michael Honiball is rated for international tax and Doelie Lessing is a key name for private equity and funds-related matters.
‘I regard the tax team as my trusted adviser, providing effective and innovative solutions to the issues.‘
‘The team provides broad and detailed knowledge of tax together with solid accounting understanding.’
‘Ernest Mazansky is a stand out and excellent in his knowledge of tax.‘
Zenprop Property Holdings
Ford Motor Company of South Africa
Construction Tier 3
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
Intellectual property Tier 3
Werksmans Attorneys has an established IP practice in South Africa and has achieved further growth in Africa-wide matters. It advises a range of big-name brands and has the backing of the broader firm to offer a rounded service. Janine Hollesen leads the team, with Donvay Wegierski heading the foreign IP practice.
South African Football Association
South African Rugby Union
Investment funds Tier 3
Werksmans Attorneys has a fine record in the funds segment, for both regulated and unregulated funds. It has a lengthy history in structuring and operating investment funds and collective investment schemes. Shayne Krige leads the team, which includes highly rated associate Hilah Laskov.
Werksmans Attorneys > Firm Profile
The firm: Established in the early 1900s, Werksmans Attorneys is a leading South African corporate and commercial law firm, serving multinationals, listed companies, financial institutions, entrepreneurs and government.
Operating in Gauteng and the Western Cape, the firm is connected to an extensive African legal alliance through LEX Africa. LEX Africa was established in 1993 as the first and largest African legal alliance and offers huge potential for Werksmans’ clients seeking to do business on the continent by providing a gateway to Africa.
Areas of practice: With a formidable track record in mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, and commercial litigation and dispute resolution, Werksmans is distinguished by the people, clients and work that it attracts and retains. Werksmans’ more than 200 lawyers are a powerful team of independent-minded individuals who share a common service ethos. The firm’s success is built on a solid foundation of insightful and innovative deal structuring and legal advice, a keen ability to understand business and economic imperatives and a strong focus on achieving the best legal outcome for clients.
Go to www.werksmans.com for more information.
|Head of Banking & Finance||Richard Roothmanemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8115|
|Head of Insolvency, Business Rescue and Restructuring||Eric Levensteinfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8237|
|Head of Competition||Paul Coetseremail@example.com||+27 11 535 8290|
|Head of Labour & Employment||Anastasia Vatalidisfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8472|
|Head of Business Crimes & Investigations||Bernard Hotzemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8106|
|Head of Healthcare & Life Sciences||Neil Kirbyfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8198|
|Head of Investment Funds & Private Equity||Shayne Krigeemail@example.com||+27 21 405 5161|
|Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution||Corlett Manakafirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8145|
|Chairman||David Hertzemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8283|
|Head of Construction & Engineering||Jason Smitfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 (0)11 535 8359|
|Head of Commercial||Kevin Trudgeonemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8169|
|Head of Corporate M&A||Gerhard Johannesfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8107|
|Head of Mining, Environmental & Resources||Chris Stevensemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8467|
|Head of Property & Real Estate (Johannesburg)||Fatima Rodriguesfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8318|
|Head of Property & Real Estate (Western Cape)||Hendrik Kotzeemail@example.com||+27 21 910 9018|
|Head of Tax||Ernest Mazanskyfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8448|
|Head of Arbitration||Des Williamsemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8234|
|Head of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment||Pieter Steynfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8296|
|Head of Data Privacy||Ahmore Burger-Smidtemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8462|
|Head of Infrastructure, Energy & Projects||Chris Moraitisfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8271|
|Head of Intellectual Property||Janine Hollesenemail@example.com||+27 21 809 6011|
|Head of Land Reform Restitution & Tenure||Bulelwa Mabasafirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8309|
|Head of Media, Communications & Technology||Wendy Rosenbergemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8195|
|Head of Pro Bono||Harold Jacobsfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8182|
|Chief Executive Officer||Jeremy Bothaemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8262|
|Danny Andropoulos||View Profile|
|Mr Dominique Arteiro||View Profile|
|Ms Tahera Bata||View Profile|
|Ms Lauren Becker||View Profile|
|Mr Jonathan Behr||View Profile|
|Ms Astrid Berman||View Profile|
|Ms Nozipho Bhengu||View Profile|
|Mr Ze’ev Blieden||View Profile|
|Mr Trevor Boswell||View Profile|
|Mr Pierre Burger||View Profile|
|Ms Ahmore Burger-Smidt||View Profile|
|Mr Paul Cleland||View Profile|
|Mr Paul Coetser||View Profile|
|Ms Cari Cole-Morgan||View Profile|
|Mr David Gewer||View Profile|
|Mr Jeremy Gobetz||View Profile|
|Mr Deon Griessel||View Profile|
|Ms Nastascha Harduth||View Profile|
|Mr David Hertz||View Profile|
|Professor Michael Honiball||View Profile|
|Ms Vivienne Hosiosky||View Profile|
|Mr Bernard Hotz||View Profile|
|Mr Harold Jacobs||View Profile|
|Ms Tracy Jansen van Rensburg||View Profile|
|Mr Gerhard Johannes||View Profile|
|Mr Sandile July||View Profile|
|Ms Jacqui Kallmeyer||View Profile|
|Mr Ryan Killoran||View Profile|
|Mr Neil Kirby||View Profile|
|Hilah Laskov||View Profile|
|Dr Eric Levenstein||View Profile|
|Mr Stephan Lochner||View Profile|
|Ms Kathleen Louw||View Profile|
|Ms Bulelwa Mabasa||View Profile|
|Ms Khosi Mabaso||View Profile|
|Mr Corlett Manaka||View Profile|
|Mr Ernest Mazansky||View Profile|
|Ms Sarah Moerane||View Profile|
|Mr Chris Moraitis||View Profile|
|Mr Peter Mosebo||View Profile|
|Mr Seroshan Padayachy||View Profile|
|Ms Monique Pansegrouw||View Profile|
|Ms Daniela Pisanti||View Profile|
|Ms Taryn Potter||View Profile|
|Mr Brian Price||View Profile|
|Mr Adam Pyzikowski||View Profile|
|Mr Rudolph Raath||View Profile|
|Ms Aarthi Ramdhin||View Profile|
|Fátima Rodrigues||View Profile|
|Mr Richard Roothman||View Profile|
|Ms Wendy Rosenberg||View Profile|
|Ms Natalie Scott||View Profile|
|Ms Tebogo Sibidla||View Profile|
|Ms Lisa Silberman||View Profile|
|Mr Jason Smit||View Profile|
|Ms Jennifer Smit||View Profile|
|Ms Bankey Sono||View Profile|
|Mr Chris Stevens||View Profile|
|Mr Pieter Steyn||View Profile|
|Mr Jonathan Stockwell||View Profile|
|Mr Johan Theron||View Profile|
|Mr Kevin Trudgeon||View Profile|
|Mr Dewald Van Den Berg||View Profile|
|Ms Anastasia Vatalidis||View Profile|
|Mr Graeme Wickins||View Profile|
|Mr Darren Willans||View Profile|
|Mr Des Williams||View Profile|
|Mr Elliott Wood||View Profile|
|Mr Bradley Workman-Davies||View Profile|
|Mr Jannie de Villiers||View Profile|
|Mr Frikkie van Tonder||View Profile|
|Ms Anine van der Merwe||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 213 Number of lawyers at all 3 WC offices : 62
LanguagesEnglish Afrikaans French Chinese
MembershipsThe Lex Africa Alliance
OtherOther offices : Sandton Other offices : Cape Town Other offices : Stellenbosch
TESTIMONIAL: “Excellent. The partners are very engaged and they don’t waste time and money on unnecessary processes and drafting.
TESTIMONIAL: “Their work ethic is phenomenal, they have an eye for detail and their work is marked by excellence.”
TESTIMONIAL: “This is just a short note to tell you about the positive experience that I had with the team from Werksmans that worked on the Liquid deal with MTN.
It was a long road with many obstacles and some hair raising issues that needed to be resolved. Suffice to say that I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Werksmans team that worked on this.
You could throw just about anything at them and they would come through for MTN. That says a lot about the team, the work ethic, knowledge, experience and just good common sense that they exhibited. So to the team a major thank you from me and to you (David, Chairman, Werksmans) as well that create the environment where they want to do this for a client.
May 2019 bring about a few more occasions for such teamwork. ”
David Hertz, Chairman, Werksmans AttorneysManaging partner David Hertz explains how Werksmans Attorneys is adapting to clients' changing needs
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Werksmans Attorneys from your competitors?
Our strategy and market differentiators remain:
3) LEX Africa (our networks)
4) Specialist work
5) Relationships on all levels with clients and staff – our people remain our greatest asset.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
The three practice groups that Werksmans envisages growing over the next 12 months are:
- Corporate and debt restructuring;
- Tax; and
- Business crimes and Investigations.
The negative economic position within South Africa is likely to persist, at least in the short term. As more and more corporates are placed under pressure, there will be an escalating need to restructure their businesses and address their mounting debt.
With the slowdown in economic growth the fiscus is making more aggressive demands for payment of tax and that area of Werksmans’ practice, which has experienced exponential growth, envisages that the growth will continue. We are also advising an increasing number of high net-worth individuals in relation to the structuring of their personal affairs and corporates, their business affairs which is contributing to this growth.
With the endemic corruption that has plagued the country and the desire to eradicate it, there has been an ever increasing demand for the services offered by our Business Crimes and Investigations practice group.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
The most recent viable metric is our key client programme. This focused programme extends across the firm and provides us with the ideal platform to regularly engage with clients in order to facilitate measured improvement and client growth.
As is set out above, Werksmans’ size is regarded as one of its key differentiating metrics. A quality service is delivered by a focused team of individuals who are the leaders in their chosen fields.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Yes, we look inside-out for (revenue) growth e.g. operational efficiencies and growing talent organically. Our focus remains being able to offer clients cost effectiveness and predictability based on continuous service delivery improvements and adoption of new technologies. Having the constant dialogue with our clients ensures we keep our services relevant to their business agendas and immediate business needs.
For our staff, we constantly keep looking for ways to re-engineer certain processes to help lawyers become more efficient and technically astute. We also encourage our lawyers to maintain and grow their levels of digital knowledge so that we continue to thrive in the future digital world.
Werksmans is in the process of adopting AI technology which will enable us to enhance the cost effective nature of the services we provide.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
By building relationships with our clients we gain an understanding at the coalface as it were as to their business imperatives and are therefore able to partner with them in addressing their requirements as opposed to merely being a service provider.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
As the first demographically representative major South African legal firm. Werksmans has lead the way in identifying trends within the market and as a thought leader is in a position to guide clients’ as opposed to react to their needs.