Firm Profile > Werksmans Attorneys > Johannesburg, South Africa

Werksmans Attorneys
South Africa

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.

Practice head(s):

Corlett Manaka


David Hertz is robust, direct and honest.

Key clients

Investec Bank


Passenger Rail Agency


RMB Corvest

Industrial Development Corporation

FirstRand Bank



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.

Practice head(s):

Richard Roothman

Key clients

Investec Bank

Rand Merchant Bank

ABSA Bank and ABSA Capital


Glencore Xstrata

Standard Bank

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

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 GewerKevin Trudgeon and Gerhard Johannes are highly rated.

Practice head(s):

Gerhard Johannes


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‘.

Key clients


Steinhoff International Holdings

Endo International


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.

Practice head(s):

Paul Coetser


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.

Key clients

Credit Suisse Group

Glencore International

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 VatalidisSandile July and Jacques van Wyk are all key senior practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Anastasia Vatalidis

Key clients

Adcock Ingram Healthcare


Eli Lilly

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.

Practice head(s):

Chris Stevens

Key clients



Anglo Platinum


Samancor Chrome

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.

Practice head(s):

Chris Moraitis

Key clients

South African National Roads Agency

WBHO Construction

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.

Practice head(s):

Hendrik Kotze; Fátima Rodrigues


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



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.

Practice head(s):

Ernest Mazansky


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.

Key clients

Investec Bank

Zenprop Property Holdings

Telesure Group

Clover Industries

Ford Motor Company of South Africa

CCI Group

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.

Practice head(s):

Jason Smit


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.

Key clients

Worley South Africa



Raubex Group



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.

Practice head(s):

Janine Hollesen

Key clients


Pioneer Foods

South African Football Association

South African Rugby Union


Capitec Bank

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.

Practice head(s):

Shayne Krige

Key clients

Stonewood Holdings

Barak Fund Management

Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund

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 for more information.

Department Name Email Telephone
Head of Banking & Finance Richard Roothman +27 11 535 8115
Head of Insolvency, Business Rescue and Restructuring Eric Levenstein +27 11 535 8237
Head of Competition Paul Coetser +27 11 535 8290
Head of Labour & Employment Anastasia Vatalidis +27 11 535 8472
Head of Business Crimes & Investigations Bernard Hotz +27 11 535 8106
Head of Healthcare & Life Sciences Neil Kirby +27 11 535 8198
Head of Investment Funds & Private Equity Shayne Krige +27 21 405 5161
Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution Corlett Manaka +27 11 535 8145
Chairman David Hertz +27 11 535 8283
Head of Construction & Engineering Jason Smit +27 (0)11 535 8359
Head of Commercial Kevin Trudgeon +27 11 535 8169
Head of Corporate M&A Gerhard Johannes +27 11 535 8107
Head of Mining, Environmental & Resources Chris Stevens +27 11 535 8467
Head of Property & Real Estate (Johannesburg) Fatima Rodrigues +27 11 535 8318
Head of Property & Real Estate (Western Cape) Hendrik Kotze +27 21 910 9018
Head of Tax Ernest Mazansky +27 11 535 8448
Head of Arbitration Des Williams +27 11 535 8234
Head of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Pieter Steyn +27 11 535 8296
Head of Data Privacy Ahmore Burger-Smidt +27 11 535 8462
Head of Infrastructure, Energy & Projects Chris Moraitis +27 11 535 8271
Head of Intellectual Property Janine Hollesen +27 21 809 6011
Head of Land Reform Restitution & Tenure Bulelwa Mabasa +27 11 535 8309
Head of Media, Communications & Technology Wendy Rosenberg +27 11 535 8195
Head of Pro Bono Harold Jacobs +27 11 535 8182
Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Botha +27 11 535 8262
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Lloyd Abraham  photo Mr Lloyd Abraham
Ms Laura Alexander  photo Ms Laura Alexander
 Danny Andropoulos photo Danny Andropoulos
Mr Jones Antunes  photo Mr Jones Antunes
Ms Lisa Appelgryn  photo Ms Lisa Appelgryn
Ms Robyn Armstrong  photo Ms Robyn Armstrong
Mr Dominique Arteiro  photo Mr Dominique Arteiro
Ms Tahera Bata  photo Ms Tahera Bata
Ms Lauren Becker  photo Ms Lauren Becker
Mr Jonathan Behr  photo Mr Jonathan Behr
Mr Erich Bell  photo Mr Erich Bell
Ms Astrid Berman  photo Ms Astrid Berman
Ms Nozipho Bhengu  photo Ms Nozipho Bhengu
Ms Akhona Bilatyi  photo Ms Akhona Bilatyi
Mr Ze’ev Blieden  photo Mr Ze’ev Blieden
Mr Trevor Boswell  photo Mr Trevor Boswell
Mr Marné Brönn  photo Mr Marné Brönn
Mr Pierre Burger  photo Mr Pierre Burger
Ms Ahmore Burger-Smidt  photo Ms Ahmore Burger-Smidt
Mr Paul Cleland  photo Mr Paul Cleland
Mr Paul Coetser  photo Mr Paul Coetser
Ms Cari Cole-Morgan  photo Ms Cari Cole-Morgan
Ms Kerry Fredericks  photo Ms Kerry Fredericks
Mr Kyle Fyfe  photo Mr Kyle Fyfe
Ms Simone Gast  photo Ms Simone Gast
Mr David Gewer  photo Mr David Gewer
Mr Jeremy Gobetz  photo Mr Jeremy Gobetz
Ms Cara Gow  photo Ms Cara Gow
Mr Deon Griessel  photo Mr Deon Griessel
Ms Nastascha Harduth  photo Ms Nastascha Harduth
Mr David Hertz  photo Mr David Hertz
Ms Lucinda Hinxman  photo Ms Lucinda Hinxman
Professor Michael Honiball  photo Professor Michael Honiball
Ms Vivienne Hosiosky  photo Ms Vivienne Hosiosky
Mr Bernard Hotz  photo Mr Bernard Hotz
Mr Harold Jacobs  photo Mr Harold Jacobs
Ms Tracy Jansen van Rensburg  photo Ms Tracy Jansen van Rensburg
Mr Gerhard Johannes  photo Mr Gerhard Johannes
Mr Sandile July  photo Mr Sandile July
Ms Jacqui Kallmeyer  photo Ms Jacqui Kallmeyer
Mr Sakhile Khumalo  photo Mr Sakhile Khumalo
Mr Ryan Killoran  photo Mr Ryan Killoran
Mr Neil Kirby  photo Mr Neil Kirby
Ms Tsakani Kona  photo Ms Tsakani Kona
Ms Clarisa Laltha  photo Ms Clarisa Laltha
 Hilah Laskov photo Hilah Laskov
Dr Eric Levenstein  photo Dr Eric Levenstein
Ms Megan Livingstone  photo Ms Megan Livingstone
Mr Stephan Lochner  photo Mr Stephan Lochner
Ms Kathleen Louw  photo Ms Kathleen Louw
Ms Bulelwa Mabasa  photo Ms Bulelwa Mabasa
Ms Khosi Mabaso  photo Ms Khosi Mabaso
Ms Danielle Magidson  photo Ms Danielle Magidson
Ms Reneilwe Maleka  photo Ms Reneilwe Maleka
Mr Corlett Manaka  photo Mr Corlett Manaka
Ms Mariam Marquard  photo Ms Mariam Marquard
Mr Ernest Mazansky  photo Mr Ernest Mazansky
Ms Helen Michael  photo Ms Helen Michael
Ms Innocentia Moele  photo Ms Innocentia Moele
Ms Sarah Moerane  photo Ms Sarah Moerane
Mr Toka Moiloa  photo Mr Toka Moiloa
Ms Refilwe Moitse  photo Ms Refilwe Moitse
Mr Chris Moraitis  photo Mr Chris Moraitis
Mr Peter Mosebo  photo Mr Peter Mosebo
Ms Naledi Motsiri  photo Ms Naledi Motsiri
Mr Alliance Ndhlovu  photo Mr Alliance Ndhlovu
Ms Khathu Neluheni  photo Ms Khathu Neluheni
Ms Anele Ngidi  photo Ms Anele Ngidi
Ms Zania Oosthuizen  photo Ms Zania Oosthuizen
Mr Seroshan Padayachy  photo Mr Seroshan Padayachy
Ms Monique Pansegrouw  photo Ms Monique Pansegrouw
Ms Bronwyn Parker  photo Ms Bronwyn Parker
Ms Sarah Passmoor  photo Ms Sarah Passmoor
Mr Mohammed Patel  photo Mr Mohammed Patel
Ms Daniela Pisanti  photo Ms Daniela Pisanti
Ms Taryn Potter  photo Ms Taryn Potter
Mr Brian Price  photo Mr Brian Price
Mr Adam Pyzikowski  photo Mr Adam Pyzikowski
Mr Rudolph Raath  photo Mr Rudolph Raath
Mr Kamiel Rajah  photo Mr Kamiel Rajah
Ms Aarthi Ramdhin  photo Ms Aarthi Ramdhin
Ms Boitumelo Rammala  photo Ms Boitumelo Rammala
Mr Yatheen Ramnath  photo Mr Yatheen Ramnath
 Fátima Rodrigues photo Fátima Rodrigues
Mr Simba Rodze  photo Mr Simba Rodze
Mr Richard Roothman  photo Mr Richard Roothman
Ms Wendy Rosenberg  photo Ms Wendy Rosenberg
Ms Natalie Scott  photo Ms Natalie Scott
Ms Tebogo Sibidla  photo Ms Tebogo Sibidla
Ms Lisa Silberman  photo Ms Lisa Silberman
Ms Samantha Sinden  photo Ms Samantha Sinden
Mr Jason Smit  photo Mr Jason Smit
Ms Jennifer Smit  photo Ms Jennifer Smit
Ms Bankey Sono  photo Ms Bankey Sono
Mr Chris Stevens  photo Mr Chris Stevens
Mr Pieter Steyn  photo Mr Pieter Steyn
Mr Jonathan Stockwell  photo Mr Jonathan Stockwell
Mr Johan Theron  photo Mr Johan Theron
 Paul Tindle photo Paul Tindle
Mr Sandile Tom  photo Mr Sandile Tom
Mr Kevin Trudgeon  photo Mr Kevin Trudgeon
Ms Thandi Tshabalala  photo Ms Thandi Tshabalala
Mr Dewald Van Den Berg  photo Mr Dewald Van Den Berg
Ms Anastasia Vatalidis  photo Ms Anastasia Vatalidis
Ms Lynsey Watson  photo Ms Lynsey Watson
Mr Graeme Wickins  photo Mr Graeme Wickins
Mr Darren Willans  photo Mr Darren Willans
Mr Des Williams  photo Mr Des Williams
Ms Anuschka Wischnewski  photo Ms Anuschka Wischnewski
Mr Elliott Wood  photo Mr Elliott Wood
Mr Bradley Workman-Davies  photo Mr Bradley Workman-Davies
Mr Jannie de Villiers  photo Mr Jannie de Villiers
Mr Frikkie van Tonder  photo Mr Frikkie van Tonder
Ms Anine van der Merwe  photo Ms Anine van der Merwe
Number of lawyers : 213
Number of lawyers at all 3 WC offices : 62
The Lex Africa Alliance
Other 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 Attorneys

Managing 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:
1) Independence
2) Size
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:

  1. Corporate and debt restructuring;
  2. Tax; and
  3. 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.