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's team 'works seamlessly', 'communicates better and has a better understanding of matters than others', according to one client. The firm is a giant of the dispute resolution scene, leading the market in range of segments including administrative and regulatory disputes, telecoms litigation and international arbitration. It acted for South African Reserve Bank in review proceedings against the Public Protector concerning alleged failure to recover misappropriated funds. David Hertz is 'first choice’, ‘a straight shooter’, 'the top commercial disputes lawyer in the country' and 'knows how to manage a team'. Des Williams is a leader in international arbitration and Corlett Manaka is recommended for administrative and constitutional law cases. Darren Willans is 'impeccable, unflappable and a clear leader in this space'.
Banking and finance Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys has a firmly established practice with a lengthy record in acquisition and leveraged finance, structured finance and DCM, project finance and syndicated lending. Restructurings and refinancings are key growth areas; a team led by Elliott Wood advised Blue Label Telecoms as a new shareholder in Cell C as part of the latter's headline restructuring. Danny Andropoulos has cemented the firm's connection to Standard Bank with he and the firm advising the bank on a series of major financings and refinancings. Paul Tindle is another key name an advised Real People on a capital restructure transaction. Richard Roothman is outstanding in structured finance.
Werksmans Attorneys continues to impress in listed-company M&A and JSE listings, cross-border deals, and insolvency and restructuring work. The team is 'very solution driven and focused on the end product', 'incredibly knowledgeable and pleasant to work with' and provides 'great turnaround times'. It advised Datatec on the disposal of its Westcon-Comstor business in the Americas and 10% of Westcon International to SynnexCorp. It remains strong in mining and resources and assisted Samancor with its acquisition of the business and assets of Hernic Ferrochrome (in business rescue). David Gewer and Kevin Trudgeon are big name dealmakers, and Danny Andropoulos and Gerhard Johannes are also highly rated. Senior associate Derek Alexander is recommended.
Competition Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys continues to impress in mergers, competition litigation, market inquiries and cartel cases. It has an especially strong record in TMT and represented Media24 in a landmark abuse of dominance case, with the Competition Appeal Court ruling in the client's favour in March 2018. The 'client-centric' team is praised for its 'responsiveness, professional capabilities and adaptability'. The highly-reputed Paul Coetser heads the team, which includes Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Paul Cleland, Pieter Steyn and Rudolph Raath.
Construction Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys remains prominent in construction disputes with Jason Smit to the fore. He led the team that represented Life Healthcare Group in claims against the professional team and the contractor concerning the alleged negligent demolition of a load-bearing wall at the Flora Clinic facility. Des Williams is also a leader in construction arbitration and Deon Griessel is an experienced construction documentation expert.
Employment Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys has taken further market share with growth in equal pay litigation, redundancies and retrenchments. The pharmaceutical industry is a growth sector, while it maintains a strong standing in parastatal work thanks to the presence of Sandile July and others. It represented Adcock Ingram Healthcare and Adcock Ingram Critical Care in several equal pay for equal work disputes. Cape Town-based Jacques van Wyk is also recommended.
Mining Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys has continued to cement its already formidable regulatory position, thanks to the presence of mining law leader Chris Stevens. The team has built closer connections to the Anglo Group, including Anglo Coal and Anglo Platinum; South32, Golfields and Glencore are also key clients. It is a leader in mining M&A too and advised Samancor Chrome on its acquisition of Hernic Ferrochrome Mine.
Projects and infrastructure Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys is recognised for its recent record in infrastructure projects, including toll roads. In this regard, Chris Moraitis has an excellent reputation. The team advised South Africa National Roads Agency on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and a number of other projects in South Africa and across the continent. Conventional power and renewables projects are also strengths of the practice. David Walker, Astrid Berman, Jonathan Behr and Deon Griessel are other names to note.
Real estate Tier 2
Werksmans Attorneys recruited Fátima Rodrigues from Fluxmans to head the Johannesburg team and provide additional commercial and development expertise. The wider department is 'commercial' and has extensive experience in large brownfield and mixed-use developments. It assisted Tsogo Sun Holdings with Tsogo and Hospitality Property Fund's acquisition of casino precinct properties owned by the Tsogo Group; this was one of the largest restructuring and property disposals ever concluded in South Africa. Hendrik Kotze in Cape Town is another key name.
Tax Tier 2
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.
Intellectual property Tier 3
Werksmans Attorneys acts for an impressive range of South African clients operating across a wide number of industries, including insurance and financial services, media, telecoms and sports. Janine Hollesen leads the practice, which includes Donvay Wegierski, who heads the foreign IP practice. The team acted for Omega Pharma in interdict proceedings against the use and registration of the 3CP mark.
Investment funds Tier 3
Werksmans Attorneys has notable strength acting for regulated and unregulated South African funds and offshore funds. The firm has an impressive institutional investor and asset manager client base with Shayne Krige an experienced figure in the investment funds space. He led the team that advised Barak Fund Management, an offshore fund platform, on drafting amendments to fund documentation, assisting with derivative contracts and setting up new funds. Senior associate Hilah Laskov is a key team member.
Werksmans Attorneys > Firm Profile
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|
|Director, Insolvency, Business Rescue & Restructuring||Rael Gootkinemail@example.com||+27 21 405 5236|
|Head of Competition||Paul Coetserfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8290|
|Head of Labour & Employment||Anastasia Vatalidisemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8472|
|Director, Labour & Employment||Jacques van Wykfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 21 405 5142|
|Director, Environmental||Justin Truteremail@example.com||+27 21 809 6143|
|Head of Business Crimes & Investigations||Bernard Hotzfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8106|
|Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences||Neil Kirbyemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8198|
|Head of Investment Funds & Private Equity||Shayne Krigefirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 21 405 5161|
|Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution||Corlett Manakaemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8145|
|Chairman, Litigation and Dispute Resolution||David Hertzfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8283|
|Head of Construction & Engineering||Jason Smitemail@example.com||+27 (0)11 535 8359|
|Director, Corporate M&A||Kevin Trudgeonfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8169|
|Head of Corporate M&A||Gerhard Johannesemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8107|
|Head of Mining, Environmental & Resources||Chris Stevensfirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8467|
|Director, Construction & Engineering, Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions, Infrastructure, Energy & Projects||Dave Walkeremail@example.com||+27 21 809 6158|
|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|
|Banking & Finance, Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions||Danny Andropoulosemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8248|
|Banking & Finance, Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions||Paul Tindlefirstname.lastname@example.org||+27 11 535 8311|
|Head of Arbitration||Des Williamsemail@example.com||+27 11 535 8234|
|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|
|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|
|Ms Happy Masondo||View Profile|
|Mr Ernest Mazansky||View Profile|
|Ms Sarah Moerane||View Profile|
|Mr Chris Moraitis||View Profile|
|Mr Peter Mosebo||View Profile|
|Mr Karabo Motshwane||View Profile|
|Mr Jared Nickig||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|
|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 : Stellenbosch Other offices : Tyger Valley
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
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.