Firm Profile > Baker McKenzie Johannesburg > Johannesburg, South Africa

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg
South Africa

Banking and finance Tier 2

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg continues to build its standing in cross-border financings involving the rest of Africa, including engagements from development finance institutions, domestic and international banks, and other multinational clients. The team is praised for its expertise in South African and English law, is 'approachable and pragmatic', and 'dependable and committed'. Wildu du Plessis is a giant of the market, while Jen Stolp is noted for project finance in the renewable energy segment. Stolp led the team that advised Absa and Nedbank on the project financing of the 25MW Ngodwana biomass facility in the Mpumalanga Province. Chris Hogan is an experienced figure in DCM, equity-linked deals and structured lending. Bridgett Majola is a key name at senior associate level. Lodewyk Meyer, who has trade finance expertise, was a new arrival from Hogan Lovells (South Africa) in July 2019.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg has one of the most established corporate practices among the international firms. It leads the way in cross-border deals, mining and resources transactions, and has a growing presence in private equity. It advised regular client Bidvest Group on its £2.7bn acquisition of UK-based Noonan Services from Alchemy Partners. Morné van der Merwe is 'a very impressive lawyer', especially in the mining sector, while Marc Yudaken, Mike van Rensburg and private equity specialist Scott Nelson are also senior names.

Competition Tier 2

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is praised for its understanding of clients' operations and its 'international benchmarks' and it fields an 'exceptional' team that is 'easy to work with and good at collaborating on complicated international issues'. The team is also commended for its collaborative work alongside other departments and colleagues. The team represented HSBC in the collusion referral to the Competition Tribunal regarding alleged forex price fixing.  Lerisha Naidu has been promoted to partner. Nick Altini and Leana Engelbrecht joined Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP in July 2019.

Projects and infrastructure Tier 2

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is further building market share in sub-Saharan Africa thanks in part to its mix of South African and English law expertise. It advises a range of key lenders and sponsors. The firm is particularly active in South Africa's renewable energy scene and advised Nedbank on the Zeerust solar photovoltaic project and Droogfontein 2 solar PV projects. Kieran Whyte leads the team, which includes Wildu du Plessis and Jen Stolp.

Employment Tier 3

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is building further market share in global reorganisations and business transfers, collective bargaining and strikes, most notably for multinational clients. Johan Botes has an extensive record in employee relations, trade union bargaining and workplace reorganisations.

Mining Tier 3

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg is recognised for mining M&A, including BEE transactions.  The team has a strong emphasis on junior mining houses and advised Pan African Resources on the disposal of its shares in Phoenix Platinum Mining to Sylvania Resources. Morné van der Merwe and Marc Yudaken are experienced mining M&A partners.

Tax Tier 3

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

Dispute resolution Tier 4

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg now has a greater emphasis on commercial litigation, public procurement disputes, and compliance and investigations with Darryl Bernstein and John Bell to the fore, following the departure of construction and banking disputes specialist Gerhard Rudolph to Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP. The team is 'responsive, commercial and client focused' and represented TMS Group Industrial Services in High Court proceedings against Eskom in a headline public procurement dispute.

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Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Darryl Bernstein  photo Mr Darryl Bernstein
Mr Kieran Whyte  photo Mr Kieran Whyte
Mr Wildu du Plessis  photo Mr Wildu du Plessis
Mr Morné van der Merwe  photo Mr Morné van der Merwe