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6 ranked lawyersBand 1South AfricaGlobal 2021 View ranking table
chambers review
department information
Ranked Lawyers
chambers review
department information
Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

What the team is known for

Stellar practice group which plays a significant role in many of the region's largest transactions, representing a number of high-profile domestic and international clients. Offers impressive cross-border capabilities, with a particularly prominent position in the manufacturing and consumer goods sectors across Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally experienced in the areas of mining, telecoms, financial services and energy. Possesses further experience assisting with corporate restructuring and unbundling mandates. Has a deep bench of skilled practitioners, including a strong PE offering.

Work highlights

Acted for AB InBev and South African Breweries on the unwinding of their current broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) scheme and the creation of a new one via the establishment of SAB Zenzele Kabili.

Notable practitioners

Practice group co-head Charles Douglas holds experience across an impressive range of corporate transactions, including M&A, BEE and PE investments. He is highlighted by sources as an "excellent lawyer" who is "very good technically and also very commercial."

Charles Young advises on M&A and asset transactions, as well as providing advice on commercial agreements. Among his impressive client roster are standout names in the mining sector, as well as clients in hospitality and gaming.

David Anderson operates a broad corporate and commercial practice, providing guidance on acquisitions, disposals and commercial agreements. He also assists clients with capital-raising proposals, including IPOs and listings.

Ezra Davids maintains a stellar domestic and international reputation as one of South Africa's foremost experts in corporate law. His skills continue to be sought out by blue-chip clients for assistance with significant cross-border mandates. He is also a well-regarded capital markets practitioner.

John Bellew is a household name in the South African PE market, with immense experience in buyouts, investments and fund formation. One commentator labelled him "one of the most renowned and successful funds lawyers in South Africa."

Robert Cohen is a seasoned corporate lawyer with experience navigating cross-border investments and domestic acquisitions for his clients. He is based in the firm's Johannesburg office.

Department Information

This content is provided by Bowmans.


We have a strong record of acting on the most significant corporate and M&A transactions across the African continent. Our size and geographic spread combined with our breadth of skills, experience and good relationships with regulators enables us to handle large and time-critical transactions. 

Our services include public acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, unbundlings and other investments and divestitures including public M&A (both contested and uncontested), and private M&As. We also have considerable expertise in the fields of privatisation and public-to- private transactions and have advised shareholders in becoming more active in the management of their companies. In South Africa, we have been involved in the structuring and implementation of complex black economic empowerment transactions.

We represent participants in transactions in virtually all capacities – purchasers, sellers, financiers, financial advisers, directors and shareholders. In most cases we project manage the entire transaction which includes conducting a legal due diligence investigation, providing strategic advice, negotiating terms, drafting documentation and assisting with the implementation of the transaction from a legal point of view.

We have also served as local counsel for a range of international financial institutions and corporates, as well as international law firms and merchant banks.


Anderson, David

Anderson, David P

Bellew, John

Brink, Ineke

de Klerk, Deon

Douglas, Charles

Fleiser, Lance

Gcabashe, Tholinhlanhla

Green, Chris

Hale, Ashleigh

Hart-Davies, Paul

Janks, Joshua

Kirkman, Ian

McAlister, Anne

McDougall, Timothy

Myburgh, Franci

Nduli, Zano

Oppenheim, Julie

Schlosberg, Jonathan

Serchuk, Dana

Smith, Charles

Wessels, Dirk

Wessels, Ryan

Westgate, James

Young, Charles

Young, Charles

Yuill, David


Ab InBev

African Rainbow Minerals

Alexander Forbes Group Holdings

Exxon Mobil


Oger Telecom

Old Mutual


Rio Tinto

The Standard Bank Group


Aerospace & Defence


Construction & Materials

Consumer Product Manufacturing



Financial Services

Food & Drink Producers

Forestry & Paper

Industrial Engineering


Mining and Metals

Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences

Real Estate Finance


Software & Computer Services

Technology, Hardware and Electronics







11 Alice Lane


P O Box 785812



South Africa


View Firm Profile

Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

South Africa


Charles Douglas
Band 3
Charles Young
Band 4
David P Anderson
Band 5
Ezra Davids
Band 1
Robert Cohen
Band 5

Corporate/M&A: Private Equity

John Bellew
Band 1