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DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Banking & Finance

3 ranked lawyersBand 2South AfricaGlobal 2021 View ranking table
chambers review
Ranked Lawyers
chambers review
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

Impressive team with a longstanding reputation in the market. Commands respect for its extensive acquisition and leveraged finance experience, as well as for advising major financial institutions on regulatory issues, preference shares and refinancing proceedings. The team has expertise in niche areas such as aircraft financing transactions. Has a growing cross-border projects practice and has worked borrower-side for clients in the healthcare, mining and telecoms sectors.

Strengths

Clients particularly appreciate the firm's "ability to be commercially minded and not just legalistic," with one adding: "The firm understands the industry within which we operate and the history of our business so they are able to react quickly to issues and provide us with appropriate advice."

Interviewees retain the team "because of the expertise of its senior partners as wide-thinking deal makers and counsel of the highest calibre."

Work highlights

Acted for Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depositós on the ZAR3.6 billion disposal of its stake in Merchant Bank Holdings to Capitec Bank.

Notable practitioners

Deon Wilken is "vastly experienced, practical and intelligent," said one client, while another praised him as "technically competent and astute." He acts for a diverse range of borrowers on an array of financing transactions across sectors including mining, hospitality and energy.

Jenni Darling has rapidly established her name in the banking and finance market via her counsel to both lenders and borrowers. Clients are quick to praise her, commenting: "Jenni is extremely knowledgeable and well regarded in the market, with a reputation for pragmatism. She is also approachable and direct, which is an extremely admirable skill."

Ludwig Smith is roundly recognised by clients and peers alike as one of South Africa's "pre-eminent" and "incredibly experienced" banking lawyers. He is well accustomed to acting for lenders and consortium of lenders on high-value debt financing and equity financing transactions, with further experience assisting private equity funds with share acquisitions. Clients highlight his "wealth of experience, combined with his knowledge of taxation law."

Department Information

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Overview

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s (CDH) finance and banking services and advice cover debt capital markets, project finance, public-private partnerships (PPPs), commodity trade finance, acquisition finance, general banking and investment structures, and pension and employee benefits.

On the funding side (general lending and project finance), our team advises all the major banks in South Africa as well as several major international banks represented in South Africa. We are often mandated to advise on banks’ lending arrangements and compliance with the country’s banking and financial services regulatory framework. Our mandate for foreign banks at times extends to advice on establishing representative offices in South Africa, investment in local banks and related aspects of the regulatory framework.

Our clients range from local and offshore financiers to major corporations that enter into local and offshore finance transactions. We advise borrowers from the public and private sectors as well as financial services providers and other organisations that have direct and indirect interests in lending arrangements. 

These organisations include asset managers, developmental finance institutions, private equity funds, insurance underwriters, rating agencies, security trusts and guarantors.

Banking & Finance

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

firm
Location

Johannesburg Regional Office

1 Protea Place

Sandown

South Africa

2196

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

Banking & Finance


Deon Wilken
Band 3
Jenni Darling
Band 4
Ludwig Smith
Band 1