Firm / Organisation

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

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Chairperson: Thabile Fuhrmann
Number of partners: 140 (approximately)
Number of lawyers: 330 (approximately)
Languages: Afrikaans, English

Firm Overview:
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) is one of the largest full-service business law firms in South Africa, with more than 300 lawyers and a track record spanning 165 years. The firm provides experienced legal support and an authentic knowledge-based legal service for clients looking to do business in key markets across Africa. CDH’s Africa practice leverages resources and expertise of leading business law firms across the continent, tapping into a wealth of experience, particularly when it comes to acting for governments, state agencies and multinational organisations. This strategic network ensures an extensive African capability. The firm also partners with other professional disciplines such as audit firms, business consulting houses and corporate finance institutions to provide a seamless and integrated solution for multi-disciplinary projects. CDH focuses on a number of key sectors which are active and thriving in Africa, including M&A, mining and minerals, telecommunications, construction, energy, oil and gas, banking and finance, projects and infrastructure, hospitality and leisure, and arbitration.

Main Areas of Practice:

Capital Markets:
9 partners, 15 fee-earners, based in South Africa
■ Advised clients on a high proportion of the top crossborder capital markets connected to the firm’s geography
■ Instrumental in changing the landscape of South Africa’s Stock Exchange Market
■ Experienced team offering both capital markets legal and front office investment banking experience and a thorough understanding of the local and cross-border capital markets, legislation and product areas
Key Clients: 4AX, A2X Markets, Bank of China, Development Bank of Southern Africa Limited, Transnet
Contact: Johan Latsky
Tel: +27 11 562 1149
Email: [email protected]

5 partners, 12 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ Consistently high share of local merger filings
■ Exceptional success rate in South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, COMESA and its member states
■ Advisers in a number of high-profile mergers and prohibited practice litigation
Key Clients: Coca-Cola, Massmart, Vodacom, Parmalat, Mediclinic, Samsung and Shell, Sinopec Group
Contact: Chris Charter
Tel: +27 11 562 1053
Email: [email protected]

Corporate & Commercial:
40 partners, 100 fee-earners, based in South Africa
■Number one by DealMakers in South Africa for M&A by deal count nine years in a row
■Advised on four of the five listed M&A deals short-listed for the DealMakers‘Deal of the Year’ in 2018
DealMakers also ranked the firm number one for deal flow and deal value in the general corporate finance transactions category
Key Clients: Coca-Cola, Vodacom, Sun International, Anglo American, Accenture, Walmart, Brait, Lonmin, Reinet, Remgro
Contact: Willem Jacobs
Tel: +27 11 562 1555
Email: [email protected]

Dispute Resolution:
27 partners, 55 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ 20 teams manage complex disputes in a heavily regulated environment
■ The principal focus is on commercial arbitration and high court litigation, with growth, as in the local market, into international arbitration and mediation
■ Specialist knowledge in highly regulated industry disputes
Key Clients: Nedbank, Eskom, Sun International, Vodacom
Contact: Tim Fletcher
Tel: +27 11 562 1061
Email: [email protected]

12 partners, 27 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ Set key precendents in a range of ground-breaking matters
■ Lead role advisers on major restructurings in the country
■ Market leadership in employment related corporate investigations and compliance
Key Clients: Uber, Coca Cola, Eskom, City of Cape Town, Anglo Platinum, Old Mutual, Absa Bank
Contact: Aadil Patel
Tel: +27 11 562 1107
Email: [email protected]

Finance & Banking:
12 partners, 23 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ Exceptional client following, working with leading lenders, alternative capital providers and borrowers with substantial investments in South Africa
■ Strong mix of domestic and cross-border expertise, indepth experience in guiding the leading lenders, sponsors and borrowers in their headline financings
Key Clients: Nedbank, FirstRand Bank, Standard Bank, Deutsche Bank, Harmony Gold, Investec Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank
Contact: Deon Wilken
Tel: +27 11 562 1096
Email: [email protected]

Mining & Minerals:
10 partners, 22 fee-earners, based in South Africa
■ One of most extensive and enduring mining client followings in South Africa
■ Market leaders in transactional mining and natural resources
■ One of the most experienced mining regulatory teams in the country with expertise on mineral regulation, black economic empowerment, environmental, health and safety, social and community issues, and land use
Key Clients: China Africa Precious Metals, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Harmony Gold, Lonmin Northam Platinum
Contact: Allan Reid
Tel: +27 11 562 1222
Email: [email protected]

Pro Bono & Human Rights:
1 partner, 4 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ Committed to facilitating access to justice for the disadvantaged and vulnerable and providing legal services to NPOs
■ Lawyers are encouraged to contribute to pro bono matters
Key Clients: South African History Archive, South African Human Rights Commission, Corruption Watch, The Right2Know Campaign
Contact: Jacquie Cassette
Tel: +27 11 562 1036
Email: [email protected]

Projects & Infrastructure:
7 partners, 15 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ At the very forefront of ushering in a new wave of energy security for Africa
■ Market-leading infrastructure project expertise for clients
■ A large number of high value, project finance related mandates including thought leadership and execution for the domestic lending market on innovative financing structures
Key Clients: Eskom Holdings, Ethiopian Government, USAID, Deloitte, Kenya Urban Road Authority, SUNEQ, EY, Biotherm Energy (Pty) Ltd.
Contact: Jay Govender
Tel: +27 11 562 1387
Email: [email protected]

Real Estate:
13 partners, 29 fee earners based in South Africa
■ At the forefront of Real Estate Investment Schemes (REITS) assisting clients in reaping tax benefits through the conversion of property companies into REITS
■ Handled some of the largest and highest-profile deals in the real estate sector in South Africa, involving a wide range of challenging real estate financings, demanding, highlytechnical structured finance and securitisation techniques
■ Involved in every major growth area in South Africa
Key Clients: Standard Bank, Investec, Nedbank, Firstrand, Mia Group
Contact: John Webber
Tel: +27 11 562 1444
Email: [email protected]

Tax & Exchange Control:
8 partners, 15 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ Equal strength in both contentious and non-contentious representation at the highest levels
■ Engaging with SARS on high profile matters where advanced tax rulings are sought pertaining to derivatives, REIT legislation, merging of foreign companies, equity notes and application of corporate rollover provisons
■ First choice tax counsel of market leaders across all of the most active sectors of the South African economy
Key Clients: Confidential
Contact: Emil Brincker
Tel: +27 11 562 1063
Email: [email protected]

Technology & Sourcing:
6 partners, 11 fee-earners based in South Africa
■ Advisers to major South African corporates including ICT service providers and customers of ICT services
■ Choice counsel for major technology projects in highlyregulated sectors
■ Market-leading advisers to the telecoms sector in South Africa
Key Clients: Old Mutual, Absa Bank, Capitec Bank, Vodacom, Wesbank
Contact: Christoff Pienaar
Tel: +27 21 481 6350
Email: [email protected]