Cliffe Dekker and 11 of the firm's lawyers have been ranked by their peers and clients as leaders in their respective fields in the newly published, 2007 edition of the Chambers Global Guide.
The Chambers rankings are based on extensive research into the strengths and reputations of lawyers conducted by Chambers and Partners, publishers of the renowned guides to the legal profession. The Chambers Global Guide is viewed by many as the definitive source of information for companies seeking lawyers to advise them.
Chambers rankings and editorial comment about lawyers are independent and objective. Inclusion in the guide is based solely on the research team's findings: no individual or firm can buy their way in.
Cliffe Dekker is ranked in the top tier in corporate/M&A and banking and finance, and is highly rated, in the second tier, in competition/antitrust and dispute resolution.
The corporate/M&A practice has consolidated and retained its top tier ranking achieved last year. It is ranked among five top SA firms for corporate/M&A work. Chambers' comments that "the team at Cliffe Dekker remains "top of the pile" and that clients remain faithful to the firm because of its "integrity and international outlook" coupled with its "superb reaction time and complete client focus".
Corporate/M&A lawyers have been given individual rankings.
Chambers says: "Spectacularly spectacular Chris Ewing charms clients and peers with his experience in the way he 'always works with clients' best interests in mind'. His approach is 'practical and completely commercial', and he is also noted for being an effective team leader."
Ian Hayes is another "commercially strong lawyer, who interviewees appreciate for his 'competence and quality of work he delivers – something that is reflected in his drafting.'
David Thompson "adds to the value of a transaction with his skill and knowledge".
Willem Jacobs "moves up the rankings for his 'modesty and solid execution'; and new up-and-comer David Pinnock was described as 'thoughtful and trustworthy, with an enthusiastic commercial mind'."
Cliffe Dekker's banking and finance practice has made the top tier in this year's accolades, ranked among only four of SA's top firms in this field. Chambers says: "This 'first-class' banking and finance team has become distinctly more visible in the industry thanks to its 'unrivalled expertise.' Clients appreciate the firm's 'understanding of the country's financial services market'."
Joz Coetzer is "noted for his 'pragmatic approach, commercial mind and technical solidity. He is always helpful in finding solutions to complex legal issues'.
Hans Evenhuis is "admired for his 'excellent people skills'. One interviewee noted his dexterity in transactional settings."
Up-and-comer Deon Wilken "impresses with his 'full commitment to the matter and the client'. One client noted he is 'bright, able and technically strong'."
Cliffe Dekker's competition practice has earned a second tier ranking. Chambers says it is a "strong and well-balanced competition team" and that the firm is "aggressive and professional" and "is considered to have an edge in the market, demonstrated by their presence on high-profile cases."
Ranked in the second tier for dispute resolution, the firm is "very, very good, according to one of the top-flight clients it represents."