26 August 2008 by , , , and

The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa Series, 2008

Corporate/M&A - Johannesburg - Tier 1

Our practice is ranked in the top band. When surveyed, peers and clients commented: "The team is headed by the well-respected Ian Hayes who's very good at finding practical and workable solutions to legal and regulatory challenges", Chris Ewing "who receives glowing feedback from clients

Dispute Resolution - Tier 1

From senior to junior, the lawyers at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr come strongly recommended, with Jonathan Witts-Hewinson receiving particularly strong praise and Sam Oosthuizen standing out due to his impressive aviation litigation practice. The group represented a motor company in a dispute regarding an assembly agreement with a third party and is pursuing action against former directors on behalf of a JSE-listed corporation. They cover a wide spectrum of litigation, ranging from commercial litigation to sports-related issues. The group acts for such heavyweight clients as Transnet, Nedbank and Sasol, which the team represented in an enquiry before the Inspectorate of the Department of Mining.

Projects and Infrastructure - Tier 1

The legacy Hofmeyr firm advised on a number of PPPs, including the new Justice campus for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the procurement of a new headquarters for the Department of Land Affairs. Other highlights include handling a significant amount of development work for V&A Waterfront (Properties).

Corporate/M&A - Cape Town - Tier 2

Ask those in the know who the top five corporate lawyers in Cape Town are and one of the most common names you’ll hear is David Thompson, who heads the local corporate division of erstwhile Cliffe Dekker. The team advised Isthimar, a Dubai World company, on its joint acquisition of the linked units in V&A Waterfront Holdings and some associated pension funds; the largest single property transaction ever concluded in South Africa.

Former Hofmeyr Herbstein & Gihwala Inc’s major clients include Cape Empowerment Trust, Sun International and Brimstone Investment Corporation. The seven-director team includes the ‘outstanding’ Peter Hesseling, who peers consider to be ‘at the top of his game’, and the highly recommended Gasant Orrie.

Banking and Finance - Tier 2

We continue to build its banking and finance practice with the additions of acquisition finance specialist Jackie Pennington from Tugendhaft Wapnick Banchetti & Partners and project finance expert Deon Govender. Leading expert Joz Coetzer heads the group, which acts for all the major South African banks, as well as international banks such as HSBC. Recent work included advising a South African bank on a R6bn domestic MTN programme and advising the Development Bank of South Africa on the establishment of a BEE finance and capacity building product for PPP's."

Labour & Employment - Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's employment clients include CHC Chemicals and South African Airways. Between the Johannesburg and Cape Town groups, the firm offers the full range of employment advice. Fiona Leppan, formerly of Leppan Beech, is named as a 'respected employment specialist'.

Mining - Tier 2

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr focuses on M&A work in the mining sector, acting for clients such as Petman and GVM Metals. The group advised Pamodzi Resources Fund on a number of empowerment transactions, including advising on Pamodzi Gold's R850m acquisition of Harmony's Orkney mine and its R240 million purchase of the President Steyn Goldmine. Ian Hayes, Willem Jacobs and Chris Ewing all have respectable mining M&A track records.

Intellectual Property - Tier 3

Eben van Wyk took over as head of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's IP department. The group acts for Acsis, iTouch and Amstel, and recently advised Heineken on a dispute over a World Cup advertisement.

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