Peter Hesseling, and Johan Latsky, directors in the Corporate and Commercial practice, and Aadil Patel, National Head of the Employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr have been named as winning partners in the 2014 Client Choice International Awards. The awards were announced in London in April 2014.
The awards survey senior corporate counsel only and focus on the ability to add real value to clients’ business above and beyond other players in the market. This year, lawyers in 50 jurisdictions were recognised in the Client Choice International segment.
Client Choice explains, “Our research begins with a readership survey of International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology in-house counsel subscribers. Clients are asked to rate individual lawyers and law firms on the following client service criteria: quality of legal advice, value for money, commercial awareness, effective communication, billing transparency, tailored fee structures, response time, sharing of expertise and use of technology.
“To ensure that the results cannot be influenced, law firms are not informed when this initial round of research is conducted. The results of this survey are used to draw up shortlists for each work area. Shortlisted candidates are then invited to submit up to five referees. The research team conducts follow-up interviews and additional research where necessary. While based on thorough and coherent research, the results remain the subjective views of the Client Choice team.”
CEO of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Brent Williams says, “Aadil, Johan and Peter are highly respected lawyers, clearly at the top of their game. The client comments say it all and I congratulate them for leading from the front in terms of their legal expertise and client service. My colleagues have taken to heart our firm’s business strategy to be the best business law firm in South Africa, and in key jurisdictions on the rest of the continent that are important to our clients.”
Peter Hesseling was a winner in the category General Corporate, South Africa. Hesseling is a director of the firm’s corporate and commercial practice and a member of the executive committee. He has extensive experience in insolvency law, company law, corporate restructuring, transaction structuring, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, black economic empowerment, the investment industry, various types of financing and selected areas of tax law.
During the research phase, clients said of Hesseling: “Our company considers it a privilege to have Peter as its leading commercial lawyer and has high respect for his professional knowledge and conduct.”
“Peter is attentive to his clients’ needs and quick to understand what is required, and delivers the required advice and solutions while providing excellent additional value.”
“He takes a pragmatic approach towards matters in order to complete the deal.”
Johan Latsky was a winner in the category M&A, South Africa. Johan Latsky specialises in legal projects mainly in the fields of securities and exchanges, mergers and acquisitions, and financial services regulation, including banking, taxation, structured and project finance.
Latsky has made a significant contribution to the process of transformation in South Africa, particularly in the field of land reform. After the 1994 democratic elections, the Ministries of Housing and Land Affairs commissioned him to overhaul South Africa’s planning and tenure frameworks in order to expedite development and cut through the apartheid mosaic of former racial zones. This resulted in the adoption of the Development Facilitation Act (67/1996) by Parliament. He served as a commissioner on the Development and Planning Commission established by the minister of land affairs under that act.
Clients said Latsky was: “One of the elder statesman of the South African legal market.”
“His wealth of experience means that he is able to guide his clients through the most challenging moments with an assurance that puts us at ease.”
“He has the sensibility of a lawyer who is comfortable addressing the specific challenges of a demanding client.”
“Johan understands financial markets better than any lawyer I have encountered.”
Aadil Patel, a director and national head of the Employment practice, was a winner in the Employment and Labour category, South Africa. He has acted extensively for various employers in both the public and private sector and has been recognised for his in-depth expertise in employment law.His extensive track record includes having successfully advised and represented a number of state-owned enterprises as well as companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Mr Patel is widely recognised by the market and is recommended by the Legal 500– Europe, the Middle East and Asia (2010 to 2013). Who’s Who Legal – International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment (2011 and 2012) identified him as being among the world’s leading management labour and employment lawyers.
He is a recognised thought leader and has presented on topical issues to a wide array of audiences and has regularly featured in articles published in various medias.
Clients commented: “Aadil renders advice that is practical and implementable, which enhances the quality of the output received from him.”
“He is not scared to think innovatively to find solutions and is prepared to test the boundaries of the tried and tested with regard to any problem to find a satisfactory solution for the client. He does not overcomplicate matters.”
“He builds on his client relations with effective interaction and takes all steps necessary from his side to keep clients abreast of new developments and to indicate that new solutions are available if similar issues arise in the future.”
“He does not just litigate; he offers practical solutions to clients’ legal problems and is always aware of the business context.”