Christoff Pienaar

Christoff Pienaar

National Practice Head, Director

Christoff is a Director and the National Head of our Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. He is dual-qualified (South Africa and England & Wales). His practice focuses primarily on commercial, technology and intellectual property law and includes advising on technology and intellectual property licensing agreements, joint ventures, technology procurement (including cloud-based arrangements), outsourcing, and advising on data protection legislation. 

Christoff regularly advises on complex projects and transactions involving telecommunications and technology and has particular expertise in advising on fintech-related matters, the implementation of payment systems/products, commercial joint venture arrangements, the commercialisation of intellectual property and agency and distribution agreements. 

Christoff has a wealth of experience advising clients operating in the financial services, (including Fintech), telecommunications and healthcare industries and have supported clients through several market cycles.

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Christoff started his legal career as an Associate at Edward Nathan in 2003. He was employed by Barclays Bank plc (UK) in 2005 as Legal Counsel in their Corporate and Commercial department. During 2006 he joined Wedlake Bell LLP in London as a Solicitor and was promoted to Partner during 2009. In 2012 he returned to South Africa and joined Webber Wentzel as a Partner. He subsequently joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as a Director in 2015.

  • Advising a South African bank on the agreements relating to the development, implementation and support of a new payment gateway.
  • Advising a South African software vendor on its licensing and royalty arrangements in Africa as well as the transfer of certain intellectual property rights to an offshore structure.
  • Advising a European-based software vendor in respect of the appointment of a reseller in South Africa.
  • Advising a pension fund administrator on the agreements relating to the development, implementation and support of a new pension fund administration system.
  • Advising a major life insurer on a number of IT agreements between service providers/licensors and subsidiaries in Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe).
  • Advising a short-term insurer in respect of the contractual arrangements relating to the outsourcing of its network and infrastructure requirements.
  • Advising on the legal aspects of the establishment of the first health information exchange in South Africa.
  • Advised a major life insurer on the development and implementation of an IT system that will support the roll-out and administration of a number of new financial and investment products in 8 African jurisdictions.
  • Advised a major life insurer on the licensing, customisation and implementation of a policy administration system in South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
  • Advised a prominent short-term insurer with operations in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia on an outsourcing transaction involving the outsourcing of desktop support, data centre, LAN (local area network), WAN (wide area network), IP telephony and help desk services.
  • Advised a provider of mobile payment solutions in respect of several transaction and payment processing agreements.
  • Advising a South African bank on the agreements relating to the development and implement of three new mobile payment products.
  • Advising a South African bank on the agreements relating to the development and implementation of a new banking platform.
  • Advising a prominent English Premier League football club on the distribution of its merchandise in South Africa.
  • Advising a provider of mobile banking security solutions on a number of licensing, services and commercial joint venture arrangements in South Africa, Europe and the USA.
  • Advising a licensed securities exchange on the agreements relating to the development, customisation and implementation of a trading platform as well as the contractual arrangements with a transfer secretary and nominee service provider.
  • Advising on distribution and agency agreements for a number of international brands.
  • Advising a medical schemes administrator on the agreements relating to the development and implementation of a new administration and claims management system.
  • Advising a number of well-known global brands on intellectual property licensing arrangements in South Africa and several jurisdictions in Africa.
  • Chambers Global 2019-2020 Fintech Edition ranked Christoff in Band 1.
  • Chambers Global 2018-2020 ranked Christoff in Band 3: IT & Telecommunications.
  • Ranked in Chambers UK 2010 and 2011.
  • In the 2020 edition of Chambers Global, Christoff was described as “a very strong IT lawyer" whom his peers have "high regard for."
  • Described as an “outstanding negotiator” in Legal 500 UK 2011.
  • Winner of the 2017 and 2018 Client Choice International Award for the IT and Internet category for South Africa.

Publications

Education

  • BA (Law and Politics), LLB, Dip Advanced (Banking), University of Johannesburg
  • Attorney of the High Court of South Africa
  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Enrolled with the Legal Practice Council

Membership

  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • Society of Computers and Law
WEBINAR | Protecting your business during COVID-19
24 April 2020 Dispute Resolution

WEBINAR | Protecting your business during COVID-19

Our panel of experts hosted a webinar where they unpacked relief available to businesses negatively affected by covid-19 as well as protection of personal information and cybersecurity during covid-19.

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