Jess joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as a Candidate Attorney in 2014 and was appointed as an Associate in 2016. Jess was promoted to Senior Associate in 2019 and currently works under the auspices of Ludwig Smith.

  • Specialised experience in leveraged and asset finance, restructuring, BEEE finance and acquisition finance transactions, acting for both lenders and borrowers.
  • Advising on the formation of investment vehicles and the structuring of tax efficient funding packages for banks and private equity vehicles, with a particular specialisation in preference shares and equity participation instruments.
  • Drafting of bespoke commercial agreements, preference share funding agreements, debt facility agreements, security documents and bespoke memoranda of incorporation and advising on various aspects of the Companies Act and Income Tax Act in a finance context.
  • Regularly acts for the Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, Nedbank Limited, FirstRand Bank Limited, Investec Bank Limited, Futuregrowth Asset Management Limited, Grindrod Bank Limited and the Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of South Africa in relation to various finance transactions. By way of example, Jess has acted for –
  • Capitalworks in relation to the financing for a takeover bid to acquire Peregrine Limited, together with the proposed delisting of Peregrine from the JSE and A2X. This deal was valued at circa ZAR4.6 billion and entailed the negotiation of a complex security package (compromising a multitude of security providers situated across four different jurisdictions) and a funding structure comprising a combination of equity, debt and preference share funding comprising six different classes of preference shares staggered across two investment vehicles -
  • Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Futuregrowth Asset Management Limited in relation to the funding of an empowerment deal in terms of which the SA National Taxi Council acquired a 25% stake in SA Taxi, a subsidiary of Transaction Capital Limited, valued at circa ZAR1.7 billion -
  • a consortium of banks in relation to the funding of the acquisition by Phembani Group of a circa 21% stake in Engen Limited, together with numerous restructures of the debt package through a variety of classes of back-to-back preference shares, valued at circa. ZAR1.6 billion;
  • a consortium of banks in relation to the provision of preference share funding to an empowerment investment holding company for the purpose of refinancing existing debt as well funding future acquisitions (such funding comprising dual issuers and multiples classes of preference shares coupled with a complex security package), valued at circa. ZAR1.5 billion;
  • Investec Bank Limited in relation to the provision of financing to a black empowerment vehicle for the acquisition of an equity stake in the project companies undertaking the 40 MW Kangnas (in Northern Cape) wind project and 110 MW Perdekraal (in Western Cape ) wind project; and
  • Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (South Africa) Limited in relation to the provision of debt and preference share funding for the acquisition of an equity stake in the 400 MW gas and solar PV hybrid project in Richards Bay.
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2021 recommended Jess as a rising star for banking and finance.
  • Deal Makers 2020 Private Equity Deal of the Year - Acquisition of Peregrine by Capitalworks.


  • Registered with the Legal Practice Council
  • Com Law (Accounting & Financial Management), University of Pretoria (cum laude)
  • LLB, University of Pretoria (cum laude) – Top Final Year LLB student
  • LLM Corporate Law, University of Witwatersrand (cum laude)
  • Admitted Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer
  • Registered Tax Practitioner