William is the reference partner in the Corporate and Commercial department for commercial and residential property acquisitions, developments and mergers including retail shopping centres, offices and industrial parks and residential schemes including sectional title schemes and student accommodation and the establishment and/or transactions relating to commercial and residential property companies. This extends to negotiations, drafting and project management of various transactions, including sales of shares, sales of business, leases, partnership and joint ventures, co-ownerships, shareblocks and time share schemes, property asset and management agreements and memoranda of incorporation. He also supports the department's mining section, in addressing surface leases, servitudes and rights of use.

He is a reference partner in the firm for corporate real investment trusts ("REITS") and collective investment schemes in property (CISIP's/PUT's) (JSE listings, mergers and acquisitions, schemes of arrangement, rights issues and other corporate actions) and private equity property funds, addressing structuring and tax issues, as well as the corporate legal issues relating to such entities.

William is also the Johannesburg reference partner for the firm's Hotel and Leisure practice group, for hotel and leisure resort mergers and acquisitions and development, lease, management and marketing agreements.

A summary of the more recent material matters that William has advised on is set out below in the section entitled "Experience".

William joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in January 2011, after a period of approximately two years at Johannesburg BEE law firm, Mkhabela Huntley Adekeye Inc. (MHA). William was a Non-Executive Director of JSE Listed Hospitality Property Fund Ltd (appointed January 2007, and resigned in February 2013). During 2008, William ran his own consultancy, doing hotel acquisitions and developments, primarily for Hospitality, as well as attending to the legal aspects of setting up a property fund in Mauritius for the Mauritian Rogers Group in partnership with Grapnel Property Group. The fund was then listed on the Mauritian Stock Exchange. From 2006 to 2007, William was the executive director (legal and administration) of JSE listed Pangbourne Properties (which controlled three other JSE listed property funds and their subsidiaries). During this period, he supervised a fund listing, acquisition of a listed fund and various acquisitions and a wide range of commercial property transactions.

William was a partner of Edward Nathan, in its various permutations, from 1993 to 2006 William's career started at Bowman Gilfillan (now Bowmans) in 1984 where he did his articles. He worked in its commercial department as an associate until 1988. After a period as group legal adviser to a JSE listed property development company and a secondment to Westrust Liquidators, William joined Edward Nathan.

  • Adviser to SA Corporate Real Estate Limited ("SACREL") in regard to a wide range of transactions and provision of corporate legal advice including the –
  • funding and the acquisition of residential developments for approximant R1,5 billion in the Menlyn East area of Pretoria from M&T (2017 - 2018);
  • acquisition and development of the Long Street Precinct in South Johannesburg including preparation of documentation and management of various disputes in relation to the development (2017 – ongoing);
  • funding and development of various student housing, warehousing, logistics and industrial projects and conversions of offices to residential accommodation (2017 – ongoing); and
  • acquisition of Vaxirox Investments Proprietary Limited and Storage Genie short term storage facilities (2017 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to SACREL and Affordable Housing Proprietary Limited ("Afhco") in regard to the establishment of joint ventures with several large residential developers for the acquisition for approximately R3 billion worth of residential properties (2017).
  • Adviser to Mabula share block scheme in regard to a member petition to establish sectional title schemes in respect of portions of the Mabula farms (2018 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to African Development Bank in regard to the acquisition of its head office in South Africa (2017 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to Vukile Property Fund Limited ("Vukile") in regard to acquisitions by its wholly owned subsidiary, Castellana Properties SOCIMI, S.A, a Spanish real estate company (to be listed on the Spanish secondary stock exchange in July 2018) and in respect of various joint venture arrangements (2017 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to members of the Zimbali share block scheme in regard to disputes with the developer and the manager of the scheme (2017).
  • Adviser to Octodec Investment Limited in regard to the negotiation of a new asset and property management agreement with City Property Administration Proprietary Limited and obtaining of shareholder approval to the agreement including advising on the circular to shareholders and fairness opinions (2016 – 2018).
  • Adviser to various of DLA Piper's clients in relation to international mergers involving local lease renewals, relocations and fitting out of premises in South Africa (2017 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to Sun International in relation to the R1,2 billion redevelopment of Boardwalk Mall and Casino in Port Elizabeth (2016 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to Vukile, Arrowhead Properties Limited and Synergy Income Fund Limited (now Gemgrow Properties Limited) in regard to the restructuring of their property portfolios to create Gemgrow as a high yield fund (2016).
  • Adviser to the bookrunners (Java Capital and Standard Bank) in regard to the listing of Liberty Two Degrees as a REIT collective Investment Scheme in Property (“CISIP”) on the JSE (2016).
  • Adviser to SACREL and its various subsidiaries, SA Real Retail Properties Proprietary Limited and Afhco in the joint venture with Calgro M3 Limited and the subsequent financing of the SACREL – Calgro joint venture (2016).
  • Adviser to SACREL in regard to the acquisition of approximately R2 billion's worth of residential accommodation through acquisitions from M&T and others (2016).
  • Adviser to SACREL in regard to an innovative share placement process on the JSE (2016).
  • Adviser to PRASA in respect to the establishment of a local factory for the construction of passenger rail rolling stock at Ekurhuleni (2013 - ongoing).
  • Adviser to PRASA in respect of the reacquisition of part of its leased property portfolio and the redevelopment and upgrade of railway stations (2013 – 2016).
  • Adviser to Sycom Property Fund (a CISIP), Acucap Properties Limited (formerly listed on the JSE and now a wholly owned subsidiary of Growthpoint Properties Limited and Growthpoint in regard to the delisting and winding-up of Sycom, as a CISIP, and the implementation of a scheme of arrangement between Growthpoint, Acucap and the minority unitholders of Sycom (2015 – 2016).
  • Adviser to SACREL in regard to the acquisition of three shopping centres and three developments in Zambia via share acquisitions in various Mauritian companies (2015 – 2016 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to SA Corporate Real Estate Fund (a CISIP) (“SA Corp”) in regard to its conversion to SACREL (a corporate Real Estate Investment Trust (“Corporate REIT”)) (2014 – 2015).
  • Adviser to Vukile in regard to the acquisition of various individual shopping centres and retail property portfolios, and various residential and other property acquisitions (2013 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to Capital Property Fund (a CISIP) in regard to its conversion to Capital Property Fund Limited, a Corporate REIT (2013 – ongoing).
  • Adviser to the SA Real Estate Investment Trust Collective Investment Schemes in Property sub- committee in regard to procuring legislative changes to permit conversions of CISIP's to Corporate REIT's (2013 – 2014).
  • Adviser to SA Corp in its management internalisation (2013 – 2014).
  • Adviser to SA Corp in regard to its possible take-over by Capital Property Fund (2013).
  • Adviser to Sun International in regard to the restructuring of the Sun City Vacation Club (2013).
  • Adviser to Acucap in its offer to acquire all the issued Units in Sycom (2013 – 2014).
  • Adviser to Sycom in regard to its JSE dispute with Hyprop and Acucap's acquisition of Sycom Units (2013 – 2014).
  • Advised on a number of listings of (now) REIT’s on the JSE listed property sector including via an international initial public offering (2011 – 2015).
  • Advised Hospitality on a number of transactions, including the internalisation of its management company and on various hotel and resort acquisitions, such as the acquisition by Hospitality of the Westin Grand Hotel, Cape Town and Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa, Hermanus (2008 – 2010).
  • Internal legal counsel to the Unit Trust Association and the Property Unit Trust Association, advising inter alia in regard to the drafting of the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act, 2002 (“CISCA”) (1995 – 2002).
  • Adviser to various clients on the application of the JSE Listing Requirements, the Companies Act 2008 and the application of CISCA.
  • Adviser to State Owned Entities in regard to various property and other matters, including being part of the PetroSA legal team working on a proposed oil refinery at Coega, the cash management system for the Department of Justice (acting for one of the BEE entities) and the development of Cape Town Station for PRASA/Intersite.
  • Advised on the construction, letting, management and operation of a luxury lodge in Zambia (2007 – 2009).
  • Chambers Global 2016-2019 ranked William in Band 2 for real estate.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2018-2019 listed William as a "leading indivudual" in Real Estate. In 2016-2017 recommended William for real estate.
  • Best Lawyers International 2019 listed William for Real Estate law.


  • BA LLB, University of Cape Town
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 1985
  • Notary and Conveyancer
  • University of Witwatersrand – Mandela Institute – Advanced Company Law I: 2012


  • Legal Practice Council