Our Dispute Resolution team

provides pragmatic legal solutions to disputes by pursuing or defending arbitration or litigation, or through alternative methods, such as mediation.

Impactful Matters

Clients appreciate this "result-oriented" team, commenting that the team "identifies pragmatic and practical solutions for complex commercial disputes. The partners roll up their sleeves and guide and execute the work."

Chambers Global 2021

Attention to detail is fantastic with a very quick turn around time.

Legal 500 EMEA 2020

It has exceptional subject matter expertise, an understanding of the impact of litigation on business, and it is innovative and solution orientated.

Legal 500 EMEA 2020

They are always coming up with innovative legal solutions.

Legal 500 EMEA 2020

Their size and scope makes them able to offer us a full service offering that is effective.

Legal 500 EMEA 2020

Our services include dispute resolution and opinion work across a range of specialisations, some of which include:

  • Contentious banking and finance matters.
  • Class or group actions in South Africa.
  • Commercial disputes of all kinds.
  • Liability and risk issues.
  • Business rescue, restructuring and insolvency.
  • Corporate fraud forensic investigations.
  • A wide range of insurance disputes.
  • Cross-border disputes.
  • Product liability.
  • Represented a major creditor of Cosira South Africa (Pty) Ltd (in Liquidation). Our client has a claim of R130 million in the liquidation process, which involves R1.3 billion owed to South Africa's largest banking consortium. This is said to be South Africa's largest bond default by far.

  • Representing South African Airways (SAA) in the judicial review application launched by Comair Limited seeking to set aside the decision of the Minister of Public Enterprises taken with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance on 26 September 2012 to provide SAA with a R5 billion guarantee. The decision of the court will have significant implications for future government guarantees for other state owned enterprises and will be of importance to funders who provide South African state owned enterprises with funding to execute various infrastructure and other public projects.

  • Involved in various insolvency proceedings including the winding up of numerous companies within the Pinnacle Point Group.

  • Acting for one of the thirty two respondents in an application by fifty six former South African gold mine workers and dependants of former gold mine workers against thirty two South African gold mining companies. The applicants apply for certification of a class action, related to silicosis and/or tuberculosis allegedly contracted by mineworkers in South African gold mines since 1956.

  • Acting for a major bank in perfecting various securities held by it against the Sturrett Group of Companies. Instituting proceedings against various companies within the group. Negotiating disposal of rights under perfection order to third party. Advising bank on environmental risks as a holder of a "perfected" security prior to disposal of assets to third party.
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is a repeat adviser to a leading South Africa-based integrated energy & natural resources company on a wide range of demanding commercial litigation matters on an on-going basis including:
    • advising on the defence of a coal workers’ pneumoconiosis claim;
    • in relation to a ZAR 1.2 billion contract, for the sinking of a mineshaft.
  • We act for the print media arm of a leading South Africa-based media company in an application launched by the Centre for Child Law, and others to extend the protection from identification applicable in criminal matters to underage victims of crime so that the protection applies for the rest of that person's life.

  • We act for a leading South Africa-based enterprise and supplier development advisory and project management firm against a US-based company concerning the responsibility of the US Company for massive remediation activities at its cost in respect of a property sold to our client.

  • We represent a leading South Africa-based financial services group in arbitration proceedings where our client claims ZAR 51 million-plus arising from the breach of various terms and warranties in master services agreements and transaction documents for a Payment Services Hub Solution.

  • We act for a leading independent data, voice and intellectual property provider in a review brought by a state entity challenging the lawfulness of a substantial infrastructure which is in an advanced stage of its implementation. The case includes difficult questions of administrative law as far as the tender is concerned; the misuse of corruption legislation; and a constitutional challenge to the very existence of the state entity.

  • We represent a leading South Africa-based global private healthcare services group in regard to challenges raised by a dissenting shareholder under the Companies Act and the right of that shareholder's to minority shareholders' protection and appraisal rights.

  • We represented a leading US-based global professional services network in a cluster of related actions where so-called investors, who had invested their monies in a Ponzi scheme, sought an indemnity from our client should they not recover their money from the fraudster's estate.

  • We act for a leading South Africa-based financial advisory services company in opposing a class action suit launched against several respondents who represent classes of shareholders in a defunct manufacturing and retail group.

  • We act for a substantial private property developing company which is in a dispute with a minority shareholder as to the valuation and sale of shares in that private company.

  • We are involved in several matters concerning the failure of the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute persons who were involved in murder and other serious offences during the apartheid years and who were unsuccessful in securing amnesty.

  • We represent a leading financial services provider in actions arising from the trade of significant volumes of single stock futures on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange which questions the responsibilities of the parties involved.

Practice Area Rankings

  • Chambers Global 2017 - 2021 ranked us in Band 1 for dispute resolution.
  • Chambers Global 2018 - 2021 ranked us in Band 2 for insurance.
  • Chambers Global 2018 - 2021 ranked us in Band 2 for restructuring/insolvency.
  • Chambers Global 2020 - 2021 named our Corporate Investigations in Band 3.
  • Chambers Global 2019 named our Corporate Investigations sector as a Recognised Practitioner.
  • Chambers Global 2011 - 2016 ranked us in Band 2 for dispute resolution.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2017 - 2021 recommended us in Tier 1 for dispute resolution.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2013 - 2016 recommended us in Tier 2 for dispute resolution.

Ranked Practitioners

  • Tim Fletcher is the National Practice Head for the Dispute Resolution team. Chambers Global 2019-2021 ranked Tim in Band 3 for dispute resolution. Chambers Global 2015–2018 ranked Tim in Band 4 for dispute resolution. The Legal 500 EMEA 2016–2021 recommended him as a leading individual for dispute resolution and recommended him from 2013–2016. The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2015 identified Tim as being among the world’s leading asset recovery lawyers. He was named as the exclusive South African winner of the ILO Client Choice Awards 2017–2018 in the litigation category. Who’s Who Legal 2015–2019 identified Tim as one of the world’s leading Insurance & Reinsurance lawyers.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2015–2021 recommended Eugene Bester for dispute resolution.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2015 recommended Anja Hofmeyr for dispute resolution.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2014 recommended Richard Marcus for dispute resolution. Richard was named as the exclusive South African winner of the ILO Client Choice Awards 2018 in the insolvency & restructuring category.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2016–2021 recommended Rishaban Moodley for dispute resolution. Rishaban was named as the exclusive South African winner of the ILO Client Choice Awards 2015-2016 for litigation.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2014 recommended Marius Potgieter for dispute resolution.

  • Chambers Global 2020-2021 ranked Joe Whittle in Band 3 and from 2016–2019 he was ranked in Band 4 for construction. The Legal 500 EMEA 2017–2020 recommended him for construction.

  • Chambers Global 2017–2021 ranked Jonathan Witts-Hewinson in Band 2 for dispute resolution. Chambers Global 2014–2016 ranked Jonathan in Band 3 for dispute resolution. The Legal 500 EMEA 2012–2020 recommended him for dispute resolution. He was identified as a leading lawyer by Who’s Who Legal: Litigation for 2017. The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2015 identified him as being among the world’s leading asset recovery lawyers. Practical Law Company PLC Which Lawyer? 2006–2012 endorsed Jonathan for his expertise in dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency, and construction. Expert Guides: Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers 2009–2011 listed him among South Africa’s pre-eminent litigation lawyers in litigation and emerging markets.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2020-2021 recommended Kgosi Nkaiseng as a Next Generation Lawyer for dispute resolution.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2020-2021 recommended Tim Smit as a Next Generation Lawyer for dispute resolution

  • Jackwell Feris is a recipient of The Africa's 50 Most promising Young Arbitration Practitioner 2020 Award. He is recognised by The Association of Young Arbitrators (AYA) as an expert Arbitration Practitioner who is passionate about the growth and development of International Investment and Commercial Arbitration in Africa.
  • Chambers Global 2021 recommended Clive Rumsey in Band 1 for Construction and from 2013-2019 he was recommended for Construction. Chambers Global 2021 ranked Clive in Band 4 for Dispute Resolution and from 2017-2019 he was recommended for Dispute Resolution. Legal 500 2014-2019 recommended him as “Leading Individual” for Construction. Who’s Who Legal 2015-2018 recommended him for Construction.

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2021 recommended Lucinde Rhoodie for dispute resolution.