Banking & Finance

Banking & Finance

The focus of our Banking & Finance practice is on simple yet unique and effective solutions to the intricate legal issues that confront our clients.

The team’s transactional and regulatory lawyers have led the market with complex transaction types and financial instruments that are now being used in South Africa, by facilitating ground-breaking transactions in both primary and secondary markets.
With our solution-driven focus, the lawyers in our Banking & Finance Practice have consistently been ranked as leaders in their respective fields, not only by our clients but also by their local and international peers.

We advise all the major financial institutions and banks in South Africa, including their investment banking divisions, as well as international banks and law firms relating to off-shore finance transactions.

We specialise and have extensive experience in syndicated and bilateral finance, project and limited recourse finance, leveraged and acquisition finance, structured finance, commodity and trade finance, debt capital markets transactions and securitisations.

In the leveraged and acquisition finance field, our experienced transactional lawyers have advised on a vast number of private equity transactions and other public-to-private transactions in South Africa over the last few years, including in the consumer products, retail and financial services sectors.

In the project finance, infrastructure and public-private-partnership fields, our lawyers have represented lenders and borrowers in some of the largest transactions of this type in Southern Africa. The team has a thorough knowledge of the regulatory framework applicable to such projects and has been closely involved with other departments within the firm in advising on various aspects of such projects, including advising on the applicable environmental and energy legislation. The industry sectors involved include mining and exploration, roads, prisons, hospitals, water, accommodation and renewable energy.

The same can be said of our syndicated and bilateral financing work, where we have advised lenders and borrowers across various industry sectors including consumer products, retailing, mining and exploration, financial services and telecommunications. We have a special focus on medium and large local and international transactions.

The team has extensive experience in the debt capital markets field and regularly advises arrangers, dealers, corporate issuers, parastatals and rating agencies on bond issues, domestic medium term note programmes and high yield bonds, and advises local banks in respect of their European note programmes.

The team advised on the first issue by a South African insurer of callable bonds that qualified as regulatory capital for the issuer.

In the securitisation field, the team’s expertise remains unique. To date, only a small number of synthetic securitisations have been undertaken in South Africa and our Banking & Finance lawyers were actively involved in almost all of them. The team also assisted in the development of the first overnight call loan/bond fund established in South Africa and advised on the establishment of four of the six asset-backed conduits done in South Africa. We have advised arrangers, issuers and rating agencies in respect of the securitisation of storecard receivables, auto loans, mortgaged-backed residential property loans and pension-backed home loans.

Lawyers in our Banking & Finance practice are constantly recognised as leaders in their respective fields in international law firm publications such as Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, PLC Which Lawyer, and other similar publications.

Werksmans is an associate member of the Loan Market Association (LMA) based in the United Kingdom and a full member of the African Loan Market Association (ALMA). We strive in the standardisation of documents for our clients in order to reduce costs.

Contact Director Richard Roothman, Head of our Banking & Finance practice area.

Download our Banking & Finance practice area overview

Click here to read the South African chapter of Getting the Deal Through: Banking Regulations 2012*.

*Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal ThroughBanking Regulation 2012, (published in April, 2012; contributing editor: David E Shapiro,Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz). For further information please visit