Darren Willans

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Location: Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 535 8324

Fax: +27 11 535 8624

Email: dwillans@werksmans.com


Darren Willans is a Director in the Arbitration; Dispute Resolution; and Financial Services Regulation practice areas. He specialises in arbitration; mediation and alternative dispute resolution; pension fund litigation; and a range of litigation relating to the banking industry and the mining industry. A BCom and LLB graduate of Rhodes University, Darren has been a Director at Werksmans since 2009 and holds a Certificate in Pension Fund Law from the University of South Africa.

  • Arbitration
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • Pension fund litigation
  • Litigation relating to the banking industry and the mining industry


  • Representing Tristar (now Malaczynski Burn) in a number of precedent-setting Supreme Court of Appeal judgments, including in relation to:
    • the interpretation of certain provisions of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, in respect of which no prior ruling existed; and
    • the recovery of fees against the Chemical Industries National Provident Fund, in a complex matter that spanned approximately 9 years.
  • Representing Momentum Retirement Administrators and a number of pension and provident funds being administered by it, including the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund.  Such matters span a wide range of disputes, including:
    • one of the few and largest class actions to have been brought in South Africa;
    • numerous disputes (in most instances determined by way of arbitration) relating to death benefit disposals; and
    • obtaining judgment in the Equality Court, in favour of the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund, in December 2015, in relation to just under 100 separate complaints lodged.
  • Representing Glencore and a number of its subsidiaries in a wide range of matters, including contractual disputes, disputes with local municipalities, engagements with Eskom and NERSA and issues relating to Section 54 of the Mine Health & Safety Act.
  • Representing Gold Fields Operations Limited in an action in which the plaintiffs, Rand Gold and Exploration Company Limited and African Strategic Investment (Holdings) Limited (formerly known as Rand Gold Resources (Holdings) Limited) have claimed payment of varying amounts up to approximately R43.7 billion, which the plaintiffs assert constitute damages in respect of shares allegedly stolen. The plaintiffs also claim various additional amounts in respect of dividends lost.
  • Representing Gauteng Provincial Government in an insurance claim against Zurich Insurance Company South Africa Limited.  The estimated quantum of this claim is in the region of R2.7 billion and arises from damage sustained to a portion of the Gautrain tunnel.
  • Representing Investec Bank Limited in a number of litigious matters, including:
    • defending and successfully resolving (in the aggregate, multi billion rand) claims instituted by 13 industrial pension and provident funds against Investec Employee Benefits Limited, which included various insurance-related aspects; and
    •   advising Investec on various matters arising from the collapse of the MKB Group.



  • BCom, LLB (Rhodes University)
  • Certificate course in Pension Fund Law (University of South Africa)
  • 2009: Director, Werksmans
  • Certificate course in Pension Fund Law at the University of South Africa


  • Named as a recommended lawyer in Dispute Resolution by The Legal 500 in 2019;
  • In 2017 Darren became the leader of a commercial litigation and dispute resolution team, specialising in disputes pertaining to pension funds, mining and resources, banking and insurance law; and
  • Darren also has experience in mediations and arbitrations and is a member of the Arbitration Practice Group.