Jennifer Smit

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Location: Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 535 8447

Fax: +27 11 535 8647



Admitted in 2005 with well over fourteen years experience in general commercial dispute resolution and litigation.

Jenny has been a partner at Werksmans for six years and has significant experience in insolvency law: liquidations, business rescues, insolvency enquiries; general contractual claims and recoveries both of a general commercial nature and a more specific construction and engineering nature; lease and property disputes as well as administration and review-related work in various sectors from mining to horse racing; execution steps including recognition of awards and foreign enforcement steps; and Jenny has extensive High Court and arbitration experience. She has been involved in several major arbitrations, including ICC, AFSA and private arbitrations.

  • Arbitration
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Insolvency, Business Rescue & Restructuring
  • Liquidations/sequestrations/business rescue
  • Enquiries in insolvent estates
  • Litigation in insolvent estates
  • Building and construction law disputes and advice
  • Property disputes and interdicts
  • Commercial recoveries
  • Sale and lease disputes
  • Law of delict and contract
  • High Court actions and applications
  • Arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution
  • Shareholder disputes


  • Drafted and instituted Multitudinous applications for liquidations, money judgments and contractual claims;
  • Considerable insights into recovery prospects, strategic guidance and advice at inception of disputes;
  • Settled seven disputes (high court and private arbitral actions) between three parties through mediation proceedings in 2015;
  • Conducted arbitration proceedings involving ten different experts;
  • Acts for several blue chip clients including major engineering and mining companies, major clothing retailer and major banking institutions;
  • Successful strategic guidance through complex business rescue-related share-holder disputes in telecommunications sector;
  • Substantial experience in all kinds of arbitral proceedings in South African context (AFSA, private and ICC, single vs tribunal) with experts, translators and subsequent enforcement steps;
  • Substantial trial experience – management of trials from inception to conclusion on appeal;
  • Institution of proceedings in foreign jurisdictions; and
  • Recognition of foreign enforcement of awards, recovery and execution.
  • BA (philosophy & Law), Rhodes University (2000);
  • LLB (Rhodes University);
  • AIPSA Dip Insolvency Law (cum laude) (University of Johannesburg); and
  • 2011: Director, Werksmans.


  • Successfully acted for international mining house in ICC proceedings against two foreign national entities in the People's Republic of China for substantial claims relating to defective equipment –proceedings have subsequently successfully been instituted for the recognition and enforcement of those claims in the PRC;
  • Completed the Mediator Skills Training programme of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and is a CEDR Accredited Mediator (2020).
  • Acted for major International bank in relation to substantial arbitration proceedings relating to oil trade and storage;
  • SARIPA member of eight years' standing; and
  • Accredited mediator in SA through Conflict Dynamics (2019).