Doelie Lessing specialises in tax law and advises on tax considerations relevant to mergers, corporate reorganisations, funding and financial services, local and foreign investment fund and deal structuring and multi-jurisdictional investments and structures.  An important part of her practice focuses on high-net-worth and multinational families and their businesses, private equity, international trust and estate planning, and cross-border and local executive share incentive arrangements.  She has more than 20 years' experience in tax law.

More about: Doelie Lessing
  • Mergers, acquisitions and reorganisations of corporate entities
  • International tax planning for corporates and wealthy individuals and families, including:
    • controlled foreign companies
    • foreign trusts
    • transfer pricing and thin capitalisation
    • settlor and beneficiary charges
    • double tax agreements
  • Financial services tax
  • Tax structuring for local and international investment funds
  • Private equity and international investment funds structuring
  • Africa-specific investments
  • Tax litigation, alternative dispute resolution and settlements
  • Executive incentive plans - local and cross-border
  • VAT
  • Relevant Matters:
    • Advising a multinational private equity group in relation to a structure for investment fund with a focus on African infrastructure
    • Tax considerations relevant to a transfer of foreign currency loans to a listed group's domestic treasury company
    • Restructuring a multinational incentive plan following changes to SA tax law involving foreign dividends
    • Tax advice regarding the restructuring of insurance arrangements for a retirement fund's obligations through a Collective Investment Scheme in Securities
    • VAT treatment of sale of book debts
    • Transfer pricing tax litigation
    • Incentive plan for an investment advisory team rendering services to multijurisdictional entities
    • Structuring advice regarding a European property fund with SA investors
    • Total return swap referencing listed instruments with significant differences in value
    • Advising a short-term insurance company in relation to its proposed expansion abroad
    • Advising on the acquisition by international investor of an interest in Nigerian manufacturing operation and the expansion of the operation to SA
  • BCom: University of Stellenbosch
  • LLB: University of Stellenbosch
  • MCom (Tax) (cum laude): University of Stellenbosch
  • 2009: Director, Werksmans
  • Named as a leading lawyer in Tax: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business Chambers Global (2013 – 2018);
  • Ranked as a leading lawyer in Private Wealth Law Chambers High Net Worth Guide (2017-2018);
  • Named as a leading practitioner in Euromoney’s Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law (2013 – 2018);
  • Nominated by in-house counsel and peers as a pre-eminent practitioner in Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Tax Advisers (2018);
  • Named as a highly-regarded practitioner in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers (2013);
  • Named as a recommended lawyer in Tax (2011 – 2018) and Investment Funds (2015) in Legal 500;
  • Named amongst the world’s leading private client lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: Private Client 2014 - 2015 and Who’s Who Legal 2015 – Compendium Edition;
  • Named as a recommended South African Tax Lawyer in the PLC Tax on Transactions Multi-jurisdictional guide (2012);
  • External examiner for the University of Cape Town’s Tax Masters Degree;
  • Member of the International Tax Planning Association and the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners;
  • Co-founder, past chairman and member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), Cape Town;
  • Co-author of the South African chapter of the Practical Law Private Client Multi-jurisdictional Guide, 2014 edition;
  • Co-author of the South African chapter in the treatise International Estate Planning.