Top 10 Powerful Real Estate Lawyers Shaping South Africa in 2023

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South Africa, with its burgeoning real estate market, is a hotspot for real estate lawyers. These attorneys play a crucial role in the property transactions, navigating complex legal aspects of purchase agreements, lease contracts, and litigation. Their expertise adds significant value to property investments, ensuring sound contractual practices and protecting their clients’ interests. In this article, we showcase and explore some of South Africa’s most notable real estate lawyers, highlighting their unique contributions to this thriving industry.

From seasoned professionals recognized for their particular skillsets, to innovative experts commanding respect in banking, finance and conveyancing sectors, these individuals shape the real estate landscape through their exceptional work. While each one operates in the realm of real estate, their distinct areas of focus reflect the diverse needs within this industry. Whether advising on property finance, security, development, leasing, refinancing, acquisition, or sales, they are distinguished by both their knowledge and their reliable service.

Located across the major cities of South Africa, they operate across several well-renowned firms. Each lawyer brings a unique value to the real estate sector. Despite the competitive nature of their work, their collective endeavors contribute to the overall development and growth of this market, showcasing the opportunities that exist within this sector. Let’s explore these remarkable individuals further.

William Midgley

William Midgley operates at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, where he is acclaimed for his knowledge and experience in property transactions and REIT ventures. Midgley’s significant experience in the commercial real estate field, specifically shopping malls, sets him apart in his field.

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Sulani Jooste

Sulani Jooste of Webber Wentzel serves an impressive clientele in the banking sector. She is sought after for her guidance on property finance, refinancing matters, conveyancing, and title deed-related issues. Jooste operates from the beautiful city of Cape Town.

Craig Schafer

Head of the commercial property practice at Bowmans, Craig Schafer is renowned in the South African real estate market. His legal counsel on property finance and security, as well as development and leasing has earned him an esteemed reputation among commercial property lenders and financial institutions.

Julian Scher

Julian Scher, the founding partner of Strauss Scher, is a veteran real estate specialist. Despite the firm’s lack of a public website, Scher is noted for his extensive knowledge on commercial property development and transactional issues. He operates from Johannesburg.

John Webber

John Webber from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr operates a versatile practice. His expertise spans acquisition negotiations, joint venture agreements, property development and refurbishment, and he is increasingly active in advising on REIT transactions.

Brian Frank

At Glyn Marais Inc, Brian Frank is renowned for his experience in commercial property. He is particularly acclaimed for his work with REITs, managing property portfolios, and advising on acquisitions, sales, and leasing. Frank operates from Johannesburg.

Lucia Erasmus

Lucia Erasmus of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr assists leading banks and property developers with a variety of commercial agreements, including co-ownership and development agreements. Erasmus practices in the firm’s Johannesburg office.

Fátima Rodrigues

At Werksmans Attorneys, Fátima Rodrigues co-leads the firm’s real estate practice. Known for her extensive transactional expertise in the real estate sector, she advises several major banks and property funds. Rodrigues operates out of Johannesburg.

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Hendrik Kotze

Hendrik Kotze, also of Werksmans Attorneys, provides counsel on a broad range of real estate issues. From commercial and mixed-use developments to deed registration and zoning, Kotze offers comprehensive legal expertise. He co-leads the firm’s property and real estate practice out of Stellenbosch.

Mark McIntosh

Mark McIntosh of Webber Wentzel, guides clients through a multitude of real estate ventures. Known for advising on commercial and residential development, property sales and acquisitions, as well disputes, he offers extensive legal knowledge. Further, his expertise extends to subdivision and town establishment.



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