Top 10 Impactful South African Banking & Finance Lawyers in 2023

2 mins read


The field of Banking and Finance law in South Africa is exceptionally rich, hosting a variety of masters who play their part in shaping the intricate economic landscape. From offering advice on financial transactions, structuring investment funds, to guiding the course of complex credit facilities; the value of these lawyers in the banking and finance industry is undeniably significant. Here we introduce some of the top-rated lawyers who have made their mark in the South African banking and finance legal circle.

The responsibilities of banking and finance law are vast, dealing with issues that directly impact the functioning of the economy. There are various transactions like debt and equity offerings, essential financial restructuring, share subscriptions among others. It requires profound knowledge of the financial, regulatory, and legal landscapes. These individuals are entrusted with safeguarding the interests of both borrowers and lenders. Their work is crucial in maintaining the stability of the financial system.

We want to shine a spotlight on talented lawyers who have proven themselves through professionalism, commitment, and innovation. Their contributions have not only impacted the firms they represent but also the entire banking and finance industry. Let’s delve into their worlds and celebrate their achievements.

Lionel Shawe

Firm: White & Case LLP

Lionel Shawe, renowned for his impressive set of clientele from high-street banks, specializes in the field of debt capital markets, offering assistance with notes issuances and restructuring mandates. Based in Johannesburg, Shawe continues to remain a firm presence in South African Banking & Finance law.

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Wildu du Plessis

Firm: Alchemy Law Africa

Known for a wide range in his practice, Wildu du Plessis has significant experience advising on debt issuances and restructuring, share offerings as well as securitisations. Despite the absence of an official firm website, his reputation precedes him.

Ryan Nelson

Firm: Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP

Ryan Nelson, who leads the banking and finance team at Allen & Overy, specialises in a range of financing transactions. Notably, he is an expert on revolving credit facilities.

Joz Coetzer

Firm: White & Case LLP

Operating in Johannesburg, Joz Coetzer is a significant player in the finance space. With his impeccable efforts, he aids both lenders and borrowers in logistical financial situations such as the provision of loan facilities, debt and equity restructuring, and preference share subscriptions.

Jan Kruger

Firm: Bowmans

Jan Kruger, based in Cape Town, is a highly sought-after advisor for financial institutions and investment funds. His areas of expertise include preference share transactions, acquisition financing and restructuring mandates.

Craig Saven

Firm: ENSafrica

Craig Saven has made his mark as a formidable banking & finance lawyer specializing in cross-border structured trade and commodity finance, particularly focusing on emerging markets.

Kathy Shepherd

Firm: Webber Wentzel

Operating from Johannesburg, Kathy Shepherd is a noted expert in the field of banking and finance. She is regularly sought by lenders to provide advice on loan facilities and other finance transactions. She has particular expertise in preference share funding.

Mark Kyle

Firm: Bowmans

Mark Kyle, based in Durban, is renowned for his extensive experience in debt restructurings, acquisition finance and preference share financings.

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Jenni Darling

Firm: Werksmans Attorneys

Jenni Darling has earned her name in the banking and finance market through her consultation to both lenders and borrowers. Her portfolio includes assisting clients with acquisition and investment financing, as well as preference share and debt refinancing.

Jackie Pennington

Firm: DLA Piper South Africa Services (Pty) Ltd

Jackie Pennington, the head of the firm’s finance, projects and restructuring group, operates out of DLA Piper’s Johannesburg office. She handles mandates such as syndicate lending and preference share funding for a range of lenders and borrowers.



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