Chambers Global 2022 rankings confirm our market-leading status in Africa

The firm’s Africa practice has once again achieved top tier rankings in the 2022 edition of Chambers Global, maintaining top tier rankings in the following Africa-wide categories:

  • Band 1 for Africa-wide Projects & Energy (for the 14th consecutive year)
  • Band 1 for Africa-wide Projects & Energy: Mining & Minerals (for the 11th consecutive year)

We are also ranked:

  • Band 2 for Africa-wide Dispute Resolution
  • Band 2 for Africa-wide Corporate/M&A and Private Equity
  • Band 2 for Africa-wide Oil & Gas
  • Band 2 for Africa-wide Power
  • Band 2 for Africa-wide TMT
  • Band 3 for Africa-wide Capital Markets

5 partners across our Paris, Johannesburg and London offices are individually ranked for Africa-wide Projects & Energy, more than any other ranked firms.

The firm, or partners at the firm, are also singled out in relation to Algeria, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Guinea and Libya.

Commentators praise the team’s ability to “detect problems and provide solutions,” adding that the group “brings excellent expertise to the table on ESG.

Our Johannesburg office performed very well and is ranked in the following bands for South Africa:

  • Band 2 for Projects & Energy
  • Band 3 for Energy and Natural Resources – Mining
  • Band 3 for Competition/Anti-trust
  • Band 4 for Dispute Resolution
  • Band 4 for Corporate/M&A

In addition to the individual lawyer rankings in each of these areas, the Johannesburg office also has an individual lawyer ranked for Corporate Investigations.

We have 22 individual Africa-related lawyer entries in total: 8 for Africa-wide, 11 for South Africa and 3 country specific (Nigeria, Gabon and Sierra Leone).

Global Co-Head of our Africa practice Martin Kavanagh commented: “This year’s Chambers results once again affirm the strength of our Africa practice, particularly in projects, energy and mining. Congratulations to all those that received individual rankings. We are pleased at the recognition that the practice continues to receive by way of both these rankings and recent awards, including the Africa-wide Projects & Energy Law Firm of the Year at the Chambers Africa Awards 2022. We owe our thanks to our clients who continue to trust us with their most important and strategic matters in Africa.”

Global Chair of the Africa group Peter Leon added: “We very pleased to see that our Johannesburg office has continued to receive recognition in the key legal directories, with several improved individual rankings. We also received impressive client quotes for which we owe a great deal of thanks to our clients.”

For more information please contact Rebecca Donovan or Joanne Crichton.

Rebecca Donovan
Rebecca Donovan

Joanne Crichton
Joanne Crichton

South Africa’s ESG Bill Tracker 2022

In light of the multiple recent and forthcoming regulatory developments impacting ESG in South Africa (SA), HSF has prepared brief summaries of the key regulatory ESG highlights from 2021 as well as those to look out for in 2022.

The summaries are divided into the following four sections:

  • Key ESG related developments adopted in 2021;
  • Key ESG Bills in 2022;
  • Proposed amendments to key ESG related regulations; and
  • Other ESG guidelines/drafts to keep an eye out for.

Subscribe to Africa Notes to receive our monthly updates to the ESG Tracker SADC Region.

If you have any ESG-related questions, please get in touch with your usual contact at HSF who will be able to direct you to the right specialist within the HSF team.

Download our ESG Bill Tracker February 2022 >

Legal developments in the energy and mining sectors in Francophone Africa

Our Paris-based partner Mathias Dantin has contributed to the International Energy and Natural Resources Law chapter of The Year in Review 2021, an annual survey of the law from around the world published by the American Bar Association (ABA), by writing on recent legal developments in the energy and mining sectors in each of Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Morocco and Senegal.

Please contact Mathias Dantin if would like to receive further information.

Mathias Dantin
Mathias Dantin
Partner, Paris
+33 1 53 57 65 48

AFRICA EUROPE FORUM

Herbert Smith Freehills was a proud supporter of the Africa Europe Forum which was held virtually on 17 – 18 May 2021.

Thomas Kessler, a partner in the firm’s Frankfurt office, joined a panel discussion on the “Role of Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa’s Power Supply” together with Mario Ledic, Director Governmental Affairs, ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, Ravensburg; Dr. Daniel Schroth, Acting Director Renewable Energies, African Development Bank, Abidjan; Peter Schrum, Chairman, Sunfarming GmbH, Alensys AG, Erkner; Barton Shasha, Business Development Manager Afrika, ib Vogt GmbH, Berlin; and moderator Karsten Fuelster, Managing Director, Polaris Consulting & Invest GmbH, Frankfurt.

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TRENDS & DEVELOPMENTS: PROJECT FINANCE 2020 – SOUTH AFRICA

Authors: Brigette Baillie and Biddy Faber

Trends & Developments in the South African market during 2020

South Africa has historically had a strong showing in the public-private partnership (PPP), concessions and independent power project (IPP) markets, having undertaken:

  • PPPs in the healthcare, prisons, transport infrastructure, serviced government office accommodation and biosciences sectors;
  • concessions in the toll roads and port sectors; and
  • peaking power and renewable energy IPP projects.

However, the last 12 months have seen little activity in these traditional PPP, concessions and IPP sectors, and the activity has been largely focused on project financings in the commercial and industrial sectors, with a number of financings being undertaken in respect of industrial operations (such as brown– and green-field factory developments of various sorts) and small scale captive renewable power solutions for industrial off-takers. Whilst the market has also seen the finalisation of the financing of some of the renewable energy projects from the fourth round of the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme, these have been lags from the mass closing of those projects in 2018.

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SOUTH AFRICAN ENERGY UPDATE IN RESPECT OF NEW POWER GENERATION PROCUREMENT – JUNE 2020

Author: Brigette Baillie

The following events have occurred in the broader South African energy sector in recent months.

BACKGROUND

AMENDMENTS TO SCHEDULE 2 TO ERA TO PERMIT GENERATION AND DISTRIBUTION WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM NERSA

AMENDMENTS TO NEW GEN REGS IN RESPECT OF MUNICIPALITIES

PROCUREMENT OF POWER BY COMPANIES IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

PROCUREMENT OF 2 000MW OF GENERATION CAPACITY TO BE CONNECTED TO GRID IS SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE

ADDITIONAL PROCUREMENT PROGRAMMES FOR MORE THAN 10 000MW POWER

THE 2 500MW NUCLEAR NEW BUILD PROGRAMME

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PATRICK LEYDEN WINS 2020 CLIENT CHOICE AWARD FOR ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES

Patrick Leyden, a director in Herbert Smith Freehills’ Johannesburg office, is the winner of Lexology’s 2020 Client Choice Award for Energy & Natural Resources in South Africa.

Patrick, a corporate lawyer, practises across a number of industry sectors but specialises in mining and energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. His experience includes domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, corporate restructurings, equity capital markets, and black economic empowerment and indigenisation transactions.

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THE SOUTH AFRICAN CARBON TAX ACT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BUT DOES ANYONE HAVE THE STOMACH TO CHALLENGE IT?

Author: Dr MATTHEW BURNELL 

We were told that the carbon tax would come into effect from 1 June 2019. However, as the date drew nearer it seemed unlikely as the Carbon Tax Bill had not been signed by the President, the regulations needed to implement the Act were not finalised, the conflicts between the Bill and the proposed climate change legislation had not been resolved and, in fact, the greenhouse gas emission levels were well below predicted levels due to a sluggish economy. Despite these concerns the President signed the Bill and confirmed that the Act would come into effect as planned. Government lived up to their promise.

Since then, the practicalities of trying to implement, budget and cater for the tax are becoming a reality for many companies. On their behalf, business and industry associations are expressing opposition to the tax for the grounds set out above. National Treasury has remained resolute in its decision to implement the tax, indicating that the concerns mentioned will be resolved by the time the tax is payable.

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HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS ATTENDS AFRICA ENERGY FORUM IN LISBON

Author: Joanne Elson 

The 21st Africa Energy Forum (AEF) took place on the 11th to 14th June 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. The annual AEF is the largest Africa energy gathering of the year and easily draws over a 1000 delegates from all over the globe, including many government officials, public private sector representatives, developers, dealmakers, investors and business leaders, each with their focus on energy in Africa. This year renewable power together with new technologies in the battery storage and off-grid sectors were inescapable in their prominence. However, hydro, conventional power, LNG and oil & gas remain of key strategic importance in a number of jurisdictions.

Africa as an emerging market presents an opportunity to investors of all kinds and, in particular, development finance institutions with investment capital. These opportunities were discussed in great detail in highly focused sessions and break away meetings over the four day conference. Both public and private partnership investment opportunities were promoted in order to mobilise inward investment into the region. The delegates found the conference to be insightful and important given the ever prominent issue of power on the continent. Another key focus was on the ever increasing debt of governments either by way of direct guarantee liabilities or contingent liabilities with respect to their State utilities’ obligations.

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MINES AND ENERGY MERGER: TOO MUCH ON GWEDE MANTASHE’S PLATE? – LEYDEN

Author: Patrick Leyden

In a move that is likely to be welcomed by the mining industry, President Ramaphosa has appointed Gwede Mantashe as the Minister of Minerals and Energy (which now combines the Ministries of Mineral Resources and Energy).

During his short erstwhile tenure as Minister of Mineral Resources, Mantashe made significant progress in addressing several fundamental issues that have hampered investment into the South Africa mining industry over the last five years. His decisive action in addressing corruption and maladministration within his Department as well as taking steps to promote regulatory certainty were positively received by both domestic and international investors alike. As a result, South Africa gained twenty seven places under the Policy Perception Index and also made considerable gains under the overall Investment Attractiveness Index in the Fraser Institute’s most recent Mining Investment Survey.

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