Practice areas

We offer a comprehensive range of corporate and commercial legal services across a number of different practice areas (or departments).

Our candidate attorneys are given the opportunity to rotate through various practice areas during their Articles of Clerkship.  We firmly believe that candidate attorneys will achieve the best level of experience and learning through exposure to different practice areas.  It is our intention to provide candidate attorneys with an opportunity to explore where their niche lies and gain wide ranging practical experience that will stand them in good stead wherever they may ultimately practice.

Here is an overview of our practice. For more information, please see our main site practice page as well as an overview of our sector expertise.

Competition

Competition

Are you competitive by nature? 

Competition law relates to economic competition between firms in market places. Our Competition team has extensive experience in advising clients with regard to merger clearance requirements, and has been involved in many landmark cases dealing with restrictive practices (that is, complaints regarding anti-competitive conduct) in a various industries/sectors. The team is also at the forefront of advising on new developments in competition law around class-actions brought by victims of anti-competitive conduct.  This practice area offers candidate attorneys the opportunity to work on high-profile matters in all forums: the Competition Commission, the Competition Tribunal, the Competition Appeal Court, and, on occasion, the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. This dynamic area of the law offers our professionals the opportunity to work with lawyers across practice areas and industries. A candidate attorney rotating to this practice area will also gain valuable experience in the regulatory environment and may focus, amongst other things, on the Consumer Protection Act. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands as well as prominent multination firms. The practice as a whole and many of our competition practitioners are recognised as leaders in the field and are highly commended for their work by peers, clients and independent ratings agents.

Corporate and Commercial

Corporate and Commercial

Interested in commercial law? 

We have one of the largest Corporate and Commercial practices in South Africa. For the fourth year in a row, our team has advised on more M&A (merger and acquisition) deals than any other law firm in the country and regularly takes top honours when it comes to national and international awards.  In addition to dealing with mergers and acquisitions and drafting various commercial agreements, our team advises on a range of commercial issues, such as corporate governance, the Companies Act, Black Economic Empowerment and listings on the JSE. Our candidate attorneys gain invaluable practical and drafting experience when rotating to Corporate and Commercial. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands as well as prominent multinational firms.

Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution

A litigator at heart?

Our Dispute Resolution team is one of the country's largest and most successful teams. A candidate attorney can expect to work on high-profile disputes with top attorneys and counsel. In addition to litigation in South African courts at all levels, the team has experience in resolving conflict through the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation. Our candidate attorneys can expect to be involved in High Court litigation for the most part. This includes, for example, consulting with clients, drafting court notices and pleadings, conducting legal research and attending court proceedings. A rotation in this practice area also assists our candidate attorneys with their preparation for the attorneys admission examinations (or board exams). Our team specialises in dispute resolution and opinion work in the following general areas/fields: aviation, banking litigation, class and group actions, commercial litigation, construction and engineering, education, forensics (in the context of commercial fraud), insolvency, business rescue, restructuring, insurance, international arbitration and litigation, media dispute resolution, mining health and safety, product liability and professional negligence. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands.

Employment

Employment

Want to specialise in employment law?

Our Employment team has extensive experience when it comes to labour law advice and disputes.  Employment law is constantly evolving and we've seen significant changes to employment legislation over the last few years. This offers a challenging but rewarding rotation to our candidate attorneys. The interplay between business, labour and government ensures that employment law is a uniquely placed environment for any legal professional in which to develop certain key skills. The scope of work is diverse and ranges from employment dispute resolution (for example, formal litigation including urgent applications dealing with strikes) to consulting on non-litigious employment law matters; training for clients on, legislative amendments and case law; drafting of agreements and policies as well as alternative dispute resolution and collective bargaining, to name a few. The team is driven to provide solution-based advice and support to its clients, who include many of South African's most well-known companies and brands. Our candidate attorneys can expect to work with some of the top lawyers in this field when rotating to the employment practice.

Environmental

Environmental

Care about the environment?

Our Environmental law team is recognised as a market leaders in this highly specialised field. The team advises on environmental compliance, health and safety, land use and heritage law, amongst other things.  The team works in various industries and advises clients in all three spheres of government. A candidate attorney can expect to be exposed to a wide range of legal skills as a result of the diverse nature of the work. Due diligence investigations, environmental litigation, legislative drafting, training and contract drafting all form part-and-parcel of this practice area. Our candidate attorneys can expect to deal with a range of legal issues and to gain specialist knowledge when rotating to this practice area. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands.

Finance and Banking

Finance and Banking

Fascinated by the financial and banking environment?

Our Finance and Banking team has experience and expertise in all areas of finance law, project finance, commodity trading finance, general banking and financial services including acquisition finance and debt capital markets. The team also has vast experience in dealing with and advising on PPPs (Public Private Partnerships). A candidate attorney will find this practice area both challenging and rewarding – having the opportunity to work with attorneys who have be named as leading Banking and Finance lawyers. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands.

Pro Bono and Human Rights

Pro Bono and Human Rights

Are you driven by a passion for justice?

We are committed to pro bono work and corporate social responsibility. All professionals in the firm, including our candidate attorneys, are called on to contribute to our corporate responsibility commitments. Our Pro Bono and Human Rights practice is a key aspect of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's drive to fulfil its duties as a corporate citizen.  A candidate attorney can expect to be involved in various meritorious matters of public importance, working closely with NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and NPOs (non-profit organisations) as well as with various other community-based organisations. Our team is small but the work they do is vitally important and makes a significant contribution not only to the firm but also the broader community. This practice area ensures that young lawyers and candidate attorneys gain invaluable experience and perspective through exposure to a wide range of pro bono and human rights matters.

Projects and Infrastructure

Projects and Infrastructure

Want to know more about this dynamic area?

We have identified projects and infrastructure (this includes, for example, renewable energy, roads, ports, schools etc) as a key growth area. Our Projects and Infrastructure team has vast experience in all aspects relating to this area. Global investors have targeted Africa as the new investment frontier and this has expanded the need for infrastructure projects right across the continent. The Projects and Infrastructure practice area houses market leading lawyers in Public Private Partnerships and Energy and is well known for its specialised regulatory advice on public sector procurement and public finance management. A candidate attorney who rotates to this practice area can expect to work in an environment which combines legal expertise with strategic, commercially-minded advice together with exceptional lawyers. 

Real Estate

Real Estate

Interested in real estate?

The Real Estate practice area houses legal professionals with a depth and breadth of skills which ranks it as one of the best Real Estate practices in the country. The team handles general notarial and conveyancing work whilst the core focus is commercial real estate transactions. Our team advises in a wide range of industries in both the private and public sector. Our clients include corporate and residential property owners, managers and occupiers, and developers of commercial, retail, industrial and residential properties. Candidate attorney who rotates to this practice area can expect to be exposed to a variety of real estate related matters and to be given the opportunity to understand the often intricate and complex procedures and practices in this field of law. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands.

Tax and Exchange Control

Tax and Exchange Control

Is tax your number one choice?

Tax law is constantly changing and, as such, a candidate attorney rotating to this practice area will need to keep abreast of the latest legal developments. The wide range of services offered by this practice area includes, for example: tax advice, international tax advice, independent tax reviews, due diligence investigations, tax dispute resolution, exchange control, tax training and tax management. The focus on providing clear and practical business solutions to complex tax issues will enable candidate attorneys to develop not only an understanding of this area of the law but also vital skills when rotating to this practice area. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands.

Technology and Sourcing

Technology and Sourcing

Our Technology and sourcing practice is the oldest dedicated TMT practice in South Africa, having been established almost 20 years ago.  It also houses the largest Information and Communication Technology and Outsourcing practice in South Africa. Technology is constantly evolving making it challenging but exciting to practise in this field.  National and international developments in the area of data protection and privacy laws require professionals in this field to stay abreast of developments in order to ensure sound advice to clients. The wealth of industry know-how possessed by the lawyers in this practice area translates into sound training and great exposure for a candidate attorney that rotates to this practice area. Our client base includes many of South Africa's most well-known companies and brands.

Trusts and Estates

Trusts and Estates

We are one of only a few leading law firms in South Africa offering a dedicated trusts and estates administration service to our clients. Our experienced Trust and Estates practice lawyers concentrate exclusively on matters relating to trusts and the administration of estates. The team has more than 75 years of collective experience and our services include, for example: providing estate planning advice, assisting with the formation and registration, governance and administration of trusts, drafting and updating wills, as well as estate administration and assisting with dispute resolution in regard to contentious trusts (for example, where there is a contested will). A candidate attorney who rotates to this practice will receive extensive training and a firm grounding in drafting, providing clear and precise legal advice and all aspects of estate administration.