Our attorneys assume nothing.

 

We listen. By listening we understand our clients’ businesses and strategies. If required, we research the commercial exigencies they face. We align this accumulated intelligence with the law. Only then do we undertake to offer legal advice and strategic direction in achieving their commercial objectives.

AWARDS AND ACCOLADES

BEST LAWYERS

Craig Assheton-Smith, Litigation 2011-2019

Craig Assheton-Smith, Lawyer of the Year, Litigation 2019

Andrew Ginsberg, Nominated for Labour and Employment Law 2019

OUR SUPPORT STAFF

The core team are supported by professional and administrative personnel who have been carefully selected for their attention to detail and their alignment to the core values of the practice.

 

 

GET IN TOUCH

FUTURE WARRIORS

FOUNDATION

The Future Warriors Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support, mentorship and inspiration for aspiring young South African lawyers in their quest to find financial freedom and add value to their communities through a career in law

 

 

CONTACT

  • CRAIG
    ASSHETON-SMITH
    Director

    Admitted as an attorney with this varied practice, Craig gained invaluable experience of the law practising as a professional legal assistant and was involved in commercial drafting, commercial litigation, restructures, insolvency enquiries and related litigation.

     

    For six years Craig was Legal Counsel in a commercial environment being appointed as a member of the senior management team which first introduced the concept of managed health care in South Africa, which position required him to draft legal contracts and scheme rules, advise on legislative requirements and issues and be involved in submissions relating to the proposed Medical Scheme’s Act.  The scheme rules were based on historic claim profiles and the legal wording had to be articulated to avoid disputes and reduce queries.

     

    Thereafter Craig was appointed as Company Secretary/Legal Advisor for an offshore diamond mining group whose holding company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the Namibian Stock Exchange where his responsibilities were extensive and included:

     

    • being involved in negotiating facilities with the banks (totalling 75 million USD);
    • managing and preparing the engineering, shipping, employment, mining, diamond sale and commercial agreements;
    • attending to manage the takeover of ODM (a marine diamond mining company listed on the JSE);
    • managing the company secretarial matters in a complex multi- jurisdictional group structure of some forty companies;
    • attending to prepare and file returns required by the various exchanges and ensuring regulatory compliance.

    When an operational accident occurred, and the company lost its mining capacity and was left without cash flow, Craig formulated the strategy for a structured liquidation and restructure of the group.  A core team of senior management remained in the business to carry out the restructure and Craig led and managed the team and the processes and negotiations required to carry out the restructure.

    The restructure took eight months to implement and was extremely complex with a number of stakeholders having differing requirements.  Stakeholders included a consortium of banks, creditors, debenture holders and a new foreign shareholder.  The restructure was successfully implemented, which resulted in the group coming out of liquidation and 29 million USD of funding procured in order to resume operations.

     

    Armed with immense practical legal experience gained during the preceding years, Craig returned to private practise for his own account in 2002.

     

    Craig has been rated on Legal 500 and in Chambers as one of the top South African lawyers in dispute resolution and listed in Best Lawyers 2012-2017, being awarded Best Lawyer – Litigation in 2018.

     

    Craig has also been an Acting Judge of the High Court, and three of his judgments during his term were reported on “Saflii”.

     

  • ANDREW GINSBERGDirector

    After completing a postgraduate LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Andrew relocated to Cape Town to join at a leading corporate practice in the litigation and dispute resolution department. Andrew was active in student politics whilst at Wits having been elected onto the Law Students Council and sitting as a student representative on the University’s disciplinary board.

     

    Andrew was appointed, after completing his articles, as a professional assistant before joining Craig as a senior associate at Assheton-Smith Incorporated in 2012. Andrew became a Director of the firm in 2014 and has recently been made a named partner.

     

    With a varied practice which is both a testament to his versatility as a practitioner and his interest in all aspects of the law and legal practice, Andrew has litigated in almost all of the local and provincial divisions of the High Court, has had several matters before the SCA, Labour Appeal Court and Competition Appeal Court.  Andrew has run matters relating to commercial property, insurance, insolvency, complicated commercial and contractual disputes, delictual claims, commercial arbitrations, PAJA reviews, construction arbitrations and labour related mediations and arbitrations.

     

    Andrew has also been involved in a number of large commercial transactions and is as comfortable in the boardroom as he is in the Courtroom.

    Some of Andrew’s career highlights include:

    • his involvement in a matter which yielded one of the authoritative judgments on the difference between insubordination and insolence in the workplace (Palluci Home Depot (Pty) Ltd v Herskowitz and Others (2015) 36 ILJ 1511 (LAC));
    • his involvement in the first judgment in which Calderbank offers were considered in South African jurisprudence (D and Another v MEC for Health and Social Development, Western Cape Provincial Government 2017(5) SA 134 (WCC));
    • his involvement in a matter the judgment of which is widely quoted as authority for what is required to be included in a deed of sale in order for same to comply with the Alienation of Land Act (Osborne and Another v West Dunes Properties 167 (Edms) Bpk and Others 2013 (6) SA 105 (WCC));
    • the restructure of a large software services company valued in excess of R100 million which included the creation of off-shore holding structures;
    • complex arbitration against a Provincial Government Department for the recovery of in excess of R100 million rands worth of arrear service fees; and
    • his involvement in an ongoing matter currently before the Western Cape High Court dealing with the interpretation of the reinstatement value conditions clause of an indemnity insurance policy.

     

    Andrew’s methodical approach to any complicated legal question make him an invaluable asset to his clients.

     

  • Anne VenterSenior Associate

    Well versed in the practices and processes of the Courts and meticulous in her case management, Anne attends to the drafting of court documents and preparation for trials including the extensive discovery processes.

     

    Anne’s areas of experience include:

     

    • being a key member of a team in substantial and complex commercial matters in the South Gauteng High Court, Pretoria High Court and Western Cape High Court ;
    • extensive experience in insolvency matters and has been involved in numerous liquidation and sequestration applications, in the preparation and opposition thereof;
    • successfully preparing and launching applications in the Western Cape High Court for a commission of enquiry to be convened in terms of section 417 of the Companies Act No. 61 of 9173;
    • enquiries held in terms of section 415 of the Companies Act No. 61 of 1973 and in this regard assisting senior attorneys in preparing for the interrogation of witnesses called to attend such enquiries;
    • Assisting creditors and liquidators in various post-sequestration and post-liquidation proceedings in the collection of debts, subpoenaing of witnesses and preparing and proving claims at meetings of creditors;
    • successfully preparing and launching applications for the rehabilitation of insolvents;
    • litigating in the CCMA and the Labour Court as well as various District and Regional Magistrate’s Courts;
    • drafting and notarising antenuptial contracts as a qualified and admitted Notary Public.
  • Adam OkenAssociate

    Adam qualified with a B.Com Finance (Honours) from the University of Johannesburg and postgraduate LLB from Wits University and was duly admitted to practice in the Gauteng and Cape Divisions of the High Court. Adam has primarily been engaged in commercial litigation practice where his experience has been centred around dispute resolution pertaining to representing corporate entities and individual clients in a range of litigation proceedings, predominantly in relation to contractual disputes and administrative law processes.

     

    Adam’s practice areas extend to:

    • commercial and civil litigation;
    • commercial arbitrations;
    • commercial drafting and drafting of pleadings, motion court applications in both the High Court and Magistrates’ Court;
    • land-use planning and property related disputes;
    • enforcement and defence of restraints of trade;
    • labour law; and
    • reviews of administrative action.

     

  • Alwyn ScholtzConsultant

    Alwyn, a B.Com LLB graduate of the University of Pretoria, focuses on commercial law, and as such he has advised on, and attended to, the structuring, negotiating and implementing of mergers and acquisitions, including sale of shares and sale of businesses, black economic empowerment transactions with related financing, joint ventures, company formations, listings, de-listings and restructures, share incentive schemes, capital markets, general financing and security and the structuring of shareholder affairs. He also has extensive experience in funding and related security structures and in the structuring of mining and exploration ventures, in South Africa and a number of African countries.

     

    After completing his articles at McRoberts Inc. Alwyn commenced his professional career at Goldman Judin & Werner in Sandton, focusing on property law and general commercial law.  He then joined Glyn Marais Inc., a niche commercial law firm with offices in Sandton and Cape Town and was managing partner from 2004 until 2008.  In 2010 Alwyn returned to practice for his own account and is one of the co-founding directors and shareholders in Probity Advisory Pty Ltd which focuses on general commercial, tax and corporate finance services.

     

    Alwyn has held and continues to hold various executive and non-executive board appointments at listed companies.

     

    Alwyn’s experience includes:

    • Advising on the formation of a private equity fund;
    • Advising a group on various matters including funding lines and listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the take-over of a number of the banking and funding operations in another group;
    • Advising a bidding party on a possible take-over of JSE listed mining group;
    • Advising on international expansion of a major SA private clinic and hospital group;
    • Advising on the management buy-out of SA mining technologies company and subsequent international bid for the company;
    • Advising on a merger, transaction value approximately R 1,7 billion, the buy-out of an interest in a subsidiary which included a successful counter-offer bid against a third-party offeror and the successful opposition of an attempt by another shareholder to stop the transaction, and preparing and overseeing a rights issue of approximately R96 million;
    • Preparing various agreements for the restructure of various clients, including the filing of applications with the Take Over Panel;
    • Advising a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on a billion rand acquisition of a majority interest in the owner of a platinum mine, conducting due diligence on the structure of the holding entities, financing structures and mining licenses;
    • Advising on various regulatory related issues related to the implementation of trustee services in support of a Collective Investments Scheme and the related FAIS implications; and

     

    Acting for consortiums of SA Banks successfully advising on the refinancing and restructuring of the debt in large SA companies involving billions of rand, conducting legal due diligence, and negotiating and drafting the consortium and facility agreements.