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Pan-African Financial Markets

Our local pan-African team operating in South Africa

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South Africa, with a population of around 59 million, has one of the largest economies on the African continent, accounting for approximately 16% of the continent’s GDP. It is counted among the world’s industrialised nations. It is endowed with an advanced financial market infrastructure, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) being Africa’s largest and most developed, and one of the world’s top 20 exchanges, and functions as the region's financial centre. South Africa is also the location of choice for international corporations, international banks, development institutions, institutional investors and funds looking at trade, investment and finance opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, and provides a supportive and growing ecosystem as the continent's hub for innovation, technology and fintech.

CMS South Africa is a young law firm with a long history. It was established in 2018 by experienced and diverse international lawyers working with global firms to establish a new kind of commercial legal business focusing on Southern Africa. Our objectives are to provide the highest quality legal services in our areas of expertise, develop local talent and support economic transformation. We currently have around 40 lawyers and have established relationships with law firms in the region that share similar objectives.

Our African financial markets team consists of 10 lawyers and is led by Riza Moosa. We work on matters involving South Africa and, together with our partner firms, in other Sub-Saharan countries. Many transactions on which we advise are multi-jurisdictional and we offer a one-stop service by managing the transaction and coordinating legal advice. Our team members have common and civil law backgrounds and are fluent in English, French Swahili and Portuguese. 

Our team is known for its versatility, creativity and agility and can assist on a wide range of finance or finance related matters such as:

  • acquisition and leverages finance
  • asset finance
  • capital markets
  • commodity and trade finance
  • debt restructuring, business rescue and insolvency
  • derivatives
  • export finance
  • financial markets, regulation and compliance  
  • mining and resource finance
  • project finance
  • structured finance
  • syndicated lending 

Our clients

Our clients include banks, institutional and financial investors, corporates, DFIs, law firms, guarantee funds, credit insurers, national and international development bodies and institutions and governments and public authorities. 

Our coverage

We can assist with transactions involving all Sub-Saharan countries. Our recent experience includes advising on transactions involving Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Our local and global clients

Our firm also has strong teams in the following practice areas: commercial contracts, corporate, dispute resolution, funds, market regulation and compliance, tax, technology and white-collar crime. 

Being part of the global CMS network, we are supported by over 70 offices globally and have offices in Algeria, Angola, Kenya and Morocco. We have moreover established a network of firms in other African countries.

It is one of the shining firms that understands banking and finance law from a structuring, distressed scenario and insolvency law perspective

Legal 500 | Banking & Finance | South Africa 2020

Moreover, the immensely experienced Pieter van Welzen has joined as a senior consultant from Clifford Chance to provide further weight to the team, including in Africa-wide transactions.

Legal 500 | Banking & Finance | South Africa 2021

The firm has real credibility in the market thanks to the presence of highly rated founding partner Riza Moosa, a recognised leader in preference share transactions, acquisition finance and debt restructurings.

Legal 500 | Banking & Finance | South Africa 2021

The up-and-coming Bridgett Majola recently joined the firm as a director from Baker McKenzie Johannesburg, adding further senior level credibility, particularly in project finance.

Legal 500 | Banking & Finance | South Africa 2021

I would say that compared to other firms in the market they are more entrepreneurial and business focused

Legal 500 | Banking & Finance | South Africa 2021


Portrait of Riza Moosa
Riza Moosa
Senior Partner
Portrait of Bridgett Majola
Bridgett Majola
Portrait of Pieter van Welzen
Pieter van Welzen
Senior Consultant
Portrait of Gavin Noeth
Gavin Noeth
Senior Consultant
Portrait of Karabo Kanapi
Karabo Kanapi
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De­vel­op­ing mar­kets
CMS Monaco ad­vised the share­hold­ers of the com­pan­ies with­in the MONACO LUX­URY Group on all the leg­al as­pects of the trans­ac­tion to sell 100% of their cap­it­al to the BPM Group.The MONACO LUX­URY Group, ini­tially the ex­clus­ive dis­trib­ut­or of Mer­cedes-Benz in the Prin­cip­al­ity of Monaco, has gradu­ally de­veloped its port­fo­lio of lux­ury brands, in­teg­rat­ing Bent­ley and Rolls-Royce in 2000, then Smart, McLar­en, Fer­rari, As­ton Mar­tin and Pin­in­far­ina more re­cently. Today, it is a lead­ing play­er in the Mone­g­asque mar­ket, with nearly 2,000 vehicles sold per year and a turnover of EUR 200m.BPM GROUP's ac­quis­i­tion of ex­clus­ive con­trol of the MONACO LUX­URY Group was ap­proved by the French Com­pet­i­tion Au­thor­ity on 11 March 2021.The deal was quite un­com­mon for the Mone­g­asque mar­ket for a num­ber of reas­ons: M&A trans­ac­tions of this size are rare in the Prin­cip­al­ity. Both the buy­er (French) and the seller (Mone­g­asque) are big play­ers in the car sales mar­ket in France and as a res­ult, the French Com­pet­i­tion Au­thor­ity had to au­thor­ise the trans­ac­tion (as the ap­plic­able thresholds were ex­ceeded).The CMS Monaco team was led by Stephan Pas­tor with the sup­port of Cor­alie Trud­on. Ac­cord­ing to Stephan Pas­tor, “MONACO LUX­URY Group is a ma­jor eco­nom­ic play­er, like few oth­ers in our loc­al mar­ket, and this trans­ac­tion con­firms Mon­aco's at­tract­ive­ness to ma­jor groups and for­eign in­vestors.”
Cau­tion­ary tales of con­tra­ven­ing the Fin­an­cial Mar­kets Act
The reg­u­lat­or pun­ished Vice­roy severely but found ex­ten­u­at­ing factors at Stein­hoff and Tongaat  In Septem­ber the Fin­an­cial Sec­tor Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FSCA) is­sued an en­force­ment ac­tion or­der against...


Cau­tion­ary tales of con­tra­ven­ing the Fin­an­cial Mar­kets Act
The reg­u­lat­or pun­ished Vice­roy severely but found ex­ten­u­at­ing factors at Stein­hoff and Tongaat  In Septem­ber the Fin­an­cial Sec­tor Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FSCA) is­sued an en­force­ment ac­tion or­der against...