|Position:||Partner, Head of the Public Law Practice Group|
|Telephone:||+27 21 431 7260|
|Fax:||+27 21 431 8260|
|Department:||Public Law, Information Law|
Michael is a partner and heads up the Public Law Department at Webber Wentzel.
Michael specialises in the fields of regulatory, local government and general administrative law, and also practices constitutional, procurement and public-private partnership law. Although focusing most extensively on the local sphere of government, Michael has also undertaken a substantial amount of legal work in the national and provincial spheres, including advising all three spheres of government from 1994 to 2001 during the three phases of local government transition, drafting legislation and agreements to give effect to the transition and advising national government for a number of years on issues relating to the restructuring of the electricity distribution industry.
Over a number of years, he assisted in the various phases of the Western Cape tourism industry transition, culminating in the establishment of Cape Town Routes Unlimited and Cape Town Tourism, including preparing the legislation and other founding documents for the establishment of these organisations.
Over the past decade Michael has also advised on a wide range of legal issues regarding the valuation and rating of properties, including preparing national legislation, acting in litigation disputes and presenting numerous workshops. He successfully represented the City of Cape Town in the biggest valuation dispute in Cape Town's history (concerning the value of the V&A Waterfront). He has drafted over 200 opinions on a wide range of local government, administrative, constitutional and fishing law issues.
Michael has been involved in legal work relating to major infrastructural projects undertaken by local government, including the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Cape Town and the Century City road network, the Skuifraam Dam and the Claremont Boulevard and Transport Interchange. Since 2002 he has been extensively involved in legal work relating to the transition of the public transport sector, advising all 3 spheres of government, drafting and negotiating agreements and furnishing numerous legal opinions, particularly with regard to the National Land Transport Act, 2009. He has also undertaken and overseen an extensive legal due diligence on the legal and taxation regimes in six Southern African countries prior to the launch of a closed-end fund in the USA.
He has appeared on behalf of clients before the Finance, Justice, Constitutional, Environment, Health and Provincial and Local Government portfolio committees, and including lobbying regarding legislative change. Michael has also represented clients in many public law litigation matters, including the leading Constitutional Court case of Bato Star Fishing v Minister of Environmental Affairs and others, and has successfully represented a number of clients before the Advertising Standards Authority.
He has also facilitated and participated in the establishment of a number of Non-Profit Companies (NPC's) and other non-profit organisations, and has continued to advise these and other similar organisations. A few examples include: Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Partnership, Cape Town Central City Improvement District, Western Province Cricket Association and The Elma Philanthropy Services (Africa).
Michael joined the Mallinicks' public interest and human rights law department in 1987, after a brief teaching career in industrial sociology at the University of Cape Town and working for two research organisations. After South Africa's political transition in the early 1990's, the department transformed itself into a current public law department, which Michael headed from 1994. After the Webber Wentzel and Mallinicks merger in 2008, this department became the leading public law department in the country.