Webber Wentzel strengthens its restructuring and insolvency team

Webber Wentzel recently reinforced its highly-respected Restructuring & Insolvency (R&I) offering with the appointment of two market-leading experts, Julian Jones and Khurshid Fazel.

Julian, a business rescue & insolvency specialist, joins the team from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH), while Khurshid, a banking and finance lawyer with deep expertise in restructuring, previously worked for the global firm of Allen & Overy. Jones and Fazel join one of the largest multi-disciplinary R&I teams of its kind in Africa, which provides advice on all aspects of restructurings and insolvencies.

At CDH, Julian headed Business Rescue, Restructuring & Insolvency. He is known for his "experienced and hands-on" approach in advising boards of directors on their available options during business rescue and acting for creditors, liquidators, business rescue practitioners and major financial institutions. He has considerable knowledge of liquidation and insolvency proceedings and their implications for contractual agreements and debt recovery. Julian joins a number of Webber Wentzel’s high-profile business rescue and insolvency experts, including Lara Kahn and Martin Yudaken.

Khurshid's expertise is recognised by Chambers Global, IFLR1000, Legal 500 and Who’s Who: Capital Markets. She acts for both funders and corporates in relation to debt reorganisations. She also acts for both lenders and borrowers in distressed debt negotiations, helping them navigate the complex factors that funders take into account in relation to defaulting borrowers.

One of the Webber Wentzel R&I team’s recent achievements was advising on the unprecedented and multi-jurisdictional African Bank restructure. It was one of the most complex matters in Africa to date, as it involved more than 100 experts from numerous disciplines across the firm.

"Our ability to lead on a transaction of this scale and complexity validates the strength and depth of our R&I offering,” says Lara Kahn. “These transactions require advice on other key areas such as tax, litigation and employment law as well as regulatory expertise, in which Webber Wentzel excels. Julian and Khurshid are fantastic additions to our R&I team and will add to our exceptional client offering."

Webber Wentzel advised investment management firm Arise on the Banker Magazine's “Deal of the Year 2019 for Restructuring in Africa”, where Arise acquired a minority stake in Moza Banco, which was subsequently merged with BTM. Webber Wentzel was also named African Law Firm of the Year at the 2019 African Legal Awards (ALA) and Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year (with Linklaters) at the 2018 ALA. The firm is widely recognised by international legal research directory, Chambers Global.

"Our dedicated restructuring and insolvency team has helped clients for many years navigate challenging times,” says Webber Wentzel senior partner Christo Els.

“In our experience, early interventions are critical to keep a business going and, right now, we all have a vested interest in the long-term health of South African businesses.  We welcome Julian and Khurshid, who bring further bench strength to our deep capability at a time when many businesses are facing the economic threat of Covid-19, and an increasing number are calling on our assistance. Even some of South Africa’s most established companies may face liquidity problems and difficulties dealing with their liabilities - whether in making required payments on borrowed money, raising additional debt to address liquidity needs or selling assets to raise capital or pay down debt.

“Our aim is to guide our clients through the pre-emptive and preventative steps that can be taken to ensure the sustainability of their businesses and position themselves to weather these difficult times," says Christo.  

"They are massively client-centric and hugely responsive around dynamic and challenging situations." (Quote from a client, extracted from the 2020 Chambers Global rankings)
"High-profile corporate firm with a robust restructuring team" (Quote from a client, extracted from the 2020 Chambers Global rankings)
For more information about the offering and team, click here. ​