CMS South Africa appoints international heavyweight financial markets lawyer

By CMS South Africa

Published Date: 2020/05


Johannesburg 6 May 2020: CMS South Africa is welcoming international heavyweight financial markets lawyer Pieter van Welzen to its Banking and Regulatory practice as Senior Consultant: Financial Markets (Africa), effective 1 May 2020.

Currently based in Amsterdam, Van Welzen is registered as a Dutch advocaat as well as an English and Welsh solicitor with more than 30 years of experience. The dual professional registration is a plus for working in Africa, where many legal systems are based on these two international legal systems.

“I am excited to become part of CMS South Africa’s banking and finance team and to build on our shared experiences to develop innovative solutions for clients active in the African financial markets. By joining CMS South Africa and moving to Johannesburg, I hope to support the role of CMS South Africa as a springboard for businesses looking to move into Africa and to contribute to the long-term commitment of CMS in Africa. This commitment is evident from CMS’s teams based in Casablanca, Johannesburg,
Nairobi, Algiers, Luanda and Mombasa, and the company’s enormous wealth of local and regional expertise and knowledge,” Van Welzen says.

Financing transactions, in particular export credit, structured and asset-backed finance, debt capital markets transactions, as well as derivatives and financial markets regulation, are Van Welzen’s focus. His clients include financial institutions, institutional and private equity investors, corporates and public authorities.

Having worked on numerous matters involving Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on Portuguese-speaking African countries, Van Welzen will be based in Johannesburg as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. He plans to continue to spend a considerable amount of time in other countries in the region, advising important stakeholders such as governmental agencies.

Transactions that combine or replace more traditional forms of financing with asset-based or asset-backed solutions are Van Welzen’s, first love. These transactions use assets such as residential and commercial mortgage loans, agricultural loans, car loans and leases, aircraft, rolling stock, trade receivables, inventory, commodities, residential and commercial real estate as well as equipment and machinery to underpin financing.

Says Keith Mukami, director at CMS South Africa: “The intricacies of these solutions mean that Van Welzen also advises on the ever-changing financial regulatory landscape and the impact on his clients’ operations. Armed with his specialised knowledge of common law and civil law, he is able to bring to bear creative and sound multi-disciplinary legal solutions to the bespoke transactions he works on.”

Van Welzen has been recognised by leading legal publications, including being listed by Chambers & Partners as one of the leading lawyers globally, and by Legal 500 for his technical skill, client service and contribution to the legal industry.

A regular at the podium of seminars and conferences, Van Welzen is also a guest lecturer at universities in The Netherlands, Angola and São Tomé e Príncipe. He is also the honorary consul of São Tomé e Príncipe in The Netherlands and a founder and co-owner of CACAU - Casa das Artes Criação Ambiente e Utopias, an education and cultural centre in São Tomé e Príncipe.

About CMS
Founded in 1999, CMS is an integrated, multi-jurisdictional organisation of law firms that offers full-service legal and tax advice. With more than 70 offices in over 40 countries across the world and more than

4,800 lawyers, CMS has long-standing expertise both in advising in its local jurisdictions and across borders. From major multinationals and mid-caps to enterprising start-ups, CMS provides the technical rigour, strategic excellence and long-term partnership to keep each client ahead in its chosen markets. The CMS member firms provide a wide range of expertise across 19 practice areas and sectors, including Corporate/M&A, Energy & Climate Change, Funds, Life Sciences & Healthcare, TMC, Tax, Banking & Finance, Commercial, Competition & EU, Dispute Resolution, Employment & Pensions, Intellectual Property and Real Estate & Construction.