Lionel Shawe

Partner, Johannesburg


“Lionel Shawe is unanimously regarded as a “top practitioner” in the market, with clients highlighting his “incredible ability to cut through issues right to the core of the problem and then very succinctly address it.”
Chambers Global, Banking & Finance 2021


Lionel has significant expertise in acquisition and leveraged financing, structured financing, mining financing, aircraft financing, property financing, preference share funding, securitisation, capital markets and debt restructuring. He has substantial experience and expertise in the complex area of derivatives (in particular credit derivatives).  He also has extensive experience in tax and exchange control issues and is consulted regularly by domestic and international financial institutions on complex transactions.

Lionel acts for a number of the most high-profile banks and financial institutions, which are active on the African continent.

His experience and skill is widely recognised by industry leaders and international legal directories.

Bars and Courts
High Court of South Africa
University of South Africa
University of Witwatersrand
Finance and Law
University of Witwatersrand


  • Representation of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Nedbank Limited as Mandated Lead Arrangers on a ZAR3,5bn Credit Facility for Imperial Holdings Limited and a ZAR7bn Credit Facility for MOTUS Group Limited.
  • Representation of Absa Bank Limited, Rand Merchant Bank, Investec Asset Management (Pty) Limited, a global financial services group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Term Lenders, in respect of the restructuring of various tiers of senior debt provided to the Edcon Group. 
  • Representation of FirstRand Bank Limited (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank division) (RMB) and Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited (MSBI) in respect of (i) a GBP600m loan facility and a ZAR3.5bn loan facility provided to Remgro Limited (the Remgro Facilities); (ii) a GBP400m loan facility provided to Mediclinic International Limited (the Mediclinic Facility), in connection with one of the largest ever mergers in South Africa in terms of which Mediclinic International Limited and Al Noor Hospital Group plc merged by way of a reverse takeover to create a major private healthcare company, listed on both the LSE and JSE. 
  • Representation of FirstRand Bank Limited (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank division) (RMB) and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking division) (SBSA and together with RMB as the Lenders) in connection with ZAR16.5bn Revolving and Term Facilities (the Facilities) provided to Brait Mauritius Limited (the Borrower) for purposes of inter alia, acquiring the majority interest in Virgin Active UK and clothing retailer, New Look. 
  • Representation of Rand Merchant Bank in financing the acquisition by Steinhoff of Pepkor. This was the largest ever acquisition deal in the South African market.
  • Representation of Life Healthcare Group Holdings on its GBP600m acquisition of Alliance Medical Group.
  • Representation of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited as Mandated Lead Arranger, Underwriter and Bookrunner in connection with the acquisition by Famous Brands Limited of GBK Restaurants Limited.
  • Representation of Merrill Lynch International and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited as joint bookrunners on a secondary accelerated bookbuild offering by Southern Palace Properties (RF) (Pty) Ltd of shares in Growthpoint Properties Ltd.
  • Representation of Foresight Solar Fund Limited in relation to an inward secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) using the JSE's fast track listing process, as well as a capital raise in South Africa and in the EU. 
  • Representation of The Standard Bank of South Africa, Investec Bank Limited and Goldman Sachs International (as joint global co-ordinators and joint book-runners) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (as joint book-runner), in relation to the Rule 144A IPO of Dis-Chem Pharmacies Limited on the JSE.
Awards and Recognition

Band 1 – Banking & Finance – South Africa, Chambers & Partners Global 2021

Band 2 – Capital Markets: Debt – South Africa, Chambers & Partners Global 2021

Band 3 – Tax and Restructuring/Insolvency – South Africa, Chambers & Partners Global 2021

Hall of Fame – Banking & Finance, The Legal 500, 2021

Leading Individual – Tax, The Legal 500, 2021

Highly Regarded – Banking and Capital Markets: Structured finance and securitisation, IFLR 1000 2021