Johannesburg, South Africa | Cathay Associates

The Johannesburg, South Africa member of the
Cathay Associates network:
Tabacks Attorneys



Established: 2000

Staff: 47

"Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical."

—Howard Schultz, Starbucks

Cathay Associates in South Africa, Tabacks, is recognised as a premier law firm in South Africa, offering expert legal assistance and practical commercial advice to a broad spectrum of clients, and is consistently recommended by both clients and other lawyers as a firm of choice. Based in Johannesburg, its legal expertise, simultaneous domestic and international mindset allows us to exceed client expectations in vast number of sectors and industries.


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pro bono

Winner of “Highest number of Pro Bono hours by a law firm with 10 - 50 professionals during 2013” at the Annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony 2014

Recognition in Who’s Who Legal



Recognition in Chambers Global Ranking of Lawyers



Tabacks resolved complex legal problems in a range of areas:

  • Corporate and Commercial - acquisition of various offshore assets including in Turkey, Romania, Kenya and Russia


  • Employment and Labour - Litigation on deemed employment provision under Section 198A of the LRA


  • Litigation Private arbitration regarding the proper VAT accounting procedures and consequences in joint venture arrangements


Tabacks also provided full-scale legal services to numerous banks and investment firms:

  • Sasol
  • Metair
  • Anglo American (Coal and Platinum Divisions)
  • De Beers Consolidated Mines
  • Glencore Operations S.A. (Alloys and Coal Divisions)
  • Kumba Iron Ore
  • BHP Billiton




James Cross

Catharine Keene


Elize Serfontein van Biljon





Cathay Associates in South Africa, Tabacks, is a leading law firm not only in its jurisdiction but also with international practices on the continent as a whole. Our reputation is built on the the depth and reach of our expertise, which is made possible by a top-notch team of leading domestic and international lawyers, as well as a service excellence and client-responsiveness that has made us one of the South Africa’s go-to firms in number of vital areas.


Our Johannesburg-based firm has a strong track record with clients from a wide range sectors, including the building and construction industry, manufacturing sector, the energy (oil, gas and renewable technologies) and mining sectors, as well as retail operations covering food and clothing, pharmaceutical products and franchise operations, property and the banking sector.










In addition to our key practices and key industries, our local specialties include:


Competition Law

We have been involved in a number of high profile cases, and dealt with those successfully due to our talented and strategically-minded competition law team, which brings a thorough knowledge of both South African and international competition law. Our service expertise includes: merger advice & notifications, anti-competitive merger intervention, complaints on prohibited practices (horizontal & vertical agreements and abuse of dominance), corporate leniency, exemption applications, competition law compliance training, and assistance with dawn raids.


Environmental, Health and Safety Law

We offer clients extensive proficiency in simplifying client and business requirements, refining solutions where they can be the most complex, in a wide range of services, including: renewable energy solutions, climate change initiatives and carbon trading markets, electricity and independent power producers, oil and gas law (both in South Africa and Africa generally), land use planning and zoning, water law, mine health and safety inquiries and SHE compliance/performance audits, and sustainability strategies.


Mining Law

The changing nature of mining regulation from a common-law base to a largely legislated system subject to both constitutional and administrative law principles has brought with it new challenges for businesses operating in the mining sector.


We specialise in offering advice on: key legislations (MPRDA, BEE); new applications for rights, permits and permissions; conversion of rights and permits under the MPRDA transfers of mining and prospecting rights, as well as all relevant mining and prospecting agreements, share and business sales of mining-related operations, and due diligence investigations.2






13 Eton Road

+27 11 358 7700


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