Metja Ledwaba

I have since 2001 been involved in major infrastructure projects advising project initiators, largely government institutions on, rail and general infrastructure Projects. Major Projects include the Gautrain Rapid Rail Project, Independent Power Producer Projects (IPPs) in the energy sector and office accommodation projects.

I have prior to 2001 to date also been involved in corporate restructuring projects, major acquisitions, commercial and construction dispute resolutions and litigation.

As part of advising on major infrastructure and other government procurement project, I have also developed a sound practice and templates for advise on BBBEE and Local Content requirement and achievements in government procurement

I also provide advice and assistance to clients on implementation of major infrastructure projects.

Firm Overview:

Based in Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Ledwaba Mazwai is a motivated and hardworking team of lawyers, administrative and support staff. We are committed to providing services of consistent high professional standards without compromising on the quality of our work and commitment to our clients. Ledwaba Mazwai was established in 1996 in pursuit of the ideal to build a successful black commercial law firm. Today, our firm has become a symbol of pride, excellence and the capabilities of black legal practitioners as a collective.

In the early nineties, as a result of the marginalisation and discriminatory practices that are part of our history, black lawyers in South Africa were confined to the areas of matrimonial law, criminal law and personal injury matters. Despite these challenges, two young law students shared an aspiration of creating a black-owned and operated commercial law firm – a pioneering firm that would provide an uncompromised standard of commercial legal services to compete with the established white law firms of the time.

Two young visionaries, Metja Ledwaba and Lungile Mazwai, were determined to establish what would become a dynamic law firm, in order to showcase the capabilities and excellence of black legal practitioners in areas of legal practice they were historically excluded from. It was this ideal that saw the founding partners of Ledwaba Mazwai receiving their training in established law firms. This would give them a solid grounding in commercial law practice and in managing and providing legal services to government, institutional and corporate clients.

Our Achievements:

Since the launch of our firm in 1996, we have:

  • developed an excellent track record in providing legal services to corporate, institutional, public sector and Government in the areas of law in which we practice;
    developed a solid practice in general commercial law, commercial litigation, labour law, tax, administrative and constitutional law;
    become one of the leading law firms in major infrastructure projects including those carried out as Public Private Partnership and Independent Power Producer projects;
    had opportunity to advise on project finance, structured finance and corporate finance transactions, largely in Public Private Partnership and Independent Power Producer projects;
    advised a number of our development finance institution clients, on various lending transactions, where equity and/or debt was advanced;
    also had opportunity and experience to advise on bond issues for a national South African power utility..
    developed templates for and advising in the BBBEE, Local Content and Skills Development (“Economic Development”) in major infrastructure and other procurement programmes for Public Sector;
    assisted in developing and taking to market of major projects for Government, in relation to restructuring of state-owned enterprises, Public Private Partnerships, Independent Power Producer projects and other infrastructure development projects. These include services provided to government departments locally and in the SADC region;
    attained a good standing and reputation with professional service providers in other professional disciplines, with whom we worked on major projects, for our ability to successfully interface the finance, technical and legal matters through the project documents;
    developed and secured the technology, professional and support staff to service our clients;
    provided empowering and dynamic general legal services to state-owned enterprises; and
    become a symbol of pride and aspiration for black legal practitioners in the areas of our expertise.

Mark Leathers

The firm’s director, Mark Leathers was born in Benoni in 1984 and attended Nigel Primary School and thereafter the Drakensberg Boys Choir, St Alban’s College and Hoërskool Johan Jurgens. He attended varsity at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PUKKE) and graduated with his undergraduate degree from UNISA in 2009 and his Master’s degree in private law in 2015.

Mark served his articles of clerkship at Mc Naught and Company from July 2006 and in 2010 was admitted as an Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer and became a partner at Mc Naught and Company. In 2019, Mark has taken over as the director of the firm based at our Bluff office.

In addition to being an attorney, Mark is an experienced conveyancer and notary public, assisting conveyancing software providers in formulating documents and providing advisory services to various local councils on property law matters. Mark has a number of select multi-national clients that he serves as legal counsel for, handling their commercial litigation, structuring, contracts and credit security requirements.

Firm Overview:

Mc Naught and Company are a team of young and dynamic professionals.

We don’t see ourselves as your law firm but as part of your team. This means that we make it our mission to not only understand who you are and what your business is, but to truly take the time to understand your challenges or tasks ahead and come up with an innovative, dynamic and cost-effective solution for you.

What makes us unique is that as part of your team we are accessible and deliver hands on attention to each matter we deal with.


“Practice does make perfect” …

…quips Dave Mc Naught who founded the firm on 1st March 1984. Joined by Partner Mark Leathers in 2010, the firm has grown from a small 2-roomed office in the Durban city centre at 320 West Street, to a decentralised practice which has offices on the Bluff and in Amanzimtoti. All our offices have been purpose built to cater to the personal relationship we have with our clients and to provide the entire team with the optimal environment in which to get the job done.

Mike Patterson

Mike Patterson formed Patterson & Associates at the end of 1989 in South Africa. Today we have offices in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The object was to provide the local and international marine insurance industry, importers and exporters, Port Authorities and local and international Maritime Law Firms with a specialised marine surveying, loss adjusting, risk assessment and investigative service.

Today the company represents a wide range of clients worldwide.

For example we are survey agents for insurers and insurance brokers in Africa, Europe, the United Kingdom, USA and Australia.

Our survey and investigative work is carried out throughout Southern Africa, East Africa and including Indian Ocean countries i.e. Madagascar/Mauritius/Seychelles/Reunion etc.

As part of our quick reaction time, in particular in Southern African countries, we have offices in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Harare and Lusaka.


  • Marine insurance claim investigations/surveys pertaining to containerised cargo/break-bulk cargo/dry and liquid bulk cargo etc.
  • Marine cargo surveys i.e. condition/verification/quality and quantity.
  • Loading and discharge supervision of high value/high volume/high risk cargo.
  • Pre-shipment condition/quantity/status surveys.
  • Cargo tally and monitoring.
  • Project cargos.
  • Stock throughput claims.
  • Warehouse claims i.e. theft/fire damage/water damage etc.
  • Storage risk assessments.
  • Derailments.
  • Cargo truck hi-jackings.
  • Tracing & Recoveries.
  • Arbitrations concerning sales contract claims falling outside the scope of marine cargo insurance cover.

Angela Itzikowitz

Attorney Angela Itzikowitz is an executive in ENSafrica’s banking and finance department. She specialises in banking and financial market regulation, including finance and regulatory reform, card and related electronic payment instruments, derivatives, loan agreements, collective investment schemes, insurance, money laundering and debt origination and securitisation.

She has done a significant amount of work in South African Development Community (“SADC”) countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Zambia including regulatory law reform through capacity building projects. More recently, she drafted and advised on the Finance and Development Protocol for SADC in her capacity as a senior legal expert. She has also advised the World Bank on deposit insurance and bank insolvencies.

Angela has participated in a number of financial market initiatives in Asia in collaboration with colleagues from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and India. She also acts for a number of European banks, asset managers and investment advisers.

In addition, she has been recognised as a leading Fintech lawyer, advising banks and start ups and has authored the South African chapter in a number of international publications on the subject.

Angela is a professor in banking and financial markets law at the University of the Witwatersrand and she teaches at Queen Mary College, the University of London, on legal aspects of international finance. She is the author of the Law of South Africa Banking and Financial Markets, has co-authored a number of books and has published numerous articles in local and foreign journals.

She is a member of the Board of International Scholars, London Institute of Banking and Finance, and is a Professorial Fellow at the Asian Institute of International Financial Law, University of Hong Kong. She is also a visiting Professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Peking University, and is the recipient of a number of international fellowships and awards and sits on a number of advisory committees and company boards.

Angela is fluent in English, Afrikaans and German and speaks South Sotho and Mandarin.

Mervin Messias JD, BA, LLB, TEP, MTP

JD (Juris Doctor) / BA, LLB (Wits) / TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioner) / MTP (Master Tax Practitioner – S.A)

Mervin is a trust specialist, solving trust matters, including wills, estate planning and tax. He has over forty years plus experience in the legal profession.

His experience includes matters such as:

• Trusts that do not meet legal requirements
• Incorrectly drafted trusts
• Trust disputes
• Tax issues related to Trusts
• Succession Trust matters in Estate Planning
• Tax and Trusts in Deceased Estates
• The drafting of wills
• Will disputes
• Probate
• Probate disputes


• Law qualifications in seven countries (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, America, Israel, England and Lesotho)


• Admitted Attorney, Solicitor and Barrister
• Registered as a Master Tax Practitioner with the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners
• Member of the Law Society of South Africa’s committee on Trusts and Estates
• Admitted as a member of the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
• Admitted as a member of the Association of practicing Attorneys in the United States of America, specializing in Estate Planning and awarded a JD (Juris Doctor)
• Former Chairperson of the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Johannesburg Branch, South Africa (STEP)
• Admitted as academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law
• Former member of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces Deceased Estates Committee
• Appointed as trustee, protector and executor in numerous trusts and estates, participating in the structuring, administration, interpretation and resolution of disputes in regard to trusts and administration of estates
• Past Chairperson of the committee on Trusts and Estates (Estate Planning) of the Gauteng Law Council
• Past Convenor of the Trusts and Estates Committee of the Life Underwriters Society of South Africa (LUASA)
• International trusts and estates- attended to the creation and administration of trusts, advising on investments of wealth in the trust structures and acting as an executor
• Extensive experience in creating Estate Plans, advising on Trust tax issues, administering trusts, conducting trust litigation and generally solving Trust matters
• Practising attorney and head of law firm specializing in Estate Planning from 1980-2018
• Former Member of FISA (Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa)
• South African Trust & Estates law expert for Global Law Experts (GLE)
• Award winning Trust Disputes Lawyer of the Year in South Africa – 2018 by Global Law Experts (GLE)
• Received the Best Lawyers awards as a best Trust Lawyer in South Africa for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
• South African Trust & Estates law expert for Advisory Excellence.


• Convenor and presenter of seminars on Trusts and Estates for Attorneys
• Conducted seminars for Financial Planners on Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills and Estates
• Lectured for L.E.A.D (Legal Education and Development) to attorneys on Trusts and Tax in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and East London
• Designed an Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates course for Financial Planners accredited by the Financial Planning Institute in South Africa

Articles & Letters:

• Contributing columnist on legal articles, including Trusts and Estates, for the Gauteng Law Councils publication
• Appointed as the lead editorial member for the South African Johannesburg branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
• Contributing columnist on articles on Trusts and Estates for “ AVANTI” the international publication of Europe, Mediterranean, Africa & Indian Ocean region committee of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
• Contributing columnist on articles on Trust and Estates published in “Insight”, the journal of the Association of Professional Financial Planners
• Contributing columnist on legal articles for the Financial Intermediaries Association of South Africa
• Contributing columnist for De Rebus, the South African Attorneys Journal.

Television Appearances For:

• Red Pepper Productions regarding Wills and Trusts
• Summit TV regarding Essentials of Estate Planning, Reducing Taxes through proper Estate Planning & Offshore diversification.

Radio Interviews For:

• 702 station.

Catherine Warburton

Catherine Warburton is our exclusively recommended Environmental Law expert in South Africa on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Catherine directly using the contact details listed above.

Catherine has more than twenty years of practical experience in the relatively new field of sustainability law in South Africa. Her experience has been mainly developed across a broad spectrum of infrastructure development and mining projects. She has also assisted NGO groups and government with legal advice and has provided input into governmental policy development in South Africa. Catherine has been involved in the environmental legal aspects of the Gautrain Project as specialist advisor since 2002 and has advised on a number of development projects and climate and energy related projects.

Whilst working as in-house Environmental Legal Counsel for Anglo American she completed a two and a half year international sustainable development training programme in 2001 entitled LEAD i.e. Leadership for the Environment and Development. In 2012 Catherine completed a Sustainability Reporting Course, certified by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In 2013 she completed the GRI Certified Course based on the G4 reporting guidelines. Catherine completed her dissertation for her Master of Laws at Wits University in 2014 with distinction. The title of her dissertation was, “Evaluating South African EIA processes in the context of the Gautrain Project”.

Catherine Warburton has developed specific expertise in the area of climate change. She has attended UNFCCC meetings as a South African business representative and has worked on greenhouse gas mitigation and reporting projects in South Africa. She presents papers and training courses on a wide range of sustainability legal issues in South Africa. She provides strategic legal advice at the Board level, is currently advising on a number of mine closure projects and is acting in a criminal environmental prosecution.