Francis Newham is a director of our Corporate and Commercial practice and has been involved in corporate and commercial matters for more than 20 years. Francis’ clients comprise large listed and unlisted companies and financial institutions as well as a number of other commercial clients engaged in various sectors of the South African economy. He has advised in a number of stock exchange listings (IPOs) and de-listings. His main focus and areas of expertise are in respect of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and the formation, structuring and restructuring of business entities.


Francis began his career in 1980 as a candidate attorney at Bisset Boehmke and McBlain and was subsequently appointed as an associate at that firm. In 1985 he joined Silberbauers as an associate and was promoted to director in 1988. In 1999 Silberbauers joined the practice of Cliffe Dekker (now Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) where he remained a director.



  • BA LLB, University of Stellenbosch
  • LLM (Company Law, Tax), University of Cape Town
  • H Dip (Tax), University of Johannesburg
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 1982


  • Cape Law Society


  • Advised Murray & Roberts Properties on the disposal of a portfolio of commercial properties to Capital Property Fund.
  • Advised Ascension Properties on acquisition of a portfolio of commercial properties from Capital Property Fund.
  • Advised Synergy Income Fund in respect of a number of acquisitions of commercial properties from various vendors.
  • Advised Momentum Property Investments regarding the disposal of commercial properties to various listed funds, including Fountainhead, Vividend and Fairvest.
  • Advised Vunani Property Investment Fund on various acquisitions of commercial properties and equity in property investment vehicles.
  • Advisor to Stor-Age in assembling portfolio of self-storage facilities throughout South Africa.
  • Led due diligence teams in respect of property acquisitions and proposed listings by an Old Mutual property subsidiary and of a vehicle promoted by a leading property management company.
  • Led the due diligence team in respect of acquisition by Public Investment Corporation of interests in various major national shopping centres from the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund.
  • Led the due diligence team in respect of listing of Holdsport on the JSE.
  • Advised on the listings of Western Cape Property Company and Shops for Africa on the JSE.
  • Advised Reader's Digest on disposal of its South African interests and licensing arrangements with local publisher.
  • Advised Virgin Active on the acquisition of the Health & Racquet Club business from the liquidators of Leisurenet.
  • Advised Istithmar PJSC of Dubai on the acquisition of an interest in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (transaction value in excess of R7 billion).
  • Advised Istithmar and Dubai World in respect of investment with Kerzner International and others in the One&Only hotel development in Cape Town.
  • Drafted various employee and executive share option schemes on behalf of Old Mutual plc and other listed and unlisted companies.
  • Advised Old Mutual regarding indigenisation of its Zimbabwean operations.

Market recognition

  • Practical Law CompanyPLC Which Lawyer? 2009 recognised Francis in Competition/Antitrust "extensive competitionlaw experience, especially in relation to merger control". 
  • Best Lawyers International 2010 - 2014 South Africa listed Francis in Corporate.


Back to people search