Terry Winstanley

Terry Winstanley

Director, National Practice Head

Terry Winstanley is a director and national practice head of our Environmental practice. Terry is one of the leading environmental lawyers in South Africa. She has wide experience in environmental law and policy in Southern Africa in a field in which she has worked exclusively for the last 17 years. Her commercial clients are drawn from the energy, petro-chemicals, forestry, pulp and paper, mining and manufacturing sectors. Her government clients include national, provincial and local governments including those of Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Terry was the president of the Environmental Law Association of South Africa until recently and is currently the Chairperson of the Associated Law Societies of South Africa's Committee on Environmental law.



  • BA honours MA LLB LLM, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Registered for PhD in Environmental Law, University of Cape Town
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 1992


  • Cape Law Society


  • Advised a client during the EIA for the establishment of a desalination plant in the Southern Cape.
  • Advised bank, as financer, and municipalities, as operators on legal requirements of a secondary water treatment plant.
  • In multi-disciplinary project teams for the construction of the Berg River Dam, Transnet’s multi product pipeline from Durban to Johannesburg.
  • In multi-disciplinary project team for the establishment of a regional landfill site for City of Cape Town.
  • General advice on the regulatory and compliance aspects of environmental, occupational, health and safety law.
  • Clients include the Airport Company of South Africa, BHP Billiton subsidiaries, EnviroServ, Holcim, Sappi and Sasol.
  • Advising on potential environmental, health and safety liability in pre-acquisition due diligence exercises.
  • Providing legal input into the implementation of ISO 14001 accredited environmental management systems.
  • Assisting various clients in legal compliance following emergency pollution incidents.
  • Advising regional, national, provincial and local governments on the development of environmental law and policy and drafting those policies.

Market recognition

  • The Legal 500, EMEA series 2009 and 2010 has named Terry as "one of South Africa's foremost environmental disputes specialists". In 2014 Terry was a recommended lawyer in Mining.
  • The IFLR1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms 2015 ranks Terry as leading lawyer in Environmental Law.
  • Practical Law CompanyPLC Which Lawyer? 2004 to 2012 ranked Terry as the leading Environmental lawyer describing her as the "doyenne of environmental law in South Africa".
  • Top Women in Business and Government Awards, 2010 nominated as a finalist for the Top Woman Executive.
  • Expert Guides, 2012 named Terry Winstanley as one of the experts in the Emerging Markets and Women in Business Law sections.
  • Expert Guides – Guide to the World's Leading Environmental Lawyers, 2010 and 2011 nominated Terry by in-house counsel and peers as one of the pre-eminent practitioners in the world.
  • Global Directory of Who's Who 2009 and 2010 edition has recognised Terry for outstanding business and professional achievements.
  • Best Lawyers International 2010 - 2014 South Africa listed Terry in Environmental Law.


Terry completed her articles in Durban in 1991. She worked in a large corporate law firm in Durban where she co-founded the first dedicated environmental and planning law department in South Africa before establishing a boutique environmental law firm based in Cape Town, through which entity she practiced for 11 years. She joined Cliffe Dekker (now Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) as a director in 2008.


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