Pinsents handed major South African PPP deal

Pinsent Masons has won the South African Gauteng Provincial Government as a new client after advising on the largest transportation infrastructure PPP project ever undertaken within South Africa.

Pinsents, led by projects partners Geoffrey Roberts and Chris Kelly, supported South African law firm Ledwaba Mazwai in advising the government on the R7bn (£600m) Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project (Gautrain), which is being constructed to support the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa.

The Bombela Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder for Gautrain, an 80km, high-speed rail system linking Johannesburg and Pretoria. As part of the deal, Bombela will operate the rail link for 15 years following its construction, after which Gautrain will be transferred back to the government.

Pinsents won the mandate after acting for other South African government departments and through the recommendation of Ledwaba, which the firm also supported on the South African Department of Trade and Industry project in 2003.

Metja Ledwaba and Lunghili Mazwai led the Ledwaba team, while partner Bridgette Baillie of South African law firm Webber Wentzel Bowens led the team advising Bombela.