Four South African law firms will be the big winners in a storm that has erupted over last year's liquidation of Johannesburg-based company Retail Apparel Group (RAG)

Werksmans, Sonnenberg Hoffman & Galmobik, Stanley Rothbort, and Brian Kahn are advising the various parties in an inquiry into the liquidation of the company in May last year.

Under scrutiny is the role the banks played in the lead-up to RAG's demise.

Werksmans is advising the consortium of banks (First-Rand, Absa, Marriott and BOE), with Sonnenberg advising a couple of FirstRand's individual directors. Stanley Rothport is acting on behalf of the liquidators and Brian Khan is acting for the master of the high court.

But FirstRand is now claiming that the inquiry will leave creditors further out of pocket. The bank said that legal fees charged by the master's representative for preparation and the first five days of the inquiry have amounted to R1.6m (£123,552).

The inquiry is expected to continue for a further 10 days.