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Lionel Shawe



Shawe Lionel
Lionel Shawe



Lionel is a co-managing partner based in our Johannesburg office in the banking and finance sector and is seen to be "a phenomenal banking lawyer who works hard and sees the bigger picture." Chambers and Partners 2016. Lionel has significant expertise in mining financing, aircraft financing, acquisition and leveraged financing, structured financing, property financing, preference share funding, securitisation, capital markets and debt restructuring. He has substantial experience and expertise in the complex area of derivatives (in particular credit derivatives). Lionel has extensive experience in exchange control issues and is regularly consulted and he regularly advises domestic and international financial institutions on complex transactions. The ‘practically minded’ Lionel Shawe, who ‘understands the global regulatory environment’, is the ‘go-to person for banking as well as acquisition finance’. Legal500 – South Africa 2017 (Banking and Finance) and is rated as a leading individual. Legal500 – South Africa 2017 (Banking and Finance). In this arena, Lionel Shawe has virtually unparalleled expertise. Legal500 – South Africa 2017 (Tax).

Lionel has a wealth of experience in banking and finance transactions and is regarded as "probably the most prominent finance lawyer in South Africa" according to IFLR1000 2011-2014. The Legal 500, which provides the most comprehensive worldwide coverage currently available on legal service providers, describes him as a "Leading Individual" in the Banking and Finance sector and as being "an outstanding practitioner". The "exceptional" Lionel Shawe of Allen & Overy LLP is well recognised by market commentators for his expertise in structured products and note issuances. One impressed client said: "I hold him in very high regard - he is an expert in many different fields of law, and is really blessed in being able to advise across many disciplines." Chambers and Partners 2016 (DCM).

Lionel is rated in the first tier of South African banking and finance lawyers by both IFLR1000 and Chambers Global. Chambers Global 2015 recognises that Lionel is highly regarded for securitisation and derivatives work as part of his esteemed banking and finance practice. As one source commented, "he is eminently knowledgeable - he can advise on any aspect. The range of his knowledge is so extensive." and touch on his expertise in the tax field. Who's Who Legal 2015 reiterates his expertise and states that "Lionel enjoys a "marvellous" reputation in the market and is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in our research in the EMEA region. He has significant expertise in mining, aircraft and property financing transactions."

News & insights

Publications: 26 MARCH 2020

Covid-19 coronavirus: a cross-jurisdictional update on the impact Covid-19 is having on tax regulations

The Covid-19 pandemic coronavirus currently spreading across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the United States has resulted in an unprecedented demand for urgent tax relief measures across industries and sectors. Whilst the situation globally remains fluid central governments are coordinating action plans to limit the negative impact of Covid-19 and protect economies. 

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News: 25 MARCH 2020

Billy Jacobson and Jonathan Lopez join as partners in Allen & Overy’s global Litigation and Investigations practice

Adds to A&O’s deep bench of white-collar crime talent with expertise in FCPA and other Federal criminal enforcement priorities. 

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Publications: 25 MARCH 2020

Podcast: ATAD 2 - what is the impact on the fund industry?

The second anti-tax avoidance directive (ATAD 2) applicable as of 1 January 2020 (except for reverse hybrid mismatches, applicable as of 1 January 2022) will introduce anti-hybrid rules in the European Union.

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Publications: 24 MARCH 2020

Covid-19 coronavirus: impact on Spanish commercial lease agreements

Royal Decree 463/2020 (Covid-19 Spanish RD), came into force on Saturday 14 March 2020 and will initially be in force until 28 March 2020 (subject to extensions, which are very likely to take place). The Covid-19 Spanish RD declares an emergency situation due to the existence of the coronavirus epidemic in Spain and implements several actions to address it.

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Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP
6th Floor, 90 Grayston, 90 Grayston Drive, Sandton

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Admitted as an Attorney (South Africa), 1998

Admitted as a Notary Public (South Africa), 1999


LLM, (Tax), University of South Africa, 2009

LLB, University of Witwatersrand, 1995

B.Com, (Finance and Law), University of Witwatersrand, 1992

Fraudulent emails

Please note there is a known inheritance related fraud/scam currently using the Allen & Overy brand and Lionel Shawe’s name.

More information on fraud using the Allen & Overy brand can be found here.