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Mr Lionel Shawe



Shawe Lionel
Mr 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


News: 04 DECEMBER 2019

The People’s Republic of China issues its largest-ever US dollar sovereign bond

Allen & Overy has advised the joint lead managers in connection with the offering of USD6 billion sovereign bonds by the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China.

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Publications: 04 DECEMBER 2019

IT and operational failures: financial services in the spotlight

There is unprecedented demand for and use of technology in the financial services sector.  However, greater reliance on technology brings with it increased levels of risk.  In particular, IT incidents and even brief disruptions to digital services may have a significant impact on clients and the markets.

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Ground level view of a modern high-rise building

Publications: 02 DECEMBER 2019

Important clarifications for the Luxembourg fund industry on AML CFT requirements

Taking into account the results of the Luxembourg national risk assessment which classifies the fund industry as high ML/FT risk, the CSSF clarifies that Luxembourg regulated funds, like Luxembourg investment fund managers (IFMs), are required to appoint two persons in charge of AML/CFT. 

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Publications: 29 NOVEMBER 2019

French law paves the way for the digital assets services providers regulation

Over the last few years, digital assets did not appear to fall within scope of French law or regulation as they could not be characterised as currency, electronic money, financial instruments nor – on a more fundamental level – was there a clear sense of whether digital assets were merely data or some type of intangible property. 

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Banking and Finance

Capital Markets



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.