Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has promoted Lebo Ramokone to director and hired Monde Coto as a director in its Johannesburg office. Both were effective from 1 November.
Lebo is a director in the project development and finance team at Herbert Smith Freehills. She focuses on debt, equity and quasi-equity corporate finance and project finance transactions in Africa across various sectors, in particular energy and banking. She joined the firm in April 2022 as a senior associate. Prior to that, Lebo was a senior legal adviser at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, a national development finance institution.
Previously a senior associate at Herbert Smith Freehills, Monde re-joins the firm after having spent the past 2 years as a general counsel at a venture capital fund. Monde specialises in venture capital, M&A and equity capital market transactions. He also advises clients on general corporate matters, including corporate governance and ongoing obligations of listed entities. Monde has advised clients in a wide range of sectors including private equity, renewable energy, manufacturing, financial services and mining.
Jean Meijer, the firm’s Johannesburg Managing Partner, commented:
"Lebo is recognised for her technical ability and holistic advice. She has contributed significantly to the development of our project finance team in Africa. Monde has established a solid reputation for his expertise in venture capital, M&A and equity capital market transactions. His role as a general counsel adds depth to his experience. Both of their practices fit perfectly with the firm's global focus on energy transition and private capital as strategic growth areas."
Monde Coto commented:
"I am excited to be returning to a law firm with strong ambitions and which has a focus on private capital. I'm particularly looking forward to working with my colleagues in the region and across the network to further develop our private capital offering."
Lebo Ramokone commented:
"Herbert Smith Freehills puts talent development high on its agenda and is truly committed to investing in its people to deliver ongoing growth and success. I am delighted to have been promoted and look forward to further developing my practice at the firm."
Herbert Smith Freehills has a track record of advising on some of the most complex project financings in Africa. The firm recently advised on the R2.5bn African Rainbow Energy & Power solar project in respect of the financing of the equity investments in the Sola Group sponsored Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). The Independent power producer Sola Group, will build a solar facility in the North West and sell the energy to the platinum mining operations of ARM.