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Peter Leon


Africa Group

Peter is the global co-chair of our Africa practice.



Based in Johannesburg, Peter is the global co-chair of our Africa practice, and a highly experienced mining specialist who works with a broad range of clients on mineral and petroleum regulation in developing countries (including the South African Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 2002 and international best practice), black economic empowerment and indigenisation law, international investment law and financial services regulation.

Peter helps clients with major mine development agreements and resources regulatory issues across Anglophone Africa. He also has significant experience guiding clients through contentious matters involving states in sub-Saharan Africa.

Peter is ranked amongst the ‘20 Most Highly Regarded Individuals’ for international mining work by International Who's Who of Mining Lawyers. He is described by sources in the 2016 edition as 'world-class' and 'very knowledgeable in mining law and regulatory issues'. According to one respondent, '[h]e is the best guy to turn to for advice in the region'. Peter is also consistently ranked in a number of other peer reviewed global legal directories, including Chambers Global, which said in its 2015 edition that "sources appreciate his 'very incisive analysis' and 'very quick turnaround'."

Peter is a regular speaker at mining conferences, courses and parliamentary hearings in South Africa and internationally. He is an honorary lecturer at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Peter is also an accomplished speaker and has written extensively on the topics of mining, resource nationalism and black economic empowerment and indigenisation law.

Peter’s experience includes advising:

  • CMOC on the acquisition of Freeport's indirect 56% interest in the world-class Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mine in DRC for US$2.65 billion
  • Aquila Resources Limited in its dispute with the South African Department of Mineral Resources over an alleged overlapping prospecting right and the award of a mining right over the Gravenhage tenement*
  • mining companies on the regulatory implications of key policy proposals in the African National Congress's research report on State Intervention in the Minerals Sector and the National Development Plan*
  • mining companies on the regulatory and international trade law implications of the South African Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, 2013*
  • multinational oil and resource companies, including Impact Africa, Forest Oil, Anadarko and Afren, on regulatory issues with the Petroleum Agency South Africa and the Department of Mineral Resources*

* Prior to joining the firm in 2015