Charles Douglas

Charles Douglas

Co-Head of M&A
Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9426
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Charles Douglas is the co-head of our Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group and a member of the firm’s partnership board, with over 20 years specialising in both public and private M&A as well as equity capital markets work.  

Charles has represented many multi-national and South African domestic companies, including in the listed space, and he also regularly advises private equity houses. His specialist interest areas include social impact investment and social entrepreneurship, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, and the corporate aspects of South Africa’s renewable energy program.

In addition to South African work, he regularly works on transactions across the rest of the continent and has experience working in various other African jurisdictions, including Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Charles has 18 months’ work experience in Sydney, Australia and admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

A selection of recent transactions which Charles recently advised on include:

  • Sasol on the proposed disposal of Cyanide business to Draslovka and the proposed sale of Sasol’s South African gas pipeline business by competitive auction process.
  • Imperial Holdings Ltd (now Imperial Logistics Ltd) in respect of its 2018 USD 27 million repurchase of all of its outstanding non-redeemable, cumulative, non-participating preference shares by way of a scheme of arrangement.
  • AB InBev, SAB and SAB Zenzele Kabili in the unwind of the SAB Zenzele BEE transaction and the implementation of the new SAB Zenzele Kabili BEE transaction, including the proposed listing of SAB Zenzele Kabili on the BEE Segment of the main board of the JSE.
  • AB InBev, SAB and Kwande Capital in relation to the purchase of the business of Nampak Glass for a consideration of approximately ZAR 1.5 billion.
  • The Rise Fund, African Wildlife Holdings Partnership and Wilderness Holdings in respect of the separate strategic investments by The Rise Fund and AWH in Wilderness Holdings and the subsequent offer by AWH to acquire all of the shares in Wilderness Holdings not already held by AWH and certain excluded shareholders, and the delisting of Wilderness Holdings from the BSE and JSE.
  • Sasol, in respect of the agreement in terms of which ENEAX, with operations primarily in South America, will become a strategic joint venture partner in respect of Sasol’s explosives and rock fragmentation business.
  • AB InBev and its subsidiaries in relation to the disposal of the soft-drinks businesses of Zambian Breweries, Kgalagadi Breweries and Swaziland Beverages to The Coca-Cola Company. These constituted separate transactions in each of Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland, respectively.


  • Chambers and Partners ranked Charles in Band 3 for Corporate/M&A for the past two consecutive years (2020 and 2021). He was ranked in Band 4 in both 2019 and 2018 in the same category.
  • IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate Guide rated Charles  Highly Regarded in South Africa for four consecutive years (2018 to 2021) for his work in Capital Markets: Equity and M&A.
  • In 2019, Legal500 recognised Charles as a Leading individual in the Commercial, corporate and M&A category, having previously recognised him in 2017 as a Recommended Lawyer in the same category.
  • He was recognised by Who’s Who Legal as a Thought Leader in M&A and Governance in 2019, as well as recommended in the Global Leader – M&A category in 2019. Charles was also recognised by Who’s Who Legal, 2018 for M&A.

Practice group co-head Charles Douglas holds experience across an impressive range of corporate transactions, including M&A, BEE and PE investments. He is highlighted by sources as an “excellent lawyer” who is “very good technically and also very commercial.”– Chambers and Partners, 2021

Charles Douglas is a “very commercial” lawyer, with one client attesting: “He is on par with the very best.” He is well versed in all manner of corporate mandates and advises major corporations in sectors such as manufacturing and financial services on big-ticket domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. – Chambers and Partners 2020

Charles Douglas is a very capable lawyer and focused on getting deals done. – Legal500 2020

Charles Douglas continues to bolster his reputation in the corporate field through his involvement in high-value domestic and cross-border acquisitions. He is widely endorsed by sources, who value his ethos and approach, stating that he is “relaxed and very experienced, hands-on and available. One market source noted that he is “always responsive and approachable despite any other pressures he may be under,” concluding: “His expertise is among the best I have encountered.” – Chambers and Partners 2019

Charles Douglas is “pragmatic and clever” and is particularly noted for big-ticket cross border deals. – Legal500 2019

Publications & Insights