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Adam Harris

Senior Consultant | Cape Town

Adam-Harris

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Contact

T: +27 21 480 7837

Overview

Adam is one of Africa’s foremost insolvency and business restructuring specialists, having served for two years as the continent’s first president of INSOL International, which represents over 10 000 restructuring and insolvency practitioners worldwide. He is also one of the co-authors of the ninth and 10th editions of South Africa’s leading insolvency textbook, Mars, the Law of Insolvency.

His 35 years of insolvency and business restructuring experience have included many firsts, including the first insolvency-related matter to reach the Constitutional Court, specifically on the right against self-incrimination in interrogation proceedings. Such experience gives clients confidence that their complex insolvency and restructuring matters are in the hands of a legal practitioner with in-depth insight, knowledge and experience in the field.

Adam represents lenders, creditors and professional indemnity insurers, as well as business rescue and insolvency practitioners. Most of his clients are in financial services, retail and mining, where his understanding of how lenders and financiers work helps his clients find practical solutions to their legal issues.

He has acted in some of the leading South African cases on different aspects of business rescue and insolvency, including ‘claw-back’ transactions, procedural aspects of liquidation applications and the remuneration of practitioners. In addition, Adam has worked on international disputes arising from the 2008 Companies Act.

His cross-border experience has included representing international practitioners and creditors from Australia, Bermuda, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States on their recognition and asset recovery in South Africa.

Fundamentally, Adam is a practical lawyer who helps his clients get the result they want, while understanding the implications of their chosen course of action and mitigating key reputational and legal risks.

A longstanding client has described Adam as an excellent practitioner when it comes to liquidation and business rescue.

Professional memberships

  • Adam was President of INSOL International from 2017 to 2019.
  • He also served as a national councillor of the South African Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association (SARIPA) for more than 10 years
  • Adam previously chaired the Law Society of South Africa’s Insolvency Committee
  • Adam has been on the organizing committee and chaired the INSOL International annual “Africa Round Table” project for some 14 years. This is a flagship project involving policy-makers, regulators, Judges, academics and Restructuring and Insolvency professionals

Experience

  • Represented one of the major South Africa Banking institutions in litigation arising from interest rate swaps.
  • Represented various foreign Insolvency Practitioners/Liquidators from eg Bermuda, the Netherlands, United Kingdom in obtaining recognition in South Africa and in the tracing and realisation of assets.
  • Represented the Business Rescue Practitioner in the restructuring and disposal of assets in a substantial property group, as also the related contentious work.
  • Advised various State-owned Entities (SOEs) in relation to potential restructuring and formal processes.
  • Acted in the Tollgate Group of companies, one of the largest corporate collapses in South Africa with extensive interests as far-ranging as Motor transport, Tour operators, Grand Prix Racing, involving forensic investigations and a broad-ranging insolvency enquiry, and asset-trace proceedings in various jurisdictions inter alia France, UK, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos, USA, Namibia.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Adam in Band 2 for Restructuring/Insolvency for seven consecutive years (2017 to 2023).

‘Adam Harris is excellent for liquidation and recovery litigation, and negotiations.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • University of Cape Town, Bachelor of Arts (BA).
  • University of Cape Town, Bachelor of Laws (LLB).
  • University of Cape Town, Master of Laws (LLM).

INSIGHTS

Brochures

Overview

Adam is one of Africa’s foremost insolvency and business restructuring specialists, having served for two years as the continent’s first president of INSOL International, which represents over 10 000 restructuring and insolvency practitioners worldwide. He is also one of the co-authors of the ninth and 10th editions of South Africa’s leading insolvency textbook, Mars, the Law of Insolvency.

His 35 years of insolvency and business restructuring experience have included many firsts, including the first insolvency-related matter to reach the Constitutional Court, specifically on the right against self-incrimination in interrogation proceedings. Such experience gives clients confidence that their complex insolvency and restructuring matters are in the hands of a legal practitioner with in-depth insight, knowledge and experience in the field.

Adam represents lenders, creditors and professional indemnity insurers, as well as business rescue and insolvency practitioners. Most of his clients are in financial services, retail and mining, where his understanding of how lenders and financiers work helps his clients find practical solutions to their legal issues.

He has acted in some of the leading South African cases on different aspects of business rescue and insolvency, including ‘claw-back’ transactions, procedural aspects of liquidation applications and the remuneration of practitioners. In addition, Adam has worked on international disputes arising from the 2008 Companies Act.

His cross-border experience has included representing international practitioners and creditors from Australia, Bermuda, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States on their recognition and asset recovery in South Africa.

Fundamentally, Adam is a practical lawyer who helps his clients get the result they want, while understanding the implications of their chosen course of action and mitigating key reputational and legal risks.

A longstanding client has described Adam as an excellent practitioner when it comes to liquidation and business rescue.

Professional memberships

  • Adam was President of INSOL International from 2017 to 2019.
  • He also served as a national councillor of the South African Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association (SARIPA) for more than 10 years
  • Adam previously chaired the Law Society of South Africa’s Insolvency Committee
  • Adam has been on the organizing committee and chaired the INSOL International annual “Africa Round Table” project for some 14 years. This is a flagship project involving policy-makers, regulators, Judges, academics and Restructuring and Insolvency professionals

Experience

  • Represented one of the major South Africa Banking institutions in litigation arising from interest rate swaps.
  • Represented various foreign Insolvency Practitioners/Liquidators from eg Bermuda, the Netherlands, United Kingdom in obtaining recognition in South Africa and in the tracing and realisation of assets.
  • Represented the Business Rescue Practitioner in the restructuring and disposal of assets in a substantial property group, as also the related contentious work.
  • Advised various State-owned Entities (SOEs) in relation to potential restructuring and formal processes.
  • Acted in the Tollgate Group of companies, one of the largest corporate collapses in South Africa with extensive interests as far-ranging as Motor transport, Tour operators, Grand Prix Racing, involving forensic investigations and a broad-ranging insolvency enquiry, and asset-trace proceedings in various jurisdictions inter alia France, UK, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos, USA, Namibia.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Adam in Band 2 for Restructuring/Insolvency for seven consecutive years (2017 to 2023).

‘Adam Harris is excellent for liquidation and recovery litigation, and negotiations.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

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