Charles Douglas

Charles Douglas

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


Charles Douglas’ clients see him as their trusted partner. They rely on him to deliver focused solutions and support them through the evolution and cycles of their businesses. As a result, he has worked with many of his clients for decades.

Charles is renowned for coming up with creative solutions to highly complex matters – perhaps this should not be a surprise as, in his spare time, he is an aspiring artist. He focuses on the ‘purpose’ of the deal and achieving the big picture, while using his legal expertise to delve into the detail to ensure his team deal with individual tasks in a commercially thoughtful way.

As Co-Head of the firm’s M&A group and a member of the firm’s partnership board, he is accustomed to managing large diverse teams that deliver results.

Charles provides a unique and diverse service offering. His experience on an array of local and multi-jurisdictional transactions is enhanced by his personal commitment to ESG considerations. He adeptly balances a traditional M&A practice with a belief in contributing to society and using his position to benefit the firm, his clients and those around him.


  • University of the Witwatersrand, Master of Laws (LLM);
  • University of Cape Town, Bachelor of Laws (LLB); and
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal, Bachelor of Arts (BA), Law and Psychology.

Professional Memberships

Charles is:

  • an admitted attorney of the High Court in South Africa; and
  • admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Jurisdictions worked in: South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand.

Charles has recently advised:

  • Allianz SE on the establishment of a joint venture with the South African financial services group, Sanlam, which is intended to combine the African businesses of both companies into a South Africa-incorporated JV.
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company who, together with Remgro, have reached agreement to acquire Mediclinic for ZAR 74 billion.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Imperial, a DP World company (previously Imperial Holdings and Imperial Logistics):
    • DP World’s ZAR 12.7 billion takeover bid for Imperial Logistics.
    • 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, along with:
    • SAB and SAB Zenzele Kabili in the unwind of the SAB Zenzele B-BBEE 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.
    • Kwande Capital in relation to the purchase of the business of Nampak Glass for a consideration of approximately ZAR 1.5 billion.
    • SAB on the establishment of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and the subsequent disposal by its subsidiaries 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.
  • 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.


  • Chambers and Partners: Band 2 for Corporate/M&A in 2023 and prior to that in Band 3 for three consecutive years (2020 to 2022) and ranked in Band 4 in both 2019 and 2018 in the same category.
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide: “Highly Regarded” in South Africa (2018 to 2022) for his work in Capital Markets: Equity and M&A.
  • Legal 500: Leading Individual in the Commercial, Corporate and M&A category (2017, 2019 and 2022).
  • Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leader in M&A and Governance (2019) and recommended in the Global Leader – M&A category (2019).

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