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Jane Andropoulos

Partner, Team Leader | Johannesburg

Jane-Andropulos

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Contact

T: +27 11 669 9560

Overview

Jane has several litigation firsts to her name, including two punitive costs awards, one of which was the first of its kind in South Africa, being an award of over R4 million for emotional shock linked to the death of a child at a school.  In addition, Jane was involved with regards to assisting the prosecution, which resulted in a USD 7 million award for emotional shock suffered by a family at the hands of negligent conduct that resulted in a permanent disability being suffered at a New York hospital.

In a more commercial vein, Jane has most recently led a Bowmans team that has successfully launched proceedings to search and obtain evidence relating to syndicate members implicated in large-scale theft from a mining company and has also acted for a global fund that is being sued in South Africa by a Pakistan-based organisation.

Realising the increasing importance of corporate investigation and forensic skills in the sphere of litigation, Jane is part of the team formed to advise and assist clients in implementing their statutory obligations, such as making the appropriate disclosures when they encounter suspected corrupt activities. This team does training on whistleblowing policies and procedures for protecting whistleblowers, among other things.

Recent matters include acting for a major BEE mining company in defeating a claim by shareholders claiming that the organisation was not complying with the Companies Act, and advising a number of international clients on the implications for them of the Zondo Commission on State Capture.

In addition to being an admitted attorney, Jane was a member of the Bar after completing her pupillage in 1995. Over the years, working for large South African and international law firms, Jane has performed considerable amounts of banking and finance dispute resolution and litigation-related matters, including high-value asset and debt recovery. She also has expertise in alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, mediation, insolvency and restructuring, as well as commercial dispute resolution in commercial property, real estate, insurance and corporate recovery.

Her goal when working on any matter is to get the best results for the client by anticipating trends, surrounding herself with excellent practitioners across legal disciplines and fighting hard for her clients without becoming personally involved.

From working with various role models and mentors, Jane has learnt the value of humility, integrity, consistent hard work and determination, and treating people well and with respect. Jane is a great believer in keeping an open-door policy and transferring her skills by mentoring junior lawyers.

She made Bowmans her career home in July 2016, attracted by the demographic diversity of the firm’s staff and its commitment to being an African firm.

A longstanding client has described Jane as a smart, strategic and capable litigator.

Experience

Jurisdictions worked in: South Africa, United Kingdom, USA and Namibia.

Jane’s banking experience includes:

  • Acting for a major South African bank for a number of years in a range of high-profile, sensitive matters involving reputational issues, including:
  • Successfully opposing sequestration proceedings of an individual against whom the bank had obtained a substantial money judgment and was a major creditor, on the basis of their being no advantage to creditors;
  • Successfully obtaining a substantial money judgement on application (as opposed to summons) to expedite proceedings against an individual on an urgent basis, so as to secure the bank’s position as a creditor;
  • Successfully defending the bank in a number of claims brought against the bank in both its capacity as a collecting bank and the drawee bank, arising from numerous cheque related frauds perpetrated on SARS and its customers;
  • Successfully negotiating and concluding a Settlement Agreement in relation to these claims brought by SARS against the bank arising from the abovementioned;
  • Defending various claims and complaints brought against the bank regarding alleged infringements of the National Credit Act (35 of 2005) (NCA) and successfully representing the bank before the National Credit Tribunal;
  • Defending the bank in a claim brought against it by the National Credit Regulator, regarding the NCA and certain provisions of the Usury Act not expressly incorporated into the NCA;
  • Freezing bank accounts pursuant to various frauds perpetrated by an account holder;
  • Assisting and advising the bank regarding the implementation of freezing / interdict orders;
  • Defending the bank against a claim brought by a trustee regarding alleged breaches by the bank of its mandate pertaining to a trust bank account and the authorised signatories thereof;
  • Defending the bank against a claim brought by a debtor where a debtor defaulted in its loan obligations owed to the bank arising from a Ponzi scheme fraud that the debtor was involved in;
  • Obtaining numerous and various money judgements and implementing same;
  • Perfecting notarial bonds and acting for the bank as a major creditor in various liquidations of large entities;
  • Negotiating the repayment of monies owed to the bank to avoid litigation against a company who had removed its directors and shareholders pursuant to adverse publicity and the major South African banks giving the company notice terminating its dealings with the company;
  • Successfully applying urgently for the removal of an appointed business rescue practitioner (BRP) on the grounds that the BRP had a conflict of interest;
  • Advising the bank in the realisation of its security held in respect of facilities granted to a group of companies involved in agriculture and the restructure of the groups debts;
  • Advising the bank in relation to a suretyship granted by directors of one company in relation to facilities granted to and debts incurred by a separate entity;
  • Implementing and supervising the operation of an immovable property portfolio involving recoveries of ‘default’ home loan agreements for the bank through various related Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) of the bank, which required extensive knowledge of:
    • the applicable legislation;
    • the jurisdictional requirements for each High Court Division and the Practice Manual requirements arising in respect of such recoveries;
    • the NCA requirements regarding section 129 debtor elections and related requirements; and
    • the reinstatement of Home Loan Agreements, negotiations and conclusions of Settlement Agreements pursuant to the issue of summons.
  • Acting for a former director of African Bank in making representations to the Commission of Enquiry appointed by the South African Reserve Bank; appearing before the Commissioner and making representations regarding the publication of the Commissioner’s findings;
  • Acting for shareholders in various transactions which involved the interpretation of (put and call) options, the exercise of same where banking institutions granted facilities to finance same and the disputes which arose inter-partes;
  • Acting for international financiers / banking institutions in recovering monies where the borrower defaulted in the repayment thereof.
  • Acting for a shareholder in a dispute relating to interpretation of a shareholders agreement involving the Companies Act and the new provisions thereof (regarding, for example, the solvency and liquidity test), the effect thereof and the validity of resolutions passed regarding loans obtained by the company from banking/financial institutions;
  • Acting for a mortgage bond originator in a dispute regarding payment of commissions due to it by banking institutions and the interpretation of agreements entered into inter-partes;
  • Acting for a shareholder in recovering a pro-rated contribution from a co-shareholder arising from the payment of a Guarantee furnished to a financial institution;
  • Acting for a seller in defending substantial claims brought by a purchaser arising from a Sale of Shares Agreement pertaining to alleged breaches of warranties;
  • Acting for an international fund defending interdictory relief sought against it pertaining to alleged defamation claims on both jurisdictional and urgency;
  • Acting for an international private equity fund to enforce a Guarantee relating to loans made to a listed entity.

Jane’s mining experience includes:

  • Acting for an internationally listed shareholder in protecting its rights and taking steps to protect its interests in pursuing syndicated thefts;.
  • Acting for shareholders relating to a commercial claim brought against a mining company in defeating a claim by fellow shareholders claiming that a scheme of arrangement had not been properly implemented, the effect of the set aside of which would have had far-reaching implications for clients.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Jane in Band 4 for her work in Dispute Resolution (South Africa) in 2022 and 2023.
  • Recognised by Best Lawyers® 2015-2021 as one of the Litigation Lawyers of the year.

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • BA LLB, University of the Witwatersrand.
  • Advanced short course in business rescue practice.

INSIGHTS

Overview

Jane has several litigation firsts to her name, including two punitive costs awards, one of which was the first of its kind in South Africa, being an award of over R4 million for emotional shock linked to the death of a child at a school.  In addition, Jane was involved with regards to assisting the prosecution, which resulted in a USD 7 million award for emotional shock suffered by a family at the hands of negligent conduct that resulted in a permanent disability being suffered at a New York hospital.

In a more commercial vein, Jane has most recently led a Bowmans team that has successfully launched proceedings to search and obtain evidence relating to syndicate members implicated in large-scale theft from a mining company and has also acted for a global fund that is being sued in South Africa by a Pakistan-based organisation.

Realising the increasing importance of corporate investigation and forensic skills in the sphere of litigation, Jane is part of the team formed to advise and assist clients in implementing their statutory obligations, such as making the appropriate disclosures when they encounter suspected corrupt activities. This team does training on whistleblowing policies and procedures for protecting whistleblowers, among other things.

Recent matters include acting for a major BEE mining company in defeating a claim by shareholders claiming that the organisation was not complying with the Companies Act, and advising a number of international clients on the implications for them of the Zondo Commission on State Capture.

In addition to being an admitted attorney, Jane was a member of the Bar after completing her pupillage in 1995. Over the years, working for large South African and international law firms, Jane has performed considerable amounts of banking and finance dispute resolution and litigation-related matters, including high-value asset and debt recovery. She also has expertise in alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, mediation, insolvency and restructuring, as well as commercial dispute resolution in commercial property, real estate, insurance and corporate recovery.

Her goal when working on any matter is to get the best results for the client by anticipating trends, surrounding herself with excellent practitioners across legal disciplines and fighting hard for her clients without becoming personally involved.

From working with various role models and mentors, Jane has learnt the value of humility, integrity, consistent hard work and determination, and treating people well and with respect. Jane is a great believer in keeping an open-door policy and transferring her skills by mentoring junior lawyers.

She made Bowmans her career home in July 2016, attracted by the demographic diversity of the firm’s staff and its commitment to being an African firm.

A longstanding client has described Jane as a smart, strategic and capable litigator.

Experience

Jurisdictions worked in: South Africa, United Kingdom, USA and Namibia.

Jane’s banking experience includes:

  • Acting for a major South African bank for a number of years in a range of high-profile, sensitive matters involving reputational issues, including:
  • Successfully opposing sequestration proceedings of an individual against whom the bank had obtained a substantial money judgment and was a major creditor, on the basis of their being no advantage to creditors;
  • Successfully obtaining a substantial money judgement on application (as opposed to summons) to expedite proceedings against an individual on an urgent basis, so as to secure the bank’s position as a creditor;
  • Successfully defending the bank in a number of claims brought against the bank in both its capacity as a collecting bank and the drawee bank, arising from numerous cheque related frauds perpetrated on SARS and its customers;
  • Successfully negotiating and concluding a Settlement Agreement in relation to these claims brought by SARS against the bank arising from the abovementioned;
  • Defending various claims and complaints brought against the bank regarding alleged infringements of the National Credit Act (35 of 2005) (NCA) and successfully representing the bank before the National Credit Tribunal;
  • Defending the bank in a claim brought against it by the National Credit Regulator, regarding the NCA and certain provisions of the Usury Act not expressly incorporated into the NCA;
  • Freezing bank accounts pursuant to various frauds perpetrated by an account holder;
  • Assisting and advising the bank regarding the implementation of freezing / interdict orders;
  • Defending the bank against a claim brought by a trustee regarding alleged breaches by the bank of its mandate pertaining to a trust bank account and the authorised signatories thereof;
  • Defending the bank against a claim brought by a debtor where a debtor defaulted in its loan obligations owed to the bank arising from a Ponzi scheme fraud that the debtor was involved in;
  • Obtaining numerous and various money judgements and implementing same;
  • Perfecting notarial bonds and acting for the bank as a major creditor in various liquidations of large entities;
  • Negotiating the repayment of monies owed to the bank to avoid litigation against a company who had removed its directors and shareholders pursuant to adverse publicity and the major South African banks giving the company notice terminating its dealings with the company;
  • Successfully applying urgently for the removal of an appointed business rescue practitioner (BRP) on the grounds that the BRP had a conflict of interest;
  • Advising the bank in the realisation of its security held in respect of facilities granted to a group of companies involved in agriculture and the restructure of the groups debts;
  • Advising the bank in relation to a suretyship granted by directors of one company in relation to facilities granted to and debts incurred by a separate entity;
  • Implementing and supervising the operation of an immovable property portfolio involving recoveries of ‘default’ home loan agreements for the bank through various related Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) of the bank, which required extensive knowledge of:
    • the applicable legislation;
    • the jurisdictional requirements for each High Court Division and the Practice Manual requirements arising in respect of such recoveries;
    • the NCA requirements regarding section 129 debtor elections and related requirements; and
    • the reinstatement of Home Loan Agreements, negotiations and conclusions of Settlement Agreements pursuant to the issue of summons.
  • Acting for a former director of African Bank in making representations to the Commission of Enquiry appointed by the South African Reserve Bank; appearing before the Commissioner and making representations regarding the publication of the Commissioner’s findings;
  • Acting for shareholders in various transactions which involved the interpretation of (put and call) options, the exercise of same where banking institutions granted facilities to finance same and the disputes which arose inter-partes;
  • Acting for international financiers / banking institutions in recovering monies where the borrower defaulted in the repayment thereof.
  • Acting for a shareholder in a dispute relating to interpretation of a shareholders agreement involving the Companies Act and the new provisions thereof (regarding, for example, the solvency and liquidity test), the effect thereof and the validity of resolutions passed regarding loans obtained by the company from banking/financial institutions;
  • Acting for a mortgage bond originator in a dispute regarding payment of commissions due to it by banking institutions and the interpretation of agreements entered into inter-partes;
  • Acting for a shareholder in recovering a pro-rated contribution from a co-shareholder arising from the payment of a Guarantee furnished to a financial institution;
  • Acting for a seller in defending substantial claims brought by a purchaser arising from a Sale of Shares Agreement pertaining to alleged breaches of warranties;
  • Acting for an international fund defending interdictory relief sought against it pertaining to alleged defamation claims on both jurisdictional and urgency;
  • Acting for an international private equity fund to enforce a Guarantee relating to loans made to a listed entity.

Jane’s mining experience includes:

  • Acting for an internationally listed shareholder in protecting its rights and taking steps to protect its interests in pursuing syndicated thefts;.
  • Acting for shareholders relating to a commercial claim brought against a mining company in defeating a claim by fellow shareholders claiming that a scheme of arrangement had not been properly implemented, the effect of the set aside of which would have had far-reaching implications for clients.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Jane in Band 4 for her work in Dispute Resolution (South Africa) in 2022 and 2023.
  • Recognised by Best Lawyers® 2015-2021 as one of the Litigation Lawyers of the year.

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