Robert Cohen

Robert Cohen

Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9317
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Robert Cohen is a lawyer in our Johannesburg office’s Corporate Department.

Robert specialises in all areas of company law, although his focus is on mergers and acquisitions (listed and unlisted companies) and equity capital markets transactions. He leads teams on important corporate transactions, many of which involve cross-border elements. He advises on investments into South Africa as well as outward investments by South African companies into Sub-Saharan Africa and further abroad.

Robert’s clients include a number of listed South African conglomerates and foreign multinationals. He is also the firm’s relationship partner for a number of these clients.

Robert is instrumental in the support, development and training of lawyers in the M&A practice group, which includes formal training (such as workshops) and on-the- job training, assistance and advice. He also provides support to our Knowledge initiatives in M&A, and to the Firm on various Firm projects.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Some of Robert’s transactions in which he was involved include:

  • advising long-time client, Barloworld on its multijurisdictional acquisition of Caterpillar Inc’s Bucyrus businesses in South Africa, Botswana and Siberia;
  • the high profile CFR Pharmaceuticals / Adcock Ingram transaction (acting for CFR Pharmaceuticals);
  • advising Capital Appreciation Limited on its listing, the first listing of a special purpose acquisition company on the Main Board of the JSE;
  • advising Associated British Foods on its take private of Illovo Sugar; and
  • drafting the settlement agreement for the well-known silicosis class action litigation against certain mining companies.

Signature Matters


  • Chambers and Partners, 2019 ranked Robert in Band 4 for Corporate/ M&A.
  • Chambers and Partners, 2018 ranked Robert in Band 4 for Corporate/ M&A.
  • Recognised by Who’s Who Legal 2018 and 2019 for Mergers & Acquisitions.
  • Ranked in Band 4 by Chambers and Partners, 2017 for Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions.
  • Recognised by Best Lawyers, 2017 for Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • Robert is a past winner of the ILO Client Choice Award for Mergers and Acquisitions in South Africa.
  • He is cited by Chambers & Partners for Corporate/M&A. In 2016 he was ranked by the publication in Band 3 for Corporate/M&A.

Interviewees praise Robert Cohen as a “highly skilled expert in his field,” and value his ability to “approach matters pragmatically.” He has a considerable amount of corporate transactional experience and handles cross-border mergers and acquisitions in Africa and beyond.

Chambers and Partners 2019

Sources regard Robert Cohen as “very responsive and thoughtful in his approach.” He has substantial experience of high-value cross-border acquisitions in Africa and further afield, with notable work handled in the field of consumer goods.

Chambers and Partners 2018

Robert Cohen makes a big impression on his regular clients, one of whom went on at length to praise his “very effective negotiating style.” The same source also highlighted his extensive knowledge of South African corporate law, adding that “his dry, humorous but very effective negotiating style is both assertive and helps get the job done.”

Chambers and Partners 2017

Publications & Insights