Michael Katz

Michael Katz

Non-executive Director

Chairman – ENSafrica – Practising Attorneys.

  • Com (Witwatersrand University).
  • LlB (Witwatersrand University).
  • M (Harvard Law School).
  • D(h.c) (Witwatersrand University).
  • Course director Advanced Company Law – Wits University;
  • Visiting Professor in Company Law – Wits University;
  • Member of Board of Governors – Hebrew University of Jerusalem;
  • Member of The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand;
  • Member of the Board of Wits Business School.

Co-author of Butterworths Company Law Precedents (4 Volumes).

  • In 1994 I was appointed by the New Democratic Government to chair the Commission of Inquiry into the Tax System. This was the so-called “Katz Commission” and we published nine Reports recommending a significant overhaul of the South African tax system in the light of the new democracy in South Africa and South Africa’s position in the world economy.
  • Over many years I was the Chairman of the Tax Advisory Committee to the Minister of Finance.
  • Was a member of the Securities Regulation Panel in terms of the 1973 Companies Act.
  • Was a member of a number of Subcommittees of the Law Society of South Africa.
  • Was a member of King Committee on Corporate Governance;
  • Chaired The Committee For the Restructuring of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange;
  • Chairman of the Specialist Committee on Company Law (established in terms of section 191 of the Companies Act, 2008);
  • Previously Chairman of the Board of the National Housing Finance Corporation Limited – which was established by Government to enable affordable finance for low cost housing;
  • Chairman of Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Company (NPC);
  • Director – American Chamber of Commerce in SA (NPC);
  • Director – Solidarity Response Fund NPC.
  • Director – GBVF Response Fund 1 NPC.
  • Director – Business Leadership South Africa.

Trustee of a number of trusts including the :-

  • Legal Resources Trust;
  • Constitutional Court Trust;
  • Donald Gordon Foundation;
  • Constitution Hill Trust;
  • Chairman South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.
  • I am the Chairman of the firm and still significantly involved in practicing law and other activities referred to below. The firm is managed by Mzi Mgudlwa, the CEO, and general managers, all of whom are full-time involved in the management of the firm.  We have more than 1300 people, approximately half of whom are professionals.  Of these more than half are females, and more than a third are Black practitioners.
    The firm has 32 departments and offers the same wide range of services that the large New York law firms and the Magic Circle law firms in London offer.  We have offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Stellenbosch, three in Namibia, Mauritius, Ruanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.  In addition, we have two pro-bono offices in Alexandra Township and Mitchells Plain, two areas inhabited by very poor residents.  These residents receive free legal advice from us.  It is mandatory for all professionals in our firm to render a certain prescribed amount of time to our pro-bono offices.  These pro-bono offices are a significant part of our Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, which, however, does extend beyond these pro-bono activities.
  • Often present papers on legal and fiscal topics, most recently presented a paper at 50th Anniversary of Commonwealth Lawyers in London on “Directors Duties, Shareholder Remedies and Auditor Duties.”
  • Mentioned in Legal Periodicals as the leading South African Lawyer and highly recommended South Africa Lawyer in Tax, Mergers and Acquisitions and Competition Law, including –
    • Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers 2010 – Corporate Commercial/M&A and Tax (South Africa);
    • Chambers and Partners 2009 – Corporate/M&A, Tax (South Africa);
    • Best Lawyers South Africa 2009 – Tax, Banking;
    • Best Lawyers South Africa 2010 – Tax;
    • IFLR 1000 2009 – Corporate Commercial;
    • IFLR 1000 2010 – M&A;
    • PLC Which Lawyer? Cross border Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook 2009/10;
    • PLC Which Lawyer? 2009 – Corporate/M&A, Tax, Banking and Finance, Competition/Antitrust, Private Equity/Venture Capital and Corporate Governance;
    • PLC Which Lawyer? 2010 – Corporate / M&A, Competition, Finance and Securitisation, Tax, Corporate Governance and Banking and Finance;
    • Legal 500 2010 – Corporate Commercial, Tax (South Africa);
    • Acquisition Finance (ACQ) Global Awards 2010 – Most Respected Lawyer, Dealmaker of the year and Strategic Advisor of the year (Africa);
    • Legal Experts Europe, Middle East & Africa 2010 – Corporate / M&A and Tax;
    • The International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers 2010 – Tax (South Africa);
    • The International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers 2010 – Corporate Governance (South Africa);
    • The International Who’s Who of Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers 2010 – M&A (South Africa);
    • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers – Corporate Governance and M&A (South Africa);
    • The International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers 2009;
    • The Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisors 2009.
  • 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from Dealmakers for contribution to M&A Industry.
  • 2022 Lifetime Achiever Award from Chambers.
  • 2022 Legal 500 Rankings : Hall of Fame.
  • 2022 African Legal Awards : Lifetime Achiever Award.

Served on the Panel of Nugent Commission of Inquiry into Governance at SARS.

  • Was a member of the board of directors of the company that hosted the 2003 World Cricket Cup in South Africa.
  • Was a member of the board of directors of the company that hosted the FIFA World Soccer Cup in South Africa in 2010.