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Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc

Mbali Khumalo is a director in Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s finance and banking practice. There are only a handful of black women with her skill set in the South African legal market. Her expertise extends to both finance and debt capital markets and covers a range of transactions including acquisition finance, structured trade commodity finance, leverage finance, medium-term note programmes, inward listings and standalone bond transactions. She has experience representing investment banks, development finance institutions, borrowers, and issuers. Mbali started as a candidate attorney at Bowman Gilfillan Inc in 2013. She was appointed as a senior associate in 2017. She spent a year at a leading law firm in New York as a visiting international attorney in their banking and finance department. 

Mbali joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as a director in 2021. Her main job is to take the overall responsibility for drafting transaction documents, project management, negotiations of the transaction documents, and supervision of others working on the transaction. She has advised on a range of transactions with a growing focus on real estate finance, structured trade commodity finance and acquisition finance. She has an exceptional command of South African law in general banking and finance transactions and has a good understanding of legal considerations for cross-border transactions in multiple jurisdictions.

  • Admitted as an attorney to the High Court of South Africa in 2016
  • Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Selected as the 2017-18 South African Fellow for the African Legal Fellows Programme through the Cyrus R Vance Center for International Justice and spent a year at the banking and finance department of Morrison & Foerster LLP, New York.

My late great-grandmother would look after my cousin and I after school. On one occasion, my cousin decided to skip school and my great-grandmother found out. My cousin was scolded for missing school and somehow the intensity in my great-grandmother’s eyes that day stayed with me and reinforced the notion that education was important.

I would tell her that she is capable enough!

A South Africa where equal opportunities exist for all, where the marginalised are economically empowered and have access to sufficient resources to live full and dignified lives.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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