Hannes Marais

Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

South Africa
T:+27 11 301 3415
South Africa
T:+27 11 301 3415
Hannes Marais

Hannes Marais



Hannes is a commercial disputes lawyer based in Johannesburg with seven years' commercial and insurance litigation experience.

He forms part of the insurance litigation team that sits within the broader disputes team and focusses on insurance and commercial disputes; mainly acting for local and global financial institutions, insurance companies and their insureds as well as multinational corporations.

Hannes has experience in dealing with various types of complex insurance claims that include – inter alia – professional indemnity (auditors and engineers), directors and officers, cyber, fidelity, fraud, commercial properties, construction projects, manufacturing equipment, subrogated recoveries, and aviation.

He also has experience in commercial disputes including but not limited to disputes involving accountants and auditors; engineers and engineering companies; various contractual disputes between different types of commercial entities, as well as claims based in tort.

Hannes has worked on and been involved in white collar crime investigations which relate to identify theft, fraud, corruption and state capture.

He has also advised on various matters involving allegations of contraventions of the South African Competition Act (antitrust law), as well as merger acquisition and exemption applications/approvals.

Professional experience

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B.Com Law (cum laude) - The University of the Free State, 2007;

B.Com Honours in Economics - The University of the Free State, 2008;

LLB (cum laude) - The University of the Free State, 2010;

LLM (which consisted of a complex mixture of master's level micro-economic principles and theories being applied to the efficiency defence found in the South African Competition Act) - The University of the Free State, 2012

  • Attorney, qualified in South Africa 2014



Coverage advice and disputes relating to accidents; and incidents relating to aircraft.

Cyber-attacks and hacking of computer systems

Coverage advice on cyber policies relating to losses sustained as a result of computer systems hacks by unknown third parties.

Fraudulent and dishonest conduct

Coverage advice on  and  dealing  with  disputes  in  relation  to  directors'  and  officers'  liability concerning fraud and the misappropriation of funds, as well as fidelity litigation claims concerning dishonest conduct by employees.

Fraudulent and innocent non-disclosure and misrepresentation

Advised on and dealt with disputes relating to fraudulent and innocent non-disclosures and misrepresentations in an insurance and re-insurance context.

International quasi-equity loans

Advised the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (part of the World Bank) on policy wording for quasi-equity loans under insurance guarantees issued by it.

Long-term insurance

Coverage advice on sickness, incapacity and hospital benefits under long-term insurance policies and dealt with claims relating thereto.

Professional service firms

Coverage advice on professional indemnity policies and dealt with disputes relating to litigation against chartered accountants, attorneys, engineers and professional project managers.

Represented registered auditors in complaints lodged against them with the relevant regulatory body in relation to allegations that they acted negligently or dishonestly and/or in contravention with the relevant codes of conduct.

Commercial Disputes


Commercial aviation related disputes under the Montreal Convention and the relevant South African aviation laws and regulations.

Commercial Evictions

Advised on and dealt with urgent and non-urgent commercial eviction applications relating to the petroleum and security industries.


Claims relating to damage that occurred during construction, errors in design, and errors during construction, project management and time delays.


Commercial disputes relating to breach of contract, failure to perform adequately or at all, breach of warranty provisions and alleged dishonest conduct of directors and officers involved in the contractual negotiations.


Claims relating to the destruction of buildings and other assets as a result of explosions of electrical equipment, high voltage electrical failures or phase-to-phase faults.


Claims under the National Veld and Forest Fire Act as well as other fire claims relating to the destructions of factories and buildings.

International litigation and arbitration

Advised on and litigated on disputes concerning complex legal issues such as, prescription of claims against foreign entities and persons, jurisdiction of the South African courts' over foreign entities and person, and the relevance of the defence of res judicata in respect of similar claims brought in other jurisdictions.


Claims relating to damage or loss caused to first and third parties by the dishonest conduct of employees.


Claims relating to breach of legal duties and duties of care by professionals and other service providers.

Competition Law / Anti-Trust

Allegations of Contraventions

Advised on whether or not conduct constitutes anti-competitive conduct in breach of the Competition Act.

Advised on the collection and sharing of potentially competitively sensitive information.

Represented companies accused of contravening the Competition Act through cartel conduct, abuse of dominance and excessive pricing.

Represented companies during market enquiries by the Competition Authority.   

Engaged with the Regulatory Authority on the severity of penalties and how these may undermine the objectives of the Competition Act and the functioning of markets.

Compliance with the Competition Act

Provided training to various companies on compliance with the South African Competition Act.

Monitoring compliance with the South African Competition Act by attended meetings between

competitors to ensure they comply with the provisions of the Act.

Consumer Protection

Represented companies that allegedly acted in breach of the Consumer Protection Act. All the complaints dealt with were submitted by customers of our client.

Dawn Raids

Assisted large multi-national companies in dawn raids by the Competition Authorities for alleged collusion and price fixing to ensure compliance with the provisions of the search warrant and to protect client interests.

Mergers and Other Approvals

Analysed the likely effect of mergers and acquisitions upon competition in the relevant market and preparing merger filings.

Involved in due diligence undertakings to identify whether or not the target entity complies with various regulatory requirements.

Preparing and motivating exemption applications relying on practical, legal and statistical arguments.

Contractual negotiation work


Advised clients on contractual issues and assisting with negotiations of mainly construction related contracts.

White collar crime investigations

Global firm investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption

Involved in a document review process for a global and one of the largest tobacco companies in the world relating to an internal investigation into, inter alia, bribery and corruption and state influence via bribery and corruption.

National Government investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption

Involved in an internal document review process for a South African government institution responsible for investing in infrastructure development. The review sought, inter alia, to identify any irregularities in the awarding of contracts with the aim of identifying potential bribery, fraud and corruption.

National Prosecuting Authority investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption

Engaged with the South African National Prosecuting Authority to the extent that certain contraventions of the Competition Act constitute bribery, fraud and/or corruption. In this regard we sought amnesty for certain directors.

Previous secondment

Global cellular network company

Stationed at the largest cellular network company in Africa for approximately 4 to 5 months to assist and to some extend manage portions of a transaction wherein the company sold some of its assets that amounted to ZAR1 billion.

  • "Construction and Engineering: Managing the risk of catastrophes", Money Marketing, November 2018;
  • "Cover against catastrophes", Cape Times, October 2018;
  • "Governance and Risk Management Framework for Insurers", Mondaq, January 2015;
  • "Attention All Class Members", Without Prejudice, May 2013;
  • "Loss of Support: Extended to Permanent Heterosexual Life Partnership", Mondaq, October 2012.

The Role of Experts in the Litigation Process", Presentation held by the Insurance Young Guns Association which forms part of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng, 2018;

"Construction Claims", Annual Insurance Seminar held by us, 2018;

"Long Term Insurance and General Legal Risks", Barclays Bank, April 2017;

"Business Rescue: Covered Under PI or D&O Policies", Stalker Hutchison Admiral, 2017;

"Special Features of Insurance Contracts", Insurance Seminar held by the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, 2017;

 "Protection of Personal Information Act", Annual Conference held by the South African Institute for Loss Adjusters, 2016;

"The Role Your Insurance Policies Play in Managing Your Risks, Presentation to various clients involved in the financial industry, 2016;

"So Many Policies, So Little Choice – The Story of D&O, PI and Cyber Claims", Presentation to various clients involved in the financial industry, 2016;

"Meaning of Sudden and Unforeseen and Reasonable Precautions Clauses, Mirabilis Engineering Underwriting Managers, 2016;

"Financial Lines Insurance Policies", Zurich Insurance, 2016;

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