Shawn Barnett

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

South Africa
T:+27 11 685 8735
South Africa
T:+27 11 685 8735
Shawn Barnett

Shawn Barnett


Related services and key industries


Shawn is a director in the Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions team based in Johannesburg.

Shawn primarily advises on regulated and unregulated funds.  He regularly advises general partners, investors and management companies on the establishment of new private funds housed within partnership, corporate or trust structures.  Shawn has expertise in cross border fund establishment and investments including regulatory considerations relating to exchange controls, advisory licenses and black economic empowerment.  He further advises on downstream acquisitions and disposals and related corporate work.  Shawn has been working closely with the Norton Rose Fulbright fund practices in the United Kingdom and North America in respect of African fund establishments and has remained abreast of international best practice in the private funds space.

He also advises and leads on high-end complex domestic and international banking and finance transactions. He focuses on structured and derivative transactions, general financial market regulation and enterprise risk management advisory work. Shawn was a director in the banking and finance department of Deneys Reitz Attorneys before he joined Macquarie Securities South Africa as country counsel. While at Macquarie Shawn assisted in the developing and implementing of OTC derivative transactions and dividend yielding instruments for the collective investment industry. He has also advised local and international banks on industry standard derivative documentation, including ISDA Master Agreements, GMSLAs and GMRAs. Shawn has also advised on the enforceability of the collateral arrangements under the ISDA Credit Support Documents under South African law.

He has advised various local and international banks, brokers and other financial institutions on the financial regulatory environment, including on the Securities Services Act, the Rules of the JSE Limited's Equity's Division, Derivatives Division and Interest Rate and Currency Division (previously the bond market). He also advises on the rules of Strate Limited and other aspects relating to the custody and administration of securities. He is very experienced in the utilisation of derivatives in structured trades and preference share transactions, both in acquisition transactions and as a general investment product. Shawn was seconded to JP Morgan where he assisted the trading desk on derivative transactions and investment banking transactions including the Absa/Barclays merger and other structured notes and warrants.

Shawn has been listed as a leading lawyer in the banking and finance space in international publications, including Chambers Global.

Professional experience

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B.Proc, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg).

  • qualified in South Africa.
  • Attorney

He has also advised in relation to:

  • the regulatory environment applicable to cryptocurrencies and related initial coin offerings into South Africa;
  • establishing fund structures for the venture capital, private equity and hedge fund space, utilising en commandite partnership, trust or corporate structures;
  • local registrations of foreign collective investment schemes;
  • advisory work in relation to the general investment restrictions relating to funds;
  • structuring of investment products for the collective investment market;
  • FAIS licensing applications and advisory services in respect of the collective investment market; and
  • general regulatory advice applicable to the collective Investment market.
  • He has also worked extensively with the National Credit Act, and was involved in retail banking credit agreements for Standard Bank and First National Bank.

He has also advised on capital market transactions, including the establishment of domestic medium term note programs, securitisation structures, bond issues and other structured notes and warrants.

Shawn has been listed as a leading lawyer in the banking and finance space in international publications, including Chambers Global.

Member of the Law Society of the Northern Province.

  • English
  • Afrikaans