Peter Leon

Honorary Associate

CEPMLP, Energy Environment and Society

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Peter Leon is a Partner and the Global Chair of the Africa Group at Herbert Smith Freehills, based in the Johannesburg office.

Peter is one of the world's pre-eminent mining lawyers according to the International Who's Who of Mining Lawyers and other peer reviewed global legal directories. His areas of expertise include crisis management, mineral and petroleum regulation in developing countries (including international best practice), resource nationalism, black economic empowerment and indigenisation law, international investment law and investment protection.

Peter regularly advises clients on major mine development agreements and resources regulatory issues across Anglophone Africa. He also has significant experience in contentious matters involving States in sub-Saharan Africa. He is particularly skilled in crisis management and has provided expert advice on an urgent basis to clients to assist them in managing and mitigating significant country risks.

Peter is well versed in the sub-Saharan African geopolitical climate and provides strategic advice not only on issues related to the mineral regulatory framework but also on how to navigate the framework within the prevailing economic and political conditions in key African mining jurisdictions.

Peter also recently represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as international legal counsel on the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources’ mineral law reform project. In this regard, Peter led a team of Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers who advised the Ministry on the full suite of implementing regulations and guidelines supporting the recently promulgated Mining Investment Law, 2020, which came into force in January 2021.

Peter holds an LLM (first-class honours) and a Diploma in Comparative Legal Studies from the University of Cambridge. Additionally, he has an LLB (cum laude) and a BA (awarded with distinction in Roman Law) from the University of Cape Town. He was also elected as a senior scholar of Christ's College, Cambridge.