Panel Member In The Spotlight


BA Hons (cum laude) LLB (Natal) LLM (Kings College, London)

Renewable Energy, Environmental, Heritage and Health and Safety Law
Admitted as attorney in 1989
Previously at Shepstone & Wylie (Durban and London) as a shipping and commercial lawyer, Maitland & Co (Luxembourg and London) as a commercial and tax lawyer, and Enact International (London) as an international environmental lawyer

Cormac is one of South Africa’s leading environmental lawyers who advises on renewable energy projects, waste management, land development, coastal zone management, heritage, and health and safety law. He has written many articles, guidelines, book chapters and books, and is the lead author of LexisNexis Practical Guidance (Environment) and Practical Guidance (Occupational Health and Safety) each of which includes more than 100 detailed guidance notes.

Cormac advises municipalities and private clients in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, renewable energy, pulp and paper and waste management. His experience includes advising on:

  • agriculture and aquaculture;
  • climate change and carbon trading;
  • coastal and marine issues (including fisheries);
  • contaminated land;
  • conservation and biodiversity;
  • due diligence investigations;
  • environmental impact assessment processes;
  • forestry, pulp and paper;
  • health and safety;
  • heritage and heritage impact assessments;
  • land development;
  • mining;
  • pollution control (including the control of air emissions, odour, noise, and effluent);
  • renewable energy developments;
  • waste management; and
  • water issues.


He has advised on various aspects of the establishment and operation of wind, solar PV, small-scale hydro, wave and marine current power plants. He was a member of the team of transaction advisors appointed to advise the South African government on the design and implementation of the procurement process for awarding power purchase agreements (PPAs) to independent power producers – now referred to as the “Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme” (REIPPPP).

Cormac has extensive international experience and has drafted legislation and legal instruments, and advised on governance issues, in more than 20 countries in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, South America and South East Asia. He has drafted two international treaties in Africa and is a judge of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal.  Cormac has lectured at universities in Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the USA and is regularly invited to deliver keynote speeches at international conferences. He has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations (New York), the Conference of the Parties of the Bonn Convention (Ecuador) and the C40 Cities (Hong Kong).

Country experience: Angola, Australia, Bolivia, China (Hong King), Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Eritrea, Estonia, Gabon, Germany, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Namibia, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia.