Ruth Fesseha
Lawyer
Olivia Boyle
Consultant
Angus Verheul
Law Graduate
Taufiq Arahman
Lawyer
Ed Macgregor
Senior Associate
Samridhi Sinha
Lawyer
Peter Mutema
Consultant
Joanna Wang
Lawyer

Adriaan van der Merwe

Special Counsel

Adriaan is a seasoned legal professional who specialises in advising across the entire spectrum of New Energy matters, including EPC, O&M, and AMA, with an acute knowledge of the Australian and the Southern African region. His calm, calculated, and patient approach to working with clients has earned him a reputation for delivering outstanding results.

With extensive experience in advising on various technologies, including wind, solar PV, CSP, hydrogen, landfill, biomass, gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro, Adriaan is well-versed in infrastructure development, power projects, construction, regulatory matters, and energy-related disputes. His expertise spans both the public and private sectors, providing valuable insights and guidance to clients navigating the complexities of these industries.

Adriaan’s other work includes transmission, distribution, and procurement-related assignments, further solidifying his comprehensive understanding of the energy sector. His ability to navigate the intricate legal and regulatory frameworks governing these areas is a testament to his dedication and commitment to his craft.

Outside of his practice, Adriaan leads many of the firm’s culture-focused initiatives and enjoys mentoring junior colleagues in both legal and non-legal roles.

Prior to joining Hamilton Locke, Adriaan worked at MinterEllison in Australia and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc in South Africa, where he gained invaluable experience working on complex projects and dealing with diverse client needs.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Energy, Infrastructure; Project Development and Construction

QUALIFICATIONS
  • Master of Laws, University of Stellenbosch
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), Economics, University of Stellenbosch
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of the Free State
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Law), University of the Free State
  • Solicitor of the High Court of Australia
  • Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Notary of the High Court of South Africa
  • Attorney of the High Court of South Africa
SELECTED REPRESENTATIONS
  • Advising Wärtsila Australia on the drafting and negotiation of EPC and O&M Agreements for various battery storage projects.
  • Advising Foresight Group on various project documents including EPC, O&M, supply and subcontracts and in respect of various disputes (including under the security of payment legislation) for the Oakey 1 and Oakey 2 solar projects.
  • Advising UGL on the drafting of the EPC contract for Transgrid’s BESS in Western Sydney with Telsla as the EPC contractor and UGL as D&C Contractor.
  • Advising Veolia on various disputes under a Waste to Energy EPC for the Kwinana Waste to Energy Facility.
  • Advising Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd (the largest electricity utility in Africa) in its role as buyer, National Transmission Company, distributor and system operator on all of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Energy Programmes.
  • Advising Eskom on its Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme. According to the WWF, this programme is hailed as a flagship public-private partnership model for South Africa and the rest of Africa. It has been designed to contribute towards socio-economic and environmentally sustainable growth, and to start and stimulate the renewable energy industry in South Africa. The programme encompass the following technologies: onshore wind, concentrated solar power, solar photovoltaic, biomass, biogas, landfill gas and small hydro. In addition to the above this mandate also includes contract and claims management for Eskom for 94 renewable energy projects (in various stages of procurement) under the programme, as well as the resolution of disputes and all ancillary processes contemplated under the project documents. Advice includes the legal review and signoff on all new Power Purchase Agreements entered into by Eskom under the programme, assistance on all regulatory matters, and providing legal opinions on an array of issues encountered. As new projects are signed on this mandate increases and will eventually comprise 13,000 MW. To indicate the magnitude of this programme – the first 64 projects attracted private sector investment of US$ 14 billion.
  • Advising South African Power Pool (SAPP) in relation to the ANNA Transmission Interconnector project, which is expected to link the Namibian and Angolan electricity networks in the north western part of Namibia and the southern part of Angola. This mandate includes feasibility studies and the design of a procurement programme.
  • Acting for South African Power Pool (SAPP) on the feasibility study regarding the interconnection of the Southern and the Eastern African Power Pools. This instruction comprises an analysis of the legal and regulatory frameworks that can enable bilateral and competitive trading between the power pools.
  • Advising Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) in relation to the design of the procurement program and drafting of the suite of agreements (RFP, PPA, IA and Connection Agreement) for projects including, Metehara 100MW Solar PV procurement programme and Chemoga Yeda I and II 280 MW Hydro procurement programme. This mandate also included assistance with the actual procurement process, which included addressing clarification questions received from bidders, and training EEPs employees with regard to the necessitated procurement process.
  • Assisting the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (which includes all 14 states in West Africa) in standardising all of their bilateral energy trade agreements, as well as their network access agreements.
  • Advising NSW Department of Planning and Environment on various aspects of the National Energy Law (NSW), Electricity Supply Act (NSW), Energy Retail Law (NSW), National Energy Rules, the NSW Electricity Strategy and various other energy related matters.
  • Advising Dexus on the redevelopment of the Theatre Royal, which is part of the MLC Centre upgrade. Advise included drafting and negotiation of the Agreement for Lease with the State, Management Agreement with the Operator and the State and Independent Certifier Deed.
  • Advised Business Council of Australia as part of the BizRebuild program (which focus on areas impacted by bushfires) on the drafting and negotiation of construction contracts for the upgrade and/or construction of community halls for the communities including Cobargo, Araluen and Cudgewa.
  • Advising GPT Group on the expansion of the Rouse Hill Town Centre. Advice included the drafting and negotiation of Design and Construct Agreement (based on the AS 4902-2000) for the retail, residential and civil works portions of the project as well as the Tripartite Deed to be entered into with the contractor.
  • Advising Jemena on various construction agreements related to the electricity distribution network in Victoria, gas distribution network across Australia and battery energy storage projects.