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Andrew Wellsted | Co-Head of Tax | South Africa

Andrew Wellsted

Co-Head of Tax

CMS RM Partners
85 Grayston Drive
5th Floor
South Africa
Languages English, Zulu

Andrew is a highly regarded tax practitioner operating primarily in South Africa and Africa. He is a lawyer by training and specialises in tax and transactional structuring solutions.

His tax experience covers a broad range of transactions, with an emphasis on tax advisory relevant to the cross-border, banking and mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, upstream and downstream advisory for funds and black economic empowerment funds.

Andrew has significant tax litigation experience, and he has excellent relationships with numerous South African regulators.

In the banking and financial service industries, Andrew has advised various financial institutions on financing transactions including project finance, structured finance and preference shares.

He is specialised regarding the tax considerations applicable to advising on the structuring of derivatives, financial instruments and other structured products.

He was head of tax at a large multinational law firm until 2018.  He is ranked by global legal directories in Tax; Band 2, Tax, South Africa, Chambers 2020, and Recognized as the Best Tax Lawyer in Johannesburg by Best Lawyers, 2020. 

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I rate him very highly. I've worked with him over the years on very complex deals and big transactions - he's very good

Chambers | Tax, South Africa, 2018

My go-to corporate tax structuring person, he's a tax specialist and has a good grasp of difficult tax issues

Chambers | Tax, South Africa, 2019

One of the more impressive tax-legal advisers in South Africa

Chambers | Tax, South Africa, 2020

very approachable, agile and extremely knowledgeable

Chambers | Tax, South Africa, 2020

Relevant experience

South Africa

  • ZARX the second largest Listed Exchange in South Africa - on the tax implications of the various instruments which it may list on behalf of clients
  • Two short-terms insurers - on the tax treatment of the two short-terms insurers in the same group who merged using the reorganisation provisions of the Income Tax Act (ICT Act).   Our advice included novel structuring on section 42 of the ICT Act
  • A mining company - regarding a large transaction where its Off-Take Agreements and related consideration for the Off-Take Agreements were adjusted.  We advise on the tax implications of the Off-Take Agreements, transfer pricing and general commercial and tax issues.  This advice required nuanced knowledge of the financial services and mining sectors – with client main investment strategy into mining sector
  • A Global Group - on the restructure of the group and establishment of new entities in terms of section 42 of the Income Tax Act, the asset-for-share transactions. The structure involved creation of trust and different companies to hold assets including supply agreements of the family business. The restructure involved advice on tax implications which included transfer pricing, thin capitalisation, trust law, corporate agreements, and Exchange control regulations and compliance.
  • A large family wealth planning organisation - regarding the tax implications of life insurance policies


  • GTC (formerly Grant Thornton) – in relation to developing an international focused asset management platform, including advising on appropriate jurisdictions, IP issues, tax optimisation in Mauritius  
  • MFS Africa - on assisting a multinational fintech business which facilitates mobile phone-based payments in restructuring their headquarter operations into Mauritius. This also involved dealing with the regulatory issues arising in each subsidiary jurisdiction
  • Osiris Trading – in relation to assisting with the online betting and games group with its Africa expansion.  The services provided included understanding the regulatory framework of each subsidiary jurisdiction, particularly the tax rules applicable to the gaming industry and optimizing problems areas including where no appropriate regulation exists.
  • A German consulting company - on how to enter South Africa (SA) in order to establish entities to manage international projects. Our advice entailed tax, customs, corporate law, labour law and immigration. It also involved in engaging with several government entities to understand their practical processes, timelines and thereafter properly advising the client thereon.  This involved international agreements with the European Union, South African government, African Union, German government and the New Partnership for Africa's Development 
  • A Global Group - on a proposed restructure of the global group and establishment of new entities around the world in terms of the asset-for-share transactions. The structure involved creation of trust to hold offshore assets including intellectual property via Malta, Zug and consolidation of IP agreements into some offshore entity and development of new IP
  • A financial services multinational - regarding the establishment of an Offshore Asset Management Business in Mauritius
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  • 2004 - Diploma in Capital Gains Tax, from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 2003 - LL.M., the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 1999 - LL.B., the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • 1997 - BA, the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
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  • Member of the South African Institute for Tax Professionals
  • Registered as a Tax Practitioner with the South African Revenue Services
  • Member of the Legal Practice Council of South Africa
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7 October 2019
CMS ex­pands in Africa
South Afric­an and Kenyan law firms ad­ded to CMS’s glob­al...
December 2019
Eth­ics: the fu­ture of tax plan­ning
Tax Thought Lead­er­ship Bro­chure
March 2020
CMS Tax Glob­al Bro­chure


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18 Jun 20
Sec­tion 12J VCC We­bin­ar
The we­bin­ar will com­prise of in­form­at­ive present­a­tions...