After qualifying with a B Com LLB from Wits University Craig served articles with MJ Silver Rothbart and Cohen, a commercial and insolvency firm Craig was admitted as an attorney with this varied practice. Gaining invaluable experience practising as a professional legal assistant, Craig was involved in commercial drafting, commercial litigation, restructures, insolvency enquiries and related litigation. Craig was a member of the Legal Counsel team in a commercial environment for six years and was appointed as a member of the senior management team which first introduced the concept of managed health care in South Africa. This position required him to draft legal contracts and scheme rules, advise on legislative requirements and issues and be involved in submissions relating to the proposed Medical Scheme’s Act. The scheme rules were based on historic claim profiles and the legal wording had to be articulated to avoid disputes and reduce queries. Thereafter Craig was appointed as Company Secretary/Legal Advisor for an offshore diamond mining group whose holding company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the Namibian Stock Exchange where his responsibilities were extensive and included:
• involvement in negotiating facilities with the banks (totalling 75 million USD);
• management and preparation of the engineering, shipping, employment, mining, diamond sale and commercial agreements;
• management of the takeover of ODM (a marine diamond mining company listed on the JSE);
• management of the company secretarial matters in a complex multi-jurisdictional group structure of some forty companies;
• preparation of and filing returns required by the various exchanges and ensuring regulatory compliance.
When an operational accident occurred, the company lost its mining capacity and was left without cash flow, Craig formulated the strategy for a structured liquidation and restructuring of the group. A core team of senior management remained in the business to carry out the restructure and Craig led and managed the team and the processes and negotiations required to carry out the restructure.
The restructure took eight months to implement and was extremely complex with a number of stakeholders having differing requirements. Stakeholders included a consortium of banks, creditors, debenture holders and a new foreign shareholder. The restructure was successfully implemented, which resulted in the group coming out of liquidation and 29 million USD of funding procured in order to resume operations.
Armed with immense practical legal experience gained during the preceding years, Craig returned to private practice for his own account in 2002.
Craig has been rated on Legal 500 and in Chambers as one of the top South African lawyers in dispute resolution and listed in Best Lawyers 2011 – 2021, being awarded Best Lawyer – Litigation in 2019. Craig has also been an Acting Judge of the High Court, and three of his judgments during his term were reported on Saflii.