Photo, Darryl Bernstein

Darryl Bernstein

Baker & McKenzie


Darryl Bernstein is a partner and head of Baker McKenzie's Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Johannesburg. His practice focuses on the resolution of a wide range of commercial disputes, advising on various compliance risks and running local and multijurisdictional investigations.

Practice Focus

Darryl routinely assists clients with international, domestic and multijurisdictional litigation and arbitration proceedings, with a particular focus on shareholder disputes, disputed claims in insolvency and business rescue proceedings, banking and matters involving the enforcement and perfection of security, as well as commercial disputes involving clients in the construction, engineering, IT and mining sectors.

Darryl acts on behalf of various state organisations and commercial tenderers in the resolution of tender disputes and administrative reviews.

He further advises on regulatory compliance matters, in South Africa and across the African continent, and has acted for a wide range of international and domestic clients in investigations by the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and various other authorities and regulators in both local and international enforcement actions. He has assisted with due diligence and risk assessments, compliance audits and the preparation of policies and codes of practice.

Darryl has been individually ranked in Chambers Global for dispute resolution in South Africa since 2011.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed construction, engineering and mining contractor in the recovery of funds owed to it arising out of various construction disputes and their ancillary funding arrangements.
  • Advised and represented the Group Five Housing and Motlekar Cape joint venture in opposing an application to overturn the award of the construction of a ZAR 370 million housing development by the Western Cape Government's Department of Human Settlements.
  • Advised and represented one of the world's largest oil and natural gas service multinationals in relation to the disputed termination of a lease and development agreement in Ghana, coupled to the successful recovery of remitted funds.
  • Advised and represented one of the largest mining companies in the world, along with certain of their employees, in litigation aimed at ensuring the proper interpretation, alternatively the constitutional striking down, of provisions of legislation which facilitate reckless lending and perpetuate inequality and unfairness through abuse by certain debt administrators.
  • Advised and represented an American multinational technology company, with internet-related services and products businesses, in a matter arising out of the online publication of allegedly defamatory media.
  • Advised and represented an American multinational computer technology corporation specialising in cloud and database services, in contested litigation relating to the termination of a service provider for breach of compliance guidelines.
  • Advised and represented a pension funds administrator in relation to civil claims involving the Power Pack, Sable Industries and Datakor Pension Funds for alleged misappropriation, maladministration, fraud and theft in excess of ZAR 40 million, ZAR 50 million and ZAR 98 million, respectively.
  • Advised and represented a public company listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in relation to intergroup company and shareholders' disputes with its local South African operations company.
  • Advised and represented one of the world's most influential global management consultancies, headquartered in the US, with a significant and high profile investigation in respect of allegations of non-compliance with procurement legislation and alleged violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the South African Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
  • Advised and represented a US-based aviation company with an investigation into allegations against its business with third party joint venture partners and the award of contracts by government and state owned entities in South Africa.

Professional Honors

  • Darryl has been individually ranked in Chambers Global for dispute resolution in South Africa since 2011.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of South Africa - Member
  • International Bar Association (IBA) - Member
  • Society of Construction Law - Member
  • London Court of International Arbitration - Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (LCIA-MIAC) - Member
  • International Association of Privacy Practitioners (IAPP) - Member


  • South Africa (2005)


  • e-Commerce Law and Regulations Seminar (2014)
  • University of the Witwatersrand (Postgraduate Course in Access to Information and Privacy Law) (2014)
  • University of the Witwatersrand (Advanced Company Law I & II) (2009)
  • University of Cape Town (LL.B.) (2002)
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E)


  • English
  • Co-author, South African chapter, International Arbitration Yearbook, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Co-author, South African chapter, The International Comparative Legal Guide to International Arbitration, 2015, 2016
  • Co-author, South African chapter, Global Privacy Handbook, 2013, 2016
  • Co-author, South African chapter, Global Privacy and Information Management Handbook, December 2015
  • Co-author, South African chapter, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Review, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Co-author, South Africa's Draft Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, World Data Protection Report, 2014