Virusha Subban

Virusha Subban

Baker & McKenzie


Virusha Subban is a partner and head of Indirect Tax in Baker McKenzie's Tax Practice Group in Johannesburg. She has over 20 years of experience in tax issues relating to customs and excise and international trade.

Practice Focus

Virusha runs a niche practice that is focused on customs, excise and international trade. This offering is primarily to large corporates, multinationals and state departments that come to her to solve their most complex cross border indirect tax and trade issues. Her background extends to export controls, dual use, cross border trade issues such as anti-dumping and other trade remedies, and a cradle to grave offering on all aspects of customs and excise.

Virusha's expertise extends to all customs-related risks in the context of cross-border transactions in Africa. She also conducts customs reviews and health checks and provides training to companies that wish to avert customs and excise risk.

She has extensive experience in supply chain movement and trade issues on the continent, having advised clients on cross border movement of goods into Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.

Representative Legal Matters

Prior to joining the Firm Virusha advised on the following: 

  • Lead lawyer that successfully challenged SARS in ZAR 1.5 billion excise dispute 
  • Represented the Brazilian chicken export industry in an anti-dumping investigation into frozen chicken exports to SACU 
  • Represented a client in obtaining a substantial reduction of a ZAR 1 billion customs penalty imposed by Namibian Customs 
  • Advised the largest player and industry group on the implementation of sugar tax in South Africa 
  • Advised the South African government on cross border import regulatory and dumping issues 
  • Advised a US motor vehicle manufacturer on MIDP and APDP issues

Since joining the Firm Virusha is leading the following seminal matters: 

  • Representing a multinational in the consumer goods and retail sector in a ZAR 1.8 billion customs valuation dispute 
  • Advising large business on the implementation of carbon tax in South Africa 
  • Advising a US soda ash exporter in an anti-dumping sunset review in South Africa

Professional Honors

  • Ranked Band 2 for Tax: Indirect Tax, Chambers and Partners 2018
  • Ranked Band 3 for Tax: Indirect Tax, Chambers and Partners 2017 Rated as a leader, Chambers Global 2016
  • Rated as a leader for Tax: Indirect Tax, International Tax Review 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017
  • Listed in International Tax Review’s Women in Tax Leaders Guide, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Winner of Client Choice Guide Award in association with Lexology and International Law Office, 2015
  • Winner of Client Choice Guide Award in association with Lexology and International Law Office, 2014
  • Recognised in The Legal 500 2018 and 2019

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of the Northern Provinces - Member


  • South Africa (2001)


  • (Post Graduate Certificate International Tax) (2007)
  • University of South Africa (LLM) (2004)
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal (BA, LLB) (1999)
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal (Bachelor of Law) (1996)