Strategic Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board plays a crucial role at 7 Pillars, providing insightful and strategic guidance to 7 Pillars’ management on a range of issues and initiatives.

The members of our Advisory Board reflect a wealth of disciplines and experience from across the legal and commercial spectrum. By combining their international expertise, they provide a holistic viewpoint and help to steer our ship towards growth and innovation.

Meet The Team


Robert Appelbaum

Robert is a partner of Webber Wentzel, a major South African law firm. Robert specialises in mergers and acquisitions, project related and other transactional work and has advised a substantial number of South African and Asian-owned multinational companies in relation to their expansion into Africa.  He is an expert in a number of African jurisdictions including Ghana, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Mozambique, Namibia and others.  Robert has significant experience in the oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, power, construction, financial and medical technology and healthcare sectors.

He was previously Honorary Business Representative for the Middle East and Africa Group for International Enterprise Singapore; the government agency driving Singapore’s external economy.  Robert was formally General Counsel of an international water treatment company. He has also been recognized in several International journals as an expert several legal fields.  Robert is an Executive Committee Member of the Johannesburg Chapter of the Indian Bar Association. Robert has BA and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Robert is the co-author of two books, namely “Public Offers of Company Securities” and of “Business Rescue and Compromise Offers”


Simon Bane

Simon is Deputy Group General Counsel of a FTSE 100 company, and is responsible for the provision of legal support globally to the Group’s operating and support divisions, across a range of areas including corporate, commercial, litigation, regulatory, pensions and Treasury matters, as well as providing strategic advice to senior management.

Simon trained as a solicitor at Andersen Legal before joining Allen & Overy in London, and then Minter Ellison in Melbourne where he worked on mergers, acquisitions, restructurings and other corporate transactions.

Simon then held various roles at GE Healthcare, including UK Country Counsel, Senior Counsel for International/Public-Private Partnerships and Associate General Counsel UK, Ireland and Western Europe, before joining Informa in 2013 as General Counsel, EMEA & APAC.

Untitled design (13)

Jörg G Fischer

Jörg is the Group Chief Technology and Operations Officer of the Standard Bank Group, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Standard Bank is the leading financial institution on the African continent. He has been with Standard Bank for over 23 years and has had various senior C-level roles across the Group in Finance, Technology, Operations and Real Estate. He has a strong track record in leading various large scale Group transformation programs, especially in Operations and Technology.

He is a member of various Boards, advisory Boards as well as senior Executive Committees. 


John Martin St.Valery

John is an award-winning foreign investment specialist.

With over 23 years in the Middle East region he founded, built and sold the region’s leading company formation and restructuring specialist firm, Links Group. The business is now part of a global professional services firm.

John works with both Government and Private Sector entities to assist in shaping Macro-Economic growth through foreign investment, market entry solutions and job creation.

He is Chairman & CEO of the British Business Group, Dubai & Northern Emirates and also sits/advises the bilateral trade body between UAE and UK from an SME perspective.


Elizabeth Messud

Elizabeth has a broad experience as director of legal and head of compliance in a range of sectors and jurisdictions over the past 25 years. She has worked in FMCG in Russia, France, Switzerland and the UK, in asset management in Switzerland, and in retail in the UK. She speaks and works fluently in both French and Russian.

Elizabeth brings regional operational experience to 7 Pillars, along with a commercial and pro-active approach to the provision of legal services. As in-house counsel for the past 20+ years, Elizabeth has a good understanding of what pragmatic and excellent legal service is.