Etienne has a BA LLB and an LLM (Tax), all from UCT's Law School. He was a partner at Webber Wentzel until September 2015 when he left to pursue own practise. Etienne is a corporate and M&A lawyer.
Etienne wrote a column for many years in Business Report (then the biggest business daily in South Africa), titled Under the Microscope, on corporate finance and related issues.
Etienne has worked on a number of signature transactions. These include the demutualisation/listing of Sanlam, the unbundling of Safren at the end of the 1990's; the aborted Pechiney aluminium smelter at the Coega IDZ (which at the time in the mid-2000's would have been the single largest investment in SA at some USD 2.2 billion); the aborted Engen/Sasol merger in the late-2000's (at the time reportedly the largest corporate transactions in SA but soon thereafter bested by Barclays acquiring ABSA); subsequent attempts to dispose of Engen, the business rescue of Southgold Exploration (involving the restructure of debt of some R11 billion), and the African Bank curatorship.
Etienne is a part-time member of staff of the UCT Law Faculty and was appointed as an Adjunct Associate Professor in 2011. He co-teaches an applied corporate finance course on the LLM programme.