Competition in South Africa
Bowmans is highly rated for its geographic coverage and record in competition matters across sub-Saharan Africa. It has an excellent standing in merger notifications and in sector inquiries. In practice co-head Derek Lötter, it has one of the outstanding competition leaders in the market. Chairman and senior partner Robert Legh is also a hugely experienced competition specialist, while Tamara Dini jointly heads the practice from Cape Town. Rudolph Labuschagne is another key name and the arrival of highly rated practitioner Heather Irvine from Falcon and Hume Inc adds to the team's senior bench.
‘It is the best in South Africa.‘
‘Bowmans is a valued partner to in-house counsel. There is a willingness to properly understand the business or matter, before providing legal advice.‘
‘They are able to go further than what is usually required, by vesting themselves in the resolution of a matter.‘
‘Rudolph Labuschagne is always available for reasonable and pragmatic answers.‘
Chevron Global Energy Inc. No
Royal Bafokeng Platinum
Continental Tyre South Africa
- Advised The Walt Disney Company on its proposed merger with 21st Century Fox.
- Assisted Boeing with its proposed acquisition of control over the commercial aviation business of Embraer through a joint venture partnership.
- Advised Aton on its proposed hostile takeover of Murray & Roberts.
ENSafrica is a longstanding leader in the field, having a significant market share of merger reviews, sector inquiries and prohibited practice engagements. Jocelyn Katz is highly regarded in the market, while Justin Balkin and Mark Garden are also rated. Derushka Chetty, Natalia Lopes and economist Lizél Blignaut are also key names. Senior associate Aziza Mdee is also noted.
‘The team has a practical and solution oriented approach. It takes a pragmatic approach based on depth of experience and knowledge of the sector.‘
‘The competition law team comprises some very highly skilled lawyers and leaders in their field of practice.‘
‘They have good business acumen, are able to offer a breadth of advice and opinion across general commercial matters. They are approachable, great to work with and have good relationships with competition regulatory authorities.‘
Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium
- Advised Sibanye-Stillwater on its acquisition of Lonmin.
- Acted for Milco on its proposed acquisition of Clover Industries.
- Advised Experian on its acquisition of CSH Group, including the South African credit bureau Compuscan.
Webber Wentzel has impressed in big-ticket mergers, competition-related damages claims, market investigations and other prohibited practice engagements. It has a number of very senior practitioners within the team. Martin Versfeld is highly rated for prohibited practices and litigation, while Desmond Rudman, Robert Wilson and Daryl Dingley are also senior names. Burton Phillips is an emerging talent.
‘The team is always available, very easy to communicate with and always patient in answering questions and explaining complex concepts.‘
‘The team is very professional, knowledgeable and results orientated.‘
‘The team has incredibly diverse knowledge and capabilities. They also have extensive cross-border knowledge.‘
‘Desmond Rudman has vast experience in competition law spanning over a large range of sectors.‘
‘Martin Versfeld is key in pulling the different skills together to make a strong team.‘
‘We use the services of Robert Wilson because of his absolute excellence, deep knowledge and understanding of his area of expertise. Robert is easily accessible, always very helpful and intellectually of the highest standard.‘
‘Burton Phillips clearly had a mastery of the file, was highly organised and drove the engagement.‘
Uber South Africa Technology
Bank of America
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group
- Acted for Uber South Africa Technology in the Public Passenger Transport Market Inquiry by the South African Competition Commission.
- Acted for a number of banks in the price-fixing investigation by the South African Competition Commission into foreign currency traders.
- Advised MMC Bidco on the South African competition law aspects of its acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has an impressive market share of big-ticket transactions, litigation matters and market inquiries. It has made a particular impression in the telecoms and mining sectors, where Chris Charter has an outstanding reputation, while Andries le Grange is a key name for Constitutional Court cases. Lara Granville is also recommended.
‘The firm has a culture of making the client feel they are being listened to and involved in the entire process.‘
‘The team is engaged and clear in its communication skills. It is always willing to hear the client’s view and has no issues with guiding and mentoring the client through the process.‘
‘Chris Charter is super intelligent. He knows more about the industry and the company that I work for than I do. I know Chris’s advice is always highly considered from every angle and something that I can confidently rely on.‘
‘Chris Charter always appears to be calm and collected.‘
‘Lara Granville is organised, efficient and very responsive. She is approachable, practical and highly engaged.‘
Matlosana Medical Health Services
Mediclinic Southern Africa
- Represented Vodacom in the Competition Commission’s ongoing market inquiry into the price of data.
- Advised Lonmin, the UK-based producer of platinum metals, on its proposed merger with Sibanye-Stillwater.
- Assisted Twisp with its contested merger with British American Tobacco.
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP has outstanding global credentials, which is now very much in evidence in South Africa where it is gaining recognition for merger control, cartel investigations and market inquiries. The team is achieving high recognition for prohibitive practices and regulation work across sub-Saharan Africa. It now has two market leaders in Jean Meijer and Nick Altini, the latter who joined from Baker McKenzie Johannesburg in 2019, along with director Leana Engelbrecht.
‘The firm is professional, friendly and proficient in the competition law field.‘
‘The firm has an enviable team of competition lawyers that bring deep subject matter expertise and practical application to every instruction.’
‘The team’s experience across the African continent is exceptional.‘
‘Jean Meijer is the pre-eminent competition law expert in South Africa.‘
‘Jean Meijer is one of the most pragmatic competition lawyers around. She is focused on the end result and ensures a cost-effective and time efficient approach to getting there.‘
‘Nick Altini and Leana Engelbrecht are excellent to work with. It is not only the professionalism with which they conduct themselves, but also the passion they exhibit for their craft. The good rapport with the Competition Commission staff is invaluable.‘
Associated British Foods
ICBC Standard Bank
Sappi Southern Africa
The SPAR Group
The Standard Bank of South Africa
- Advised Mercedes-Benz South Africa on the Competition Commission’s proposed code of conduct for the automotive aftermarket industry.
- Represented JCDecaux South Africa in its defence of allegations of price fixing and the fixing of trading conditions.
- Represented the Spar Group in the Competition Commission’s inquiry into the South African grocery retail sector.
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc remains noted for cartel and price-fixing cases, market inquiries and regulatory enforcement. Marianne Wagener heads the practice, which includes Mark Griffiths, who is noted for cross-border and Africa-wide matters. Rosalind Lake is a key name for mergers and regulatory investigations.
Louis Dreyfus Company
Amsted Rail Corporation
- Advised both Thales and Gemalto on the South African competition aspects of Thales’ acquisition of Gemalto.
- Assisted Randgold Resources with successfully obtaining merger clearance for its $6.5bn acquisition by Barrick Gold.
- Represented Barclays, the leniency applicant, in the Competition Commission investigation into spot, futures and forward currency trades involving the South African Rand.
Nortons Inc is recognised for its niche expertise in competition and regulatory matters. Despite not having the broader full-service platforms of its competitors, it still gains a significant market share of mergers, investigations and market inquiries, and damages actions. Anthony Norton is a key name, Paul Russell is recommended for investigations and John Oxenham for private damages actions.
Werksmans Attorneys remains noted for advising on prohibited practices, litigation and market inquiries. The firm is at the forefront of predatory pricing and is recognised for its experience in technology, media and telecoms. It has made a further impression in contested merger filings and alleged abuse of dominance and cartel cases. Paul Coetser is a key name, Rudolph Raath and Paul Cleland impress in litigation and merger control cases. Ahmore Burger-Smidt and Pieter Steyn are also highly rated.
‘The team is steeped in the TMT sector as well as competition law. This enables our business to benefit from their in-house expertise in the two critical areas which impact our business.‘
‘The team that assists us is highly responsive and knowledgeable. They are deeply experienced in TMT and competition law.‘
‘Paul Coetser is an extremely knowledgeable competition lawyer who gave practical advice allowing us to make our joint venture arrangements workable from a competition perspective.‘
Credit Suisse Group
Investec Bank Limited
MTN South Africa
- Advised Glencore on obtaining merger approval for its acquisition of Chevron South Africa and Chevron Botswana, the local subsidiaries of Chevron International.
- Acted for Media24 in a headline abuse of dominance case.
- Defended Computicket against an abuse of dominance case brought by the Competition Commission.
Baker McKenzie Johannesburg's team is now led by Lerisha Naidu following the departure of Nick Altini to Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP. It maintains a strong presence in both merger control and behavioural matters for a range of multinational businesses.
‘The team has an excellent ability to understand the case, the facts, the business details and the legal analysis.‘
‘The firm has a very plausible offering. It is strong in merger control and prohibited practices.‘
‘Lerisha Naidu is a rising star in the market, very clever and wise beyond her years.‘
Archer Daniels Midland
Platinum Equity Advisors
- Acted for GlaxoSmithKline on the successful acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business.
- Advised Archer Daniels Midland on obtaining merger approval in South Africa for its acquisition of control over Neovia.
- Advised CBRE on obtaining antitrust clearance in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco for its proposed joint venture with Excellerate Property Services.
DLA Piper has gained recognition primarily for merger control engagements in the telecoms and financial services fields, including cross-border deals into the continent. Janine Simpson leads the team.
- Acted for Community Investment Holdings in contested South African competition merger proceedings relating to its acquisition of Vumatel.
- Acted for Seacom on obtaining unconditional competition clearance for its acquisition of FibreCo.
- Advised Baloo Energy on its acquisition of Grands Lacs, including notification to competition authorities in Tanzania and Kenya.
Fasken is recognised for merger control, market inquiries and probited practices engagements, including cartels and price-fixing matters. Neil MacKenzie leads the team following the departure of Stephen Langbridge.
South African Petroleum Industry Association
South African Property Owners’ Association
The Dow Chemical Company
Basil Read Holdings
- Represented the South African Petroleum Industry Association before the Competition Tribunal over allegations of price fixing and market allocation in the commercial diesel market.
- Acted for Globeleq Africa in merger proceedings before the Competition Commission and the Competition Tribunal relating to the acquisition of six wind and solar power stations.
- Represented Lafarge South Africa in settlement negotiations with the Competition Commission connected to allegations of collusion in the cement market.