Consistently regarded as one of South Africa’s leading competition groups, Bowman Gilfillan maintains its reputation by having a hand in several of the country’s leading matters. A reshuffle in April saw Jean Meijer replace Robert Legh as practice head, while Gomolemo Kekesi and Lucinda Verster were both promoted to the partnership. Meijer, Legh and Derek Lotter are all nominated to Who’s Who Legal.
Among the high-profile cases on Bowman’s books is Meijer’s representation of paint company Kansai before the country’s Competition Tribunal in its successful bid to overturn divestments ordered by the Competition Commission in April 2011. Lotter is advising both Pioneer Hi-Bred and rival Pannar Seed in their proposed merger, which the commission is now challenging before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) after its challenge of the deal was overturned at the Competition Appeal Court.
Behavioural work is also plentiful, with Bowman acting for plastic pipe manufacturer Petzetakis in a cartel investigation. The commission fined the company 9.9 million rand after an 80 per cent reduction for cooperation. The firm also successfully defended vehicle-tracking company Altech Netstar at the SCA against allegations of anti-competitive practices brought by rival Tracetec and the Competition Commission.
Bowman is also active in South Africa’s fledgling private enforcement arena, advising Nationwide Airlines in its 155 million rand damages claim against South African Airways.