South African firm Bowman Gilfillan boosted its competition practice this year, recruiting partner Jean Meijer from Cliffe Dekker and promoting two specialists internally. Tamara Dini in Cape Town and Lulama Mtanga in Johannesburg joined the partnership in March 2007. Besides Meijer, the group boasts two other Who’s Who nominees: Derek Lotter and practice leader Robert Legh.
Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys
|Global head: Robert Legh|
|Home jurisdiction: South Africa|
|Total size of firm: 261|
|No. of competition lawyers: 17|
|% of firm specialised: 7|
|Who’s Who nominees: 3|
|Equity partners: 6|
|Senior associates: 5|
|No. of lateral partner hires 1:|
|No. of partner departures: 0|
|No. of internal promotions: 2|
The firm has been particularly busy on the cartel defence front this year. For example, it is advising recycling company Reclamation Group, which is accused of fixing prices and rigging bids in the scrap metal sector. The company’s offices were raided in South Africa’s Competition Commission’s largest-ever search and seizure swoop, following a year-long investigation of the sector.
Bowman Gilfillan is advising food company Nestlé, which is being investigated for alleged cartel activity in the South African milk industry, along with seven other dairy producers, and also packaging company Nampak in a cartel investigation of the glass recycling industry.
And it is representing Netstar, a tracking and recovery service for stolen vehicles, for alleged anti-competitive practices in the vehicle-tracking industry, and an airline on the South African aspects of the international air-cargo cartel investigation
Bowman Gilfillan is also counsel to Standard Bank, in the competition commission’s investigation of the banking industry; and SABMiller, which it is representing in arbitration with Heineken over the termination of SABMiller’s licence to manufacture the Amstel brand in South Africa.
Bowman Gilfillan is a corporate law firm with 91 partners, more than 270 lawyers and a total staff complement of over 500. The firm operates from offices in Johannesburg (Sandton), Cape Town and London. Bowman Gilfillan is widely respected and recognized for its professionalism and for providing legal services of a high quality. It is one of the premier law firms in South Africa and was recently voted as the 2007 African Law Firm of the Year, by the UK legal publishers Chambers and Partners. Bowman Gilfillan was also the winner of the 2003/4 and runner up of the 2005/6 African Corporate Law Firm of the Year awards by Chambers and Partners. The firm was voted as the "Top Company of the Year" in the support services category for 2005 at the South African Business Awards and as an "Ideal Employer to work for" in the legal category by a graduate survey in 2005. In addition the firm has won the International Law Office "Client Choice Award" for South Africa for 2005 and 2006.
Bowman Gilfillan's strengths lie in the breadth and quality of its professional staff and its emphasis on the quality of the legal services it renders, together with the diversity of its professional staff.