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 Derek Lotter join Jean Meijer as co-head of the practice group. Meijer, Lotter and former head Robert Legh are all nominated to Who’s Who Legal.
Among the high-profile cases on Bowman’s books is Meijer’s representation of Cape Gate in the Competition Commission’s investigations of the steel and wire industries, and its application for access to the leniency application in the CC’s investigation on behalf of Scaw, which was endorsed by the country’s Supreme Court this year. Lotter advised both Pioneer Hi-Bred and rival Pannar Seed in their proposed merger, in which the commission’s attempted prohibition was rejected by the Supreme Court. Lotter also represented Pfizer in merger proceedings in relation to the sale of its global infant nutrition business to Nestlé.
Behavioural work is plentiful. The firm is acting for SAB in ongoing litigation with the Competition Commission regarding SAB’s use of appointed distributors in exclusive territories. It 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.