GCR 100 - 14th Edition

DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Professional notice

South Africa

DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s six-person partnership boasts significant corporate experience that helps inform the trans­actional side of its work. Practice head Mondo Ntlha has taken a sabbatical, with partner Nick Altini taking over. Partner Chris Charter is nominated to Who’s Who Legal, while Andries le Grange is also highly regarded.

The firm acted for mining company Lonmin in its attempted hostile takeover by Xstrata in a deal worth approximately US$10 billion, and for Vodafone in its 23 billion rand acquisition of Vodacom. DLA also advised Investec Bank in its merger with RJ Southey, a contested deal that was eventually cleared with conditions, and represented both parties in mining company Metorex’s acquisition by Jinchuan Group. On the behavioural front, partner Nick Altini has been busy representing Independent News & Media South Africa in three cartel investigations. Charter was counsel to Aveng Grinaker in the investigation of collusion in the construction industry, negotiating a fast-track settlement of 306 million rand for its client. The firm acted for oil company Shell in its 26 million rand settlement with the authority in its ­bitumen cartel case, and is representing Pioneer Foods over multiple allegations of abuse of dominance and collusion in several food markets.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's Competition team is consistently recognised for their expertise and depth of knowledge. Chambers Global Guide 2010–2014 ranks our practice in Band 2: Competition/Antitrust with IFLR1000 consistently ranking us in Tier 2: Competition since 2009.

Our team has in-depth knowledge of government policies and regulators’ enforcement priorities, as well as deep sector experience and insight to find practical solutions to competition law issues. Our Competition practice has a proven track record of providing strategic advice and practical solutions to competition law issues for clients with business interests in South Africa and across the rest of Africa.

We act for national and international listed and unlisted corporate and institutional clients who are active in a diverse range of sectors.

OUR EXPERTISE

Our lawyers have extensive experience in all the legal requirements associated with obtaining merger clearance. We have successfully represented clients in several high-profile transactions. We recently represented a construction company in the Competition Commission’s first fast-track settlement proceeding on collusion.

We have been involved in landmark cases dealing with restrictive practices (complaints regarding anti-competitive conduct). We have represented clients in all forums: before the Competition Commission, the Competition Tribunal, the Competition Appeal Court and the Supreme Court of Appeals.

We have been at the forefront of the most recent development in competition law: defending damages actions brought by alleged victims of anti-competitive conduct, including the first attempt at a class action for damages in South Africa.

Members of our team are experts on the Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008. This far reaching legislation is closely aligned, in many ways, to competition regulation.

GLOBAL AND AFRICAN FOOTPRINT

We help find solutions to competition and antitrust issues wherever in the world you conduct business. On matters that span multiple jurisdictions, we are able to project manage your competition transactions. You benefit from working through a single point of contact with a trusted adviser from our Competition team who understands your business strategy and needs.

Our Competition team in South Africa is supported by DLA Piper's global Antitrust and Competition Law Group, which allows for immediate access to a global group of experienced lawyers with international perspective and local knowledge. In Africa, we have the support of leading DLA Piper Africa Group member firms in many jurisdictions across the continent. Our strong team of local lawyers throughout Africa has first-hand experience and understands the nuances and intricacies of local markets and regulation.

OUR SERVICES

We offer a comprehensive service encompassing every aspect of competition law practice including:

  • Opinions on all aspects of the Competition Act.
  • Reviewing proposed and executed agreements and other business arrangements as a pre-emptive measure to ensure compliance with the Competition Act.
  • Preparing merger notification documents, guiding clients through merger investigation proceedings and representing clients at merger hearings.
  • Opposing mergers.
  • Advising in cartel enforcement proceedings, abuse of dominance matters (including excessive pricing, exclusionary abuses and price discrimination) and vertical arrangements.
  • Designing and executing tailored competition law compliance audits.
  • Initiating and advising on complaint proceedings before the competition authorities.
  • Defending clients in complaint proceedings.
  • Advising in respect of damages actions relating to anti-competitive conduct.
  • Initiating and defending interim relief proceedings before the Competition Tribunal.
  • Handling applications for exemption.
  • Handling applications for corporate leniency.
  • As a value-add service, we also offer specialised Rapid Response and Compliance services.

ABOUT CLIFFE DEKKER HOFMEYR

At Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr we believe the right partnership can lead to great things. The partnerships we cherish and value most are those we have forged through time and experience with our clients and our people.

Our clients range from local, national and international enterprises, listed and unlisted companies, major brands and multinationals across a wide range of sectors to emerging businesses with industry-leading technologies. We have a strong public sector client base, which includes government departments at all levels and state owned enterprises.

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