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who we are

Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group is a leading Pan-African law firm. Our track record of providing specialist legal services, both domestic and cross-border, in the fields of corporate law, banking and finance law and dispute resolution, spans over a century. 

With eight offices in six African countries and over 400 specialised lawyers, we are differentiated by our geographical reach, independence and the quality of legal services we provide. 

We draw on our unique knowledge of the African business environment and in-depth understanding of the socio-political climate to advise clients on a wide range of legal issues. Our aim is to assist our clients in achieving their objectives as smoothly and efficiently as possible while minimising the legal and regulatory risks.

Our clients include corporates, multinationals and state-owned enterprises across a range of industry sectors as well as financial institutions and governments. 

Our expertise is frequently recognised by independent research organisations. We have been named Africa Legal Adviser by DealMakers for the last two consecutive years (2014 and 2015). Most recently we won the Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year and the IP Team of the Year Awards at the prestigious African Legal Awards hosted by Legal Week and the Corporate Lawyers Association in 2015. 

Our Footprint in Africa

We provide integrated legal services throughout Africa from eight offices (Antananarivo, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Gaborone, Johannesburg, Kampala and Nairobi) in six countries (Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda).  

We work closely with leading Nigerian firm, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, which has offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, and have strong relationships with other leading law firms across the rest of Africa. 

We provide coverage of francophone OHADA jurisdictions across the continent (including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo) from our office in Madagascar. 

Our Kenyan, South African and Ugandan offices are representatives of Lex Mundi, a global association, with more than 160 independent law firms in all the major centres across the globe. This association gives us access to the best firms in each jurisdiction represented.

latest news

Cross border investors in Africa must ensure compliance with up to three regulatory bodies in a merger

Investors involved in cross border merger transactions in Africa should take note that, depending on their existing investments and the activities of a target company, they may have to comply with the merger regimes of up to three different competition regulators. This is according to Xolani Nyali, Senior Associate in Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Competition Practice.
Woman Seafarers: Turning against the tide

Traditionally, shipping has always been male-dominated. Recent statistics indicate that women represent only 1-2% of the world's 1.25 million seafarers. While that percentage is small, the number of women turning to the sea for employment opportunities is growing.
Beware those on-demand guarantees!

It is South African market practice in the context of financing transactions that when a party is required to provide a guarantee in respect of another party’s (the Debtor) obligations to a creditor (the Creditor) that such guarantee is treated like a call or on-demand guarantee. Until now, not much thought has been given as to whether such a guarantee can be treated as anything other than just that – an on-demand guarantee.
Between drought and diesel, SA farmers are having it hard

In a recent article (“Farmers have their ‘backs to the wall’”, July 20) the Business Day reported that due to the devastating successive droughts in the past three years, over 42% of SA’s commercial farmers “have their backs to the wall” and are having to consider shutting down their operations and selling their farms. This will lead to massive job losses and will affect food security enormously. It will also stagnate the industry’s efforts to facilitate emerging black farmers, as many potential mentors and facilitators would be forced to close shop. AgriSA, an industry organisation representing commercial farmers, is quoted as calling for immediate intervention from the government and banks until farmers can generate profits again.
The employment relationship and how it is affected by business transfers in countries across Africa

Different African countries regulate the employment impact of business transfers differently. The key distinction across jurisdictions is whether or not there is an automatic transfer of employment with going concern transfers, and if there is, whether this applies in outsourcing situations as well. This is according to Chris Todd, partner and head of Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Employment & Benefits Practice. Todd was speaking at a seminar presenting a Pan–African perspective on the employment consequences of mergers & acquisitions, held at Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Sandton offices last week.


In association with Bowman Gilfillan Africa GroupMember of Lex MundiMember of Employment Law Alliance