Our Finance team is recognised as one of the leading finance practices in South Africa.
We provide the highest quality legal and transactional advice and services to a broad spectrum of clients, including corporate borrowers, commercial banks, investment banks, other financial institutions, funds, state-owned entities and governments. We focus both on intricate domestic banking and finance deals as well as complex cross-border transactions. This varied focus means that our lawyers possess both global and local perspectives, from a multi-jurisdictional asset-financing and currency-hedging transaction to a more straightforward domestic lending transaction. What’s more, our lawyers are committed to prioritising transactions and ensuring that they are concluded successfully.
Our Finance team also regularly advises on asset financing, leveraged financing and syndicated lending, and our members have significant experience in the issuance of preference shares and subordinated debt. Within our team is a Trade and Commodities team that has a particular focus on agricultural commodities.
Our Project Finance and Infrastructure team specialises in providing high-quality, relevant and cost-effective legal services for major infrastructure and other projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The team has a substantial skills base and offers in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Sub-Saharan Africa environment. We have been involved over the past few years, in numerous project finance and PPP transactions, advising lenders, borrowers and concession companies. We also advise domestic and international corporations, banks and financial institutions, state-owned enterprises and government departments in major projects.
Our team currently comprises five directors and six associates, with the depth of skill and capability to conclude transactions governed by either South African or English law. Our track record of clear and concise legal advice, financial negotiation and structuring expertise, offers clients the necessary skill to successfully conclude negotiations on complex projects.
We also have relevant and extensive experience, having acted for both public and private sector entities in different infra-structure project financings and other finance transactions. In particular, we advise on:
Our Debt Capital Markets team holds experience in a variety of issues – from commercial paper to Tier II, convertibles, high-yield debt and medium-term note programmes, in both domestic and foreign markets. We regularly act for issuers (corporates and parastatals), arrangers, dealers and rating agencies. What’s more, our team is recognised for its particular expertise in domestic medium-term note programmes and inward listings.
Our team members have been members of the Listings Technical Advisory Committee of The Bond Exchange of South Africa Limited (“BESA”) and following the merger of BESA with JSE Limited (“JSE”) on 1 July 2009, they have subsequently been appointed to the JSE Listing Advisory Committee.
To date, we have acted for clients including the likes of: FirstRand Bank Limited, The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, Absa Bank Limited, Nedbank Limited (Nedbank Capital), Investec Bank Limited, African Bank Limited, Deutsche Bank AG, Johannesburg Branch, Merrill Lynch, Calyon, JP Morgan, Export and Import Bank of United States, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, African Development Bank, Eskom Limited, Transnet Limited, Airports Company of South Africa, Denel (Pty) Ltd, City of Johannesburg, City of Cape Town, Mercedes Benz (Pty) Limited, Barloworld Limited and Bidvestco Limited.
The Financial Services and Investment Management team is part of Bowman Gilfillan’s Banking and Finance practice group and provides high quality legal advice to domestic and international clients on the legal and regulatory aspects of financial services and investment management.
The Financial Services and Investment Management team offers legal advice in relation to all legal aspects of investment management and financial services. We regularly advise a broad range of clients on all aspects of South African regulatory work as it pertains to financial services and investment management. This includes advising domestic and foreign banks on South African banking law, and providing specialist advice on structured products, derivatives and the development of Islamic investment products. Our group is recognised in the South African market for its exchange control expertise. We also regularly advise on the establishment of collective investment schemes, hedge funds and other structured funds, drafting and negotiating investment management and advisory agreements, and advising on custodial arrangements on the local exchanges.
The team also provides advice on the regulatory environment affecting private equity funds. In particular, the team’s areas of expertise include:
The team has a particular competence in dealing with the Financial Services Board (the regulator responsible for regulating financial services, including approving the operation of foreign domiciled investment funds in South Africa).
Our strong Derivatives team, which has, over the years, advised international and domestic financial institutions on all aspects of ISDA and ISMA agreements as they relate to South Africa.
The team has also been successfully involved in making representations to various industry bodies on behalf of financial institutions for the amendment of South African insolvency law insofar as it relates to post-insolvency set off and closeout netting. In addition to having a wealth of experience when dealing with complex structured products.
We have the requisite experience and expertise in advising and assisting in all aspects of securitisations, including conduits, mortgage bond and installment card programmes and issues of notes there under. Members of our Securitisation team have assisted arrangers and dealers, including rating agencies, in advising on and/or reviewing securitisation transactions for OntheCards, ABACUS, Freestone, SA Home Loans, etc.
Our Islamic Finance team has advised various banks, insurance companies, asset managers and other entities on the structuring of Islamic law compliant financial products, including murabahah (sale and resale – used for funding structures, especially trade finance and home loan structures), musharakah (participation structures – used for investment structures and some of the more advanced home loan structures), takaful (insurance structures) and collective investment scheme structures (involving a form of musharakah).
The focus of this work has been providing advice on the South African regulatory implications for these structures, the implementation of these structures in the local context, the detailed workings of products based on these structures and supervisory structures.
Liquidation or insolvency (referred to in some jurisdictions as ‘bankruptcy’) has not lost its place as a mechanism for recovery of debt, but has evolved into a sophisticated tool of commercial strategising and restructuring.
Our expertise covers all aspects of insolvency ranging from:
Our Dispute Resolution team has considerable experience in dealing with contentious issues arising from transactions in the banking and finance sector. We have acted for numerous local and offshore corporates and financial institutions and our experience includes:
Our Tax Law practice area provides quality specialised legal services. We work closely with our corporate, banking and finance and commercial lawyers to provide integrated commercial and tax advice and deliver efficient tax solutions.
We frequently provide tax advice to a diverse spectrum of clients, including retail and investment banks, South African and international listed and unlisted companies and high net-worth individuals. We also regularly liaise with and make representations to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) on issues relating to new legislation, obtaining directives and dispute resolution.
The constantly changing nature of the field of tax law, caused by new decisions of our courts and regular changes to South Africa’s tax legislation, creates a need for access to specialised and professional tax advice. The Bowman Gilfillan Tax Law department offers a wide range of services.
We provide specialist advice on:
No matter the goal, we’ll take care of your bottom line.