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General News
Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group named South African law firm of the year

Johannesburg, 19 April 2016: Leading Pan-African law firm, Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group has been named South African Law Firm of the Year for 2016 by Who’s Who Legal.
This recognition comes hot on the heels of the firm being identified as the DealMakers leading legal adviser in Africa (by both deal value and number of transactions) for the second year running.

General News
Legal 500 results confirm Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s strength in Africa

Results from the 2016 Europe, Middle East and Africa Guide released yesterday (13 April) by Legal 500 reaffirm Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s position as a leading Pan-African legal services provider.

Nine practice areas were recognised in the top tier, with a further 10 practice areas being recommended. In addition, eight lawyers were recognised as elite ‘leading lawyers’ and a further 49 lawyers were recommended in a variety of practice areas.

General News
Former Constitutional Judge Justice Yacoob - pro bono lawyers must see the Constitution as its client

Former Constitutional Judge Justice Yacoob was at Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Pro Bono event this week to talk about the notion of lawyers acting against government institutions. Justice Yacoob said at the event that law should be used as a weapon in order to achieve greater good in society.

He explained that pro bono lawyering began in South Africa during the days of the struggle and the fight for a just society.

Shipping and Logistics
Historic decision by ports regulator welcomed given SA’s economic climate

Local and international players in the South African shipping industry have recently received good news from the Ports Regulator of South Africa in what may be a historic decision; and one which is welcome domestically given the economic climate.

The Ports Regulator was constituted in 2006. Its role as an independent regulator is to monitor and oversee the activities of the National Ports Authority (“NPA”), which is a division of Transnet. The Regulator’s mandate includes the economic regulation of the Ports system, in line with the strategic development context of South Africa.

Corporate
Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) appoints Legal Panel

Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group is proud to be one of four legal firms on a panel selected by the Renewable Energy Performance Platform, which is an innovative climate finance initiative aiming to invest in small-scale renewable energy projects across 19 targeted Sub-Saharan African countries. We were referred to as being “world-class” and having a “1st-in-class track record… in African renewables”.

Shipping and Logistics
Taxing questions for South African shipowners could dash hopes for a South African merchant fleet

It has been nearly two years since amendments to the Income Tax Act (Act) came into effect, exempting domestic shipping companies from normal tax, capital gains tax, dividends tax as well as cross-border withholding tax on interest. The purpose of the tax exemptions was to attract merchant ships back to the South African register, yet only two ships have opted to register in South Africa. One of the reasons could be that the legislation is unclear as to who qualifies for the exemption.

Shipping and Logistics
Toward a South African ship-owing empire - the boost SA’s shipping industry needs?

Growing the oceans economy is one of the key messages promoted by Government and was mentioned in both this year’s Budget speech and State of the Nation address.

The swift establishment of a South African commercial fleet is one way Government hopes to achieve this. The significance of national registration of vessels lies in the fact that these vessels will carry the South African flag and will be legally and fiscally linked to South Africa insofar as their activities are concerned. But what is our history and experience in the realm of merchant shipping and will this particular initiative really serve to boost the blue economy in measurable terms?

General News
Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s expertise in Africa recognised by Chambers & Partners

Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group has announced that 57 of its lawyers and 17 practice areas from across Africa have been recognised by leading international legal research organisation, Chambers & Partners.

Corporate
Is the preferential pricing system in the scrap metal industry working?

In August 2013, amid vociferous protest and unsuccessful legal challenges from the metal recycling industry, the Economic Development Department pushed through a new directive that gave the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) the power to bar exports of both ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal unless the metal is first offered to domestic purchasers at a 20% discount to the prevailing international price. This discount has subsequently been increased to up to 30% on some types of scrap metal in a 2014 amendment to the guidelines. An export permit will only be approved by ITAC if domestic users have not taken up the offer to purchase the scrap after 15 working days.

Corporate
Who controls the “nuclear option” in the ongoing “SARS Wars”?

The strained relationship between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Tom Moyane, has been the subject of intense media scrutiny in what has come to be termed the “SARS Wars”. As public concern has grown regarding the effect of the tension on the effectiveness and stability of SARS, there have been persistent calls for President Jacob Zuma to intervene and remove Moyane.

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