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General News
Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group continues to grow with the appointment of three new partners in South Africa

Johannesburg 2 May 2016: Leading Pan-African law firm, Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group, has welcomed three new partners to its expanding teams in South Africa.

Bonnie Steyn has been appointed as a partner in the firm’s Cape Town Dispute Resolution Practice. Warren Hamer joins its Real Estate Practice and will be operating from a new satellite office in Durbanville. He brings a team of eight people with him. Zano Nduli has been appointed as a partner in the firm’s Johannesburg Mergers & Acquisitions Practice.

Shipping and Logistics
LNG Imports – Fuel for the Future?

Last December, and again earlier this month, international shipping publication TradeWinds reported that the South African Government planned to secure three liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in order to help ease South Africa’s energy difficulties.

An FSRU is a vital component of being able to import LNG without a land based terminal. This is a special type of ship which is used to receive and transfer LNG. In order to become viable, the LNG must be “regasified” on board the FSRU and then piped on shore where it can be stored or diverted where necessary.

Employment Law
Contempt of court judgment highlights debate around efficacy of labour court strike interdicts

A recent judgment by the Labour Court of South Africa highlights the debate around the efficacy of court interdicts in prohibiting unlawful conduct in the context of strike action. In November last year, the trade union, South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and its members, who are employees of Pikitup, commenced unprotected strike action. Pikitup is owned by the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) and conducts the business of waste collection and disposal in the greater Johannesburg area and its surrounds.

The strike was unprotected and was accompanied by violence and intimidation by striking employees. On 24 November 2015, Pikitup successfully obtained an interim Labour Court order, inter alia, interdicting the strike, precluding employees for participating in such strike action and preventing employees from committing various acts of unlawful conduct aimed at interfering with Pikitup’s waste collection business.

Shipping and Logistics
An Achilles Heel Perspective on Ports Regulation

The role and challenges of the Ports Regulator of South Africa (PRSA) were under the spotlight at the Exporters Club seminar held at the Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Cape Town office recently. In this regard, Andrew Pike, Bowman Gilfillan’s head of the Ports, Terminals and Logistics Corridors sector group, explained the background to the establishment of the PRSA and the particular challenges it currently faced.

The PRSA and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) enabling legislationis the National Ports Act. Since its inception, the PRSA has developed directives for people interacting with the PRSA, devised tariff assessment methodologies, and compiled regulatory principles which describe the approach the PRSA will generally adopt.

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.

Shipping and Logistics
Government buzz words and what they mean for South Africa’s ocean economy

You may have heard the terms, “blue economy” and “Operation Phakisa” bandied about in Government addresses such as State of the Nation and the Budget Speech; but what are the specifics of these Government policies and are they working?

The National Development Plan 2030 recognises the potential for developing the blue or ocean economy, noting South Africa’s 3000 kms of coastline on a major strategic shipping route. The plan further recognises that South Africa’s ports handle about 3.5 percent of the world’s cargo measured in tonnage, which places the country among the top 15 international maritime trading nations (bearing in mind that it is a major exporter of bulk cargoes such as iron ore and coal).

Corporate
Too many secret ingredients in the Sugar Tax?

As the public is by now no doubt aware, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his 2016 budget speech that Treasury will be introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Not only that, we have even been told an exact date, 1 April 2017, when this new category of excise tax will come into effect.

What is very strange, however, is that is about all anyone knows. We have been left in the dark about such important details as whether the tax will be levied at the consumer or manufacturer level, whether the tax will be indiscriminate or will correlate to the sugar content, and what exact beverages the tax will target. That is a lot of detail to work out in less than 12 months, not to mention ironing out issues around implementation.

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
Viking Fishing v Mutual and Federal, Round Two: Supreme Court of Appeal considers the Merchant Shipping Act Warranty

Viking Inshore Fishing (Pty) Ltd v Mutual and Federal Insurance Co Ltd (41/2015) [2016] ZASCA 21 (18 March 2016).

Many readers will recall the collision between the fishing trawler Lindsay and the bulk carrier Ouo do Brasil a few miles off the coast near Cape St Francis on 8 May 2005. The fishing trawler capsized and sank soon after the collision and fourteen crew members lost their lives in the tragedy which prompted a lengthy Court of Marine Enquiry into the incident.

The tragedy also resulted in litigation between the owners of the Lindsay (Viking Fishing) and their hull underwriters, Mutual & Federal, arising from the repudiation of the claim for the loss of the trawler.

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