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General News
Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group gears up to meet growing client requirements in Africa

Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group has appointed a team of high-profile specialists in a strategic move to bolster its existing multi-skilled private equity offering. John Bellew and James Westgate will join Bowman Gilfillan African Group as partners and Timothy McDougall as a senior associate, with effect from 1 October. Bellew will head the firmís Private Equity Sector Group.

Are arbitration proceedings private and confidential or just private?

Some of the challenges faced by corporate entities involved in protracted legal disputes are huge legal fees and delays in our courts. Companies thus elect to have their disputes dealt with by way of private arbitrations which are often covered in their commercial agreements. Arbitrations are the preferred method of dispute resolution as confidentiality and privacy are guaranteed. These two features are underpinned by the autonomy of the parties involved in the proceedings as they are able to dictate the way in which the proceedings will be conducted unlike in public institutions, such as the courts. There does not appear to be any dispute on the privacy of such proceedings. Confidentiality has been clouded in conflicting jurisprudence and our courts have often been called upon to consider this issue to determine whether our laws provide for confidentiality of arbitration proceedings.

Shipping and Logistics
Market woes continue as ships go under the hammer

The South African courts witnessed a flurry of judicial ship sales in the first half of 2015.

It began with the auction in Durban of the Turkish flagged and owned bulk carrier Tarik 3 in early February 2015, followed by the Iskandar (bulk carrier), Altai (crude oil carrier), Mar Sik Ryong (forest product carrier) and Glory Morning (bulk carrier). In July 2015 the Durban High Court ordered the judicial sale of the Aetos (bulk carrier), which should take place within six weeks.

Obama Boost for Africa

The relatively slow pace of merger and acquisition activity in Africa was jump-started by last monthís visit of American president Barack Obama during which he co-hosted the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. Paras Shah, Nairobi partner at Coulson Harney, part of the Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group, says his visit ignited euphoria in both local and international investors.

Renewable energy projects offer investors various options

The renewable energy programme run by the Department of Energy has now proceeded through several rounds, including the recent announcement of preferred bidders for round four and the opening of the bid window for round five.

Employment Law
Non-permanent employees afforded greater protection

The stricter regulation of atypical forms of employment were introduced with the Labour Relations Act (LRA) amendments on 1 January 2015 to include a number of provisions specifically aimed at giving labour-brocking employees, employees employed on fixed-term contacts, and part-time employees greater protection.

Security for costs affirmed

Local companies which institute litigation proceedings which are vexatious or reckless or amount to an abuse can still be liable to furnish security for the defendantís legal costs, despite the legislatureís omission of this provision from the Companies Act, 2008. This is the view taken by the Supreme Court of Appeal in its recent judgement in the Boost Sports Africa v The South African Breweries case.

General News
IFLR1000ís Energy and Infrastructure results announced

IFLR1000′s recent research into the energy and infrastructure markets shows Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group (BGAG) being highly ranked across Africa reaffirming the groupís position as a leading pan-African legal services provider to corporates, financial institutions and the public sector across Africa.

General News
Going Legal

Itís a sign of the times that legal services firms are booming while the rest of the economy limps along.

Representatives of financial service providers must be honest and have integrity or face being disbarred industry-wide

On 1 June 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) delivered a judgment in the Financial Services Board vs PGE Barthram and Discovery Life Limited case, emphasizing that representatives of financial services providers (Reps) must be honest and people of integrity or face being disbarred from ever working in the financial services industry. With its decision, the SCA has enhanced the protection of the investing public from dealing with Reps who are dishonest and lack integrity.

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