Pan-African law firm Bowmans advised or was associated with three matters that were recognised as winners at the 7th Annual Global Competition Review (GCR) Awards held in Washington on Wednesday, 28 March 2017.
The GCR Awards recognise the best competition and antitrust matters of the year based on votes by members of the international competition community. They chose from shortlists of nominees, any of which would have been a deserving winner.
AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller was named Matter of the Year. At USD 107 billion, this was the largest M&A transaction in South African transaction history and the third largest M&A transaction globally at the date of announcement. Bowmans was local and African counsel to SABMiller and the Bowmans competition team advised from a South African perspective on all competition elements of the transaction in relation to Africa.
Microsoft’s proposed USD 26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn was named Merger Control Matter of the Year – Europe. This was the largest deal in Microsoft’s history and posed a number of cutting-edge challenges regarding access to data and platforms. Bowmans was local counsel to Microsoft from a competition perspective.
Nationwide Airlines’ pursuit of South African Airways, which resulted in South Africa’s first-ever court-awarded damages for a breach of competition law, was named Litigation Matter of the Year – Non-Cartel Prosecution. This award followed an enforcer finding in 2005 that South African Airways had abused its dominant position by using exclusionary loyalty rebates in incentive agreements with travel agents. Bowmans advised Nationwide from a competition perspective. This South African-based matter overtook many other significant international competition litigation matters from all around the world, and thus is a testament to the Bowmans team in this regard.
Bowmans chairman and senior partner Robert Legh says, "This is a great achievement for our Competition Practice. As a firm, it is a privilege to advise on matters that are recognised as being the best of the best on a global scale. It also serves as an external endorsement of the calibre of advice we are able to provide our clients across the continent."
The news follows closely after the release of the 2017 Chambers Global ranking which rated Bowmans Competition Team in Band 1, along with its head, Derek Lotter. Two of the firm’s female partners, Joyce Karanja-Ng’ang’a and Claire Reidy, were also included in the Global Competition Review’s Women in Antitrust 2016 Report, which recognises nearly 100 remarkable women at the helm of law firms' competition practices around the world.