IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate

Bowman Gilfillan Inc is the South African member firm of the pan-African legal practice Bowmans which also has members in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The firm employs more than 400 specialised lawyers and offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.


Focuses / specialisms

The firm has strong practices in banking, debt and equity capital markets, M&A, project finanace, project development in energy, infrastructure and mining.


Key clients

In banking the firm has developed relationships with Investec Bank, Nedbank, Ninety-One, Standard Chartered Bank, African Rainbow Minerals, ARM Coal, African Rainbow Capital Financial Services Holding Company Proprietary, Absa Bank, Absa Bank Kenya and FirstRand Bank.

In capital markets the firm has developed relationships with International Finance Corporation, The New Development Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Barclays Capital, Imperial Holdings and The Standard Bank of South Africa.

In investment funds the firm has developed relationships with Sanari Capital Proprietary, Knife Capite, Phatisa Fund Managers, Trinitas Private Equity, Mphande Property Fund Managers, Sasfin Private Equity, Rockwood Private Equity, Kasada Capital, International Housing Solutions and SummerPlace General Partners Proprietary.

In M&A the firm has developed relationships with Anheuser-Bush InBev, Harmony Gold Mining Company, Imperial Logistics, Linde, Sasol Group Services, Mr Price Group, Network International, South African Breweries and Tongaat Hulett.

In private equity the firm has developed relationships with Sanari Capital Proprietary, Phatisa Fund Managers, Sasfin Private Equity, Kasada Capital, International Housing Solutions, SummerPlace General Partners Proprietary, South Africa SME Fund, 4D Innovative Capital and Evolution II GP Partners Proprietary.

In projects the firm has developed relationships with Hidroelécta de Cahora Bassa, Newcastle Energy, The Standard Bank of South Africa, FirstRand Bank, Absa Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, MMI Group, Vutomi Energy and Vedanta Zinc International.


Research period review: 33rd edition (2023/2024)

During the research period, the firm was active in banking, debt and equity capital markets, M&A, project development and project finance.

In banking the firm worked mainly for lenders in the banking, financial services and retail sectors.

In debt capital markets the firm's work focused on bond and note issues for issuers in real estate and financial services.  

In equity capital markets worked on secondary share offerings for issuers in the financial services, real estate and consumer goods sectors.

In M&A the firm worked mainly with acquirers from the financial services, telecommunications, consumer goods and energy sectors.

In project development the firm assisted on projects for developers and concessionaires connected with the energy, mining, logistics and transportation sectors.

In project finance the firm worked on financing projects for lenders and developers in the financial services and power sectors.


Deal highlights: 33rd edition (2023/2024)

Allianz SE $1.8 billion joint venture

Barloworld Limited $66 million investment grade bond

Barloworld Limited and Zeda Limited $260 million IPO

Goldwind New Energy South Africa $ 648 million project development

Nedbank Limited, Absa Bank Limited $352 million refinancing

Steinhoff Group $1.7 billion financial restructuring

Straits Gas $19 million project development


Client Feedback: 33rd edition (2023/2024)

Bank lending

“Excellent lawyers.”

“Subject matter experts, with a good commercial to legal balance to ensure that transactions proceed, and risk is dealt with. Good lender relationships and ability to work well with other legal firms.”


Capital markets

“Exceptional responsiveness and the only firm in Africa with which I have worked that can perform to US/UK standards.”

“Consistent provider of quality advice that has allowed us to not only executed trades on behalf of our client but also advice that allows us to build our ECM franchise with global best practice re internal policies.”

“The level of pro active commitment has been a hall mark of their service.”

“Deep Market and Industry knowledge. On point regulatory and legislative tech skills.”

“Strong commercial approach; proactive in identify and communicating risks; willing to represent our interests proactively with issuer's counsel.”

“Knowledgeable on subject matter. Highlight focus areas. Manage regulatory requirements and negotiate on client's behalf. Quick response and turnaround times.”


Leveraged finance

“Excellent advice and drafting. Able to deal well with complexity.”



“They provide a full suite of services through the acquisition process from general advice to tax structures as well as guidance through the complex competition process.”

“Quick to react. Great advice from industry professionals.”

“Bowmans are market subject matter experts on insurance law and competition law. Their governance advice is highly regarded within Old Mutual.”

“They are super reactive and provide timely and professional advice. They are proactively addressing potential issues and are meticulous in following up on the timing of the deal. They have a pragmatic and constructive approach to the deal which enable success for all parties involved.”


Private equity

“Best team in town, led by Charles Douglas.”


Project finance

“Good broad range of services and advice covering all areas requiring legal advice. Good structuring solutions provided and good subject matter understanding and expertise. Response to our needs.”



“Articulate legal advisory to the board.”


Andrew Parsons

“Great relational approach to legal work. Good depth of knowledge with practical overlay.”


Casper van Heerden

“Knowledge expert. Provide clear and concise feedback.”

“Excellent listener. Fastidious with turnaround time. Practical solution provider.”


Charles Douglas

“Industry leader. Brilliant knowledge. Sage advice. Cool head.”


David Yuill

“Highly commercial; good legal knowledge; good client relationship skills.”


Daryn Webb

“Very experienced. Commercially orientated.”


Dirk Wessels

“He is a great guy, who other than being personable and available is extremely knowledgeable and good at his job.“

“Extremely competent . In-depth knowledge. Always on time.”


Ezra Davids

“Superior legal knowledge and skills.”


Ian Kirkman

“I do a lot of work in Africa and regularly utilize local counsel.  Ian is the most sophisticated attorney with whom I have worked.  He operates on a global, rather than local, standard and does a tremendous job of putting South African legal concepts into practice in ways that clients can easily understand.”


Josh Janks

“Innovate solutions. Good understanding of our business.”


Julia Power

“So helpful, knowledgeable about her area.  Always responsive, love working with her.”


Lance Fleiser

“Lance is extremely knowledgeable and always willing to engage, no matter how trivial the matter.”


Lyndon Norley

“Technically astute.”


Mark Kyle

“Great subject knowledge, good sense of humor and great client relationship focus.”


Megan Black

“Megan is such a wonderful attorney to work with. With her warm demeanor and absolutely behemoth legal knowledge, working with Megan is always a pleasure. Her drafting abilities are fantastic and her communication and turnaround times are exceptional given the size of the firm.”


Michael Katz

“Vast legal experience and knowledge.”


Mohamed Saib

“Mohammed and his team excel in several key areas that are of interest to me as part of a deal team: 1. Drafting ability 2. Knowledge of relevant legislation 3. Speed of work carried out  4. Provision of on-going project feedback 5. Cost of engagement. All of which (based on above 5 criteria), Mohammed and his team more than exceed expectations on.”


Ryan Wessels

“Ability to distill key messages and unpack legal concepts for a broader audience.
 Innovative solutions for complex situations.”

“Offers depth across various corporate law disciplines (M&A, capital markets, regulations) and so it able to provide fulsome advice and guidance.”

"Highly organised and forward-thinking, which helps him identify potential issues before they materialise; very good at aligning with his client against the other side, when necessary.”

“A pleasure to work with in general.”


Tholinhlanhla Gcabashe

“Tholi is an excellent lawyer, with a pragmatic business approach and a great knowledge of his clients and transactions he is involved in. He is always on top of things, providing constructive solutions and involving teams when and as needed to support the deal.  The communication with the client is also easy, open and transparent.”


Ulrike Naumann

“Excellent lawyer”

"She is very clever, great to deal with, so well respected.”


Xolani Nyali

“Xolani's competition knowledge is unmatched and his considered, pragmatic advice is highly regarded by OM.”