For the last 12 to 18 months barely a week has gone by without another lateral move in the South African market; and this month has been no exception with leading local firm Bowman Gilfillan losing two prominent members of its corporate M&A team to cross city rivals.

Partners Rudolph Du Plessis and Carl Stein have left the firm to join Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells respectively.

Du Plessis is the third partner to join the newly opened office of Herbert Smith in Johannesburg, following Peter Leon and Brigette Baillie's appointment last October, and will head up the firm's M&A offering in the country. 

Stein is the latest in a string of notable lawyers to join Hogans in South Africa over the last year, with additions including Lesley Morphet and Nkonzo Hlatshway for the competition team, and Jeff Buckland and Vaughn Harrison for the corporate team.

This move follows the news, coming at the beginning of May, that Bowman Gilfillan is set to bring in three new partners to its offices in Cape Town, Durbanville and Johannesburg. In Cape Town the firm appointed Bonnie Steyn to the dispute resolution practice from Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), as the international firm continues to lose ground steadily in the country.

Another Bowman appointment from NRF saw Zano Nduli join the M&A department in Johannesburg as partner; a specialist in banking, gaming, insurance and mining.

Finally, Warren Hamer joined the team from Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes Attorneys, bringing with him an eight strong team to strengthen the real estate practice in Durbanville.