Charles Douglas

Charles Douglas

Co-Head of M&A
Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9426
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Charles Douglas is the Co-Head of M&A for Bowmans and specialises in both mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets. Charles’ M&A experience includes both public and private transactional work, having advised clients such as SABMiller, Du Pont, Sasol, PPC and Kansai Plascon. From an equity capital markets perspective, Charles has experience with both primary and secondary offerings as well as more general listings work.

In addition to South African work, Charles has experience working in various other African jurisdictions, including Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Charles also has 18 months’ work experience in Sydney, Australia and is admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Charles has a BA from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, a LLB from the University of Cape Town and a LLM from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

A selection of relevant transactions which Charles recently advised on include:

  • South African Counsel to SABMiller PLC in the recommended acquisition by AB InBev of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of SABMiller. At USD 107 billion (approximately ZAR 1.5 trillion), this is the largest M&A transaction in South Africa in transaction history and the third largest M&A transaction globally at the date of announcement.
  • Counsel to SABMiller in respect of the combination of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments’ (majority shareholders in Coca-Cola SABCO) bottling operations in Southern and East Africa to create Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, forming the biggest bottler of soft drinks in Africa and the 10th largest in the world, with annual revenue of USD 2.9 billion.
  • Counsel to Australian listed financial services technology company IRESS Limited in relation to its acquisition of 100% of the shares in South African financial services technology company I-Net BFA, which were held by Media 24, as well as acquisition of the intellectual property of I-Net BFA.
  • Counsel to PPC Ltd, the largest cement manufacturing company in South Africa, in relation to its recently announced ZAR 4 billion rights offer and financial restructuring.

Signature Matters


  • IFLR1000’s 2020 Financial and Corporate Guide rated Charles Douglas as a Leading Lawyer – Highly Regarded in South Africa for Capital Markets: Equity and M&A.
  • Chambers and Partners 2019 ranked Charles in Band 4 for Corporate/M&A.
  • IFLR1000’s 2019 Financial and Corporate Guide rated Charles as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for Equity Capital Markets and M&A.
  • Chambers and Partners 2018 ranked Charles in Band 4 for Corporate/M&A.
  • Recognised by Who’s Who Legal, 2018 for Mergers & Acquisitions.
  • IFLR1000’s 2018 Financial and Corporate Guide rated Charles as a Highly Regarded Lawyer for Equity Capital Markets and M&A.
  • IFLR1000’s 2017 Financial and Corporate Guide, rated Charles as a Leading Lawyer.
  • In 2017 and 2016, Chambers and Partners ranked Charles as a top M&A lawyer.
  • In 2017, Legal 500 listed Charles as a Recommended Lawyer for Corporate, Commercial and M&A.

Charles Douglas continues to bolster his reputation in the corporate field through his involvement in high-value domestic and cross-border acquisitions. He is widely endorsed by sources, who value his ethos and approach, stating that he is “relaxed and very experienced, hands-on and available.” He heads the M&A practice group. – Chambers and Partners 2019

M&A practice head Charles Douglas continues to grow his reputation in the market. Sources describe him as “smart, hard-working and very commercial,” going on to say that he “wants to get the deal done and done right.” He can often be found advising on cross-border mandates. – Chambers and Partners 2018

Practice head Charles Douglas continues to advise SABMiller on its acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev, valued at USD 107 billion.  One peer observed that he is “a sensible opponent who gets the key issues”. – Chambers and Partners 2017

“Charles Douglas attracts commendations from clients for his “hugely competent, skilled and expert advice” when acting on complex corporate mandates. He assisted AngloGold Ashanti with its proposed demerger of the company’s current portfolio into individual listed vehicles for its South African and international mining operations.” – Chambers and Partners 2016

“Up-and-coming partner Charles Douglas draws wide-ranging praise for his availability and his efficient approach to transactions.” – Chambers and Partners 2015

Publications & Insights