Corporate Investigations

‘They only use exceptionally skilled resources and address the client’s specific needs.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2021

  • Overview
  • Significant Matters

Overview

‘They only use exceptionally skilled resources and address the client’s specific needs.’– Chambers and Partners, 2021 and Partners, 2021

As organisations expand their African footprint, it makes sense to partner with a law firm that uniquely blends expertise in the law, knowledge of the local market and an understanding of their businesses.

Our multi-disciplinary corporate investigations team assists our clients, who are drawn from both the public and private sector, in managing all forms of risk they face across the region.  From comprehensive crisis management (e.g.: responding to cyber-attacks/data breaches, or running multijurisdictional litigation), to undertaking specialist forensic investigations; providing governance, corruption and regulatory compliance advice; and completing risk management reviews.

The global shift towards the enforcement of anti-corruption legislation (coupled with significant fines and penalties) has seen us acting for clients in a number of investigations and proceedings by criminal and regulatory agencies. Our team has been involved in several high profile and public interest cases. These include the largest Ponzi scheme investigation in Africa and one of the largest and most complex tax inquiries in South Africa to date.

Our service extends to identifying specific governance and/or compliance risks that may result in prejudice and/or losses and making recommendations to address and/or mitigate these.

All of our engagements are led by lawyers, who are able to compile teams of specialists as per the requirements of specific assignments. We are therefore able to implement recommendations flowing from any engagement immediately. These include initiating and defending civil proceedings; initiating disciplinary enquiries and criminal investigations; and taking remedial steps to address the risk of corporate criminal liability.

Our clients enjoy the protection of legal-professional privilege (while teams led by accountants or non-legal firms do not). Our reports, advice and attorney-client correspondence are therefore protected against subpoena or forced disclosure to third parties.

We generally instruct forensic chartered accountants who play an integral role in investigations and act as specialist witnesses. This approach has proven extremely effective. Our expert witnesses are able to present the evidence in a way that diminishes the importance of other non-expert witnesses who are usually called only to corroborate the testimony of others.

Our reach is particularly significant where our clients are affected by anti-corruption legislation with extra-territorial application (e.g.: the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act and the South African Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act) and by international conventions with wide application (e.g.: the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Officials and the United Nations Convention against Corruption).

Chambers & Partners, 2021

‘Distinguished practice with expertise across a wide range of corporate investigations. Possesses considerable experience assisting domestic and international clients in the technology, natural resources and financial services sectors.’

‘Well recognised for its work representing both private and public sector players, with renowned abilities in forensic reporting, regulatory issues, asset tracing, anti-fraud and anti-corruption matters. Heavily involved in the ongoing state capture investigations being conducted in South Africa, leading reviews and investigations relating to high-profile state-owned entities. Experienced handling mandates involving multiple jurisdictions across Africa and further afield.’

Significant Matters

  • We assisted Eskom Holdings by completing investigations into past corruption and the removal of various executives including former CEOs Matshela Koko and Sean Maritz. We further launched review proceedings to assist Eskom recover ZAR 1.6 billion from McKinsey and Trillian and have since been appointed to assist it with the Zondo Commission into State Capture.

  • We assisted the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) with a multi-disciplinary investigation and provided advice involving forensic investigations, employment disciplinary proceedings, termination of certain contracts of employment and public procurement law.

  • We advised the Prudential Authority on a constitutional challenge to the South African Banks Act, 1990. The Prudential Authority is the regulatory body (established in terms of the Financial Sector Regulation Act 2017, and part of the South African Reserve Bank) responsible for the regulation of all banks. It is empowered by the Banks Act to prevent unregistered persons from conducting the business of a bank (among other things, taking deposits from the members of the general public) without a licence.

  • Bowmans acted for the purchaser in the acquisition of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc’s iNova Pharmaceuticals business in a transaction affecting Australia, South Africa and Asia

  • Due to the sensitive nature of our significant matters, we are unable to publish them. For further information, please contact us directly.