Bowman Gilfillan

Law Firm in Cape Town, South Africa
Bowman Gilfillan draws from a solid knowledge of the local business environment and an in-depth understanding of the country's complex socio-political climate, enabling us to offer legal solutions that make business sense.

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About This Firm

Bowman Gilfillan is widely regarded as one of the premier corporate law firms in Africa with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The firm has an association with Coulson Harney in Nairobi. Employing more than 320 specialised lawyers (including over 120 partners), with a total staff of more than 600, the firm is recognised for its professionalism and superior legal services.

As one of South Africa's biggest and oldest commercial law firms, Bowman Gilfillan draws from a solid knowledge of the local business environment and an in-depth understanding of the country's complex socio-political climate. Essentially, this enables us to offer technical legal services of the highest calibre in the context of sound, practical business advice.

Bowman Gilfillan's committed and diverse team of corporate attorneys, years of experience in the industry and supreme legal expertise comprise a winning formula that has earned us a series of accolades, including The Client Choice Award for South Africa for 2011 at the International Law Office Client Choice Awards, South African Law Firm of the Year at the PLC Which lawyer? Law Firm Awards 2010 and South African Law Firm of the Year at the Who's Who Law Firm Awards 2010.

The firm's dynamic combination of local expertise and international presence has attracted high-profile clients both in South Africa and around the world. Investment banks, industrial conglomerates, financial institutions, governments and state authorities are just some examples of clients who depend on Bowman Gilfillan to handle their corporate legal affairs.

Bowman Gilfillan has the unique advantage of operating as part of a global network of commercial and corporate law attorneys. Many of our partners belong to the International Bar Association, and we are members of influential international intellectual property law organisations such as AIPPI (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property), the Licensing Executives Society, and FICPI (International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys). The firm's directors also attend International Trade Mark Association, Marqes, Chartered Institute of Patent Agents and the Asian Patent Attorneys Association meetings on a regular basis.

Bowman Gilfillan established the Africa Group to unite lawyers across the firm in providing integrated legal services to our clients throughout Africa. Focusing primarily on corporate law, commercial law and financial law, the Africa Group facilitates cross-border legal services of the highest global standards in Africa.

The Group serves corporations, financial institutions, parastatals and governments by offering the expert and timely legal advice they need in order to achieve their commercial objectives on the continent. The Africa Group's dynamic relationships with prestigious commercial law firms across the continent, afford our clients excellent and dependable legal advice, irrespective of where they are based in Africa.

Law Firm Alliances:


Bowman Gilfillan is the exclusive member firm for South Africa of Lex Mundi, the world's leading association of independent law firms. Comprised of more than 160 member firms, Lex Mundi is the Mark of Excellence for legal services globally. Corporations worldwide, their owners and their advisors turn to Lex Mundi member firms to provide outstanding legal expertise and exceptional legal services.

With more than 21 000 lawyers in 560 offices and more than 100 countries, Lex Mundi member firms provide legal representation and local market knowledge just about anywhere needs may arise. Our firm's membership in Lex Mundi provides us with global reach and access to legal resources that enhance our ability to serve our clients' needs around the world.

The key to Lex Mundi is the quality of the individual member firms. Member selection criteria are very stringent, and members are among the leading law firms in their jurisdictions. While remaining independent, each member firm is committed to uniform service standards that provide clients with consistency and confidence, and each shares a remarkable dedication to client service.

Clients of Lex Mundi member firms are the ultimate beneficiaries of the worldwide reach and access to exceptional global legal expertise that membership in Lex Mundi provides. Working together, Lex Mundi member firms are able to provide cost-effective solutions for clients around the world.


Bowman Gilfillan is the exclusive South African representative of the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), the world's largest network of labour and employment lawyers. Through the ELA, our firm has the ability to service our clients' needs throughout South Africa, Africa and around the world.

ELA is an alliance of 3 000 of the finest employment and labour lawyers from more than 75 nations dedicated to assisting employers. With a presence in more than 300 cities around the world, all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, ELA is an alliance of creative and innovative lawyers, backed by the strength and resources of some of the world's finest and most established law firms. Linked together to provide a quick response to clients' needs and innovative solutions to employment and labour law issues, the Employment Law Alliance is the most comprehensive network of employment and labour law attorneys in the world.

Only pre-eminent employment and labour law practitioners from the most highly respected firms are invited to be members of the alliance. Employment and labour law is complex. It differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The issues that demand attention range from the everyday to the extraordinary. Every employer should have a dependable place to turn to for legal help. Whether the need is for advice and counsel, training and education, or for representation in the courtroom or meeting room, employers deserve exceptional legal advice which can be found in the Employment Law Alliance.


Bowman Gilfillan is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. The UN Global Compact is the first truly global corporate citizenship initiative that brings business together with UN agencies, civil society and labour in support of its ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour relations, environmental protection and anti-corruption. To date, nearly 4 000 companies and organisations participate in over 100 countries around the world.

Areas of Law

  • Administrative Law
  • Arbitration
  • Aviation Law
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Insolvency
  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Law
  • Company Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Construction Law
  • Contracts
  • Copyrights
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debt Recovery
  • Defamation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Employment Law
  • Energy
  • Natural Resources
  • Entertainment Law
  • Environment
  • Estates
  • Family Law
  • Film Industry
  • Franchising
  • General Practice
  • House Purchase
  • Conveyancing
  • Human Rights
  • Immigration
  • Emigration
  • Import
  • Export
  • Industrial Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Trade
  • Investments
  • Financial Services Law
  • Labour Relations
  • Leisure & Sport
  • Litigation
  • Local Government Law
  • Maritime Law
  • Media Law
  • Mergers And Acquisitions
  • Mines
  • Minerals
  • Mortgages
  • Hypothecs
  • Notaries
  • Publishing Law
  • Real Estate
  • Shipping
  • Admiralty Law
  • Tax-Company
  • International Law
  • Investigations
  • Offshore
  • Personal
  • Township Law
  • Transport Law
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate.

Client Rating

Overall Client Rating

in Civil Rights
4.8 out of 5.0

Communication Ability
Quality of Service
Value for Money

  • Data based on 1 reviews
  • Recommended by 1 Client
  • Last reviewed on 11/20/10
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Firm Details

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Partnership Information

Attorneys, Notaries and Conveyancers


CORPORATE CLIENTS: African Oxygen, African Rainbow and Minerals (ARM), Barloworld, Barrick Gold Corporation, Eskom, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, IBM, MCI (formerly Worldcom), Merck, Murray & Roberts, Pfizer, PPC, SAA, SAB Miller, SA Chrome, Southern Sun, Transnet, Toyota, Vodacom, Virgin Group and Volvo.


INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Bank and UBS.


SOUTH AFRICAN STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES AND GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS: Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), The Industrial Development Corporation, The Development Bank of Southern Africa, The Land and Agricultural Bank, The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), Telkom, Eskom and Transnet.


SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS: The Department of Science and Technology, Treasury, particularly the PPP Unit, The Department of Transport, The Department of Environmental Affairs, The Department of Trade and Industry, The Department of Public Enterprises and Various provincial government departments.


International Development Agencies, The World Bank, The International Finance Corporation, The International Monetary Fund and The Secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Contact Information

Mailing Address

Bowman Gilfillan
 P.O. Box 248,
Cape Town 8000
South Africa

Firm Address

Bowman Gilfillan
S.A. Reserve Bank Building 60 St. George's Mall,
Cape Town 8000
South Africa






Send email to Bowman Gilfillan

Other Offices
Johannesburg Office
165 West Street, Sandton Johannesburg
Bowman Gilfillan Inc.: 165 West Street, Sandton, P.O. Box 785812, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2146. Telephone: +27-11-669-9000. Fax: +27-11-669-9001. Email: URL:
In Association with Coulson Harney, Nairobi, Kenya Office: Coulson Harney Unit A, Nairobi Business Park, Ngong Road, P.O. Box 10643-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Telephone: (land) +254-20-386-1686; (mobile) +254-716-661477/+254-734-993739. Fax: +254-20-386-1687. Email: URL:

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