Chris Charter

Chris Charter

National Practice Head, Director

Chris Charter is a Director and National Head of our Competition practice. Chris’ practice covers all aspects of the discipline from merger control to prohibited practices. On the prohibited practices side, bringing and defending complaints, writing opinions, corporate leniency and compliance work are all covered. Chris has advised in mergers involving major South African listed companies and has advised a number of global companies in obtaining South African and African regulatory clearance in respect of multinational transactions. He and his team have extensive experience in a number of African jurisdictions including COMESA.

 

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After time spent at PriceWaterhouseCoopers London, Chris began his legal career as a Candidate Attorney at Cliffe Dekker (now Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) in 2001. He became an Associate in 2003 and was promoted to Senior Associate in 2005. In 2007 Chris became a Director.

Chris' competition work spans a vast variety of industries, including private equity, telecommunications, construction, banking, mining, airlines, healthcare, grocery wholesale and retail, petroleum, fast moving consumer goods and financial services.

Chris also has experience in general regulatory matters, including those pertaining to telecommunications and consumer law. Although now specialising in competition law, Chris has a strong background in corporate and commercial law which greatly assists clients in marrying competition law with commercial reality.

Chris has been involved in a number of noteworthy matters including:

  • Successfully acting for Massmart Holdings in general compliance matters and in relation to a number of horizontal mergers, including the acquisition of Finro Cash & Carry, which was opposed by the Commission.
  • Advising Harmony Gold Mining Company in its hostile takeover bid for Gold Fields.
  • Successfully defending Independent News and Media against allegations of abuse of dominance.
  • Acting for Pioneer Foods in investigations into alleged collusion in the bread, maize and wheat industries.
  • Acting for Aveng Limited an GrinakerLTA in regard to Commission investigations into collusion.  
  • Advising The Coca-Cola Company on compliance and in regard to various major acquisitions and restructures to its bottling system in South Africa and Africa
  • Advising Investec Bank Limited in the restructure of its private equity division and the creation of Investec Equity Partnership (IEP) as well as ongoing advice to IEP
  • Advising Sinopec in regard to its proposed acquisition of Chevron South Africa
  • Advising Remgro in regard to its acquisition of Unilever's spreads business in South Africa and neighbouring countries
  • Advising ANZ Bank in regard to proceedings brought by the Commission against numerous banks alleged to have engaged in foreign exchange collusion
  • Advising Lonmin Plc in various matters including a proposed merger with Sibanye Stillwater
  • Advising a major pharmaceutical company in an excessive pricing investigation
  • Advising private equity firms including Brait, Metier, RMB Corvest, Abraaj, Capital Works, PSG Capital, Agile Capital, Stockdale Street and others on various acquisitions impacting South Africa and Africa
  • Best Lawyers 2018 South Africa listed Chris as lawyer of the year in Competition Law
  • Best Lawyers 2018 South Africa listed Chris in Competition/Antitrust Law
  • Chambers Global 2018 ranks Chris Band 1 in Competition/Antitrust. Between 2015 - 2017 Chris was rated Chris Band 2 and has been ranked since 2012. In 2011 Chris was rated in Competition/Antitrust as "Up and Coming" and was recognised in 2009. Chambers Global 2015 notes Chris Charter stands out to many commentators for the quality of his practice, his excellent service level and his fast turnaround times. One source added: "I'm always impressed by him."
  • The Legal 500 EMEA series 2012 to 2017 named Chris as a Leading individual in Competition.
  • IFLR - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms 2017 to 2019 named Chris as a highly regarded leading lawyer for Competition. The IFLR1000 - Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms 2010 to 2016 lists Chris as a leading lawyer in Competition/Aviation sector.
  • Practical Law CompanyPLC Which Lawyer? 2010 to 2012 endorses Chris as one of the recommended lawyers in Competition/Antitrust Law.
  • Who's Who Legal - The International Who's Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists 2012 to 2017 lists Chris among the leading Competition lawyers in South Africa. Who's Who Legal listed Chris among Competition Future Leaders 2017.
  • Expert Guides – Guide to the World's Leading Competition/Antitrust Lawyers 2012 lists Chris among the leading lawyers in South Africa.
  • Best Lawyers International South Africa (2014 - 2017) listed Chris as a 'best lawyer' in Competition and Antitrust Law.

Publications

  • Chris is one of two South African contributors to Global Competition Litigation Review.
  • He has had a number of articles published locally and internationally.
  • He has presented papers and lectured at a number of conferences locally and abroad and has appeared on radio and television to discuss competition and regulatory issues.

Education

  • BA LLB, University of Stellenbosch
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 2003

Memberships

  • Law Society of the Northern Provinces
  • Appointed Member of the Competition Law Committee of the Council of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces
  • Co-Chair of the IBA Working Group on Unilateral Conduct
Chris Charter comments on the Massmart complaint
26 February 2015 Competition

Chris Charter comments on the Massmart complaint

Massmart has launched a complaint with the Competition Commission targeting Pick n Pay, Spar and Shoprite in a bid to end lease exclusivity clauses. Chris Charter, Head of our Competition practice comments.

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