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 regulatory clearance in respect of multinational transactions.

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His competition work spans a vast variety of industries, including 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, medicines 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.

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 has been involved in a number of noteworthy matters including:

  • Successfully acting for Massmart Holdings 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 obtaining clearance for the South African leg of Lufthansa's global acquisition of Swiss International Airlines.
  • The merger of Verizon Communications and MCI.
  • Obtaining South African clearance for the global merger of Danaher Corp and Tektronix.
  • Successfully notifying African Bank's acquisition of credit furniture retailer Ellerines.
  • Successfully defending Independent News and Media against allegations of abuse of dominance.
  • Acting for Business Connexion Group in regard to merger proceedings with Telkom.
  • Obtaining South African clearance for the merger of Incitec Pivot and Dyno Nobel.
  • Advising Taylor Nelson Sofres in regard to the global hostile takeover by the WPP Group.
  • Assisting Lonmin plc in its acquisition of Afriore and in regard to the proposed hostile takeover by Xstrata.
  • Acting for Pioneer Foods in investigations into alleged collusion in the bread, maize and wheat industries.
  • Advised various clients in the airline industry on compliance with competition legislation.
  • Advised clients in the beverage industry on compliance with competition legislation.
  • Represented a major administrator of closed medical schemes in relation to giving evidence at proceedings before the Competition Tribunal relating to the proposed merger between Netcare Hospital Group and Community Hospital Group.
  • Chambers Global 2018 ranked Chris in Band 1 for competition/antitrust. In 2015–2017 he was ranked in Band 2 for competition/antitrust.
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2017-2018 listed Chris as a 'leading individual' for competition
  • Best Lawyers International 2014–2018 listed him for competition/antitrust law.
  • IFLR1000 2018 recommended him as a highly regarded competition lawyer. IFLR1000 2011–2017 recommended Chris as a leading lawyer for competition.
  • He was identified in The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists 2014.
  • Who's Who Legal has named Chris Charter as one of world’s leading Competition lawyers for 2017.
  • 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.

Publications

  • Chris is one of two South African contributors to Global Competition Litigation Review.
  • Chris has had a number of articles published locally and internationally.
  • He has presented papers and lectured at a number of conferences 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
  • Member of the Competition Law Committee of the Council of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces.
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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