Telephone: +27 11 666 7566
Fax: +27 (0) 86 660 4314
Mobile Phone Number: +27 (0) 83 233 0484
John has advised clients for a number of years in competition law, white collar crime, specialist commercial litigation and arbitration work.
- BA LLB, University of Cape Town;
- Diploma, Competition Law, University of Witwatersrand
Areas of practice
John practices broadly in the regulatory field and principally in competition law including industry restructuring initiatives, joint ventures, cartel investigations, leniency applications, merger control, merger intervention, general competition litigation and commercial litigation, before the local South African and regional competition authorities, and South African Courts. He holds both BA and LLB degrees from the University of Cape Town and completed a diploma in competition law at the University of the Witwatersrand. John previously worked as a foreign antitrust adviser in the antitrust group at Howrey LLP in Washington, DC.
John has advised clients on a range of regulatory compliance initiatives including competition law, corruption, white collar crime and consumer protection law programmes. John continues to advise clients in relation to antitrust matters throughout sub-Saharan. John is also an integral member of the white collar crime and fraud practice and has represented various clients in relation to corruption and fraud matters. John regularly advises clients on local and foreign anti-corruption legislation including compliance with the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of South Africa; the Bribery Act of the United Kingdom and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the United States of America.
Career to date
- 2007 to 2009, Partner, Webber Wentzel;
- 2009 to date, Co-founder and director at Nortons Inc.
Recent antitrust transactions:
- Successfully advised Monsanto & Company in relation to the USD 66 billion acquisition by Bayer ATKG before the South African agencies.
- Successfully advised both Samsung Electronics Company Limited and Harman International Industries Incorporated in obtaining unconditional clearance of the large merger before the South African competition authorities.
- Represented Allergan Plc in the much publicised proposed acquisition of Allergan by Pfizer Incorporated.
- Advised Samsung Electronics Company Ltd in the disposal of its printer business to Hewlett-Packard (HP) Inc.
- Currently advising a major international airline on its regulatory and competition affairs across Africa.
- Currently advising clients in relation to the South African competition authorities’ investigation into the Auto parts sector.
- Currently advising clients in relation to the Competition Commission’s second inquiry into the Grocery Retail sector.
- Advising Premier Foods in the precedent setting first ever class action damages litigation for cartel conduct before the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Constitutional Court, the North Gauteng High Court and the Western Cape High Court, following Premier Foods Limited obtaining the first ever final immunity from prosecution in the much publicised bread cartel (thus avoiding any antitrust administrative penalty) and the ongoing civil damages litigation;
- Advising clients in relation to the Competition Commission investigation into the LPG sector.
- Advising on the Competition Commission investigation into the milling industry; bran and offal sector; the oil & gas sector, motion picture sector, air cargo sector and construction sector and in relation to ongoing antitrust litigation in the agricultural sector;
- Advised on merger transactions in the pharmaceutical sector, flour and bread sectors, mining parts sector, automotive parts sector, electronics industry and agricultural sector;
- Advised the Internet Solutions Providers Association of South Africa (ISPA) in successfully opposing the much publicised and aborted merger between Telkom and Business Connection (BCX), South Africa’s largest IT company;
- Advising Schering-Plough and Akzo Nobel in relation to Schering-Plough’s acquisition of OrganonBiosciences and subsequently advised Schering-Plough and Merck in relation to the much publicised reverse merger between Schering-Plough and Merck;
- Advised Verizon Business in relation to the disposal of its South African business to MTN Limited;
- Advised Anglo American in relation to the sale of Anglo’s zinc assets to Vedanta Plc;
- Advising in relation to the Competition Commission investigation into the milling industry;
- Advising Pick n Pay Limited in relation to the Competition Commission’s high profile investigation into the retail grocery sector;
- Advised in relation to the abuse of dominance complaint against the incumbent telecommunications provider, Telkom;
- Advised Merck & Co. and Sanofi-Aventis SA in relation to their much publicised animal health joint venture;
- Successfully advised Google Inc in relation to an abuse of dominance complaint before the SA competition authorities;
- Advised a petroleum client in relation to the investigation and referral by the Commission of the Bitumen cartel;
- Advised in relation to the Commission’s investigation into commercial diesel;
- Advised in relation to Commission’s investigation of alleged abuse of dominance in the beer sector;
- Currently advising an air cargo client in relation to price fixing on fuel surcharges and cargo rates;
- Advised in relation to the investigation and referral of international freight forwarders;
- Advised Premier Foods and Brait Limited in relation to the acquisition by Brait of a controlling interest in Premier Foods;
- Acting on behalf of both parties in the acquisition by Premier Swazi Bakeries (Pty) Ltd of the Wheat and Maize Milling Division of Ngwane Mills (Pty) Ltd.
- Representing Eli Lily Animal Health Elanco in relation to the acquisition of Novartis Animal Health before the South African competition authorities in relation to the long-steel sector regarding price fixing allegations;
- Advised Robert Bosch GMBH in relation to the acquisition of 50% of Hytec Holdings (PTY) Ltd before the South African, Namibian and COMESA authorities.
- Advised Premier Foods in relation to the successful acquisitions of the Star Bakeries (Pty) Limited in the Eastern Cape and Lil-Lets;
- Advised Mahle Gmbh and Behr Gmbh in relation to the acquisition of control by Mahle in Behr;
- Advised in relation to the acquisition by Robert Bosch Gmbh of 50% of the Shares in BSH Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeräte Gmbh (“BSH”) and 100% of the Shares in Siemens-Electrogeräte before the South African authorities
- Acting for Premier Group in the acquisition of biscuits and sugar confectionary business of Kraft Foods South Africa
- Advised Dis-Chem in relation to the successful acquisition of the CJ Williams Pharmaceutical Wholesale Business
- Advised the Saltzman Trust in respect of the acquisition of Capensis Investments 193 (Pty) ltd, Billingsleg Properties (Pty) Ltd and Ossington Properties (Pty) Ltd
- Advised H&R in relation to allegations of an abuse of dominance in the petroleum jelly sector;
- Advised Cargolux in relation to the SA Commission’s air cargo investigation;
- Currently advising in relation to ongoing investigation into the bran and offal sectors;
- Advising in relation to distribution and manufacturing arrangements in the FMCG sector;
- Currently providing ongoing antirust advice in relation to clients in the automotive and automotive component parts sector;
- Currently providing ongoing antirust advice in relation to clients in the pharmaceutical sector;
- Currently advising in relation to ongoing antitrust litigation in the agricultural sector.
John has been nominated to the 2018 International Advisory Experts, Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers in South Africa 2017, Finance Monthly Global Awards – Cartels Lawyer of the Year South Africa, GIR 100, Lawyer Monthly – Asset recovery Lawyer of the Year South Africa, the Fourth Edition of the Best Lawyers® list for South Africa 2017, Chambers and Partners 2017, IFLR Leading Lawyer 2016, endorsed by Practical Law Company’s Which Lawyer? Yearbook Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers/Economists, 2016; The International Who’s Who of Asset Recovery Lawyers in 2016 and The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2016.
- John is a faculty member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Sector.
- John is a non-governmental advisor member of the drafting team for the ICN Advocacy Working Group’s Competition Benefits Project 2014-2015. John was previously a non-governmental advisor to the ICN’s merger and notification subgroup, which included speaking at the ICN’s N&P Subgroup feedback in Moscow. John also spoke at the ICN’s 10th Annual Conference at Den Hague on competition advocacy and moderated a panel at the ICN’s 11th Annual Conference in Rio de Janerio regarding competition advocacy.
- John worked, while on secondment, with the Howrey LLP Washington DC antitrust practice group during 2003-2004.
- Previously advised, as a member of the cartel sub-committee, the Competition Law Committee of the Northern Provinces in relation to the revised corporate leniency policy.
- John attended the 11th Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition and Consumer Policy meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva as an expert in Competition Law.
- John is sole South African representative of Fraudnet, the International Chamber of Commerce’s Anti-Crime arm.
Publications & Seminars
Class Action Litigation
- John is Co-Editor of the first ever South African textbook on class action litigation, titled: Class Action Litigation in South Africa, Juta Publishers (2017)
- John designed, moderated and spoke at the American Bar Association’s 66th Annual; Spring Meeting panel discussion on Collective Redress outside the United States during April 2018. John co-authored the paper titled Collective Redress outside the United States for Losses Caused by Antitrust Infringements”.
- John has been the contributor for Africa section updates in the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Antitrust Law Developments (Seventh; Eighth; and Ninth edition)
- John is Africa Lead for the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law Procedural Transparency Task Force (2016-2018) review of procedural fairness in antitrust matters worldwide.
- John co-authored a recently published article in the SAIIPL (IP Briefs) Journal titled: “A Dichotomy of Powers but Confluence in Policy: Interplay Between Intellectual Property and Competition Law“
- John co-presented at the 11th Annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy Conference (2017) on a paper which he co-authored: Follow On Damages for Anti-competitive Conduct: A Need for Legislative Intervention?
- John presented on local competition law updates at the French South African of Chamber and Commerce event in November 2016
- John presented at the American Bar Associations Spring Meeting 2016 on “From Algeria to Zimbabwe: Competition Law in Africa” and submitted the following paper: Developments in South African Merger Control – Ministerial Interventionism and the Impact on Timing & Certainty, 2016
- John presented at USCIB (United States Council for International Business) Competition Committee Meeting 2016 on “State of Play in South Africa and the Region.”
- John contributed to the Thompson Reuters: Cartel leniency in South Africa: Overview 2016,
- John presented at the American Bar Associations Fall Meeting 2015 on “The Price is Right: Canada’s Price Transparency Act and Competition Laws Limiting Excessive Pricing.” on his paper titled: South Africa Excessive Pricing: An Evaluation of the Sasol Chemical Industries Case – A New Dawn or the Continuation of the Status Quo?, 2015
- John presented at the Global Competition Review’s seminar held in Cape Town in February 2015 on developments in relation to market inquiries utilised by the South African competition authorities.
- John presented at the Eighth Annual Conference on Competition Law, Economics & Policy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in September 2014 on the paper he co-authored with Patrick Smith titled “What is competition good for – weighing the wider benefits of competition and the costs of pursuing non-competition objectives”
- John presented at the Global Competition Review’s inaugural seminar on developments in South African public and private antitrust enforcement during 2012/2013 focusing on follow on damages in the cartel arena and the impact on the leniency regime.
- John co-authored the recently published article titled ‘Crossing the Competition Rubicon: Internationalising African antitrust through COMESA’ in Concurrences Issue No. 3 2013.
- John presented on antitrust advocacy and compliance during the Mauritian Competition Commission’s fourth annual convention in Port Louis in December 2013.
- John presented at the Concurrence and Paul Hastings LLP’s “Inaugural Global Merger Control Conference: Navigating Uncharted Waters of Global Merger Regimes” in November 2013 in Paris on developments in regional merger control.
- John presented at the 2013 SACCI, Mandela Institute and Nortons Inc. Class Action Seminar on ‘A New Class: the impact of class action litigation on Business’.
- John presented on the need for an effective corporate leniency regime during the Mauritian Competition Commission’s third annual convention in Port Louis in December 2012.
- John authored the recently published article (in the US-China Law Review Volume 9, Number 3, June 2012) “Can one Balance the Increasing Importance of Public Interest Considerations in South Africa (and Sub-Saharan Jurisdictions) with the quest for merger control certainty”
- John presented at the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law 60th Spring Meeting (March 2012), in Washington DC on the topic “Fashioning Merger Remedies Among Established and New Agencies”
- John has authored numerous competition law articles for various publications including PLC and GCR and has been interviewed on television news and radio on various antitrust matters.
- John is a co-author of “Cartels – The South African Cartel Handbook” and recently authored the chapter on South Africa in the Global Cartels Handbook: Leniency Policy and Procedures 2012 Oxford University Press;
- John has presented at numerous regulatory law events including the following:
- “The Criminalisation of Competition Law- experiences from abroad.” 1st and 2nd Competition Law Conference, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa (September 30 and November 15, 2008 respectively);
- “International Antitrust & Enforcement Exposure: implications for the boardroom” ( 07 November 2007) (Johannesburg);
- Presented at the American Bar Association’s International Committee’s Annual Fall Meeting in Montreal, during October 2015, where he spoke on the panel “The Price is Right” regarding developments on abuse of dominance and vertical restrictive practices.
White Collar Crime
- John moderated and presented at the ICC Fraudnet Conference in Mumbai India in April 2018 on International Asset Recovery and State Capture issues.
- John contributed to the Thompson Reuters: Financial Crimes in South Africa, 2017
- John contributed to the Thompson Reuters: Business crime and investigations in South Africa, 2017
- John hosted the ICC FraudNet South Africa Conference on Fraud, Asset Recovery & Cross-Border Cooperation in Cape Town during March 2015 and moderated the panel on Regional Perspective on Africa: Tackling Fraud and Corruption.
- John co-presented at the C5 Southern Africa- Corruption Summit in November 2014 on “A Comprehensive Guide to FCPA, UKBA and PACCA for the Non–Legal Workforce” and subsequently moderated the panel discussing “Interacting with Government–Owned Entities while Keeping the Company’s Anti–Corruption Commitment”; “Ensuring that Compliance with BBBEE Code Doesn’t Compromise Your Anti–Corruption Best Practices” and “How to Avoid Corruption Between Private Business Partners According to PCCAA and UKBA” during the Summit.
- John presented at the Fraudnet Annual Meeting in Tortola, British Virgin Islands in April 2014 on “The Changing World of Fraud, experiences from South Africa and Africa”.
- John presented at the Nortons Inc, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the French South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry seminar on Public Procurement And Tender Awards: Unlawful And Illegal Practices Associated With Tender Processes on the topic of “Running a fair and competitive tender process: practical steps for organs of state to ensure that the public procurement process is not only legally compliant, but also results in the acquisition of the best services at the best price” during May 2014.
- John also presented at the 2012 C5 Second Forum on Anti-Corruption, Southern Africa, on “Detecting Where Legitimate Competitive Advantage Becomes Corruption and Bribery and How to Avoid Common Pitfalls to Ensure there are Adequate Controls”.
- John presented on White Collar Crime and Corruption at the SACCI/Nortons Inc. White Collar Crime and Corruption seminar on 4 September 2012.
Other Regulatory Law
- John presented at a seminar hosted with Genesis Analytics and SACCI on the implications of the Consumer Protection Act during June 2009.
- John has presented to various local and international clients on all aspects of the Protection of Personal Information Act, No 4 of 2013 (POPI).
John is the representative contributor and a faculty member for the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Developments for the Africa region and is also external examiner for the University of Wits’ competition law courses.