Paul Russell

Paul RussellE-mail: paul@nortonsinc.com
Telephone: +27 11 666 7565
Fax: +27 (0) 86 600 5118

Qualifications

  • B Soc Sc, LLB, University of Cape Town
  • LLM (Commercial Law), University of Bristol, England

Qualified

Paul was admitted as an attorney, notary and conveyancer in 1998 and has over 15 years’ experience in competition and regulatory law, as well as in relation to general litigation.

Areas of Practice

Paul is a Founding Director of Nortons Inc. He advises on a range of regulatory issues, including South African and African competition law (in particular, merger control, joint ventures, dawn raids and cartel investigations, prohibited practices, corporate leniency applications, horizontal and vertical restrictive practices, abuse of dominance and applications for exemptions and interim relief, as well as the new criminal provisions under the South African Competition Act), healthcare and telecommunications regulation, consumer protection and commercial and general litigation.

Having spent four years as Senior Legal Counsel at De Beers, Paul’s areas of expertise also include all regulatory issues relating to the diamond industry, in particular, the Diamonds Act, 1986, as amended, and Regulations, the Diamond Export Levy Act, 2007 and the Diamond Export Levy (Administration) Act, 2007.

Career to date

  • Associate/Senior Associate at Webber Wentzel (2001 – 2003)
  • Senior Legal Counsel at De Beers (2004 – 2007)
  • Equity partner at Webber Wentzel (2008 – 2009)
  • Director of Nortons Inc (2009 – current)

Recent transactions

  • Represented the merging parties in the acquisition by Dawn Consolidated Holding of control of Sangio Pipes;
  • Represented the merging parties in the acquisition by Dawn Consolidated Holdings of control of Pro-Max;
  • Represented the merging parties in the acquisition by Dawn Consolidated Holdings of control of Swan Plastics; and
  • Represented Element Six (a subsidiary of De Beers) in the acquisition of Barat Carbide.

Recent cases – Competition

  • Paul represented WBHO in relation to the Competition Commission’s investigation into the construction industry and fast-track settlement process and also subsequent related matters.  These matters include the Competition Commission’s referral to the Competition Tribunal of alleged collusion by certain large construction companies in relation to the FIFA World Cup stadia;
  • Paul represented Dawn (i.e. all of the respondents) in the recent Competition Tribunal case involving alleged market allocation between Dawn (through its subsidiary DPI) and Sangio Pipe (in which Dawn has subsequently acquired all of the remaining shares), arising from a provision in the Sangio Shareholders’ Agreement that was in place at the time;
  • Paul also represented Videx in the Competition Tribunal and Competition Appeal Court hearings in relation to the mining roof bolts matter;
  • Paul also represented DPI Plastics (a wholly-owned Dawn subsidiary) in the Competition Tribunal hearing in relation to the plastic pipes matter; and
  • Paul successfully represented Absa in the first comprehensive investigation by the South African competition authorities into banking fees and general banking practices.

Other current and recent cases

  • Paul is also representing WBHO in relation to certain follow-on damages claims arising from the fast-track settlement process, including the claim by the City of Cape Town regarding damages that it alleges it has suffered as a result of conduct in relation to the construction of the Green Point stadium;
  • Paul acted for Neotel Pty Ltd (“Neotel”), which has subsequently been acquired by Liquid Telecom, in its intervention in the Constitutional Court case of City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality v Link Africa (Pty) Ltd and Others CCT 184/14, a decision that will undoubtedly be very important for all major telecoms operators going forward.
  • He has been involved in a number of large, complex confidential commercial arbitration cases for large South African companies;
  • Paul also recently successfully represented Neotel in High Court litigation against a parastatal in the telecommunications sector and is also currently representing Liquid Telecom in other on-going High Court litigation proceedings;
  • Paul has recently successfully represented De Beers in High Court litigation of significance to the diamond industry; and
  • He also provides advice to other diamond producers and players in the downstream diamond industry in relation to South African diamond regulatory issues.