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We are proud to be one of the most recognised full service construction teams in Africa.

We assist clients throughout the project life cycle of complex infrastructure and construction projects. This includes all stages of development and delivery and extends to financing and disputes under all forms of construction contracts.

We have a wealth of experience that cuts across multiple specialist sectors including energy, manufacturing, mining, real estate, transport, telecoms and utilities.

Our thorough understanding of various standard forms of contracts, including FIDIC, the NEC and the JBCC, allows us to help clients manage their risk in tandem with their risk appetites.

Our disputes expertise extends from mediation, arbitration and litigation to negotiating and structuring major settlement agreements which often deal with interconnected and complex commercial and regulatory issues related to the public sector.

Our recent experience includes assisting South Africa’s principal energy utility with all aspects of its two new flagship coal-fired power plants; advising an Asian port authority on the first public private partnership port in East Africa; and representing an important member of China’s real estate industry before the National Environmental Tribunal against a third party seeking to halt the development of its African real estate headquarters in Kenya. In addition, we are presently advising on the development and construction of East Africa’s first carrier neutral data centre, based on a suite of FIDIC contracts.

Through our footprint in Africa, including the OHADA region, and our strong relationships with firms on the ground in other key jurisdictions, we are well placed to provide cross-border advice spanning the full range of legal services to clients doing business in this sector.

Our specialist construction and engineering lawyers serve clients ranging from major contractors to promoters, leading developers, funders, purchasers, tenants and occupiers among others.

Our specialist services include assisting with/ advising on:

  • Applicable legislation across the African continent
  • The entire spectrum of construction and engineering law and the related regulatory environment
  • Various standard forms of contracts, including FIDIC, the NEC and the JBCC
  • Construction aspects of financing agreements, purchase agreements, PPP project agreements and agreements for lease
  • Operation and maintenance and facilities management agreements on completed projects
  • Construction and engineering disputes including mediation, arbitration and litigation
  • We advised Palabora Mining Company on its Brownfield Lift II copper mining expansion project aimed at increasing the life of mine to 2033. The underground block-cave mine development will create hundreds of jobs and business opportunities for the local community.
  • We advised Royal Bafokeng Platinum Mine on its acquisition of a concentrator plant and related surface rights (including the water and power allocations) in respect of the immovable property owned by Maseve Investments 11 Pty (Maseve) which may be required by RBPlat to access and operate the plant and access to tailings infrastructure, for a consideration equal to the ZAR equivalent of USD 58 million, and the acquisition of 100% of the shares in and shareholder claims owing by Maseve for a consideration equal to the ZAR equivalent of USD 12 million.
  • We assisted Kgalagadi Pipeline JV (a consortium in which Group Five Construction is the lead party) in defending interdict proceedings against the implementation of a contract awarded to the consortium by Sedibeng Water, a regional water utility based in the Northern Cape. The interdict proceedings sought to halt the implementation of a ZAR 1.2 billion contract to install a water pipeline in a remote area of the Northern Cape. Judicial review proceedings were subsequently launched, also on an urgent basis, which sought to set aside the award of the tender on various grounds provided for in the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000. We were successful in opposing these judicial review proceedings and recovered significant costs in favour of our client.
  • We advised AfriSam Group on the debt and equity restructure undertaken to optimise and simplify its capital structure.
  • We advised DRA Group, an international construction engineering company, on its merger with the Minnovo Group (Australia) to form a common holding company in Australia that would be inward listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The merger was critical in facilitating the DRA Group’s international expansion plans.
  • We advised Palabora Mining Company (in respect of the Lift II brownfield copper mining expansion project in Palabora. Project value is circa ZAR 9.3 billion.
  • We are advising WBHO in respect of a national road project in Swaziland, including all financing and construction elements.
  • We advised Gigawatt Mozambique S.A, on its 100MW gas fired power station in Mozambique. The project consisted of the financing, development, design, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, ownership, operation and maintenance of a 100MW gas fired power station in Ressano Garcia, Mozambique. Bowmans acted and continues to act as legal counsel to Gigawatt Mozambique, SA in Phase 2 of the Project. Named as Deal of the Year by African Investor for 2016.
  • We advised a global shipping company in relation to the construction aspects of its bid for a concession to design, build and operate a new cruise terminal and related infrastructure in South Africa.
  • We advised the contractor in relation to EPC and O&M contracts relating to a major roads PPP programme in Kenya.
  • We successfully advised a client on its disputes relating to maintenance works on rail infrastructure.
  • We are advising on maintenance works to be carried out at a nuclear power station
  • We provided advice and prepared a construction contract based on the FIDIC Suite of Contracts specifically the Yellow Book with regard to “Avana”, a development located in Nairobi comprising of a ten-floor residential building that has been designed to consist of 80 apartments and 4 penthouses.
  • We advised a confidential client on the construction of a cancer hospital. This involves drafting the Construction Agreement, drafting and negotiating related service agreements and negotiating with the successful bidder on the amendments made to the JBC Contract.
  • We advised Investec Asset Management (in its capacity as lender) on a USD 35 million development and term loan facility made available to Autódromo-Gestão Imobiliária, S.A, for the first shopping mall in Mozambique situated in Maputo, called Baia Mall which is a mixed use development. Autódromo-Gestão Imobiliária, S.A. is a Mozambican company and portfolio company of Actis Africa Real Estate Fund 2 L.P.
  • We helped Stanbic Bank and The Standard Bank of South Africa to perfect securities for finance facilities advanced to Two Rivers Development in the amount of KES 1.58 billion and USD 14.5 million respectively.
  • Acted jointly for the Bombela Concession Company (the concession holding company for a collection of construction companies who constructed the Gautrain) and the Gauteng Provincial Government in relation to one of the largest, if not the largest, commercial settlements in the history of South Africa’s construction industry (valued at ZAR 1.2 billion), by facilitating the lengthy negotiations between the parties and in drafting the settlement agreement.

Experienced in handling both commercial and contentious mandates. Represents clients including insurance companies and public enterprises, as well as high-level construction firms. Offers experience across a range of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, mining and utilities.

Chambers and Partners, 2022

A well established front-end and contentious construction practice that has achieved significant market share in South Africa and across the continent. A healthy mix of infrastructure, energy, mining and transport-related engagements. Has impressed in a series of headline infrastructure projects in South Africa and beyond.

Legal 500, 2021