We advise local and international clients on South African competition law and its effect on business transactions, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing arrangements and distribution practices. We also advise our clients on the restrictive practices and provisions pertaining to the abuse of dominance, as addressed by the Competition Act.
We have expertise in all aspects of mediation, arbitration, High Court litigation and appeal proceedings, particularly in the areas of commercial and corporate litigation. We deal with a wide range of commercial disputes including disputes concerning shareholders, corporate governance, company acquisitions and take-overs, commercial fraud, restraint of trade, enforcement of commercial contracts, confidential information claims, directors’ duties and product liability.
The Companies Act in 2011 dramatically changed the corporate landscape in South Africa. Our Commercial Department offers a full spectrum of corporate and company secretarial services, including:
• Advice on the Companies Act
• Incorporation and establishment of companies, partnerships, joint ventures, trusts and non-profit companies
• Statutory changes such as change of directors/members, registered addresses, auditors, business descriptions and share capital
• Review and drafting of memoranda of incorporation, resolutions, and shareholder agreements
• Lodgement of annual returns
• Comprehensive company secretarial compliance services
• Advice on Corporate Governance and assistance with the establishment and operation of Social & Ethics Committees
Defensive Company Names
Our Commercial Department registers defensive company names in both South Africa and Namibia.
When the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) examines company name reservations, it only does so with reference to existing Company and Close Corporation names. During this process, registered trade marks that are similar or identical to the company name under examination are not automatically revealed or considered by the CIPC. Therefore, no cross-examination of the trade marks and company name registers takes place, creating the potential for conflict.
It is therefore recommended that clients extend the protection of their trade mark to include a defensive company name, which prevents third parties from obtaining registration of a company name that incorporates such client’s trade mark.