(l-r) Host, broadcaster Leanne Manas; Chris Green, partner, and Ezra Davids chairman, corporate/M&A, Bowmans; awards judge Leonie Ellis, Leonie Ellis Placements (l-r) Host, broadcaster Leanne Manas; Chris Green, partner, and Ezra Davids chairman, corporate/M&A, Bowmans; awards judge Leonie Ellis, Leonie Ellis Placements

Finalists: Fasken Martineau (highly commended); GLA – Gabinete Legal Angola (PLMJ Network); Webber Wentze; Werksmans

Bowmans’ role as lead counsel for SABMiller in the formation of Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) – saw it grab the Employment Team of the Year prize.

CCBA was created through a tie-up between SABMiller’s non-alcoholic bottling division ABI, Coca-Cola and Gutsche Family Investments, becoming the 10th largest coca-cola bottler in the world, and producing and distributing 40% of all Coca-Cola beverage volumes in Africa.

Bowmans provided employment advice on the transfer of SAB’s bottling division to a new subsidiary (ABI Bottling Limited) and the organisational restructuring of the various businesses involved in the formation of CCBA. This also meant engaging with employment unions in the run-up to and creation of CCBA, and handling various competition commission processes.

The firm was responsible for ensuring the deal complied with all relevant employment law requirements and it continues to be involved in the restructuring of the various entities across the CCBA group. Bowmans drew on its strong cadre of employment and labour law specialists and was engaged right from the beginning of negotiations — testament to the firm’s longstanding relationship with the client.