B Xulu and Partners Incorporated (BXI) is a legal firm with roots in the Western Cape and a network throughout Southern Africa. We offer a wide spectrum of legal services to a diverse client base of individuals as well as public and private entities. We are B-BBEE Level 1 contributors and have managed to construct a firm that is not only a combination of experienced professionals, but diverse in skills, qualifications, interests and backgrounds.
BXI has a unique understanding of the African socio-political and business environments, coupled with a sound legal foundation and years of industry experience, and are thus perfectly poised to assist our clients in achieving their objectives while also minimizing their legal and regulatory risks.
Our primary office is based in the Cape Town Foreshore and we have further operational presence in Midrand, Johannesburg and in Umhlanga, Durban.
Though a firm young in age we have created a culture engrained in Excellence,
Integrity and Learning.
Excellence is to us:
Integrity is to us:
Learning is to us:
The BXI legal service offering includes:
Given the social, political and economic climate in South Africa and abroad BXI offers an extensive service offering on global anti-corruption matters. We have extensive experience in defence, compliance and, criminal and civil law which support our anti-corruption service.
BXI is able to anticipate and strategically respond to investigations and enforcement regulations as well as conduct investigations in response to potential matters of corruption.
We have internal resources who are able to conduct forensic services as well as close relationships with specialized international investigative and forensic accounting service providers such as K2 Intelligence.
Our anti-corruption services include but is not limited to:
United States of America // Arnold Maurice Bengis
BXI was appointed by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to facilitate the restitution of funds from the illegal harvesting of West Coast Rock Lobster by Bengis to South Africa in the above matter. The matter involved extensive bilateral communication, sharing of evidence between the countries under a relevant mutual legal assistance treaties and broad law enforcement cooperation beyond formal treaty-based communications, prosecutions across multiple jurisdictions as well as forfeiture and restitution efforts.
The Bengis matter resulted in South Africa being granted forfeiture in the sum of $ 37 200 838, 36 and our firm has already successfully secured payment of an amount of $1.25 Million to the Marine Living Resources Fund.
COMPETITION LAW SERVICES
BXI’s competition law services span over a range of complex antitrust and anti-competition matters, as we understand that within the South African context, competition and antitrust do not have a purely commercial nature but are greatly affected by social goals as access to market for small businesses and historically disadvantaged individuals.
BXI assists clients in developing sound and practical competition solutions that are able to withstand scrutiny across applicable industries and jurisdictions.
We have worked alongside the monitoring and compliance unit at the Competition Commission in investigating dominance and monopolization structures in national and continentally recognised corporations.
Our competition law services include but is not limited to:
Orgel Vismaatskappy (Pty) Ltd
BXI is currently working alongside the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Public Protector and the Competition Commission to investigate the fishing rights transfer Orgel Vismaatskappy. The company was purchased by Foodcorp in 2005. The transaction was not approved by the Department in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act and it is further alleged that their fishing rights allocation was obtained under fraudulent BEE credentials.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SERVICES
This service encompasses all fundamental laws as set out by South Africa’s Constitution which regulate the conception, execution and power given to government. BXI has extensive experience in advising public and private sector clients in all aspects of constitutional law and the issues related thereto.
Our strategic advice and experience and networks with the appropriate regulators ensures that our clients receive the best possible solutions and strategies within this complex environment.
Our constitutional law services most often interface with other aspects of the law. BXI offers constitutional interpretation of legislation and regulations and provides our clients with opinions and practical assistance in plain language.
Judge Hlope Tribunal
Our Barnabas Xulu represented the Judge President Hlope in the Cape Town High Court in the matter where it was alleged that Judge Hlophe had approached some of the judges of the Constitutional Court ‘in an improper attempt to influence the Court’s pending judgment in one or more cases. Mr Xulu represented the Judge President in ongoing litigation and is now a member of the Judge Hlope Tribunal.
Our firm has specialized knowledge and expertise in the sphere of corporate, commercial and competition law, and create conditions for our clients to capitalize on the unique and exciting opportunities available within South Africa and into Africa. BXI is recognized for developing strategies that allow our clients to capitalize optimize their business strategy.
Our corporate and commercial services include but is not limited to:
The incorporation of companies, close corporations, partnerships and trusts, drafting the necessary documentation and attending to registration.
General agreements (such as employment and commercial contracts)
Mr Xulu conducted commercial work for Transnet Port Terminals, Transnet Pipeline and the National Ports Authority, and BXI has just been appointed to Transnet’s panel of attorneys to provide legal services to their various operating divisions for the next 3 years.
CORPORATE FINANCE AND MERGERS AND AQUISITIONS
The team at BXI has over five decades of experience in corporate and commercial work, and a dedication to evolve and improve with the changing economic and industry cycles. This ensures that we are constantly abreast on matters relation to fields such as taxation, competition law, environmental compliance and black economic empowerment.
All related areas of law, such as banking and finance, competition, employment, exchange control and tax, are handled in conjunction with our specialists in those areas.
Our corporate service offering includes but is not limited to:
Sea Harvest and Consortium Partners
Sea Harvest and Consortium Partners is in the process of acquiring the assets of a large fishing conglomerate. BXI is providing strategic advice relating to the transaction and conducting a regulatory compliance matrix in line with the provisions of the Competition Act and Marine Living Resources Act to ensure that the transaction can withstand scrutiny.
Corporate governance is a relatively new concept, but one that has become essential in the practices of modern corporations. The team at BXI is able to provide not only legal advice, but advice that is a balance between corporate governance regulatory requirements and organizational performance, ensuring that solutions are feasible and profitable for your organization.
We have well established relationships with various regulatory agencies in South Africa and internationally, and are able to navigate any challenges in processes, customs, policies and laws to fulfil corporate governance needs.
Our service offering includes:
Housing and Development Agency Anti-Fraud and Corruption Programme
BXI conducted a national anti-fraud and corruption programme for the HDA. We designed the programme from concept and facilitated it across all 9 provinces. The process involved examining the HDA regulatory universe, and course design, compiling online surveys and e-learning campaigns, manual and presentation design and typesetting and’ in classroom’ facilitation. BXI further provided the HDA with a comprehensive report on existing risks of within the organization as well the remedial action in the short, medium and long term.
REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE LAW
Businesses now need to operate within what is an intricate web of environmental legislation, and so there is an increasing need for legal counsel to ensure the effective management of the organizations corporate environment as well as their resource strategies and impacts. BXI pairs a deep understanding of client needs and regulatory experience to assist clients in making informed and often critical decisions, this may include:
Hake Inshore Trawl Appeals
Fishing rights allocations are a highly sensitive, complex and highly contested process. As the Marine Living Resources Act provides for creating access for new entrants into the fishing industry, while balancing allocations to long standing fishers and preserving scarce marine resources. BXI provided written recommendations to the appeals committee regarding hake inshore, on behalf of the Deputy-Director General who is the delegated authority therein.
Fraud and corruption are very real risks for any organization. Given the reputational damage, costs and down time associated therewith, selecting the right team to gather the facts and support your organization is critical.
Our forensics team has specialist expertise and practical experience in complex, large scale investigations and are also able to provide the following:
BXI’s forensic ability is well illustrated in the matter of the United States of America // Arnold Maurice Bengis, wherein we were required to track the assets of Bengis and enforce a restitution and forfeiture order across multiple jurisdictions.
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries // Contractor X
BXI worked alongside the Hawks to expose a contractor who had attempted to rig the fishing rights allocations. The process involved us tracing, verifying and tracking payments and communications of a fabricated company, investigating allegations, and reporting thereupon.
INSOLVENCY, BUSINESS RESCUE AND DEBT RECOVERY
We categorize insolvency as either cash flow insolvency where the business is unable to pay debts as they fall due, or balance sheet insolvency where the business has negative net assets, or rather, their liabilities exceed their assets.
Our team assists clients in proactively managing insolvency and financial exposure. However, when insolvency is inevitable we aid companies to minimize losses and implementing recovery strategies.
Our insolvency services include:
BXI has been appointed to the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit, as part of the panel of attorneys who curate assets.
Our international law projects often involve a multi-disciplinary team working together to meet desired ends. BXI has worked on international matters in Africa, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and various tax havens such as the Isle of Jersey.
BXI provides legal advice and supports negotiations and litigation across all aspects of public law. We advise governments, corporations and individuals on complex components of foreign law such as:
The Bengis investigations and prosecutions in South Africa and the United States as discussed in under Anti-Corruption, were a catalyst for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries considering expanded international efforts in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
BXI has just been mandated to pioneer the global campaign to combat IUU fishing specific target on global syndicates who profiteer off domestic marine living resources because of our experience in the field of international, environmental and marine law in addition to our global networks within government, law enforcement and organizations.
LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
We have a substantial dispute resolution team with experience advising domestic and international corporations, financial institutions, government and regulatory bodies. We offer fast and effective solutions in sensitive, complex, high value and multi-jurisdictional disputes.
BXI offers both dispute avoidance and optimal risk management, and ensures that the relevant counsel and advice is obtained before litigation is considered.
Our service offering includes:
BXI has represented organisations such as the South African National Defense Force, Transnet and Denel in litigation matters.
Viking Inshore Fishing // Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries
BXI was appointed on behalf of the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries in the above matter. The full bench in the Western Cape High Court on 4 July 2017 handed down judgment in favour of the
Department. The judgement brought to an end an interdict, previously preventing existing and new entrants from participating in the sector, and the court has vindicated the department’s attempts to ensure that new entrants in the Hake Inshore Trawl sector are able to utilise the fishing rights granted to them.
PROPERTY & REAL ESTATE SERVICES
The team at BXI provides innovative solutions to the ever-changing circumstances in the real estate market, whether from a legal or commercial perspective. We specialize in all aspects of commercial property transactions and conveyancing, including advice on property development in relation to commercial, urban, coastal, residential and agricultural areas.
Our property and real estate offering includes:
PUBLIC SECTOR LAW
BXI has an in-depth knowledge broader legal and policy frameworks that govern decision making, and is able to support public and private sector bodies in meeting and avoiding legal challenges within a regulatory context. We understand the constitutional principles of accountability and transparency, and aim to champion a public procurement system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective. Our public sector service offering can be categorised into the following:
BXI has extensive experience in drafting regulations, codes of practice and other subordinate legislation, and have over time developed experience in ‘plain language’ drafting of legislation. Our drafting experience covers a wide range of fields, including labour market, trade and industry, education and skills development, finance and economic development, land and social security. Our lawyers have drafted legislative instruments at national, provincial and local government levels in South Africa.
Administrators require a good grasp of administrative law in order to perform their functions effectively and in compliance with the law. We have extensive expertise in advising public sector clients at all levels on administrative law matters and have designed administrative institutions and infrastructure, developed fair administrative procedures, conducted regulatory impact assessments, formulated public participation processes on draft legislative and policy instruments.
BXI assists clients to make representations to government, Parliament and provincial legislatures on legislative proposals and have also advised national government departments on key policy frameworks. Our team is able to serve on committees of inquiry and task teams in developing legal policy proposals, as well as to review laws and policy for public sector clients and conduct comparative international research and benchmarking.
We have extensive experience of the distinctive and interdependent relationship between national, provincial and local government in South Africa and are able to advise upon a broad range of national and provincial government departments on constitutional matters related to their respective jurisdictions, including the resolution of intergovernmental disputes in compliance with the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act.
PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT
BXI is able to advise on the full range of legal public finance matters facing public sector bodies including advice on the interpretation and application of the Public Finance Management Act, the Treasury Regulations, the Municipal Finance Management Act. We offer advice on large, complex and sensitive internal investigations involving public finance management and regulatory compliance.
PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT
BXI is able to assist public and private sector clients to navigate the complex regulatory framework applicable to procurement and government contracting. Our team advises on the full range of procurement issues arising from the Public Finance Management Act, the Treasury Regulations, the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, the Municipal Finance Management Act and the Codes of Good Practice on Black Economic Empowerment.
BXI drafted a legislative framework and model regarding Political Party Funding for the African National Congress in 2016.
Mmela Investment Holdings // The Department of Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
BXI is currently representing Mmela in various legal disputes, in various courts, against the Department wherein we have provided strategic advice and legal representation – not only as it relates to the litigious process but also as it relates to prospective settlement negotiations.
VALUE ADDED SERVICES
We offer value added services that compliment our legal service offering. The benefit of having these services provided in-house ensures seamless service delivery to our clients.
We offer bespoke professional services in addition to legal services, as they allow us to fulfil large project obligations without having to outsource. This ensures that we are able to deliver a consistently high standard of work, from people who are experts in their fields, in addition to proactively managing risks.
Our value added services include:
Complex and ever changing business environments have had a significant impact on the transactions and relationships between organizations and their stakeholders. The integrated global economy and increase in consumer consciousness have increased the rights and duties for organizations. Organizations and its leadership now have to shoulder duty to the employees, consumers, suppliers and distributers, to the government and in some cases even foreign governments and regulatory bodies. This is more so the case in the instance of a parasternal entity, as they are entrusted with public funds and are therefore subject to greater scrutiny.
Business regulations are now a matter of law given the emergence of labor relations, environmental protection issues, consumer protection regime and intergovernmental relations. Regulators now have a mandate to impose heavy fines and stringent measures, such as civil and criminal sanctions, for non-compliance with the governing laws and regulations to the financial detriment of the company, thus qualified and objective legal input is required, to develop remedies and preventive mechanisms to shield the organization from possible legal risks that could have otherwise been avoided.
Each audit is unique based on the organization and the transaction or subject being audited, however the basis always involves an evaluation of the organizations’ current and future legal issues in light of their needs and industry standards, in order to devise on effective solutions. The audit must be cost-efficient, thorough, and solution-orientated.
BXI is passionate about the transfer of knowledge and skills and we can not only provide training on developments in the law but we could implement a blended learning approach to transfer practical knowledge to our client’s employees pertaining to the existing laws and mandates applicable to their organisations.
The training material course outlines can be based on the audit finding and be adapted each year as needs change and employees mature and grow into their respective roles.
We encourage all of our clients to take steps towards compliance, regardless of which industries they operate within. We are able to assist clients with achieving this compliance through conducting a gap analysis on project plans, policies, documents and communications and reconciling them with the relevant regulations and frameworks.
Compliance in its broadest sense is that certification or confirmation that an organization meets the requirements of accepted practices, legislation, prescribed rules and regulations, specified standards, or the terms of a contract. The definition of compliance can also encompass process that organizations to meet the aforementioned requirements.
Government agencies are strongly regulated by the law and must develop internal policies in order to ensure compliance with the law. However, the real challenge comes from the intersection of policy and practice. Once a policy is in place, an organization must decide how to enforce those policies and measure their effectiveness. This in theory seems an easy task, however in practice without employing comprehensive mechanisms to measure and monitor compliance, organisations often fall short.
In order to build effective policies, we must not only understand the legal and statutory requirements that shape the policy, but how the policy will relate to the business practices, people, and systems within our organizations.
Organisations should actively review, monitor, enforce, and/or adapt the policies as necessary to ensure that they effectively and accurately measure and report on conformance. This will ensure not only the highest degree of compliance, but also will provide the data that is necessary for the organisation to react quickly should policy or processes require adaptation.
Compliance aids organizations in minimize risks arising from non-adherence with regulatory requirements and expectations of key stakeholders and society as a whole. These risks may be current and/or prospective risks which manifest in damage the organisational model, reputation and financial stability.
We can assist our clients in identifying key stakeholders and the best ways in which to communicate with them. We are able to advise on both formal and informal engagement best practices and make recommendations on stakeholder management systems.
Social Media Policy
Organisational information protection corporate policies
Monitoring behaviour of employees, associated parties and ambassadors across various mediums.
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Projects undertaken by our clients are often outside of their general business operations, and internal departments dealing with such projects do not always have the capacity to manage them. We are able to apply our knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to these project in order to help organisations meet their project requirements.
Change management is concerned with three aspects, namely adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change. We present clients with a proactive approach to deal with change as well establishing a structured methodology for responding to change. This may include:
How an organisation initially responds to a crisis has the potential to shape the public opinion of the organisation for years to come. BXI’s crisis management team is available on a 24/7 basis and will ensure that your immediate crisis needs are tended to in addition to positioning your long term defence and providing advice to address any legal, reputational and operational issues affected by the crisis.
Our team understands the critical procedure involved in crisis management and will not only assist in developing appropriate strategies for any lawsuits that may arise from the crisis but also in liaison with government agencies and investigators, shareholders, communities and the media as required.
BXI further offers planning and risk mitigation as part of our crisis management service. We conduct audits and create crisis management plans and protocols in addition to training employees as a proactive crisis management measure.
SERVICE LEVELS, RISK MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING
We implement strict quality control measures to ensure that our client security and data integrity is maintained. All staff are issued with company devices that are used exclusively for client interaction. We ensure that all hard files are backed-up to cloud storage so there need never be concern regarding a physical file or document gone missing.
Furthermore, as our conveyancing department works with the banking real estate department we have a system and server that is vetted through the banks in accordance with their security system which are known to be the of the highest calibre.
The software programmes as utilized by BXI such as Ghost Convey and AJS provide security and storage for conveyancing and litigation matters respectively, and data is backed up to their independent servers at regular intervals.
All of our staff members are extensively vetted and have strict confidentiality agreements in place given the nature of our work and our blue chip clients.
SERVICE LEVELS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
We ensure that our clients receive the best work through pairing each matter with resources that are experts in that area. Each matter in our portfolio is allocated two legal resources, which are most often a combination of a junior and senior associate, as well as a resource from our business team, as a key accounts manager. This ensures that matter expectations are well managed and that no detail, regardless of how minute is overlooked.
Having three resources committed to your matter manages risk, and the mixture of both business and legal resources ensures that standards and quality is maintained. It allows the legal resources to focus on the meat of the matter, while the business resources are concerned with coordination and smooth execution of the project.
Furthermore, combining a mix of both business and legal resources ensures that standards and quality is maintained. It allows the legal resources to focus on the facts of the case, while the business resources coordinate copywriting, diary management and coordination of the matter.
All staff members are extensively vetted and have strict confidentiality agreements in place given the nature of our work and our blue-chip clients. In addition to having a team of legal resources at your disposal. Our clients are allocated a key account manager who is a 24/7 business resource that will be able to steer projects internally should a key member of your team be unavailable.