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Daniel became a partner at Bowmans in 1998. He practises in the public law, regulatory and dispute resolution areas. He specialises in constitutional and administrative law, judicial review, education law, public procurement, media and telecommunications law, access to information, legislative drafting and interpretation of statutes.
In addition to his specialist legal expertise, he brings to bear three key skills relevant to clients in highly regulated sectors or industries.
First, he has his finger on the pulse of new and pending legislative and regulatory developments, enabling clients to prepare for changing compliance requirements.
Second, Daniel has an exceptional ability to grasp the fine print of laws and regulations and interpret their actual meaning – which is not always immediately obvious – and the practical implications for clients.
Third, he has excellent research skills, analysing legal documents and court judgments and distilling the essence into cogent legal opinions, practical advice, and submissions to regulators and policymakers.
In addition to guiding clients on what to do to meet their compliance obligations, Daniel advises on their interactions with governmental and regulatory bodies and, when disputes arise over how regulators have exercised their powers, acts for clients in judicial reviews and other regulatory challenges.
Daniel’s skill set has been informed by his experience as a lawyer, teacher and academic. In between practising law at Bowmans, he took a six-year sabbatical from legal practice to teach history and Latin at St John’s College in Johannesburg. He has also lectured part-time in the postgraduate Advanced Broadcasting Law course at the University of the Witwatersrand.
A selection of Daniel’s experience includes:
- Advised the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) on the licensing of the first private free-to-air television service (awarded to e.tv), and in respect of e.tv’s applications for amendments to its licence and in hearings before the Broadcasting Monitoring & Complaints Committee regarding contraventions by e.tv of its licence.
- Represented the IBA and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court proceedings, including: Radio Islam v IBA  1 All SA 96 (W); Radio Kingfisher v Langa N.O.  JOL 7471 (SECLD); Barkhuizen v ICASA  1 All SA 469 (E); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2003 (5) SA 431 (T); Trinity Broadcasting (Ciskei) v ICASA 2003 (5) SA 97 (W); Trinity Broadcasting (Ciskei) v ICASA 2004 (3) SA 346 (SCA); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2005 (1) SA 47 (SCA); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2005 (4) SA 319 (CC); Good News Community Radio v ICASA  JOL 17514 (N); Radio Pretoria v Onafhanklike Kommunikasie-Owerheid van Suid-Afrika  1 All SA 143 (T); Kingdom Radio (Pty) Ltd v IBA  1 All SA 521 (JHC); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2008 (2) SA 164 (SCA).
- Advised ICASA on judicial review applications in respect of its decision to award a subscription television licence to MultiChoice, and its decision not to award such a licence to Deukom.
- Represented the IBA in a dispute with Radio Islam about the constitutionality of the latter’s refusal to allow women to participate in its broadcasting activities.
- Advised ICASA on applications by M-Net and SABC for the renewal and amendment of their broadcasting licences.
- Advised ICASA on numerous applications for broadcasting licences and applications for renewal and amendment of such licences, including applications for secondary market commercial licences, amendment of Radio 702’s licence and amendment of Trinity Broadcasting’s licence.
- Drafted licence conditions for e-tv, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and SABC.
- Advised ICASA on the Department of Communications’ digital migration strategy.
- Represented the respondent in Maredi Telecom & Broadcasting (Pty) Ltd v Ericsson South Africa (Pty) Ltd  ZAGPPHC 2.
- Advised Telecom Lesotho regarding a dispute with Lesotho Telecommunications Authority (LTA) and represented it in a review application against LTA in Lesotho High Court.
- Advised various clients on aspects of Namibian and Botswana telecommunications law.
- Advised US clients on South African law regarding the proposed installation of submarine fibre-optic cable around the African continent.
- Advised Nexus Connexion on regulatory aspects of its successful application for 19% BEE stake in Neotel, and represented it in judicial review proceedings against the Minister of Communications.
- Advised the FIFA-appointed host broadcaster for the 2010 World Cup on South African broadcasting law.
- Participated in drafting electronic communications legislation for Tanzania.
- Advised international clients on the foreign ownership restrictions in respect of South African broadcasting licensees.
- Represented numerous clients in judicial review proceedings in the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal.
- Advised clients on regulatory aspects of public-private partnerships, including the Gautrain project.
- Advised Standard Bank regarding regulatory aspects of take-over bid by Nedbank and regarding Myburgh judicial commission of inquiry into rapid depreciation of the South African currency.
- Advised Standard Bank on capital adequacy requirements under the Basel Accords.
- Represented Standard Bank in a procurement matter before the KwaZulu-Natal Bid Appeals Tribunal.
- Participated in drafting a Trade and Investment Act for South Sudan.
- Advised various independent schools on admissions and disciplinary policies and proceedings, privacy and access to information policies, and contractual relationships with parents.
- Advised various clients on aspects of the Higher Education Act, including the registration of private higher education institutions and the regulation of such institutions and their activities.
- Advised corporate clients on various aspects of the South African Schools Act and provincial education legislation, including registration of independent schools; acquisition of commercial interests in independent schools; changes in control of independent schools; payment of state subsidies to independent schools; accreditation of independent schools with the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi).
- Represented Old Mutual in litigation arising from the termination of the employment of its former CEO, Mr Peter Moyo, and in his application to have the non-executive directors of Old Mutual declared delinquent in terms of section 162 of the Companies Act, 2008, including , including Old Mutual Limited v Moyo  2 All SA 261 (GJ); Moyo v Old Mutual Ltd  7 BLLR 739 (GJ); Moyo v Old Mutual Ltd 2021 JDR 2850 (GJ); Moyo v Old Mutual Ltd  4 BLLR 371 (GJ); Moyo v Old Mutual 2022 JDR 1248 (GJ).
- Represented Old Mutual Limited and two other Old Mutual companies in Business Doctor Consortium Ltd v Old Mutual Finance (RF) (Pty) Ltd & others  4 All SA 719 (WCC).
- Chambers and Partners ranked Daniel in Band 3 for two consecutive years (2022-2023) in the Administrative & Public Law category in South Africa.
‘Daniel Pretorius is a very experienced and highly regarded public sector lawyer. He provides very practical, commercial and business-sensible advice.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2023
‘Daniel has a keen intellect and is very quick to grasp and point out the applicable legal challenges.’
‘Daniel is an incisive and strategic thinker.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2022
Publications & Insights
- South Africa: Controversial intelligence legislation finally introduced to Parliament
- South Africa: Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services and Online Content Safety
- South Africa: Constitution Twentieth Amendment Bill 2023
- South Africa: Proposed Code of Conduct for Direct Marketing from the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa
- South Africa: The Electronic Communications Draft Amendment Bill and the changes it proposes to introduce
- South Africa: POPIA considerations in the age of ChatGPT
- South Africa: The digital migration process – ‘final’ analogue switch-off date remains uncertain
- South Africa: An update on the recent activities of the Film and Publication Board
- South Africa: Spectrum Updates
- South Africa: Draft Treaty to regulate activities of transnational corporations may have far-reaching consequences
- COVID-19: Latest developments in the education sector, South Africa
- COVID-19: Approval required by businesses that will provide essential services in South Africa
- COVID-19: The position of children in independent schools in South Africa