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Graham Damant

Senior Consultant | Johannesburg

Graham-Damant

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Contact

T: +27 11 669 9508

Overview

Graham Damant is a senior consultant in our Johannesburg office Employment & Benefits Practice.

Graham is often retained by boards of companies to advise on the employment of executives or the termination of employment of executives where performance has been unsatisfactory.  He is retained on matters where there is a risk of reputational harm due to the conduct of employees and advises boards on appropriate responses.  He is involved in the investigation and response to sensitive whistleblowing reports.  He has considerable expertise in the handling of strikes, retrenchments, section 197 transfers and changes to terms and conditions of employment.

Graham has particular experience in the field of employee benefits.  This includes short-term and long-term incentive schemes, share plans, pension funds and medical aid schemes.  He has advised employers on the application of malus and clawback in share schemes, the interpretation of share plan rules and the issue of replacement awards following changes in ownership.  In the areas of pensions funds Graham has been involved in a number of significant disputes between employers and pension funds as well as conversion from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes and changes to retirement arrangements.  He is retained to advise boards of pension funds on disputes pertaining to the distribution of death benefits, unclaimed benefits and disputes pertaining to the use of surplus.

He has acted as a judge in the Labour Court and assisted with the drafting of our labour legislation.

Experience

  • Acted for employers in the retail sector in the Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court and Constitutional Court proceedings regarding the decision of the Minister to place the Wholesale and Retail Sector Training Authority under administration.
  • Acted for the Ekhurhuleni Municipality in a Constitutional Court dispute regarding obligations to make payment to the fund.
  • Acted for the Southern Sun Pension Fund in the Supreme Court of Appeal matter where the court overturned the regulations pertaining to unclaimed benefits.
  • Acted for Alexander Forbes in a dispute involving the termination of employment of an ex-Chief Executive.
  • Acted for Transman in the Supreme Court of Appeal in a matter relating to the right of the High Court to review executive dismissals.
  • Acted for Pick ‘n Pay Retailers (Pty) Ltd for the past 30 years in dealing with strikes, retrenchments, collective agreements, disputes regarding atypical employment, unfair discrimination disputes, dismissal disputes and reviews of CCMA awards.
  • Acted for a company in the highly publicised “surplus stripping saga” of pension funds and procured a favourable settlement.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Graham as “Senior Statespeople” in Employment in 2024 and have  consistently ranked Graham in Band 1 previously for Employment law for seven consecutive years (2015 to 2021) and as a Senior Statesman in the same category in 2022 and 2023.
  • Legal 500 consistently recommend Graham as a Leading Individual for Labour and Employment for the past six years (2017 to 2022) and ranked him in Tier 1 in 2015 and 2016 for the same category.
  • Graham was recognised by Who’s Who Legal 2018 in the categories Employment & Benefits: Pensions & Benefits;  and Employment & Benefits:  Labour & Employment.
  • Recognised by Best Lawyers 2017 for Employee Benefits Law and Labour and Employment Law.

‘Graham Damant is a brilliant and seasoned lawyer. He is always responsive and is one of our very trusted legal advisers.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘His advice is very balanced from a legal and business risk perspective. He is my first choice of employment lawyer at Bowmans.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • BCom and LLB degrees and Higher Diploma in Company Law from the University of the Witwatersrand.
  • LLM from the London School of Economics.

INSIGHTS

Brochures

Overview

Graham Damant is a senior consultant in our Johannesburg office Employment & Benefits Practice.

Graham is often retained by boards of companies to advise on the employment of executives or the termination of employment of executives where performance has been unsatisfactory.  He is retained on matters where there is a risk of reputational harm due to the conduct of employees and advises boards on appropriate responses.  He is involved in the investigation and response to sensitive whistleblowing reports.  He has considerable expertise in the handling of strikes, retrenchments, section 197 transfers and changes to terms and conditions of employment.

Graham has particular experience in the field of employee benefits.  This includes short-term and long-term incentive schemes, share plans, pension funds and medical aid schemes.  He has advised employers on the application of malus and clawback in share schemes, the interpretation of share plan rules and the issue of replacement awards following changes in ownership.  In the areas of pensions funds Graham has been involved in a number of significant disputes between employers and pension funds as well as conversion from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes and changes to retirement arrangements.  He is retained to advise boards of pension funds on disputes pertaining to the distribution of death benefits, unclaimed benefits and disputes pertaining to the use of surplus.

He has acted as a judge in the Labour Court and assisted with the drafting of our labour legislation.

Experience

  • Acted for employers in the retail sector in the Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court and Constitutional Court proceedings regarding the decision of the Minister to place the Wholesale and Retail Sector Training Authority under administration.
  • Acted for the Ekhurhuleni Municipality in a Constitutional Court dispute regarding obligations to make payment to the fund.
  • Acted for the Southern Sun Pension Fund in the Supreme Court of Appeal matter where the court overturned the regulations pertaining to unclaimed benefits.
  • Acted for Alexander Forbes in a dispute involving the termination of employment of an ex-Chief Executive.
  • Acted for Transman in the Supreme Court of Appeal in a matter relating to the right of the High Court to review executive dismissals.
  • Acted for Pick ‘n Pay Retailers (Pty) Ltd for the past 30 years in dealing with strikes, retrenchments, collective agreements, disputes regarding atypical employment, unfair discrimination disputes, dismissal disputes and reviews of CCMA awards.
  • Acted for a company in the highly publicised “surplus stripping saga” of pension funds and procured a favourable settlement.

Awards

  • Chambers and Partners ranked Graham as “Senior Statespeople” in Employment in 2024 and have  consistently ranked Graham in Band 1 previously for Employment law for seven consecutive years (2015 to 2021) and as a Senior Statesman in the same category in 2022 and 2023.
  • Legal 500 consistently recommend Graham as a Leading Individual for Labour and Employment for the past six years (2017 to 2022) and ranked him in Tier 1 in 2015 and 2016 for the same category.
  • Graham was recognised by Who’s Who Legal 2018 in the categories Employment & Benefits: Pensions & Benefits;  and Employment & Benefits:  Labour & Employment.
  • Recognised by Best Lawyers 2017 for Employee Benefits Law and Labour and Employment Law.

‘Graham Damant is a brilliant and seasoned lawyer. He is always responsive and is one of our very trusted legal advisers.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

‘His advice is very balanced from a legal and business risk perspective. He is my first choice of employment lawyer at Bowmans.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2024

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