Heather Irvine

Heather Irvine

Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9693
E: heather.irvine@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Heather Irvine is a partner in the Corporate Department of our Johannesburg office and a member of the Competition Practice.

Heather specialises in complex mergers, competition law complaints proceedings and pricing. She has particular expertise in the mobile telecommunications, financial services, broadcasting and manufacturing sectors.

Her experience includes launching two of the first applications in cartel cases to the Constitutional Court in South Africa and managing several dawn raids for clients in South Africa and Zambia. Heather has also successfully secured immunity for clients in terms of the South African Competition Commission’s corporate leniency policy. She also advises clients on their compliance programmes, and on designing and implementing online competition law training.

Heather has BA and Honours degrees (both cum laude) and an LLB (magna cum laude), from the University of Cape Town. She also has a Competition Law Certificate from the University of the Witwatersrand and has been an external examiner in undergraduate and master’s competition law courses at that university for the past five years.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

  • Acted for Cell C in various complaints in terms of the of the Competition Act, including a complaint involving an alleged abuse of dominance by Blue Label
  • Obtained urgent relief for Cell C from the High Court in relation to the proposed allocation of high demand spectrum by ICASA , as well as in relation to the amended End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations, and a High Court review of the Number Portability Regulations
  • Assisted Cell C in relation to the regulation by ICASA of wholesale mobile termination rates from 2010 onwards
  • Acted for Cell C in the Commissions market inquiry into mobile data pricing, and the proposed amendments to the Electronic Communications Act
  • Successfully negotiated a settlement of a complaint by the Competition Commission about alleged collusion in the fertilizer industry, following protracted litigation concerning the validity of the initiation of the complaint against Omnia Holdings LTD in the Competition Appeal Court and the Constitutional Court
  • Obtained clearance for mergers with global crop protection provider Oro-Agri and African base oil supplier Umongo
  • Represented various divisions of Omnia in relation to complaints about anti-competitive conduct in South Africa and Zambia
  • Advising various divisions of KAP International Holdings on compliance with the Competition Act
  • Dealt with a dawn raid by the South African Competition Commission on PG Bison in 2015
  • Acted for Unitrans Passenger in the Competition Commission’s Public Passenger Transport market inquiry
  • Obtained merger clearance for Carlyle in relation to various African investments
  • Designed and implemented the FirstRand online competition law training program
  • Advised FirstRand in relation to competition law compliance by DirectAxis
  • Secured merger clearance in South Africa for investments into Phoenix and Aspen Insurance by Apollo Management LP
  • Advised mobile content streaming service, black, on the investigation by the Competition Commission into exclusionary conduct by the South Africa subscription broadcaster Multichoice
  • Assisted black to make submissions in relation to ICASA’s Subscription Broadcasting Services inquiry
  • Participated in Wal-Mart’s acquisition of African retailer Massmart
  • Assisted the Department of Economic Development to participate in the merger involving Clicks and the pharmacies located in Netcare hospitals
  • Advised Consol on the application to ITAC to lift import duties on soda ash, as well as successfully secured the withdrawal by the Competition Commission of a complaint about alleged collusion on purchase of waste glass
  • Defended complaint against Johnson Crane by the Competition Commission about alleged collusion on rates by the equipment suppliers via the Contractors Plant Hire Association
  • Obtained clearance for Steinhoff International Holdings for various large mergers including those involving Pepkor, Iliad Africa, JD group and Building Supply Group
  • Successfully negotiated the settlement of a long running complaint about collusion by Steinhoff subsidiaries Loungefoam and Vitafoam


  • Chambers and Partners ranked Heather in Band 2 for Competition/ Antitrust for three consecutive years (2021-2023).
  • Heather was featured as one of only three women in Africa for her work in the competition space by Global Competition Review, 2021.
  • IFLR1000’s Financial and Corporate Guide rated Heather as a Highly Regarded lawyer for Competition for three consecutive years (2020 to 2022).
  • Recognised as a Leading Lawyer by Who’s Who Legal for Competition Law for three consecutive years (2020 to 2022).
  • Recognised by Women@40 in their 40s Notable Women in Competition in 2019.
  • Recognised by Global Competition Review‘s100 Successful Women in the Field of Global Competition Law in 2016 and 2013.
  • Named Global Competition Review World Top 40 Under 40 in 2012.
  • Chambers Global has ranked Heather in Band 2 for Competition/Antitrust – South Africa category prior to joining Bowmans.

‘She is an excellent antitrust lawyer with very deep insights into the field.’ Chambers and Partners, 2023

‘Heather Irvine is a key contact for global clients.’ – Legal 500, 2022

‘She’s brilliant; pragmatic, she thinks things through, has good rapport with clients and is very high quality.’ Chambers and Partners, 2022

‘Heather Irvine is a highly respected lawyer who is equally well versed advising on merger control and prohibitive practices complaints. She is roundly appreciated by sources, who describe her as a “very strong practitioner.”‘ – Chambers and Partners, 2021

‘Heather is “at the top of her game for technical skills and expertise” and is “very responsive, pragmatic and able to handle work in a business-minded and effective way”‘Chambers and Partners, 2018

Publications & Insights