Karen Fulton

Karen Fulton

Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9513
E: karen.fulton@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Karen Fulton is a partner in our Johannesburg office Employment & Benefits Practice.

She specialises in all aspects of South African employment law including exiting executive employees, corporate restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, bonus disputes, restraints of trade, unfair dismissal and unfair labour practice claims, unfair discrimination, sexual harassment, boardroom disputes, cross-border contracts and disputes.

Karen’s expertise has been recognised by Chambers Global (Employment), Legal 500 and PLC. Karen has served two periods as an acting judge of the Labour Court and has sat on private tribunals in employment disputes.  

Karen has BA and LLB degrees from Stellenbosch University and is an accredited Tokiso meditator and arbitrator.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

  • Karen has been a partner for over 20 years and her regular clients include Nestle, EY, Oracle, Marsh, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Apple and Abbott Laboratories,
  • Karen recently assisted a client in identifying an employee who was making bomb threats. This involved an investigation to identify who was making the calls, court applications to obtain telephone records, the dismissal of the employee concerned and assisting the client in reporting the matter to the police.
  • Karen frequently manages cross border disputes. She recently advised an African bank on changes to the management team and board of directors in a matter where the board and the main shareholder were at loggerheads.
  • Multi-jurisdictional restructuring of Kansai Plascon’s business across six African jurisdictions.
  • Karen advised a subsidiary of a global insurance company on the dismissal of their South African CEO and in doing so, managed a multi-disciplinary team of both corporate, regulatory and employment lawyers.

Signature Matters


  • Chambers and Partners, 2020 – 2016 ranked Karen in Band 3 for Employment.
  • Karen was recognised by Who’s Who Legal 2018 in the following categories Thought Leaders: Labour & Employment;  Employment & Benefits:  Pensions & Benefits;  and Employment & Benefits:  Labour & Employment.
  • Legal 500 2017 lists Karen as a recommended lawyer for Employment.

Karen Fulton is popular with large corporate clients for her capacity to navigate complex and contentious employment issues. Her practice covers issues regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, dismissals and collective disputes, with sources noting that she “brings gravitas and dynamics” to her matters.Chambers and Partners 2020

Karen Fulton has wide-ranging employment expertise covering forensic investigations, discrimination, employee dismissals and executive exits. She is noted as “solution-oriented,” as well as “very pragmatic, extremely responsive and forthright.”Chambers and Partners 2019

Karen Fulton is recognised for her work touching upon a range of employment issues, including unfair discrimination, boardroom disputes and executive contracts. Her impressive list of clients includes several major multinationals. Chambers and Partners 2018

‘Clients value Karen Fulton for her depth of knowledge in the financial services sector, with impressive aptitude in corporate restructurings and internal dismissals. One source described her as “just outstanding” in this field.’Chambers and Partners 2017

“Karen Fulton advises on various employment mandates such as the dismissal of executives, corporate restructuring and matters relating to M&A. One source comments: “I have no hesitation recommending her.””Chambers and Partners 2016

Publications & Insights