Xolani Nyali

Xolani Nyali

Cape Town, South Africa
T: +27 21 480 7904
E: xolani.nyali@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
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Xolani specialises in domestic and cross-border competition law, covering mergers, behavioural practices, training, and compliance. He provides constructive, practical, and long-term strategic advice to clients operating across the continent.

Xolani has led a number of significant merger transactions and behavioural matters in Africa and is known for his precise and decisive execution and pragmatic approach to overcoming the obstacles that arise in these jurisdictions.

Xolani has advised clients in respect of merger control and behavioural matters across several African jurisdictions including Angola, Botswana, CEMAC, COMESA, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, WAEMU and Zambia. He has also provided comments on the merger guidelines in COMESA and Kenya, the rules of procedure in Kenya and Nigeria, and draft legislation in Namibia and South Africa.

Xolani is a member of the Association of Competition Law Practitioners. Xolani has B.Com and LLB degrees from Rhodes University and an LLM from the University of the Western Cape. Xolani is currently based in Cape Town, and has been seconded to Bowmans’ Kenya office twice and has considerable competition law experience in Kenya and COMESA. Xolani has also been seconded to the Brussels office of an international law firm.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Xolani has experience across a broad range of business sectors and industries, including property, construction, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, financial services, private equity, technology (including fintech), mobility (air, road, and sea) and the automotive industry. Xolani also has a keen interest in the competition law aspects of disruptive technologies and, joint ventures.

Highlights of the notable matters in respect of which Xolani has advised include:


  • Advisor to Vitol Group in respect of the African competition law aspects of the acquisition of control of UK listed entity, Vivo Energy plc. Bowmans is coordinating the competition notifications in Botswana, Cape Verde, COMESA, CEMAC, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and WAEMU.
  • Advisor to P. Moller – Maersk A/S in respect of its acquisition of Senator International (an internationally operating freight forwarder). Bowmans secured unconditional competition clearance in South Africa notwithstanding the Competition Commission’s assessment that the transaction exhibited high market-shares in certain container liner shipping routes. The merger parties argued for unconditional clearance on novel public interest grounds, in particular, the promotion of a greater spread of ownership by historically disadvantaged persons/workers. Xolani successfully argued that a proper construction of the public interest provisions did not require a public interest intervention in all cases and without deciding the point, the Competition Tribunal cleared the transaction without commitments.
  • Advisor to Refinitiv (global provider of financial markets data) in respect of the South African competition law aspects of The London Stock Exchange’s acquisition of Refinitiv.
  • Advisor to I Squared Capital Advisors in respect of the joint acquisition of Aggreko by funds managed by I Squared Capital and TDR Capital. Aggreko is a UK based, public company that supplies power generation and temperature control equipment. Xolani oversaw the merger clearance processes in Africa, including two nascent jurisdictions, which involved developing and testing the merger control processes required in these jurisdictions.
  • Acting as local competition counsel to Sinochem Group Co., Ltd. and China National Chemical Corporation Ltd in respect of the preparation of the required African merger notifications in relation to the strategic merger between Sinochem and ChemChina.
  • Advisor to Rhône Capital L.L.C. in respect of the preparation of the required merger notification of Rhone’s acquisition of indirect control of Fluidra S.A. This transaction involved a protracted competition review by the South African competition authority, requiring novel and pragmatic solutions to secure the approval of the transaction. The transaction was ultimately approved on public interest grounds.
  • Competition counsel to Siemens AG in relation to the EUR 15 billion deal designed to form a new European rail transport champion, in terms of which Siemens acquired a 50% stake in the French rail transport company Alstom SA.

Market conduct and behavioural investigations

  • Acting for a company operating in the container shipping liner sector in respect of the Nigerian Competition Commission’s investigations into alleged abuse of dominance and/or unfair business practices in the sector.
  • Acting for a large pathology practice in respect of the COMESA Competition Commission’s investigation of allegations of excessive pricing for COVID-19 tests.
  • Acting for the automotive industry in the South African Competition Commission’s investigation into coordination in the sector. Xolani advised in respect of the subsequent development of a code for the automotive industry.
  • Acting as lead counsel to the East Africa Cement Producers Association in the successful defence of the first prosecuted cartel case before the Competition Authority of Kenya.


  • Who’s Who Legal: Competition Practitioner, 2022
  • Lexology: Client Choice Award, 2022
  • Who’s Who Legal: Competition Future Leader (Partners category) for three consecutive years: 2019 to 2021
  • African Legal Awards: shortlisted for Private Practice Rising Star – Mid-Large Practice, 2022
  • Who’s Who Legal: Competition Future Leader (Non-Partners category), 2017 and 2018
  • Global Competition Review: Senior Associates, 2018.

Publications & Insights