Thursday, August 16, 2018

The last few days have been very emotional for all of us at Bowmans. We have lost a partner, a colleague and a good friend, and we are all mourning Claire van Zuylen’s passing with much sadness.

Claire joined Bowmans from Cox Yeats Attorneys in Durban, as a senior associate in 2001. She specialised in insolvency, banking and finance and aviation transactions, having qualified with BA and LLB degrees, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Tax, and Certificates in Advanced Securities and Corporate Law, Securitisations Law, and Banking and Financial Markets. Her expertise was recognised by clients and peers alike. Chambers and Partners ranked her in Band 3 for Restructuring/ Insolvency and she received an Acritas Star Lawyer rating in 2018. She also contributed her time and expertise to the broader legal community through her involvement on the board of the Centre for Corporate and Insolvency Law at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Law.

We have received many messages of condolences and tributes from both clients and peers. Set out below is a tribute paid to her by SARIPA, the insolvency practitioner association, of which she was an active member.

On a more personal level, Claire was deeply passionate about animals and loved and cared for a range of horses, dogs, pigs, chickens and rabbits which lived with her on her property. She was also committed and dedicated to the care of animals in distress and spent much time volunteering at animal shelters and assisting with animal rescue and rehoming. In her own words Claire was, an “obsessive reader, horse-rider, appreciative of single malt whiskies & books by Wodehouse or Pratchett, mother to 4 dogs, cat & stallion, vexed by perky optimism”.

Claire leaves her parents, Rod and Lynne, and her sister, Amy. We are in regular contact with them and have offered our support and condolences.

At this stage, the circumstances surrounding Claire’s passing are still unclear. The funeral arrangements will be communicated once they have been finalised.

A memorial service in celebration of Claire’s life will be held at Inanda Country Base, corner Rose Rd & Maple Rd, Knopjeslaagte, Kyalami on Thursday 23 August at 14h00. Click here for more information.

We will miss Claire deeply. Her kindness, her sincere and generous spirit, her wit and sense of humour and the significant contribution she made to our firm will always be remembered.

May she Rest In Peace.

Robert Legh
Chairman and Senior Partner

"The entire insolvency and restructuring community are saddened by the passing of Claire van Zuylen. Many of SARIPA's members knew Claire and admired her intellectual sharpness and reach when it came to insolvency and restructuring matters. She was respected and loved by all her peers.

With the passing of Claire, the insolvency and restructuring community loses one of those great minds, thinkers and fantastic persons that some of us had the privilege of working with. Claire was a longstanding member of SARIPA, having made enormous contributions to the organisation. She was, and I can bear testimony to this fact, a hit at all workshops and conferences hosted by SARIPA.

Claire was scheduled to be on a panel at the upcoming SARIPA Annual Conference in Cape Town. She has been a regular panellist in recent years, further testimony to her role and stature within the insolvency and restructuring world. She will be missed!

For many it was a privilege to have worked with Claire. She was always well-reasoned and thoughtful in her views and analysis of insolvency and restructuring issues. She always made you feel that you were on the same side as her. Many regard Claire as a master and scholar in her field.

Her passing will be huge loss to the Bowmans family. We have extended condolences on behalf of all our members to the Bowmans family, her family and friends.

We will notify you of any memorial and funeral arrangements as they are made known.

The SARIPA National Board"