THE FULL STORY:
Commercial law is a cornerstone in the functioning of our global economy, but what exactly does it entail? Well, we have the answers for you.
Commercial Law, also known as Trade or Mercantile Law, is an umbrella term that describes a group of laws or practice areas created to support and regulate businesses in their commercial endeavours. The origins of modern-day commercial law can be traced back to the 16th-century Roman Empire when jurist Benvenuto Stracca wrote a treatise centred around merchant contracts, bankruptcy, insurance and maritime rights, solidifying the importance and relevance of this legal practice area to the ever-expanding Roman Empire at the time.
Today, Commercial Law covers various practice areas such as Contract Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, Labour Law, Company Law, Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, Antitrust or Competition Law, Tax Law, Maritime Law, Consumer Protection Law, Insolvency, International Trade Law and Insurance Law.
Quite the list, right? At De Beer Attorneys, our team has competency in Contract Law, Intellectual Property Law, Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, Competition Law, and Environmental Law. Keep scrolling to learn more about our commercial law offering, and feel free to reach out to us should you have any further questions.
Contracts are essential to almost every aspect of our lives and form the basis of the legal system as we know it today. A commercial contract is a written or verbal trade agreement concluded between individuals and businesses that sets out the agreed-upon relationship in addition to the rights and obligations of each party in respect thereof. Our team appreciates the importance of a well-drafted contract to the commercial interests of our clients, which is why we consider the values of precision, due diligence and forethought while drafting and reviewing each contract that hits our desk.
We have extensive experience in drafting, reviewing and litigating contracts relating to all areas of commercial activity, including but not limited to; franchise agreements, employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, shareholder agreements, restraints of trade, transfers of ownership, licensing agreements, trade-secret agreements, business purchase agreements, agency agreements, joint venture agreements, purchase and supply agreements in addition to sale and distribution agreements.
Corporate law is key to the successful running of an enterprise and is an area of commercial practice consisting of laws, rules and regulations that govern the management, operation, and formation of a business.
Our team assists its clientele with establishing business entities such as; corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, private entities, trusts and NPOs. We also ensure that these ventures remain compliant with relevant company law requirements and inform the business leadership of legislative changes that may affect its operation. Our team can also assist your business with facilitating amicable director and shareholder relations in addition to overseeing any required corporate structuring or restructuring efforts.
Corporate Governance is a system of rules that set out the terms by which a company operates, identifies parties who hold decision-making rights and, by extension, civil accountability, and mandates the unique processes and directives by which the enterprise, its employees and stakeholders will abide. This specialised area of commercial law is multi-faceted, combining bylaws, procedures and legislative requirements to create a unique code of conduct by which a business is regulated and operated.
We walk our corporate clients through the process of navigating the relevant legislation that governs corporate leadership in the South African jurisdiction in addition to providing counsel on any pertinent legislation that regulates management within their particular practising industry. We advise our clients on the formation and structure of boards and committees and assist in developing and defining all governance-related documents, such as; body mandates, committee charters, codes of conduct, and the bylaws necessary for legislative compliance. We also provide counsel and assist in legally representing the board on relevant matters.
This area of the law exists to protect our natural resources from exploitation or damage that could arise from commercial activity. A high-profile example of an environmental law issue was the BP oil spill that resulted in almost 231,000 gallons of crude oil releasing into the ocean with devastating ecological effects.
We advise our clients and their in-house staff on their commercial environmental responsibilities along with the rights and benefits they may enjoy due to their cooperation with these legal requirements. We work hand in hand with your technical staff to develop ecologically-conscious and fiscally-sound risk management strategies. We also assist our clients in assessing and drafting supply and purchase agreements with partners who exercise environmentally ethical practices together with drafting watertight indemnity agreements. Our team also assists with passionately defending the rights and interests of our clients should they find themselves party to an environmental litigation matter.
Competition Law is a body of laws that exists to ensure businesses challenge each other fairly in the marketplace. These laws aim to guard against undue restraint of trade or monopolisation by enacting laws that prohibit, restrict or regulate excessive commercial action. Recent examples of antitrust behaviour in the media have centred around Facebook and Amazon's alleged anti-competitive practices.
The team at De Beer Attorneys offer our clients assistance with countering suspicions of abuse of market dominance and other repressive practices, identifying feasible joint ventures and tactical alliances, in addition to assessing and countering trade and exclusivity agreements that may give rise to unfavourable commercial implications.