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Michael-James Currie

Firm: Primerio
Country: Nigeria

Practice Area: Competition

  • 135 Daisy Street
    Johannesburg, 2031

Michael-James is a Director of Primerio and co-founder of the Primerio South African practice.

Mike’s regulatory and commercial law practice is pan-African and he has practiced across several countries and regional blocs including Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, COMESA and CEMAC, for the better part of a decade.

Mike has consistently been recognised as a “Best Lawyer in South Africa” and also serves as the Global Law Expert for competition law in Nigeria.

In addition to his practice areas, Mike is a regular speaker and author who has published several journal articles, papers and opinion pieces.

As active member of the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association, Mike’s practice also includes a substantial amount of advocacy work – particularly in promoting competition law best practice across Africa.

Significant Matters

·         Representing Conservatorium/Centerbridge in civil proceedings in South Africa following the Steinhoff share price collapse (in what was the largest civil claim instituted in South Africa).

·         Representing Oryx Energies before the Competition Tribunal in relation to the cylinder deposit investigation.

·         Obtained merger approval from the Nigeria Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in relation to Providence Equity Partner’s proposed acquisition of Marlink.

·         Representing a fibre company in relation to several proceedings before the South African competition authorities.

·         Advising a client in relation to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in South Africa.

·         Successfully advised Premier FMCG in obtaining merger approval in relation to its acquisition of Mr Sweet from Lodestone brands in South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia and Botswana.

·         Representing Takata Corporation before the Competition Tribunal in relation to price fixing and market allocation complaint referrals.

·         Assisted an international non-profit organisation repatriate funds from following fraudulent wire transfers.

·         Assisted Eris Properties with project development advice in Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa.

·         Counselling a construction company in what is understood to be the largest money laundering scam in South African history.

·         Assisting an FMCG company in relation to the grocery Retail Market Inquiry and Code of Conduct.

·         Assisting a Japanese automotive company in relation to the Competition Commission’s draft Code of Conduct.

·         Successfully represented Aristotelian College of Marketing Management in arbitration proceedings before the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa against the IMM.

·         Assisted the Monsanto Company in obtaining merger clearance in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and COMESA in respect of Bayer AG’s acquisition of Monsanto.

·         Assisted Samsung Electronics Company Limited and Harman International Industries Incorporated in obtaining unconditional merger approval in South Africa.

·         Assisted Samsung Electronics Company Ltd in the disposal of its printer business to Hewlett-Packard (HP) Inc.

·         Advised Premier FMCG in obtaining merger approval in Swaziland re its acquisition of Swazi Mahewu.

·         Assisting a major international airline in relation to its regulatory and competition affairs across Africa including an exemption application.

·         Assisting international clients in relation to the Competition Commission’s investigation into the LPG sector, automotive parts sector, milling industry, the oil & gas sector and motion picture industry.

·         Representing clients in relation to the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into the Grocery Retail sector.

·         Currently assisting clients in relation to the South African competition authorities’ investigation into the automotive parts sector.

·         Assisted Premier FMCG in a precedent setting case before the Supreme Court of Appeal in relation to an antitrust class action for follow-on damages.

·         Assisted a chemicals company in relation to competition law matters in Ethiopia.

·         Assisted a major automotive OEM in relation to various commercial and regulatory matters in Southern Africa.

Practice Areas

Competition law | Antitrust

Mike practices in all areas of competition law enforcement and merger control across sub-Saharan Africa in several sectors such as FMCG; Oil and Gas; Telecoms; Automotive; Aviation; Retail; Financial; Pharmaceuticals and Agri-processing. Specialities include:

·         cartel conduct, abuse of dominance and general restrictive practices litigation;

·         merger control (including cross border complex transactions);

·         market inquiries and exemptions;

·         follow-on damages; and

·         compliance.

Mike is well regarded as a leading competition lawyer in South Africa and Nigeria.

Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Practice expertise includes complex commercial litigation (including cross border) and dispute resolution before the superior courts including arbitration.

Mike recently represented a consortium of banks’ claims in what remains among the largest civil claims ever instituted in South Africa.

Other notable areas of expertise relate to class action litigation where Mike was part of the legal team which successfully represented the leniency applicant in the first ever class action brought in South Africa in relation to follow-on damages for breaches of the Competition Act.

Mike has and continues to assist several local and foreign firms and individuals in various commercial litigation proceedings before various courts and arbitrations.

Anti-bribery and Corruption | Asset Recovery

As an active member of the ICC’s Fraudnet, the world’s leading asset recovery group, Mike is well versed with the anti-corruption laws in Southern Africa as well as international oinstrumnents  such as the UK Bribery Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Mike has advised international and local firms and individuals in relation to Judicial Commission of Inquiries; money laundering and corruption investigations; internal and external investigations; civil and criminal asset forfeiture proceedings.


·         Best Lawyers South Africa - Competition Law 2020-2022

·         Global Legal Expert: Nigeria - Competition law 2021

·         Nominated for Advisory Excellence: Compliance Expert for South Africa 2021


·         Hosted a Fireside chat with the Nigerian Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on competition enforcement policy and trends, November 2021.

·         Panellist at the “Trade Law Remedies in Africa” International, October 2021.

·         Panellist on the Webinar titled “Risk and Investment Management in Africa” hosted by Primerio International and Franklin société d'avocats, October 2021.

·         Panellist in the Webinar titled “Zambian Competition Law Enforcement Trends, Due Process and Restrictive Practices Update” June 2021.

·         Presented at the American Bar Association’s “Unpacking the Competition Act”, August 2021.

·         Guest speaker at Stellenbosch University’s Centre of Competition and Policy on Digital Markets in South Africa in June 2021.

·         Participated on a panel discussion, Competition Law Developments Across Africa, hosted by Primerio, 2020.

·         Panel member at the Fraudnet Conference, Nairobi, 2019.

·         Participated in a panel discussion on Insolvency Law at the African INSOL event, Namibia, 2019.

·         Presented a paper at CRESSE’s 14th International Conference on Competition and Regulation in Greece, 2019.

·         Participated at the Fraudnet Conference in Beirut, 2019.

·         Presented a paper on follow-on damages at the 11th Annual Competition Conference, South Africa, 2017.

·         Chaired the International Competition Networks teleseminar on “Monitoring and assessing the results of advocacy efforts”, 2017.

·         Presented at the Indian Ocean Pacific Rim and Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business “Digital Literacy Symposium” conference on ‘Competition Law and Regional Integration – An African Snapshot’, Pietermaritzburg 2017.

·         Presented on the impact of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act at the “3rd Annual Money Transfers & Cross Border Payments Conference” in Johannesburg, 2016.

·         Presented at the French South African Chamber of Commerce Conference “The regulatory dynamics of doing business in South Africa today: costs, consequences and promoting competition – the impact of criminalisation for cartel conduct”.

·         Presented at the ASM “Social Media Law Conference” on the Protection of Personal Information Act and Protection of State Information Bill, Windhoek, Namibia in 2015

·         Presented on the Protection to Personal Information Act to the Ekurhuleni North Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ENCCI) conference, Johannesburg, 2015


·         Co-authored “Role of Economic Recovery in Stimulating Economic Recovery” presented by Business at OECD at the OECD Competition Week, December 2020.

·         Co-authored “COVID-19 Price Gouging Cases in South Africa: Short-term Market Dynamics with Long-term Implications for Excessive Pricing Cases”, published in the Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (COVID-19 Price Gouging Cases in South Africa: Short-term Market Dynamics with Long-term Implications for Excessive Pricing Cases | Journal of European Competition Law & Practice | Oxford Academic (

·         Thompson Reuters: Financial Crimes in South Africa, 2019-2021.

·         Thompson Reuters: Business crime and investigations in South Africa, 2019-2021.

·         Thompson Reuters: Cartel leniency in South Africa: Overview, 2019-2021.

·         South African Chapter for the American Bar Association’s Antitrust law Developments, (2020).

·         Global Competition Review: The African and Middle Eastern Antitrust Review, 2016.

·         Michael-James also contributes to the Concurrence’s e-Competition Bulletin.

·         Contributor to the American Bar Associations What in the World Did I Miss?- Africa (2020).

·         Contributor to JUTA’S “Class Action Litigation in South Africa”, 2017.


·         Co-authored the Extraterritorial Application of Asset Forfeiture Proceedings in South Africa, Fraudnet Annual Report, 2021.

·         Co-authored, “Competition Law Provisions in Trade Agreements”, presented by Business at OECD at the OECD Competition Week, Paris, December 2019.

·         Co-authored, “South African Competition Law -The role of non-competition factors in enforcing unilateral conduct: Forging ahead or falling behind?”, presented at the CRESSE 14th International Conference on Competition and Regulation, Greece, 2019.

·         Co-authored the paper titled “Collective Redress outside the United States for Losses Caused by Antitrust Infringements”, presented at the American Bar Association Spring Meeting, 2018.

·         Dichotomy Of Powers But Confluence In Policy Interplay Between Intellectual Property And Competition Law published by the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law, 2018.

·         Follow On Damages for Anti-competitive Conduct: A Need for Legislative Intervention? presented at the 11th Annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy Conference held in Johannesburg, 2017.

·         Developments in South African Merger Control – Ministerial Interventionism and the Impact on Timing & Certainty, 2016.

·         South Africa Excessive Pricing: An Evaluation of the Sasol Chemical Industries Case – A New Dawn or the Continuation of the Status Quo?, 2015.

·         Predatory Pricing and the South African Competition Act: A False Positive?, 2015.

Articles and Blog

·         Authored the article “COMESA Competition Commission Publishes Draft Guidelines For Public Comment”, for the ABA Antirust Law Section: International Committee’s International Bulletin, December 2021.

·         Contributions to Concurrences e-Competition Bulletin.

·         Regular contributor to Africanantitrust a leading resource for competition law developments across Africa.

Professional Association

·         Member of the American Bar Association: International Committee

·         Member of the International Bar Association:

o   Antitrust Committee

o   Anti-corruption Committee

o   African Regional Forum Committee

·         A member of the ICN Advocacy Strategy Project on "Planning an effective advocacy strategy” (2016-2018) as well as part of the drafting team for the ICN’s Advocacy Working Group’s ‘Competition Benefits Project’ (2015-2016).

·         A member of the American Bar Association team for Africa on the Section of Antitrust Law: “Procedural Transparency Task Force 2016-17.


·         LLM: Economics in Competition Law: Kings College, London (2020)

·         LLB: University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (2015)

·         Erasmus exchange to the University of Antwerp, Belgium (2014)

·         B.Com: University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (2012)


·         Current Position: Director at Primerio Law Inc. (2021-to date)

·         Previous Position: Director at Nortons Inc. (2021)

Sectors and Services

·         Fast Moving Consumer Goods

·         Healthcare

·         Automotive

·         Mining & Resources

·         Oil & Gas

·         Agriculture

·         Agrichem

·         Airlines


Primerio is a recommended firm in the following areas:

Competition - Nigeria

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