Private sector: Attorneys

Susan Abro
Tel: +27 31 312 6227
[email protected]

Susan Abro is a senior attorney who has practised in KwaZulu-Natal since 1990. With a BA degree and an LLB from the University of Natal and a business management diploma from Damelin College, she was a partner at Woodhead Bigby & Irving before opening her own practice in 1995. Abro specialises in litigation. She is primarily a family law specialist.

She has also practised extensively in commercial litigation and labour law. In March 2000 she purchased a law practice, Sylvia Oversby & Partners, with Grant Gerald Mitchley. The firm specialises in conveyancing, property and personal injury work. Abro was the first woman vice-president of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society and was a council member from 1999 to 2005. She also served as a council member and management committee member of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) from 1999 to 2005 and was co-chairperson of the LSSA from March 2003 to 2004.

She was a member of the Ministerial Task Team and Drafting Committee of the Legal Practice Bill in 2001 and 2002 and was a member­ of various standing committees of the LSSA. She is chairperson of the Family Law Committee.

Allison Alexander
Tel: +27 21 410 2500
[email protected]

Allison Alexander, a director and head of the property department at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc, graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA and an LLB and was admitted as an attorney and conveyancer in 1990. She has developed vast experience in the handling of complex property transactions, both residential and commercial, and in the drafting, interpretation and implementation of commercial agreements.

She advises large financial institutions on all aspects of commercial property law, with particular emphasis on lending. Alexander served as a councillor of the Cape Law Society from 2000 to 2006 and was a member of its disciplinary committee. She also serves on the Cape Law Society’s panel of examiners for admissions as conveyancers.

Amanda Catto
Tel: + 27 21 487 9300
Email: [email protected]

Amanda Catto, who graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a BA LLB and later read for an LLM, is an attorney specialising in family and personal law. A fellow of the International Association of Matrimonial Lawyers and a mediator, she is a founding partner of Catto Neethling Wiid Inc, a boutique family and personal law practice, and was previously the head of the Family Law Department at Bowman Gilfillian Inc. Catto is a member of the Law Society of South Africa’s Gender Committee and of the Cape Law Society’s Family Law and High Court Committees. She is a committee member and past president of the Cape Town Attorney’s Association.

Melanie Lue-Dugmore
Tel: +27 82 801 5232
Email: [email protected]

Melanie Lue-Dugmore, an independent consultant, has extensive experience in the human rights sector. She has also worked in a management and specialist capacity for government, civil society and the donor community and held positions in transitional structures such as the Transitional Executive Council, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Investigation Task Unit (KZN) and the Independent Complaints Directorate Working Group.

She has written numerous articles on criminal justice reform and crime prevention. After 1994 she continued to work on criminal justice reform and on strengthening civil society and legislative/institutional systems of accountability. This focus included working with parliamentary structures, statutory institutions, civil society organisations, the South African Police Service, provincial and local government and the judiciary. Dugmore has worked in the gender, justice, corrections and safety and security sectors and is committed to building strong civil society structures, an active citizenry, effective and accountable government and a responsive and responsible corporate sector.

Esmé du Plessis
Tel: +27 12 481 1605
Email: [email protected]

Esmé du Plessis qualified as a patent agent in 1963, the first woman in South Africa to do so. During her academic career she received the Grotius Penning (Bar Prize) for best LLB student, the Dux Medal for leadership at the University of Pretoria (UP) and UP’s Laureatus Award for Exceptional Achievement. Admitted as an attorney in 1965, she became a partner in Adams & Adams in Pretoria in 1996.

Since her retirement Du Plessis has been a consultant at Adams & Adams. She was an associate professor in the Law Faculty of Unisa and is presently Professor Extraordinary: Department of Mercantile Law, Unisa. She has been an acting judge in the high court. Among the positions she has held on professional and educational bodies are: president and councillor of the Transvaal Law Society, co-chairperson of the Law Society of South Africa, president of the South African Group of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), chairperson of the Statutory Patent Examination Board, vice-chairperson of the Standing Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property, Minister of Trade and Industry and chairperson of the UP Council.

Shamima Gaibie
Tel: +27 11 403 2765
[email protected]

Shamima Gaibie, acting managing director and financial director of Cheadle Thompson & Haysom, is also a part-time lecturer in labour law and the law of contract in the Wits University law school, from which she graduated with an LLB in 1987.

She has an LLM in international business transactions and international and comparative labour law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she studied on a British Council Scholarship. She is eligible for admission as a foreign practitioner in England and Wales. Gaibie has written numerous journal articles on labour law and is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Babalwa Mantame
Tel: +27 21 441 9226
[email protected]

Babalwa Mantame, a Cape Town attorney with the right of appearance­ in the high court, holds BIur and LLB degrees from the University of Transkei, now known as the Walter Sisulu University. She participates actively as a councillor in the activities of both the Cape Law Society and the Law Society of South Africa. She is also a member of the national executive committee of the Black Lawyers Association and has served on various committees within the attorneys’ profession, the sheriffs’ profession and the magistracy.

Mantame practised law in the private and public sector and practises in the Office of the State Attorney in Cape Town. Her main area of practice is labour law, but she also focuses on high court and constitutional litigation. To enhance her knowledge­ of litigation she ensures that she keeps abreast of new developments in law by attending courses, seminars­ and workshops.

Hlaleleni Matolo-Dlepu
Tel: Telephone: +27 11 331 9896
[email protected]

Hlaleleni Matolo-Dlepu holds BProc and LLB degrees from the University of the North and has certificates in commercial litigation, mediation and arbitration through the Independent Mediation Services of South Africa. A director of the female-owned firm Molefe Dlepu Inc, which employs a staff of 30, 90% of whom are women, she specialises in conveyancing, property law, commercial litigation and gender issues. Matolo-Dlepu is national general secretary of the Black Lawyers Association and was the first black woman vice-president of the Law Society of Northern Provinces.

She is chairperson of the gender and transformation committee of the Law Society of Northern Provinces. She is a member of the Audit Committee of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund and a board member of the Attorneys Indemnity Insurance Fund. She is also a member of the Transformation Committee of Business Unity of South Africa and the Enforcement Committee of the Financial Services Board and chairperson of the appeal board of the Security Offices Board. She sits on the board of the Pro Musica Theatre, Roodepoort, and is chairperson of the Pro-Musica Audit Committee.

Nobulawo Mbhele
Tel: +27 57 357 2847
Email: [email protected]

Nobulawo Mbhele graduated with a BProc degree from the University of the North and initially worked at Peete Mosese Incorporated, where she practised mainly in commercial law, labour and family law. A member of the Council of the Law Society of Free State and of the Board of Control of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund, she also serves as chairperson of the Gender and Criminal Law and Procedure Committees of the Law Society of South Africa and is chairperson of the Black Lawyers Association in the Free State. Mbhele is a justice centre executive at the Legal Aid Board in Welkom where her main areas of practice are labour law, criminal law, family law and land matters.

Lee Mendelsohn
Tel: +27 11 269 7600
[email protected]

Chambers Global 2008, the prestigious international guide to the world’s leading lawyers for business, describes Lee Mendelsohn, a director and head of the competition law department of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc, as “one of the leading lawyers in the market”. With a BCom and LLB (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Mendelsohn developed a solid base in general commercial practice and has had 11 years of experience in competition law.

Through her involvement in seminal South African transactions since the introduction of the new statutory competition law regime in 1999, she has developed a broad knowledge of and experience in all aspects of the country’s competition law, including merger notifications, regulation of prohibited practices, abuse by dominant firms and exemption application. Her particular speciality is the competition law aspects of hostile takeover bids. Mendelsohn has written numerous articles and presented papers at international conferences. She is a managing editor of South Africa’s Competition Law Reports and a regular contributor to the monthly Business Law & Tax Review.

Segopotje Mphahlele
Tel: +27 12 338 5800

Segopotje Mphahlele, who, in 2005, became the first female chairperson of the Gauteng Law Council, has a BProc and an LLB from the University of the North. After serving her articles of clerkship at Routledges and at Lephoko Ledwaba Attorneys she began practise at Mphahlele Attorneys in Pretoria, working in a variety of areas, including litigation and commercial law. Mphahlele is deputy president of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces (regulating the attorneys in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West) and is an active member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers. She has recently been appointed a councillor of the Law Society of South Africa.

Nosidima Doris Ndlovu
Tel: + 17 041 484 1700/3
Email: [email protected]

Nosidima Ndlovu, who has a BProc degree from Rhodes University, started her legal career as a clerk of the court, then became a legal assistant and, later, a public prosecutor in the then Transkei. After 12 years as a civil servant in the Department of Justice she moved into private practice, establishing her firm DN Ndlovu Attorneys in Port Elizabeth in 1993. Ndlovu’s specialist areas include the administration of estates, motor vehicle accidents and personal and dependant claims and conveyancing. She also practises in civil litigation.

From 2006 to 2007 she was the first woman president of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and was co-chairperson of the Law Society of South Africa. She is a member of the South African Women Lawyers Association and has served as chairperson of the Democratic Scout Association, as a director of the Algoa Bus Company, and as a councillor of the East Cape Midlands College. She is a commissioner of the Small Claims Court in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. Ndlovu has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to the Success of the National Bar Association International Affiliate Meeting.

Andiswa Ndoni
Tel: + 27 11 518 5066
Email: [email protected]

Andiswa Ndoni, national president of the Black Lawyers Association, holds a BProc degree from the University of Transkei, an LLB and postgraduate diploma in business management from the University of Natal, Durban, and a certificate in corporate governance from the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg). She is a fellow of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa.

Formerly CEO of the Black Lawyers Association Legal Education Centre and director of the Law Society of South Africa’s School for Legal Practice in East London, she is now company secretary and legal adviser to Teba Bank Ltd. She was a member of the Rules Board for Courts of Laws and of the International Labour Organisation Committee on Application of Standards. Ndoni is a council member of Business Unity South Africa and a trustee of the Anglo-Gold Ashanti Employee Share Ownership Scheme.

Thoba Poyo-Dlwati
Tel: + 27 33 394 0132
Email: [email protected]

Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, current president of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, is an attorney and conveyancer. She completed her BProc degree at the University of Transkei and obtained a postgraduate diploma in tax from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

In 2001 she became a partner at Hoskins & Ngcobo Attorneys (now Ngcobo Poyo & Diedricks), where she specialises in property law and administrative law. She is a council member of the Law Society of South Africa, a member of the Deeds Registries Regulation Board and a member of the executive of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association.

Zubeda Seedat
Tel: +27 31 306 1461/2
Email: [email protected]

Zubeda Seedat is an attorney practising on her own account, together with a team of women attorneys in a largely civil practice in Durban. She attended the University of Natal where she obtained the degrees of BA Hons in social anthropology and African administration and an MA LLB. She later lectured at her alma mater in law and social anthropology.

Seedat is deeply concerned about women’s issues and legal education and the training of women attorneys has been a focal point in her firm. She served on the South African Law Reform Commission and established contacts with commissions in England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Tanzania and Namibia. She was project leader of the commission that drafted the Domestic Violence Act.

She is a member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and serves on the property law, legal education and gender committees of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society. She is a board member of the Law Society of South Africa’s School for Legal Practical in Durban and convenor of the conveyancing examinations in KwaZulu-Natal.

Pamela Stein
Tel: +27 11 530 5200
Email: [email protected]

Pamela Stein graduated from Wits with a BA LLB degree. She has a post-graduate diploma in applied social science from the University of Natal, an LLM degree from the London School of Economics and a post-graduate diploma from Strathclyde University, Glasgow, in IT and tele­communications law. Before joining Webber Wentzel in 2004 Stein was a senior director at Cheadle Thompson & Haysom.

Her areas of expertise are administrative and constitutional law, regulatory law, particularly in the telecommunications and aviation fields, media law, data protection and privacy law, individual and collective labour and employment law. She has had extensive litigation experience in defamation law, administrative law, delictual and contractual law.

She recently acted for Independent Newspapers in a major access to state information case before the Constitutional Court and acted for the Mail & Guardian in its application to set aside the Public Protector’s report into the Oilgate scandal. Stein was the lead attorney in a number of precedent­setting decisions in the field of labour law and has served several terms as an acting judge of the Labour Court.

Susan Stelzner
Tel: +27 11 326 1111

Susan Stelzner is a director and head of the employment law department at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. She advises local and multinational companies on all aspects of employment law. She is an honorary life member of the South African Society for Labour Law, vice-chairperson of the Discrimination Committee of the International Bar Association, and a member of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa.

Stelzner is editor-in-chief of Labour Law for Managers: A Practical Handbook. She has been an acting judge of the Labour Court on four occasions, has been a presenter (since 2001) of the Juta Annual Labour Law Seminar and is a regular speaker at public conferences. She is listed as a leading individual in PLC Which lawyer? 2008 and in the 2007 Guide to the World’s Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers.

She has also been included in the inaugural (2008) Best Lawyers list for South Africa. She won the Businesswomen’s Association Regional Business Achiever Award in the professional category in 2006, and won in the legal sector of CEO’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government in 2007.

Doris Tshepe
Tel: + 27 11 403 2765
Email: [email protected]

Doris Tshepe is a practising attorney and managing director of Cheadle Thompson & Haysom Inc. She also serves as head of the firm’s commercial and media department and was previously financial director for two years. Tshepe, who has a BProc, LLB and LLM (tax law) from the University of Natal, Durban, was admitted as an attorney, conveyancer and notary public in 1998.

In her very busy practice she acts for a variety of clients in the public and private sectors, including statutory authorities­ in the areas of media, tax, telecommunications and competition law. In some of these areas she is involved in legislative drafting. As part of her public and social responsibilities she takes time to serve on trusts formed to achieve public interest objectives.

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