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Annual awards ceremony

We applaud the legal profession for a successful partnership in carrying out pro bono work

By Xoliswa Maaroganye, Communications Intern

The Annual ProBono.Org Awards season was upon us where all the legal practitioners and others were honoured for their consistent diligence and outstanding contribution to pro bono work in 2021.

On 27 January 2022, we held a virtual ceremony where all three ProBono.Org offices convened in celebrating the pro bono work of the legal profession in 2020.2021.

Our guest speaker, Janine Myburgh, the Chairperson of the Legal Practice Council noted that “ProBono.Org has a phenomenal impact on the legal profession”. Moreover, she expressed that “the Department of Justice has not yet promulgated regulations around community service in terms of Section 29 of the Legal Practice Act”… “I will personally persist that this remains on the desk of the Ministry of Justice”, she said.

Ms Myburgh went on to acknolwdege the amazing men and women of the legal profession who “selflessly go beyond the call of duty to make the legal system accesible to all”.

These were the award winners:
Most Helpful Attorney

• Venilla Govender of Meumann White Attorneys, Durban

• Candice Pillay, Norton Rose Fulbright SA
Most Helpful Advocate – Adv Andre Strauss, Durban Bar

• Adv David Simonsz, Cape Bar

• Adv Karen Potgieter, The Johannesburg Society of Advocates

Most Promising Newcomer

• Nozipho Mvulane, Rajaram Mvulane Attorneys, Durban

• Sarah Jane Henshall, Henshall & Associates, Cape Town

Most promising Varsity College law student 2021

• Melisha Peters, Durban campus

• Nia Yu, Cape Town campus

Wills

• Rita Padayachee, Mooney Ford Attorneys, Durban

• Natascha Treston, Gascoigne Randon & Associates, Johannesburg

Staffing a Legal Clinic
Labour Law

• Adv Deidre Goosen, Thulamela Chambers

Facilitating workshops for SMMEs during the Covid-19 lockdown period

• Fasken Attorneys

Deeds Clinic

• Bangiso Mhlabeni Inc.

Housing Clinic

• Naledi Motsiri, Werksmans Attorneys

Refugee Clinic

• Ndou Attorneys

Deceased Estates Clinic

• Nomusa Ndaba, Nomusa Ndaba Attorneys

Most Helpful Intern

• Tebogo Makwala, the labour, wills, and CAO junior project coordinator in the Johannesburg office.

• Khanyisa Molaoa, the labour, wills, and Anglo junior project coordinator in the Johannesburg office.

Outstanding student at a university law clinic

• Ewan-Nize Gerber, Stellenbosch University

Highest number of pro bono hours

• The award for 2020 went to Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

• The award for 2021 went to Fasken
Small Firm

• Debra Gouws Attorneys, Cape Town
Medium Firm

• Meumann White Attorneys, Durban

• STBB, Cape Town

• Pandor Attorneys, Johannesburg

Large Firm

• Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr for 2020

• Fasken for 2021

Child Law

• Adv Kalliopi Sachinis

Wills and Deceased Estates

• LDS attorneys, Cape Town
Conveyancing

• Debra Gouws Attorneys, Cape Town

The Most Active Community- Based Paralegal

• Mugidien Barnes, Heideveld, Cape Town

• Boitumelo Mthombeni of the Thusang Morwalo Community Advice Office, Kagiso

Attorney Most Committed to the Training of Candidate Legal Practitioners

• Elke Herbst from Bisset Boehmke McBlain, Cape Town

Firm that presented the Highest Number of Webinars Nationally for Legal Practitioners

• Norton Rose Fulbright SA Inc.

Special Mentions

• Adv Daniel Berger of the Bridge Group and Dawn Norton of Mkhabela Huntely Attorneys. They were acknowledged for the enormous amount of work they did on a CCMA arbitration over many months.

• Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr for the Jose Brothers citizenship matter that they first took on in 2016.

• Werksmans Attorneys were given a special mention for the Tsotetsi case where they achieved success in the unlawful sale of a client’s property being set aside.

• Advocate Jazz Vilakazi received a special mention for appearing pro bono in a sexual harassment case at the CCMA.

• Bowmans Attorneys were acknowledged for their professionalism, their detailed feedback, going all the way for the clients and ensuring that they felt welcome and important.

• Fasken Attorneys were recognised for availing themselves for a client who was unfairly evicted, bringing an urgent application on a Friday, having it heard on the same Saturday and executing the order which was in the client’s favour.

• Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s pro bono department, in particular Gift Xaba and Tricia Erasmus were celebrated for their long-standing commitment and dedication to the Johannesburg Refugee Clinic and clients.

Congratulations to all the winners.

We extend our sincere gratitude for your time, resources and expertise in assisting the most vulnerable, especially during the very trying times of COVID-19.

A special thanks to all our sponsors for their support in making this event a success. The winners’ prizes were kindly sponsored by AJS Business Management Systems.

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