Our managing partner reveals what she appreciates about practising law and being South African.
Which area of the law do you and your practice within LindsayKeller focus on?
We are delictual litigation specialists. We serve insurance companies on both claims and policy issues, and we do personal injury work representing plaintiffs and defendants. We are also notaries and conveyancers and act as correspondents to the Constitutional Court.
What do you find interesting about practising this area of law?
I like the investigative nature of the work. I find it exciting to gather information and sift through facts to reveal the essence of a matter and the applicable legal principle. There are an infinite number of scenarios which can give rise to innumerable ways in which damage can be caused to persons or property. No two matters are ever the same and each matter is interesting – even after 20 years of practising in this area.
Where did you grow up and what influenced you to follow a career in law?
I was born in Stellenbosch but grew up in Johannesburg. Save for my years at the University of Pretoria, I have lived in Johannesburg for 43 years. A career in law is something which I almost stumbled upon. I was not sure what I wanted to study and was given the same advice as so many in the same position – to study law. As trite as this advice was then, I would make the same recommendation to anyone in a similar position today. Even if you do not remain in practice, the study of law moulds your thinking in a manner that is valuable in any other career or endeavour. I truly enjoyed the study of law and I enjoy practising it even more.
What are you reading at the moment? What are your favourite series or TV shows?
I am currently reading The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman. It is historical fiction with a hint of mysticism. I also like reading suspense, mysteries and true crime. I like to watch cooking shows such as MasterChef (the Australian, British and Professionals franchises). I enjoy travel programmes and crime documentaries that focus on criminal trials. I also like offbeat comedy series such as Flight of the Conchords and Arrested Development.
Would you describe yourself as a conformist or a disrupter?
As a legal practitioner you are taught always to consider a matter from all sides. Your skills are honed to reading situations and seeking solutions. A successful attorney should be capable of being both a conformist and a disrupter.
What makes you proud to be South African? What do you enjoy about working and living in South Africa?
It makes me proud to witness the manner in which our nation overcomes adversity whenever it arises. South Africans have a brand of strength and determination, accompanied by humour and the spirit of Ubuntu, which is not found anywhere else in the world.
You work with a number of young attorneys in your firm. What do they bring to LindsayKeller?
The legal profession is still very paper-driven and has been notoriously late in adapting to technological innovation. The younger attorneys are much more comfortable using modern technology to work more efficiently and solve problems.
LindsayKeller is 73 years old this year. What differentiates the firm from its competitors? What is the firm’s approach to serving its clients?
Having been in continuous practice for almost three quarters of a century, LindsayKeller has forged long-term relationships with its clients, yet it has never viewed itself as bigger than the clients which it serves. LindsayKeller prides itself on its flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of its clients and the legal practice environment. Being a reasonably small firm has always helped in this respect.