You focus on an interesting area of the law, namely short-term insurance. Could you describe a day in the life of your practice?
Working in short-term insurance involves a substantial amount of reading, research and consulting. Each day involves a step-by-step process of assessing matters in their entirety. Thereafter, it’s necessary to conduct research and consult with those involved to determine the best way to deal with the matter, as all matters differ.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic brought specific insurance matters into focus?
Fortunately, COVID-19 has not had a specific impact on liability insurance. However, in terms of short-term insurance, COVID-19 has resulted in many claims by businesses that could not trade and subsequently lost income as a result of the lockdown.
Where did you grow up? Did your childhood experiences influence you in choosing to follow a legal career?
I grew up in Muckleneuk, Pretoria. My entire childhood experience shaped my love of the law and the nature of it. All my childhood friends pursued a legal career and the constant arguments and debates between us persuaded me to follow suit. To this day, the arguments and debates persist and my love of the law continues to grow.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe. The book is an autobiography divided into wonderfully written short stories exploring the life of Axel Munthe as a physician, poet and scientist. He dedicated his life to his work and built one of the most loved houses in the world – Villa San Michele – on the site of Roman emperor Tiberius’s villa on the island of Capri off Italy’s southern coast.
You have trained and developed a number of young attorneys who have become leaders in your firm. What is the secret of your success?
My secret to success is certainly understanding and acknowledging that no two people are the same. Each individual has their strengths, while good outcomes are the result of teamwork. I work with young attorneys and assist them in realising their strengths and working to those strengths. This allows them to learn about themselves and ultimately grow and be independent. Teamwork makes the dream work.
What makes a legal practitioner successful in your field of specialisation?
What has been the highlight of your legal career so far? Do any of the reported or landmark cases you worked on stand out?
Chartaprops 16 (Pty) Ltd v Silberman certainly stands out as the one of the highlights of my legal career. The case focused on the liability of independent contractors.
Who inspires you?
My wife and kids remain an inspiration and a great source of support that keeps me going.