Our firm was founded in 2009 as Cowan-Harper Attorneys by its founding partners, Mr Lennard Cowan and Mr Rod Harper. It has since established itself as a formidable and respected name in the provision of professional legal services, particularly in the areas of employment law, industrial relations and litigation.
Following the merger of Cowan-Harper Attorneys and MNA Incorporated in 2018, Ms Nobanzi Madikizela-Nyati became the chairperson of the firm. The merger allowed us to grow our service offering which now includes public law, corporate governance, risk and compliance. We have also recently established commercial, property and conveyancing departments.
Our firm is committed to transformation and has been recognised as a level one B-BBEE contributor since 2018. This is an important milestone in our firm’s history and has allowed us to provide our clients with even greater value, while maintaining the high quality of personal and professional legal services that have always been a hallmark of our firm.
Our firm has litigated successfully in all of the major Courts, including the Constitutional Court and also foreign tribunals such as the International Court of Arbitration. We also have substantial experience in dealing with disputes arising from forensic and other investigations, including disciplinary enquiries, professional and ethics enquiries held under the auspices of statutory and regulatory authorities and any subsequent litigation arising therefrom.
A number of our attorneys are leaders in their respective fields and in that regard, we mention that three of our attorneys have recently been recognised by BestLawyers, an international publication, for their work and expertise.
Our Employment Law, Benefits, Industrial Relations and Discrimination department is one of the largest in the country and is trusted by many of South Africa’s major institutions to resolve their disputes. Three members of that department have also sat as acting Judges of the Labour Court in recent years.
Our firm’s fee philosophy is simple. As a boutique firm, we operate on a low-overhead, cost-effective basis which allows us to offer extremely competitive rates. We are also more than comfortable discussing reduced rates to accommodate clients, where possible.
Our commitment to cost-effective solutions is enhanced through our association with the HR & IR Consultancy, a team of vastly experienced and highly skilled HR and IR practitioners who have worked closely with our firm for many years. The Consultancy has assisted our clients with issues such as chairing of disciplinary and performance enquiries, preparation of employment equity plans and strategies, remuneration structures, organisational design, change management and implementing employee participation strategies.
Our approach is to work closely with our clients to assist them in realising their vision for their business. We are able to do this by ensuring that the correct legal strategies are put in place to limit risk and, where possible, to prevent disputes from arising in the first place. The effect of this is to reduce the costs associated with litigation. Our expertise in dispute resolution and the use of facilitative skills is well-known and our early interventions have often saved our clients millions of Rands.
Our innovative approach to legal problems and commitment to personalised service has allowed us to establish strong relationships with many corporates, multinationals, parastatals and other statutory entities, many of whom we have represented successfully over many years.
Our firm’s offices are situated in a client-friendly, pleasant location in the heart of Sandton, the hub of South Africa’s commercial capital. The firm is located only five minutes’ drive from the Gautrain station.