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Mid-sized SA law firms well-positioned for growth

Mid-sized law firms are well positioned to grow in South Africa's current, cost-sensitive business environment because their lower overhead costs and less complex structures allow them to offer the same high-quality, specialist legal services as larger firms, but at reduced fees.
This is the view of Walkers Attorneys, the 184-year-old Western Cape based legal firm, one of the oldest in South Africa, which recently appointed Jerome Veldsman as a director.

Veldsman, who has been a director in the finance and banking division at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, joins Walkers on 1 April, 2012, after more than 20 years with his former law firm.

According to Walkers' director, Charl Theron: "Over the years, Walkers has developed a reputation for providing personal, high-quality and affordable specialist legal services to a range of clients (from large corporates to individuals) and the appointment of Jerome Veldsman - who has broad legal experience spanning more than two decades - will further strengthen the commercial and financial legal services that we offer."

A more personal approach

But Theron believes that the advantages of mid-sized law firms go beyond cost-competitiveness. He said that these firms also tend to have a more personal approach to practising law, which is becoming increasingly attractive to both attorneys and clients.

"Happy attorneys who enjoy what they're doing, and happy clients who feel satisfied with the way they are being treated and valued by the firm, ultimately determine the success of a law firm - more so than a firm's size and financial strength."

Theron said that Walkers' philosophy of making law more personal, enjoyable and human is not only key to its successful record of retaining talented lawyers, but is also the reason why it has attracted new talent, such as Jerome Veldsman.

FSB and Reserve Bank expertise

Veldsman, who has a special interest in legal challenges pertaining to private equity and venture capital, is a specialist in insurance law. His expertise covers all aspects of enterprises regulated by the Financial Services Board and the Reserve Bank, as well as general commercial and tax work. Last year he consulted on three of the 15 new JSE listings.
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