We are a leading South African law firm and the largest law firm in central South Africa. Yet our size is not what makes us leading. We believe our personal approach to advising clients and our resolve to provide solutions that work is what sets us apart.
Our client base is diverse, and our diversity makes it easy for clients to work, place their trust and rely on us for all their legal and advisory needs. As much as we are experts, we are mindful of not having tunnel vision and approach each instruction independently and with a multi-disciplinary view. The world is complex and we understand that our clients need advisors that grasp their business needs and can help them successfully navigate these complexities.
We continuously challenge ourselves to improve, to diversify, to evolve. We do so to meet the expectations of our clients. As expectations change, we change and expand our expertise areas, mature our sector exposure and work with our clients to grow their businesses and organisations.
Growing strongly from our Free State roots, we have expanded to become a national firm. With a footprint also in Gauteng and the Western Cape as well as a powerful network of associated law firms throughout South Africa, we are capable and serve clients across South Africa and beyond our borders.
We choose to lead and not follow. We are ethical, but not conventional. We are passionate, yet calculating. We refuse to be pigeonholed. We are not everyone’s law firm, but if we are your firm, you have our undivided attention.
We are a new breed of law firm. We are your new breed law firm.
Our value system is simple and guides our commitment to being a new breed law firm and to always set the right standard:
We CARE about our clients, our staff and our community. This central directive guides all we do and ensures we never lose sight of what is important, what we value, and why we do things.
We are INNOVATIVE in how we provide our services, run our firm and how we in general approach everything. You cannot lead or set standards if you are not prepared to think outside the box and push boundaries.
We set STANDARDS which we measure ourselves against. Without standards, you cannot have consistency, quality, continuity and compliance. Our standards provide vital comfort and assurance to our clients.
We are EXPERTS. Our clients demand expertise, and we provide it, incentivize it, nurture it and develop it, to offer answers and solutions that work.
We are DIVERSE. Our strength is our diversity and our clients value and embrace that. We are proud to be a truly South African law firm!
Phatshoane Henney Attorneys was established in 2002 by founding partners, Violet Phatshoane (now a Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal) and Douglas Henney (current Chair of the Phatshoane Henney Group), with the vision of establishing a transformed law firm capable of providing legal services at the highest levels.
From this definitive moment, the firm grew exponentially, developing a strong commercial, labour, property and litigation practice. Underpinned by a commitment to excellence, innovation and diversity the firm soon became the pre-eminent law firm in the Free State receiving the PMR Diamond Arrow Award in 2012 and 2013 for the Best Free State Law Firm.
Along the way, and at the behest of other law firms who required assistance to reposition their practices and harness the economies of scale that a large group could offer, the firm in 2006, made history when it founded the Phatshoane Henney Group of Associated Law Firms - today the largest legal network of its kind in South Africa.
In 2012, with a history of close association with Naudes inc., the directors of Phatshoane Henney inc. and Naudes inc. took the strategic decision to merge these two leading firms with the merged law firm continuing to operate as Phatshoane Henney Attorneys. With the finalisation of the merger in 2013, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys was established as the largest law firm in central South Africa.
Naudes inc. was founded in 1902 by Charles Gustav Fichardt and Johan Christiaan Daniels, who initially opened the doors of the law firm Fichardt and Daniels in Bloemfontein on 13 October 1902. After several name changes since its inception the firm in 1977 became Naude & Naude Attorneys from whence the firm progressed to the name of Naudes inc. Naudes inc. as it was before the merger, was one of the oldest law firms in the in the central South African region and was recognised as leading firm in its region and worthy of the respect of its peers.
With the bringing together of these two firms in 2012, it can rightly be said that 110 years of experience was merged with the enthusiasm and innovation of youth, to cement the leading and dynamic law firm, that is Phatshoane Henney Attorneys today.
The firm is managed by the Board of Directors with day-to-day management in the hands of the Executive Committee ably supported by our Support Services managers.
The firm is organised into three main Practice Groups as well as a Support Service division, with each Practice Group lead by a Practice Group Head.
Our Commercial Practice Group is the largest commercial division of its kind in central South Africa. With a broad range of expertise areas, national and international clients are assisted with commercial, corporate, tax, structuring, planning, compliance, intellectual property, BEE and other business related aspects. With specialist internal tax, fiduciary, estate planning, BEE, compliance and consulting units, our teams are able to work and offer solutions across multiple sectors and address any commercial need a client may have.
Our Dispute Resolution Practice Group provides all manner of dispute resolution support services, ranging from commercial litigation, mediation, labour and employment law to public sector, administrative and constitutional law. Professionals represent clients in all forums and with a dedicated Appeals Department, also work closely with correspondent firms on appeal matters to the Supreme Court of Appeal. Professionals work across multiple industry sectors and collaborate with colleagues in the commercial and property divisions as necessary to provide effective dispute resolution results for clients. All matters are carefully managed and professionals work closely with clients and management to mitigate unnecessary litigation and drive disputes aggressively to conclusion.
Our Property Practice Group is organised into specialist units capable of providing highly effective and expert support services to clients. Our Bond Centre focus on all the aspects of property finance and works closely with the Commercial Property Finance Centre on aspects relating to the complex environment of commercial property financing and securities. Our Transfer Centre specialises in the efficient and effective transfer of properties and works closely with all the major banks, estate agents, bond orginators and other stakeholders to assist buyers and sellers to transfer their properties as efficiently and quickly as possible. Lastly, our specialist Development Centre focuses on the more complex side of property and township developments, subdivisions, consolidations and provides all the support needed to undertake property developments successfully. All our property units work closely together to assist clients with their property matters across South Africa and internationally if so required.
Our Support Services division enables our professionals to focus on their practices by providing all the necessary support, infrastructure, resources and logistics needed for the successful operation of a large law firm.
Our Knowledge Centre, staffed by full-time legal practitioners with access to vital legal resources and literature, provides on-the-go research support to our professionals for speedier and more accurate answers and solutions to our client needs.
Barring our law firm, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys, through which we provide our core legal services, we also have a number of related entities that render important functions or additional support services to our firm and its clients and enable us to offer the unique and innovative service experience that our clients associate with our firm. The Phatshoane Henney Foundation is our registered non-profit trust through which the firm and clients make charitable donations, provide bursaries and support socio-economic development initiatives and projects of the firm and its partners.Phatshoane Henney Fiduciary Services is a private company providing specialised accounting and tax services for local and offshore investment structures, the administration of deceased estates both locally and offshore, as well as local trust administration services including acting as professional and corporate trustees for South African trust clients. Board of Executors is a registered trust company taking appointments as executor on behalf of clients in their estates and ensuring the correct and proper administration and winding-up of a deceased estate in accordance with the estate planning of the client.Phatshoane Henney Consult is a private company providing specialised consultancy and planning services to clients, including integrated international estate planning, tax advisory, BEE consulting, compliance consulting, and corporate restructuring.
Diversity and transformation lies at the heart of our firm and informed the vision of the firm founders to establish a truly South African law firm in Phatshoane Henney Attorneys.
In many ways, we have achieved what other firms aspire to. We have established diversity across all aspects of age, race, gender and ethnicity and across all levels of our firm. And this diversity works, binds and ultimately makes us better and more capable of servicing our just-as-diverse client base.
Our firm also prides itself on its commitment to Black Economic Empowerment and is an accredited Level 1 Contributor towards BEE.
We are more than 60% Black owned, and with more than 50% of our professionals being female, also confirm our commitment to gender equality and our contribution towards the removal of the stigma of a male dominated legal profession.
Also in the Phatshoane Henney Group, we as a firm take leadership and set the tone for transformation in the Group. Our Group BEE Standards implemented across all firms since 2015 have resulted in substantial transformation taking place across our member firms and helping also to guide and set the tone for transformation in the legal industry.
Our core value of caring extends to our communities. Our staff and clients are connected and part of our communities and our communities are part of us. As a firm we support various community and charitable initiatives and encourage our professionals and staff to in their own right get involved with and contribute and support where they can.
A prominent community initiative of the firm is its New Breed Art Competition, an annual first-of-its-kind Free State visual arts competition aimed at discovering new and emerging Free State-based artists and showcasing contemporary art from the province. Established in 2016, the competition has grown tremendously to become one of the pre-eminent South Africa art competitions and a recognised feature on the national arts calendar. With over a R100,000 in prize money on offer annually and national recognition for the winners, the competition provides an important platform for emerging artists to launch their careers. For more information on the competition, visit the competition website at www.newbreedart.co.za.
We have also established the Phatshoane Henney Foundation, a non-profit trust, registered as a Public Benefit Association and as a Non-Profit Organisation to organise socio-economic development initiatives by our firm and member firms of the Phatshoane Henney Group, annually investing sizable amounts in key socio-economic development projects and bursaries.
For more information on our Group socio-economic development activities, view our Group Transformation Report 2020/21.
The Phatshoane Henney Group, established in 2006, is the largest association of independent law firms in South Africa. With nearly 50 law firms and more than 60 offices in 9 provinces and over 500 professionals, the group continues to grow year-on-year and expand its presence to major centres across South Africa, cementing it as the largest legal network in South Africa.
The Group was founded by Phatshoane Henney Attorneys in response to an identified need of small and medium-sized law firms to form part of a larger organism and so access and benefit from economies of scale and shared resources and capabilities. The result was the creation of the Phatshoane Henney Group - a legal network specifically created for firms operating in a South African environment.
The Group addresses the strategic need of firms to transform, increase their firm visibility and differentiation in their regions, access quality support services, enhance their negotiating power, leverage cost reductions and position themselves strategically for growth.
Member firms are carefully selected and are dynamic and prominent law firms in their respective territories with members subscribing to group values, standards and best practices. As a member, firms can access a range of benefits, vital support services, business advisory and development support, and strategic partnerships that create value, cost savings and business opportunities for member firms. The group brand supports individual firm brands and through annual standard certification by the Group as well as Group campaigns, differentiates member firms.
Member firms have access to the national service directory and broad range of experts in the Group which, together with the geographical footprint of member offices, enable firms to effectively serve clients and provide opportunities for legal graduates and professionals.
For more information on the Phatshoane Henney Group, its values, membership structure, partnerships and more, please visit the group website at www.phfirms.co.za.
The Phatshoane Henney Attorneys New Breed Art Competition is a first-of-its-kind annual Free State visual arts competition aimed at discovering new and emerging Free State-based artists and showcasing contemporary art from the province. Established in 2016, the competition provides a platform for Free State artists to showcase their talent and contemporary Free State art, to benefit from the exposure the competition provides and reap the rewards should they be among the five annual winners.The competition emerged from our passion for excellence and creativity which demanded that we recognise these traits also in other areas. So the idea of an art competition was born, understanding that art is a universal medium through which boundaries and perceptions can be moved – of audience and artist alike - and challenge us to evolve. As a Free State competition, the competition also celebrates our firm’s roots and affords opportunity for Free State artists to showcase their talent and art and stake a claim for national recognition.To find out more about the Phatshoane Henney New Breed Art Competition and how to get involved as corporate partner, visit our art competition website at www.newbreedart.co.za.