The role of General Counsel (GC) in promoting the rule of law in Africa took centre stage, as one of Africa’s pre-eminent constitutional judges addressed top GCs at Legal Week’s Corporate Counsel Forum Africa.
Justice Johann Kriegler, who oversaw South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 before being appointed to the newly formed constitutional court, delivered the keynote address at the forum, alongside a host of in-house leaders from some of the biggest brands in Africa.
The theme of his speech focused on the rule of law, setting the scene for a series of panels and roundtables on the challenges faced by GCs as their companies seek to take advantage of Africa’s huge economic potential. Each session was set against the backdrop of short-term political and economic instability and a patchwork of more than 50 jurisdictions based on several different legal traditions.
Speakers included representatives from Procter & Gamble, Shell, Woolworths and Vodacom, while senior figures from the National Treasury of South Africa, the National Consumer Commission and Gauteng Provincial Territory’s PPP unit represented key public bodies.
The conference, in its fourth year, is now widely regarded as the most prestigious gathering of in-house lawyers in the region and builds on a valuable relationship developed with our partners in the region, the Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa (CLASA).
Meanwhile, more than 300 in-house and private practice lawyers gathered at The Wanderers Club on the evening of 16 October for the African Legal Awards. Baker & McKenzie, South African Reserve Bank, Hogan Lovells, ENSAfrica, AFGRI and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer were just a few of the high-profile winners.
Legal Week awarded The Honourable Judge Dikgang Moseneke with a lifetime achievement award. His unfaltering efforts in upholding and evolving the rule of law in South Africa were humbling to hear, especially following 10 years as a prisoner on Robben Island, where he met and befriended Nelson Mandela and other leading activists.
Africa remains a key region for Legal Week Events and we look forward to developing this vibrant community further in the future.