Lawyer of the Year

Following the BRICS Heads of State summit in Johannesburg earlier this year, the fifth BRICS Legal Forum was held in Cape Town at the end of August 2018.

The Forum was attended by representatives of:

  • The China Law Society
  • The Bar Association of India
  • The Brazilian Bar Association
  • The Association of Lawyers of Russia
  • The Law Society of South Africa
  • The General Council of the (South African) Bar
  • The Chief Justice of South Africa (in part)
  • The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services of South Africa (in part)
  • Some South African attorney firms
  • The National Treasury of South Africa (in part)
  • Other interested parties since as development banks, chambers of commerce and academics.

KHL was represented at the Forum by Francois Terblanche (director – corporate and commercial) and Kai-Lie Chen (consultant – Chinese legal affairs).
The Forum’s main focus was on the development and improvement of multilateral legal structures between the BRICS countries in order to facilitate more and easier trade between the BRICS countries.
The Forum identified multilateral arbitration structures as the preferred dispute resolution mechanism to deal with intra-BRICS trade related disputes. Both China and India have already established highly functional arbitration centres in this regard. The expectation is that South Africa should do similarly soon.
Delegates also overwhelmingly supported future intra-BRICS co-operation on anti-corruption measures.
An interesting initiative that was proposed at the Forum is the creation of a standardised, uniform agreement for use by parties in different BRICS countries when they contract with one another in sale of goods or provision of services transactions.
The representatives of the legal professions of the BRICS member states adopted various declarations on BRICS related socio-economic activities, trade and dispute resolution at the Forum.

These include declarations that:

  • Multilateral commercial and investment dispute resolution mechanisms and institutions must be created to cater for the needs of the BRICS countries, emerging markets and developing economies.
  • Capacity and expertise in commercial dispute resolution must be developed in the BRICS countries, emerging markets and developing economies.
  • Annual legal talent development programmes must be conducted for young lawyers in the BRICS countries.
  • The exchange of law students and legal experts between the BRICS member states must be promoted.
  • The taking of appropriate measures against corruption related crimes (such as corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and drug trafficking) must be supported.
Click here for the full text of the declarations that were adopted at the Forum

The 2019 BRICS Legal Forum will be held in Brazil. Technical committees were tasked at the 2018 Forum with giving effect to the declarations that were adopted at that Forum. These committees will report back on their progress periodically before the 2019 Brazil forum, and then in greater detail at that forum.

It will be interesting to follow the committees’ progress. If they successfully implement the declarations that were adopted at the 2018 Forum, trade between parties in the BRICS countries will no doubt increase and resulting trade related disputes will be resolved much more time and cost effectively than is currently the case.
If you want more information about the 2018 BRICS Legal Forum or anything dealt with in this article, please contact our Francois Terblanche at

KHL's Kai-Lie Chen (consultant) and Francois Terblanche (director) at the BRICS Legal Forum 2018
The Honourable Advocate Tshililo Masutha, South Africa's Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, addressing the BRICS Legal Forum 2018


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Lawyer of the Year


In January 2018 KHL hosted a very successful practical skills transfer programme for some of the legal secretary students from UniCollege. Our “new” (2018 intake) candidate attorneys also participated in the programme.

The programme focused on skills that the students and candidate attorneys will find useful in the real workplace.

It also gave the students an opportunity to experience working life in an actual law firm.

From KHL’s side we were grateful for the opportunity to play a small part in the development of this highly enthusiastic group of committed young people.

Skills Transfer Initiative
Some of the trainers and students taking some well earned time out

This is what some of the participants had to say about their experiences in the programme:

  • “[Our trainer was] VERY welcoming and even [though] at times … I felt that I am lost, I was comfortable to ask her to slow down and explain again.” (Candidate Attorney participant)
  • “ … now I know the business terms that are being used and I understand them.” (Student participant)
  • “Thank you so much for the chance you gave me” (Student participant)
  • “Some of my highlights from the programme include … the warm welcome from all of the professionals at the firm … and the general advice from the directors on how to conduct myself as a candidate attorney” (Candidate attorney participant)
  • “It was the best experience ever.” (Student participant)
  • “The participants’ high level of motivation and will to succeed were truly inspiring. I am sure there are good things to come from these very committed young people.” (Francois Terblanche, participating KHL director)
  • “The trainee participants’ hunger for practical knowledge and wisdom was striking. As was the fact that their questions were aimed at obtaining practical, real life professional guidance. I will be watching their future development with much interest” (Tasneem Crawley, participating KHL director)


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Lawyer of the Year


Francois Terblanche, the head of our corporate and commercial department, (fifth from left) signing the platform’s constitution on behalf of Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc. in Chengdu on 28 July 2017

In 2013 the government of the People’s Republic of China, together with the governments of various other Asian and European countries, launched the “Belt and Road Initiative”. The initiative is an inclusive economic growth and infrastructural initiative encompassing large parts of Asia and Europe and parts of Africa.

The success of the Belt and Road Initiative depends, in part, on competent, high quality legal services support being available for its implementation. To facilitate this, Grandall Law Firm (one of the largest law firms in China) and a small number of other founding member law firms (such as Charltons from Hong Kong) have, with the support of the relevant authorities, created a multilateral international legal services co-operation platform, or network then.

The platform is formally known as “The Belt and Road Legal Services Cooperation Platform”.

The platform was formally launched on 28 July 2017 in Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province of China.

33 premier law firms signed up to the platform’s constitution as its initial members on 28 July 2017. The law firms are mainly from Asia and Europe. However, Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc. is very honoured and excited that it was invited to, and did, sign up the platform. We are the only firm in Africa that was invited to become a member of the platform.

Some of the sights in Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province of China, where the platform was formally launched on 28 July 2017

The platform will be much more than just the traditional law firm referral network. Quality assurance and good client care are obviously non-negotiable principles of the platform. But the platform also seeks to bring about on-going jurisdictionally relevant information exchanges, mutual professional development, new arbitration rules and forums, cultural exchanges and value-adding person-for-person professional exchanges.

KHL was represented at the launch of the platform by Francois Terblanche, the head of our corporate and commercial department, and by Kai-Lie Chen, our special consultant.

Francois Terblanche and Kai-Lie Chen

We are very excited, but also deeply honoured, to be a member of this new and dynamic platform. We look forward to playing our full part in its activities and initiatives.