How to Pick a Labour Lawyer

By Vincent Gaemers in Employment

Labour law is a crucial aspect of employment and industrial relations in South Africa. The legal framework governing the relationship between employees and employers can be complex and challenging to navigate. That's why, it's important for individuals and organizations to have access to knowledgeable and experienced labour lawyers. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best labour lawyer in South Africa.

What is a Labour Lawyer?

A labour lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in the field of labour law. These lawyers have the expertise and experience required to advise clients on matters relating to employment, industrial relations, and the rights of employees and employers. They can assist in drafting and negotiating employment contracts, advising on the legal implications of employment practices and policies, and representing clients in labour disputes and legal proceedings.

Qualities of a Good Labour Lawyer

When choosing a labour lawyer, it is important to look for someone who possesses the following qualities:

  • Knowledge and experience: A good labour lawyer should have a thorough understanding of South African labour law and its complexities. They should also have extensive experience in handling a wide range of labour law cases.

  • Strong communication skills: A labour lawyer should be able to communicate effectively with clients, and explain complex legal concepts in a clear and concise manner.

  • Professionalism: A labour lawyer should maintain the highest level of professionalism and ethics in their practice. They should be honest, reliable and provide timely responses to their clients' needs.

  • Reputation: A good labour lawyer should have a strong reputation in the legal community and be respected by their peers.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Labour Lawyer

When choosing a labour lawyer, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Area of expertise: Labour law covers a wide range of areas, including employment contracts, industrial relations, and disputes between employees and employers. Choose a labour lawyer who specializes in the area of law that is relevant to your needs.

  • Availability: Ensure that the labour lawyer you choose is available to attend to your legal matters in a timely manner.

  • Cost: Consider the cost of engaging the services of a labour lawyer. While it is important to choose a labour lawyer who is affordable, it is also important to remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best.

  • Location: Consider the location of the labour lawyer you choose. Choose a lawyer who is based near you or who is able to travel to your location if required.

Reputable Labour Law Firms in South Africa

There are several reputable labour law firms in South Africa that provide quality legal services to clients. Some of the top labour law firms in South Africa include:

  • The South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW) [1]. SASLAW is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote the advancement of labour law as a legal and academic discipline. The Society has over 1500 members in South Africa.

  • Vermeulen Attorneys [2]. Vermeulen Attorneys is a leading law firm that specializes in labour law. The firm has experienced labour lawyers who have the knowledge, skill and fortitude to navigate the legal landscape when it comes to labour law matters.

  • Debby Myburgh [3]. Debby Myburgh is an accomplished Labour Law specialist with degrees in law and over three decades of experience in the field of labour law. Ms Myburgh provides legal services for clients who are

  • Caleb McKellar is a qualified attorney based in South Africa with a focus on family law and commercial litigation. He has a BSocSci and LLB from the University of Cape Town and completed his articles at a law firm in Johannesburg [1]. He is a partner at BarterMcKellar, a boutique law firm located in Linden, Johannesburg [3]. According to [1], he has a reputation for being a "pragmatic, strategic, and sensible" litigator. The law firm is led by Caleb and Heidi Barter, who have over two decades of experience in the legal industry [3].

    Caleb is an accomplished labour attorney. One of the cases he has been involved in is Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) v South African Breweries, where the Labour Court had to decide on the issue of video conferencing [5].