ENSafrica houses the largest and most experienced of the leading employment teams in Africa and is renowned for its involvement in high-level matters throughout the continent.

Our key differentiator is our leveraged approach to teamwork, which sees all our team members – from senior executives to candidate attorneys – working together on matters.

This means that you benefit from the best possible service, at the best possible rates.

Our dedicated employment team advises African and international companies in all major industries on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment law, as well as pension and employee benefits, such as the employment of expatriates, global mobility and cross-border matters.

We also advise on all aspects of collective labour law, including dealing with trade unions, organisational rights issues, and industrial action.

We are well known for our expertise in transfers of business, restructuring, retrenchments, outsourcing, executive terminations, collective bargaining disputes and discrimination law, and we are the recognised industry leader in employment-related insolvency, liquidation, distress and business rescue matters.

We also have a strong litigation and restraint of trade work reputation, with our own internal counsel and most practitioners appearing personally in litigation matters rather than using external counsel.

We have the unique advantage, as part of Africa’s largest law firm, of being able to harness the expertise of more than 600 practitioners throughout the continent. ENSafrica has a significant breadth and depth of experience and specialist expertise that spans all commercial areas of law, tax, forensics and IP.

As such, we regularly partner with specialists across the firm, meaning that we are able to assist with all aspects of all matters across all sectors in all African jurisdictions, ensuring that your legal requirements are handled quickly and seamlessly.

ENSafrica is noted for its Africa-wide expertise and record in retrenchment exercises, redundancies and strikes
Legal 500 2018

what we offer

ENSafrica’s employment department advises on and assists with all aspects of employment law, including:

  • advising on, negotiating and drafting executive and other employment agreements, as well as workplace policies and procedures
  • all aspects of collective labour law, including dealing with trade unions, organisational rights issues, and industrial action
  • all aspects of international employment law, including the employment of expatriates, global mobility and setting up contractual arrangements
  • employee fraud and corruption and compliance cases, in conjunction with the firm’s forensics department
  • employment aspects of various transactions and cross-border M&A
  • employment benefits, including medical aid and retirement funds
  • employment litigation in the various employment tribunals, including restraint of trade/non-compete and gardening leave matters
  • global mobility and immigration law
  • insolvency, distress, liquidations and business rescue related employment law work
  • large- and small-scale restructuring exercises and retrenchments
  • misconduct and poor performance issues in the workplace
  • prosecution of professional misconduct cases against auditors on behalf of South Africa’s Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors
  • regulatory compliance, dismissal, unfair labour practice and discrimination disputes, and litigation
  • senior executive terminations
  • sports employment law
  • transfers of business
experience across a plethora of employment issues, including industrial action, lock-outs and employee misconduct
Chambers Global 2018
clients acknowledge that [they] ask a lot of [ENSafrica] and they always deliver, while peers describe the group as solid practitioners: bright, business-oriented people who work well together
Chambers Global 2018
Chambers Global Guide 2018 has high praise for ENSafrica’s employment lawyers, describing them as one of the best labour lawyers in South Africa, one of the top legal minds in the country and one of the most recognisable names in the market


Representation of South African Airways (SAA) in the Labour Court and High Court after a strike by SAA cabin crew.
Large-scale retrenchments by the CONCO Group, Africa’s largest power infrastructure service provider, across various African countries, including Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
Discrimination accusations by 13 pregnant employees against Impala Platinum after they were removed from hazardous underground workplaces and placed on maternity leave, following which we represented Impala in the Labour Court.
Arbitration proceedings on behalf of Massbuild and Massmart following a discrimination dispute in which an employee alleged that he had not received equal pay for equal work.
Dispute involving the dismissal by Anglo American Platinum of 13 employees who were accused of involvement in an extensive platinum concentrate theft syndicate.
Restructure of FUCHS Lubricants’ grease manufacturing plant and the limiting of retrenchments arising from the installation of new technology.
Acquisition of interdict in the High Court against two taxi associations which had tried to force chemical manufacturing company Omnia Group to use them as their sole transport.
Acquisition of interdict in the High Court against two taxi associations which had tried to force chemical manufacturing company Omnia Group to use them as their sole transport.
Restructure by Aveng Africa, which led to the retrenchment of 733 employees who rejected alternative positions and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa taking Aveng to the Labour Court.
Representation of Amethyst in the Labour Court following retrenchments in Amethyst’s consortium with Equiton Corporation Investment after the Gauteng Department of Health failed to honour its obligations.
sources are impressed by the team’s … consistent culture of availability and going far beyond what one might expect
Chambers Global 2018


Brian Patterson




African regulatory and business intelligence
banking and finance
Broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE)
corporate commercial
dispute resolution
insolvency, business rescue and debt recovery
intellectual property (IP)
mine and occupational health and safety
private clients
private equity
pro bono and corporate social investment
project development and project finance
real estate / property
shipping, ports and logistics
technology, media and telecommunications