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Brian  Patterson

Brian Patterson

Executive | Employment
mobile +27 82 338 9835

no boundaries

practical experience

Brian Patterson is an Executive in ENSafrica’s Employment practice and joint head of the Johannesburg Employment team. He specialises in compensation and remuneration, distress, restructuring and business rescue, integrated employment solutions, international split employment contracts, global mobility, restraint of trade agreements and enforcement, executive terminations, restructuring and retrenchments, transfers of business, employment equity and unfair discrimination, collective bargaining disputes, administrative law, drafting and enforcement of restraint of trade agreements, as well as the law relating to confidentiality and privacy.

Brian has extensive African employment law experience and provides significant international employment law advice in the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom (“UK”) for many overseas law firms. 

Brian has acted for numerous African and international clients and has provided advice to corporate clients in most sectors, including the financial services, retail, hospitality/gaming, pharmaceutical, mining, metal engineering, ITC and chemical industries. He has also dealt with the South African aspects of restructuring/mergers of multinationals in respect of a number of jurisdictions.

In addition, Brian’s experience includes giving tactical and strategic individual and collective employment law advice, and he has extensive litigious and corporate employment law experience. He also engages in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms when necessary.

Brian has been involved with some of the leading employment law cases reported in Southern Africa since the inception of employment law, and he has personally argued many matters in the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court. Brian has also acted as a judge of the Labour Court and was an assessor of the former Labour Appeal Court.

Brian is co-author of the South African chapter of the International Labour and Employment Compliance Handbook and The Employment Law Review and has contributed articles in many local and international publications. He is a regular speaker on employment and labour law issues and has appeared on many television programmes over the years.

Brian is recognised as a leading/recommended lawyer by:

  • Chambers Global Guide 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 – Employment (South Africa) – Band 1
  • Best Lawyers 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 – Labour and Employment Law; 2023 - Employee Benefits Law; 2022, 2020 - Employee and Benefits Lawyer of the year (South Africa) 
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 – Labour and Employment (South Africa) – Tier 1 
  • Who’s Who Legal 2019, 2016 – Labour and Employment (South Africa)


area of expertise



  • BA (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • LLB (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test
  • Admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa