(L-R) Awards host Peter Ndoro; Ian Levitt, Ian Levitt Attorneys; awards judge Toyah Pfafferott, GroCapital

Finalists: Ben Donovan, Covington; Shane Dwyer, Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys; Edmund Greiner, Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys; Debbie Ntombela, Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys.

Ian Levitt, founder and managing partner of Johannesburg-based Ian Levitt Attorneys, collected the Attorney of the Year award for his tireless efforts representing victims of crime in South Africa. As well as practising corporate, commercial and family law, Levitt has carved a niche as a go-to firm for assisting victims and complainants through the often unreliable criminal justice system, in a country where corruption is rife and court documents and files frequently go missing.

As an example of Levitt’s pursuit of justice, the recent ‘Frankel Eight’ case resulted in a landmark ruling that overturned the 20-year prescription period for reporting sexual and indecent assault, instead allowing victims to lay charges at any time after they were abused. Advocacy groups said the case – which Levitt originally took on a pro bono basis – is a huge advancement for women and children’s rights.

Levitt’s passion for fighting injustice and his empathy for clients and their welfare is central to his success as an attorney. “[Ian] has an incredible capacity to make one feel safe and protected. His vast knowledge of the law, and his measured approach, added a neutrality and grounding to my emotional status in the matter,” said one of the victims in the Frankel case.

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