Finalists: Abdullateef Olasubomi Abdul, Ikeyi & Arifayan; Candice Kola, Bowmans; Megan Adderley, Webber Wentzel (highly commended); Mpumelelo Mbuso Nxumalo, Webber Wentzel; Sentebale Makara, Webber Wentzel; Ziningi Hlophe, Webber Wentzel.

Hogan Lovells’ Johannesburg-based Darryl Jago took home the Attorney of the Year – Associate/Assistant Solicitor prize for his standout work ethic and his specialism in the M&A field.

Since qualifying as an attorney in 2017, Jago has played a key role in assorted deals, including advising MSQ Health and Land O’Lakes on their recent acquisitions; helping a South African software company negotiate the terms of a joint venture with a private equity investor focused on the Asian market; and working on the South African restructuring of a private airline group. This year he was voted by colleagues as Associate Achiever, an internal award handed out to the firm’s best allround-performing associate (the prize involved a trip to London to complete an English law course, during which Jago proactively sought out potential clients for new business).

Colleagues describe Jago as a role model both inside and outside the firm, whose passion, drive and energy – coupled with his straightforward approach to solving clients’ problems – have made him a valued member of the firm. He also carries out pro bono work at the Teddy Bear Clinic, which helps child abuse sufferers prepare for court cases.

“Generally a very well-rounded attorney – shows leadership and expertise,” complimented a judge.

To return to the full list of winners, click here.