Finalists: Ben Donovan, Covington; Bruno Xavier de Pina, PLMJ, Law Firm; James Kamau, Iseme Kamau & Maema Advocates (highly commended); Kirsten Hanna Eiser, Webber Wentzel; Liad Hadar, Harris Hadar; Nikita Lalla, LNP Attorneys (highly commended); Tomas Timbane, PLMJ, Law Firm.

Webber Wentzel’s Moray Hathorn was announced as Attorney of the Year – Partner, in recognition of his tireless efforts to pursue justice for those in society without a voice.

As the founder and head of Webber Wentzel’s pro bono unit, Hathorn specialises in public interest litigation, championing the socioeconomic rights of deprived South Africans (particularly related to land reform and housing), and human rights issues around gender-based violence and discrimination. Successful cases Hathorn has recently litigated on include acting for the Timol family in a judgment that overturned an almost half-century-old suicide inquest verdict, ruling that anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol had not taken his own life but was in fact pushed to his death.

As well as growing Webber Wentzel’s pro bono practice, Hathorn is an active member of the wider community, serving on the boards of a number of non-governmental organisations, including the Human Rights Institute of South Africa. He is also a founder member and director of ProBono.Org, a public interest law clearing house in South Africa.

“Moray’s dedication to standing up for and defending the most vulnerable members of our society makes him a bastion in the legal fraternity and an example of absolute integrity,” lauded a judge.

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