Finalists: Adrian Kenya; AFGRI Group (highly commended); Stegmanns.

South African private hospital operator Life Healthcare’s in-house team won the Legal Department of the Year – Small award, for its management of the group’s entire legal requirements.

In addition to its domestic commitments, that business spans a 50% stake in the fourth-largest private hospital group in India, and investments in Poland. With a team of five attorneys specialising in corporate and healthcare law, notable achievements during the past 12 months include steering the company through a multibillion-rand cross-border healthcare transaction, a ZAR500m broad-based black economic empowerment deal to recapture government-related business in one of the group’s subsidiaries, as well as various local strategic acquisitions. The team also had to draft a number of subsidiary structures that would allow medical specialists to invest in individual hospitals within the group, ensuring the structures complied with South Africa’s strict healthcare regulations.

A focus on teamwork and ongoing legal training are key elements of the department’s success: colleagues have praised the team for the clarity and quality of their advice, with the legal department scoring highest for satisfaction in a recent group-wide survey of its business support units.

“Fantastic team doing inspirational work with focus on training, collaboration and great service,” a judge said.

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