As Managing Attorney of Hildebrand Attorneys, Jan Hildebrand is passionate about quality legal advice that is tangible and adds value. Born in Germany, he completed his schooling in Cape Town and thereafter obtained Bachelor degrees in Business Science (B.BusSc) and Law (LLB) from the University of Cape Town. Jan was admitted as at attorney in 2005 and thereafter spent a further 6 years at an international law firm with particular exposure to German Law and private international law. He has significant experience in property law from normal sale transactions to life right agreements and property developments, estate planning, the administration of deceased estates, and High Court litigation. Over the years Jan assumed various roles as director, trustee and board committee member of a number of profit and non-profit structures. Throughout his career Jan has trained and mentored numerous Candidate Legal Practitioners (previously articled clerks) who have since become admitted attorneys and training and development has been close to his heart ever since his days at High School and in university where he would tutor students in all kinds of subjects. Whilst Jan can’t keep a beat on the dance floor, he does in fact have some drumming experience and played in several bands, from time to time still plugging his kit up!
After completing her LLB, LLM and Practical Legal Training, Namhla began her journey as a Candidate Legal Practitioner at Hildebrand Attorneys in 2019. The period of articles/vocational training exposed her to the knowledge and intricacies of the profession, and what she especially enjoyed was the hands-on approach and the varied areas of the law she got to experience. It was a fulfilling period for her as she met clients from across the world with unique issues, requiring tailor-made legal solutions. During this period her principal and colleagues walked her through the many pitfalls and key issues, exposing her to different regulations, statutes, precedents, and strategies. As a full-service boutique law firm which renders advice in various sectors of the law, the clients benefit from well-rounded attorneys, who can connect the dots and provide comprehensive solutions. Furthermore, at Hildebrand Attorneys the size of the firm allows for direct interaction with its clients and building lasting relationships. As a person who thrives off nuance, Namhla enjoy keeping clients informed, including communicating the intricacies of legal strategy and solutions at hand, given her exposure to different fields of the law. Currently, as an Associate of the Firm heading the Conveyancing Department, Namhla is happy to say that Hildebrand Attorneys can strike the right balance between legal work that is of a high standard, which is timeously executed and done in a transparent manner. Namhla finds it very satisfying to be in a profession where one’s job is getting people out of trouble. When she is not busy being a desk-plant killer, she enjoys being a beacon of hope to clients at a time when their options appear to be limited, a role shared by the other professionals at Hildebrand Attorneys!
In a high-pressure and outcome driven working environment, Oko, Vusa and Etienne carved themselves out a home in which they would embark on their PVT, formerly known as “Articles of Clerkship”, a journey of becoming competent legal practitioners enrolled as Attorneys of the High Court of South Africa. Given the dictates of the formal profession with its demands on one’s time and individual and client responsibilities, they have found and established a brotherhood in which they work together not only as co-workers but as a team and brothers who respect and appreciate the individuality of each brother. They embrace the art of division of labour and collaboration in order to complete tasks more efficiently and provide clients with the best possible service. Vusa (currently a legal intern) is the openly conversational yet very informative and thought-provoking gentleman who is always open to delve deep into current affairs, historical events and any topic that comes to his mind. Etienne is the reserved one (and designated driver for team breakaways), always considering everyone else’s feelings and opinions. Finally, there’s Oko, the talkative yet very resourceful brother in the team. Oko has a very abstract way of doing this but always get the job done. They were drawn to Hildebrand Attorneys primarily on account of the firm’s immersive articles of clerkship experience, which boasts direct exposure to the array of clients and different client matters. The Firm affords the CLPs an amazing advantage by allow one to work closely with Mr Hildebrand (as principal) and the other experienced legal professionals as well as those who step through the doors as clients, being able to give input where possible and seeing the matter to its conclusion. There is an open-door policy that permeates throughout the entire Firm, and the office is a fun place with a diverse team. The culture is flexible and welcoming in the sense that anyone is approachable at any time for assistance or merely social conversation. Camaraderie is enhanced through commemoration of national days as a team. Staff members can easily develop friendships because there is no stigma around socialising in the office. On Fridays there is often an unofficial team gathering for coffee, or an organised sit-down lunch, which provides great balance to the usual challenging and busy nature of the workdays.
Mornings for the support team usually entail a great coffee session and some good and encouraging chats which, most days, sets the tone for the rest of the day. For the support team, it means following through, executing to the best of our abilities. They thrive on communication, togetherness and a sense of well - roundedness even if it entails stomaching Courtney`s questionable baking! They strive to be intentional, reliable and carry out tasks in a meaningful way and finding better ways is Natalie’s speciality. Their objective is to be proficient within their daily roles, keeping the expectation in mind and consistently being of service to both clients and the professionals they serve. The team is often so motivated by Donna`s short lived jam sessions, or her banana-bread-spread, which regularly makes its rounds with coffee!