At Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr we believe in partnerships. As one of the largest business law firms in South Africa, the partnerships we cherish and value the most are those we have forged through time and experience with our clients, our people and our communities.
We are committed to providing a high degree of client care and relationship management. Getting to know our clients is our priority. In this way, we are able to support their strategic and operational needs by offering high quality legal advice across our full range of legal services, tailored to their requirements. We have the depth of skills to respond to a client's business operations locally or anywhere else in the world.
Through an established network Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr brings together the resources and expertise of leading law firms across Africa. This combined experience and geographical spread produces an extensive Africa capability.
We value training, learning and skills development as important elements of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's corporate culture. This applies not only to our lawyers and candidate attorneys, but also to our clients.
We are a truly South African law firm where transformation is about living our values and principles.
At a glance
Global Service Offering
We support our clients’ strategic and operational needs by offering innovative, integrated and high quality legal advice across our full range of legal services, tailored to their requirements. We have the depth of skills to respond to our client’s business operations locally or anywhere else in the world.
We are able to project manage
complex cross border,
multijurisdictional activity and our
clients work through a single point
of contact with a trusted Cliffe
Dekker Hofmeyr advisor who
understands their business and
We can save our clients time and
money by introducing them to
lawyers anywhere in the world
with genuine knowledge of the
local legal and regulatory regimes,
languages, customs and cultures.
We have immediate access to a wealth of skills,
experience and know-how from across the globe.
Read more about our knowledge management below.
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr acknowledges that South Africa's apartheid and gender discrimination legacy has adversely impacted on the legal profession and has inhibited access to both the profession and legal services.
We face the challenge of transformation and empowerment head on. We are a truly South African law firm where transformation is about living our values and principles.
We aspire to be a firm:
- whose partners, professional and support employees are representative of the racial, gender, cultural and religious diversity of the people of South Africa;
- where men and women at all levels within the firm enjoy equal opportunities and treatment in relation to access to work, recruitment, promotion and remuneration; and
- that creates a working environment that is sensitive to the particular challenges faced by previously marginalised groups such as women and black people.
We connect our people, our clients and our communities through our values and are committed to responsible stewardship.
We value diversity and respect for the individual. We believe in teamwork for the good of the firm and our clients. We are an employer of choice who believes in the development of our people that helps them achieve professional and personal fulfilment.
We believe client satisfaction is at the heart of our business and we strive to achieve excellence in everything we do for them. We are committed to long-term relationships with our clients that are based on openness, honesty and integrity.
We believe in living our core values and investing in our communities. We strive to make a meaningful difference within the communities where we live and do business.
We emphasise managing, applying and sharing our considerable knowledge assets, for the benefit of our clients and our lawyers, through continuous training and skills transfer. Our Knowledge Management initiatives include:
- Value added services
- Seminars and workshops
- Training sessions
- Comprehensive resource collection (books and databases)
- Advanced legal research tools and systems
- Local and international precedent library
- International best practice repository
- Qualified Information specialists
- Document and email management systems
- Standard documents
- Corporate knowledge
- Comprehensive calendar for learning and development
- Online training portal
- Accredited in-house practical legal training programme
- Legal skills development programmes
- Continuous professional development
- Corporate knowledge
- Expertise sharing
- Legal research
1853 - 1881. The firm's roots are established in Cape Town as W E Moore & Son, which later becomes Syfret Godlonton-Fuller Moore.
Harold Blore establishes a law firm in Johannesburg.
Blore and Cliffe is established in Johannesburg.
Carl Todd becomes a partner; the firm is now known as Cliffe Dekker & Todd and remains one of the few law firms that can trace its beginnings to before the Boer War.
Herbsteins, a commercial law firm, is established in Cape Town and also has a presence in London. Phillip Herbstein served as President of the Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope.
Billy van der Merwe establishes a legal practice in Johannesburg.
Hofmeyr van der Merwe & Botha is established through a merger.
1970 - 1974. Mergers are formed with, and acquisitions made of some of South Africa's leading Johannesburg-based legal practices Heimann Maasdorp & Barker; and McEwan Fearnhead Pinkerton & Paver, eventually becoming absorbed into Cliffe Dekker & Todd.
Yusuf (Joe) Ebrahim commences practice for his own account in Athlone, a suburb on the Cape Flats, as Y Ebrahim & Co. Joe was appointed a judge of the Eastern Cape bench in 1997 and the practice was continued by his partner, Brent Williams, who subsequently relocated the practice to Cape Town CBD in 1998. In 2003, the partners and staff of Y Ebrahim & Co merge with Cliffe Dekker.
Dines Gihwala joins Wilkinson, Van der Ross & Joshua and the firm was renamed Wilkinson Joshua & Gihwala.
Syfret Godlonton-Fuller Moore comes into being through the merger of two of Cape Town's oldest practices: Fuller Moore & Son and Fuller De Klerk & Osler, founded in 1885, and Syfret Godlonton & Low, founded in 1887.
Wilkinson Joshua & Gihwala merge with Abercrombie & Sonn, a firm originally established by the late Dullah Omar, the first Minister of Justice in the new South Africa.
South Africa holds its first democratic elections. Dines Gihwala serves as Director: Monitoring for the Northern Cape and is later awarded the Gold Merit Award for dedication and excellence.
On 1 September 1997, Hofmeyr van der Merwe in Johannesburg, Herbsteins in Cape Town and Gihwala Abercrombie in Athlone merge to become Hofmeyr Herbstein & Gihwala, becoming one of SA's largest full service, black-empowered national law firms.
Johannesburg-based firm, Cliffe Dekker & Todd merge with Cape Town-based, Syfret Godlonton-Fuller Moore. The firm becomes known as Cliffe Dekker Fuller Moore.
Cape-based Silberbauers is merged into the practice.
The firm, Cliffe Dekker Fuller Moore changes its name to Cliffe Dekker, operating out of Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The partners of Y Ebrahim & Co merge with Cliffe Dekker.
1 September 2005, Cliffe Dekker becomes the exclusive member in South Africa of the DLA Piper Group and part of global law firm, DLA Piper.
Jeftha Twala, one of the largest black law firms in Cape Town, merges with Cliffe Dekker.
1 September 2008, Cliffe Dekker and Hofmeyr Herbstein & Gihwala merge to become Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, a national firm with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and a member of the global DLA Piper Group.
1 September - The relationship between Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) and global law firm, DLA Piper is terminated by mutual agreement.
CDH launches refreshed branding to reflect our unique identity, as well as our innovative and integrated service offering. The firm’s new brand focuses on its position as a known and trusted top tier South African legal advisor with strong networks across Africa.