Fiona Leppan

Fiona Leppan


Fiona Leppan is a Director in our Employment Law practice. She has extensive experience in the field of employee relations both from a litigation perspective and in terms of strategic planning. Training and development in this field has been a focal point. Fiona has actively trained clients on how to deal with internal disputes and to conduct enquiries and arbitrations. She has also established entire dispute resolution processes for a number of mining houses where disputes were dealt with by way of private conciliation and arbitration. Fiona works in various industries including mining, metals, engineering, retail, broadcasting, financial services and the commercial distributive trade. She has also been involved in occupational health and safety work.

Fiona's sector specialities include Employment litigation, individual labour law, collective bargaining law and strategic planning and Occupational Health & Safety in Mining & Minerals.

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Fiona began her career as registrar to Mr Justice Margo in the then Supreme Court. In 1983 Fiona joined Webber Wentzel as a Candidate Attorney where she was later promoted to Partner. She subsequently joined Deneys Reitz as a Partner. In 1998, she left Deneys Reitz to establish the law firm Leppan Beech Attorneys. In 2007 Fiona joined Cliffe Dekker (now Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) as a Director.

  • Conducted many ground breaking reported cases in the Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court, High Court and Land Claims Court.
  • By way of example, she represented the then Lonmin Platinum at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. She represented Sibanye Gold in the recent 2019 Gold Strike and played an imported role in the resolution of that matter.
  • Acted as an Assessor in the previous Labour Appeal Court.
  • Sits as an Acting Judge in the Labour Court.
  • Undertaken occupational health and safety work and conducted serious incident and fatal accident inquiries.
  • Developed Land Law as an area of expertise, inclusive of community relocations and land claims.
  • Chambers Global 2018, 2020 & 2021 ranked Fiona in Band 2: Employment. In 2016–2017 she was ranked in Band 3.
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2019 - 2021 ranked Fiona as a leading individual for labour and employment. From 2012–2018 Fiona was recommended for labour and employment.
  • She was ranked as a leading lawyer by IFLR1000 2012.
  • Fiona was identified in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2014.
  • Fiona Leppan was ranked as a leading lawyer by Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders - Global Elite 2019. Who's Who Legal: Labour & Employment 2018 named Fiona as a leading lawyer. Who's Who Legal 2017 recommends Fiona as a leading Management Labour and Employment practitioner. Who's Who Legal - International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers 2011 to 2016 and International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2014 selected Fiona as being among the world’s leading Management Labour and Employment lawyers.
  • The International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment 2011–2016.


  • BA LLB, University of Witwatersrand
  • LLM (with distinction), University of the Witwatersrand
  • HDip (Advanced Company Law), University of the Witwatersrand
  • Certificate course (Mining and Prospecting Law) with distinction, Mandela School of Law, University of Witwatersrand
  • Year of admission as an attorney: 1986
  • Legal Practice Council (formerly Law Society of the Northern Province and Law Society of the Western Cape)


  • Member of the SAEFA Industrial Relations Forum in the Metals' Industry
How well do women fare in the South African labour market
14 August 2020 Employment Law

How well do women fare in the South African labour market

Employment Director Fiona Leppan joined Newzroom Afrika to take a look at whether South African employers are being sufficiently receptive to the additional burden of family responsibility that has been introduced to women working at home during lockdown.

Gender parity in the workplace
11 March 2020 Employment Law

Gender parity in the workplace

Fiona Leppan, Director in the Employment practice joined Morning Live on SABC 2 to discuss gender parity in the workplace.

Flux trend report on female job losses
7 September 2020 Employment Law

Flux trend report on female job losses

Fiona Leppan, Director in the Employment practice joined Kaya FM to discuss the Flux Trend report. She explains why women are vulnerable when it comes to retrenchments.

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