Smith Tabata Incorporated was formed in 1996 through the merger of two long-established Eastern Cape law firms, Smith, Tabata, Van Heerden & Siwisa, human rights litigation practitioners and Barnes & Ross, commercial and property law specialists. Three of the firms equity directors are from historically previously disadvantaged background and the firm currently holds a B-BEE status level 2. The firm has grown into one of the largest law firms in the Eastern Cape, with offices in East London, King William’s Town, Port Elizabeth, Komani [Queenstown] and Mthatha. With four equity directors (three of whom being from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and holding a majority share in the ownership and management control of the firm), eight directors, ten associates, five candidate attorneys and over seventy support staff the firm is well equipped to assist clients in the fields of Conveyancing, High Court and Magistrate’s Court Litigation, Debt Recovery, Commercial Practice, Labour Law and Public Law.
Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer
Andrew is the Chief Executive Officer of the company and an equity director. He has practised as an attorney since 1999 and is also an admitted conveyancer. He holds a Master’s degree in labour law and heads that department.
DUDLEY VAN HEERDEN
Dudley is an equity director, specialising in High Court and Magistrate’s Court litigation. He has practised as an attorney since 1984 and is also admitted to appear in the High Court.
Mike is an equity director and heads our public law department. He has practised as an attorney since 1987, is admitted to appear in the High Court and is also an admitted conveyancer.
Yanda has been an attorney since 2009, is admitted to appear in the High Court and is an equity director. His passion and speciality is litigation.
Melissa is head of the property law division in East London, a director, a conveyancer, a notary public and also specialises in deceased estates.
Dumisani is a specialist in constitutional and human rights law, was admitted as an attorney in 1984, is admitted to appear in the High Court and has been involved in several Constitutional and Administrative Law related matters affecting individuals and community organisations. He has also enjoyed acting appointments as a judge.
BRIAN VON DER DECKEN
Brian became an attorney in 1986, is a conveyancer and notary public, has served on several planning and development boards, has lectured at the Law School and is on the panel of conveyancing examiners. He is the director in charge of our King William’s Town office and specialises in property law and the administration of deceased estates.
Stiaan became an attorney in 2003 and joined us in 2005. He is also a conveyancer and a notary public. He is the director in charge of our Port Elizabeth office and property law is his speciality.
George is an attorney, notary public and property law attorney. He was admitted as an attorney in 2004, after a career in banking. He is the director in charge of the Queenstown office with property law and deceased estates as his areas pf expertise.
Melissa is a director, an admitted attorney and is admitted to appear in the high court. Her area of expertise is labour law.
Amy is a director, an admitted attorney and has rights of appearance in the High Courts in South Africa. Her area of expertise is third party claims, personal injury claims and civil litigation.