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  • Writer's pictureLawtons Africa

From 1892 to 2022 – 130 years of growth, change, and experience

We invite you to walk the road with us from our humble beginnings as a law firm in the centre of early Johannesburg to the present day.

Founded in Joburg in 1892, six years after gold was first discovered on the Witwatersrand, our firm’s main area of business in the tough, pioneering 19th century Joburg was registration and protection of mining claims, registration of titles to land, and formation of businesses and new companies. Joburg was then no more than a dusty mining camp, populated by adventurers as cosmopolitan and diverse in culture as the people of South Africa today. Our first clients were hard, rough gold miners.

Fast-forward to the 21st century. We have grown with Joburg, Africa and our clients into a diverse, truly South African BEE Level One law firm. We offer sophisticated, solutions-oriented legal services and advice in a fast-evolving, international business and legal environment. Our client portfolio has grown with the needs of Joburg. We now advise a range of domestic and international corporations, banks, financial institutions and state-owned entities.

During these 130 years, as Johannesburg evolved, the firm has developed and matured as it addressed and weathered its own storms. As we reflect on where the firm has come from, where it is today, and where we envision it will be going as part of the legal profession in Africa, we’d like to share with you some of our history.

Some of our firsts, milestones, achievements, challenges, opportunities, ups and downs, mergers, making and unmaking of alliances, and comings and goings. How the firm has true to the resilient spirit of its directors and staff continued to evolve into the diverse and seasoned firm it is today, ready to face the ongoing new challenges of the future world.


Lawtons Africa is a South African law firm. With roots that grew out of seeds sown in down-town Johannesburg in 1892, our history features various changes and different names. Our team of lawyers, including directors, consultants, associates and candidate attorneys is highly qualified, market-recognised and skilled. For further information, visit

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