Famous Lawyers from South Africa

List of notable or famous lawyers from South Africa, with bios and photos, including the top lawyers born in South Africa and even some popular lawyers who immigrated to South Africa. If you're trying to find out the names of famous South African lawyers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These lawyers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known lawyer from South Africa is included when available.

Examples of people on this list include Nelson Mandela and Edwin Cameron. Featuring Black South African lawyers, civil rights attorneys, and more, this list has it all. 

This historic lawyers from South Africa list can help answer the questions "Who are some South African lawyers of note?" and "Who are the most famous lawyers from South Africa?" These prominent lawyers of South Africa may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected South African lawyers.

Use this list of renowned South African lawyers to discover some new lawyers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. 


  • Abraham Fischer
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Abraham Fischer (4 September 1850 – 16 November 1913) was a South African statesman. He was the sole Prime Minister of the Orange River Colony in South Africa, and when that ceased to exist joined the cabinet of the newly formed Union of South Africa.
    • Age: Dec. at 63 (1850-1913)
    • Birthplace: Green Point, Cape Town
  • Arthur Chaskalson
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Arthur Chaskalson SCOB, (24 November 1931 – 1 December 2012) was President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 1994 to 2001 and Chief Justice of South Africa from 2001 to 2005. Chaskalson was a member of the defence team in the Rivonia Trial of 1963.
    • Age: Dec. at 81 (1931-2012)
    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Nyameko Barney Pityana FKC GCOB (born 7 August 1945) is a human rights lawyer and theologian in South Africa. He is an exponent of Black theology.
    • Age: 77
    • Birthplace: Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Bram Fischer
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Abraham Louis Fischer (23 April 1908 – 8 May 1975) was a South African lawyer of Afrikaner descent, notable for anti-apartheid activism and for the legal defence of anti-apartheid figures, including Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia Trial. Following the trial he was himself put on trial accused of furthering communism. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and diagnosed with cancer while in prison. The South African Prisons Act was extended to include his brother's house in Bloemfontein where he died two months later.
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1908-1975)
    • Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Brian Currin

    Brian Currin (born 20 September 1950) is a South African lawyer who was instrumental in the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Currin practiced law in Pretoria from 1977-87, specializing in labour law and civil and human rights, and now works in mediation and institutional transformation. In 1994 he was appointed by South African President Nelson Mandela to chair a Prison Audit Committee and was subsequently involved in the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 1987 he founded the National Directorate of Lawyers for Human Rights which he headed for eight years. He has worked in Sri Lanka, Rwanda and the Middle East on political transformation. Currin ...more
    • Age: 72
    • Birthplace: South Africa
  • Bulelani Ngcuka
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Bulelani Ngcuka

    Bulelani T Ngcuka (pronounced [ɓulelaːni ŋǀʱuːkʼa]; born 2 May 1954) was the first national Director of Public Prosecutions in South Africa, and is the husband of former Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. He was embroiled in controversy concerning the decision to prosecute Jacob Zuma for corruption; Zuma was later elected President of South Africa. Supporters of Zuma alleged that the decision to prosecute was intended to prevent Zuma from challenging Thabo Mbeki for leadership of the African National Congress. Among the accusations made against Ngcuka by supporters of Zuma were that he was an apartheid spy.
    • Age: 68
    • Birthplace: Middledrift