Adv. Pincus (left) and Adv. Kayser (right) signing the lease.
Africa’s richest square mile could equally be termed “Africa’s most prestigious precinct” as a new group of 60 advocates find a home in the landmark Capital Hill building situated at 5 Benmore Road, Sandton Central.
The new advocates’ chambers are a mere half block from other existing groups of advocates practising in the Sandton Central hub. The R208 million, four-star green building was built with the requirements of discerning tenants such as advocates foremost in mind.
It is an architectural gem which features a triple volume entrance designed to enhance the prestige of the premises while the structural steel feature on the roof beautifies the Sandton Central skyline. A glazed observation lift on the east side of Capital Hill will be installed later this year, as will a restaurant. High speed lifts and a helipad round off a compelling tenant offering.
The new group’s leaders, Advocates Stanley Pincus and John Kayser, explained that there was a dire shortage of chambers accommodation in the Sandton area generally and especially for newly-qualified junior advocates.
“Advocates practise law in collegial premises that must be approved by the Johannesburg Bar Council. The fact that all the buildings housing chambers are at full capacity at present, coupled with the reality that most advocates prefer practising in the Sandton area led to me being approached by a concerned colleague with the idea of establishing additional chambers in Sandton,” said Advocate Pincus. Pincus was a member of another group and subsequently resigned in order to drive the establishment of the new group.
Advocate John Kayser, a member of the Grahamstown Bar who has 20 years’ business experience in South Africa and the UK, is returning to Johannesburg to re-establish a practice here. Kayser said he was keen to join the new group and lend his considerable experience to the venture.
According to Advocate Pincus: “The Johannesburg Bar Council is delighted to be presented with a quality solution to the less-than-ideal situation which has seen members seeking permission to practice from home temporarily.”
On the affordability of establishing chambers within extremely valuable real estate, Advocates Pincus and Kayser explained that highly-innovative solutions are being deployed to ensure the building’s appeal to advocates. “State-of-the-art IT infrastructure, for example, means that libraries take up the absolute minimum of floor space as law volumes are replaced by electronic versions, while fitted furnishings also add to the compact yet efficient nature of the new Chambers,” they said.
“Our profession is one that depends on referrals and Sandton is the place to be if one wants to interact with a large number of suitably-qualified attorneys,” concluded Advocate Pincus.
Benmore Chambers will occupy the third and fourth floors of an 8,300 square metre AAA Grade office development undertaken by Uvongo Falls. MWLF Architects were commissioned to design the building which comprises 12 storeys above ground as well as basement levels. Benmore Gardens Shopping Mall is across the road and the Gautrain station a short distance away.
Other tenants include asset managers Capital Works, Unihold and JSE-listed Blue Label Telecommunications. Another noted tenant, Richmark, is dedicating an entire half floor to a gallery of Nelson Mandela memorabilia.