Continuously looking forward
Cox Yeats is a proudly KwaZulu-Natal grown brand. The fundamental DNA of the law firm is: “To make a positive difference in our world and to do this by consistently being the most dynamic and innovative law firm possible, offering highly personalised expertise to our clients.”
Currently, Cox Yeats is the largest law firm based only in KwaZulu-Natal. The boutique law firm, which operates locally, nationally and internationally, offers growing expertise and specialisation in the commercial and personal legal fields.
Graham Cox established the firm in 1964 – more than 55 years ago. Jeremy Yeats joined him and became a partner in March 1967. Their passion for law combined with their astute business sense, and with the help of exceptional partners, resulted in the growth of a well-respected firm.
About 10 years ago, Cox Yeats moved to uMhlanga Ridge – making it one of the first law firms to relocate to north of the city centre. Since then, the firm has grown to more than double its size.
To accommodate this growth, Cox Yeats made another move in 2019– this time to its new purpose-built premises on the Ridge. Partner Richard Hoal describes the architectural theme of the whole building, interior and exterior, as “mid-century modern” – a timeless blend of modern and tradition with internal skylights and wrap-around library, befitting the ethos of the firm and its 52 lawyers.
Recently Cox Yeats has boldly expanded its footprint nationally to offer a quality professional service to existing KwaZulu-Natal clients with businesses based in Gauteng alongside existing Johannesburg clients. Accordingly, KZN’s largest locally based legal practice opened a Johannesburg office in Sandton on March 1, 2020.
This exciting step is part of Cox Yeats’ strategy to underscore its commitment to providing clients with comprehensive solutions to the legal challenges they face.
“Our Johannesburg office will enhance our service offerings to national and international clients, more specifically in the fields of construction law, insurance litigation and general commercial litigation, including insurance and banking litigation, and sports law,” said managing partner, Michael Jackson.
The law firm has traditionally been male dominated. However, the staff now comprises almost 50% women and 50% male professionals, which is a gender transformation statistic of which Cox Yeats is justly proud. Many of its professionals are listed in top legal publications, such as Best Lawyers as well as various industry-specific guides to the world’s leading lawyers.
In addition, the up and coming ‘young blood’, who are often dynamic and innovative, complement the senior partners who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, providing the firm’s clients with the best possible service. Their combined efforts have seen the company embracing the fast-changing and challenging world with enthusiasm and excellence.
Cox Yeats’ attorneys are made partners sooner than most law firms in order to give recognition to their roles and responsibilities within the firm.
Michael Jackson has a very flat structure of leadership and favours engaging all in the partners in a collaborative style in order to share control to get effective and efficient results.
In line with this collaborative approach, the Cox Yeats’ signature strategy is to group professionals and specialists in their fields into teams. “At the firm specialisation - and improving specialisation - is important,” Jackson says.
These specialist teams comprise Corporate & Natural Resources; Construction, Engineering and Infrastructure; Maritime & Insurance, Property Services; Labour; and Insolvency & Business Rescue.
All teams offer a client focused approach and any legal solutions offered are not prescribed but are evaluated on how they will impact on a client’s overall business. In this regard, the firm takes time to get to understand the client’s business intimately. “It is a business and personal relationship, not just a case or file number,” explains Jackson.
Cox Yeats believes that everything must be to the benefit of clients. The firm has had some clients for 50 years plus and who trust their attorneys implicitly. The partners believe that the small things that the firm pays attention to are often those that make the difference.
Apart from their area of focus, each attorney in these teams can offer a full range of legal services to their clients. All attorneys have a respect for the law and its ethics and can present what are often complex topics in a clear and non-technical way.
In addition, Cox Yeats continues to empower its people through offering training and development opportunities and is passionate about teaching and nurturing young students.
As result of its strategy and ethos, Cox Yeats has consistently been a top achiever in the 'small law' firm category in the PMR.africa Awards. In the 2018 and 2019 awards, it received the Diamond Arrow Award in the 'medium law firms' category, effectively being at the top with the large 'corporate' national and internationally located law firms in South Africa.
“The recognition that the firm receives may be attributed to the focus on our clients, to our pro bono work, to our mentoring of graduates and more. It’s the spirit that sets us apart and will ensure we progressively grow in people and expertise so that we continue to deliver the best possible legal service to our clients,” concludes Jackson.
Full name of Company: Cox Yeats Attorneys
Nature of Business: Legal Services / Attorneys
Services: Specialised Legal Services
Date Established: 1964
No of Employees: 90
Bankers: Standard Bank (Primary)
Memberships: SA Law Society
BBBEE Status: Level 2
To make a positive difference in our world and to do this by consistently being the most dynamic and innovative law firm that offers highly personalised expertise.
Cox Yeats is a leading law firm that offers personalised, practical and effective legal solutions to clients both in KwaZulu-Natal and further afield. With a diverse range of specialised services, our partners take on legal challenges of any scale and complexity, while always acting in the best interests of our clients.
Managing Partner: Michael Jackson
Physical Address: Ncondo Chambers Vuna Close, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, 4319,
Postal Address: PO Box 913, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320
Tel: +27 (0)31 536 8500
Fax: +27 (0)31 536 8088
ee wellness campaigns.