Hewu Attorneys is a corporate commercial law firm with a strong inclination towards corporate tax, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and dispute resolution. With its offices located in Fourways, Johannesburg, the firm provides clients across the sectors of financial services, energy, health, hospitality, gambling and information technology.
The firm was established by Bartlett in August 2011, after 11 years in private practice with one client NBC Holdings, an employee benefits funds administrator, which has a footprint in South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Lesotho and Ghana.
At Hewu Attorneys, they have recognised the need to provide holistic seamless solutions for clients and in this regard they have, amongst others, brokered an association with a leading black owned forensic services company. Their professional team is committed to service excellence, professionalism and integrity in their dealings with each and every client of the firm.
There are a range of services which Hewu Attorneys deliver. They provide cost effective legal services that meet with clients’ expectations, constantly communicate and provide status briefings on clients’ matters and deliver on their mandates on reasonable time frames to add value to clients’ business. Also, the firm invests in long term mutually beneficial relationships with its clients, striving to understand clients’ business operations in order to provide holistic and seamless solutions. In addition, Hewu Attorneys endeavours to be a responsible corporate citizen informed by the socio-economic challenges facing its communities and is committed to the Bartlett Hewu of Hewu Attorneys, a commercial law firm, chats to us about the company’s accomplishments in South Africa and the successful partnerships they have built in the MEA region.
stakeholder approach of doing business by taking care of their employees, suppliers and clients.
The firm also has a list of values which they adhere to in order to ensure a successful and happy client relationship. Firstly, they aim to perform all mandates to the best of their abilities, to provide high quality service to clients and to be transparent with clients and set realistic delivery time frames.
Bartlett Hewu explains how he has seen the firm grow substantially, telling us, ‘We service blue-chip clientele, corporates, private equity funds, state owned and municipal owned entities. Our ongoing strategy is to ensure that we employ like-minded people who share the same vision and values as those of the firm. We continually embark in further education and development of our human capital. We also have a sizeable clientele in the MEA region. We are a firm founded on the principle of integrity, service excellence, innovation and ‘ubuntu’ ‘ an African word which roughly translates to ‘humanity towards others’.’
In order to adequately advise a new client, Bartlett believes it’s always important to understand the clients’ needs and their business operations. Understanding and honesty can forge strong partnerships with clients. ‘Upon receipt of an instruction, a preliminary view of our understanding of the issues will be sent to the client for confirmation and approval. Afterwards, a few scenarios with attendant consequences will be explored before a definitive cause of action is undertaken. This is geared towards an efficient and cost effective legal service to the client. For instance, if it is befitting to settle a matter before incurring any further fees and costs, then that is what we advise our client.
‘I remember an instance during my first consultation with a client whereby, I advised the client to walk away from a deal in Switzerland after understanding the transaction and issues involved. The simple reason was that there was no value in the deal for our client. That advice culminated in a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with the client.’
The Middle East and Africa region has benefitted from the experience that Hewu Attorneys provides. The firm has made strong client partnerships in the region, as Bartlett describes.
‘Over the past five years we have advised on several cross border transactions in the MEA region. We continue to forge and establish strong relationships with our colleagues and clients in the region. We were voted and received an award for the ‘Most Innovative Commercial Law Firm in 2016′ by Acquisition International.’
‘Africa is an emerging market and with a huge potential for growth. Over the past five years or so, the continent has attracted multinational law firms to its shores. In South Africa, we have a Legal Practice Act which seeks to regulate the professions of solicitors and barristers under one body. This results in clients being able to procure the services of barristers directly without the traditional route of accessing these services through the assistance of solicitors.’
Bartlett explains how technology is used throughout Hewu Attorneys to ensure a more efficient client experience. ‘We have IT infrastructure and an IT support team. The practice management and billing systems including hardware are state of the art. Our website is linked to Google ads. Reports to clients and bookkeeping are all integrated in the practice management and billings systems. Data back-up is done religiously and we use the Microsoft cloud. In addition, we use digital transcription machines and dictaphones for interviews with clients.’
Investment in development and training for staff enhances Hewu Attorneys reputation in the industry, making the firm stand out from its competitors.
‘We invest in our human capital and promote further education and development at the firm’s expense. We believe in strength in our diversity and practise what we preach. In addition, it can be difficult to obtain new clients and it can be easy to lose them. This keeps us on our toes, thus we never take our clients for granted.’
‘Our ethos is that our precious commodity is our staff and our bosses are our clients. Every day we join forces with my team to service our clients who in turn pay our bills. Somebody once said to me, when you pay an engineer you will have something to show for it; when you pay for a service, it is difficult to measure the value received against the payment. Hence we adopt the value added approach to our clients’ affairs. We have since realised the truth of the saying ‘business is built on relationships’ and cash flow is key to the survival of any business.’
To be a successful leader, Bartlett believes that there are qualities that are integral to success. In addition to being well-motivated, having a positive and hardworking team are important at Hewu Attorneys. ‘I’d like to think that I am personable and dependable, a great listener, not averse to risk and never shy away from a challenge. I am willing to learn, and I am always looking for new opportunities. I believe in team work and trust the abilities and competence of my team. I take a keen and special interest in the welfare and wellbeing of my staff.’
‘To stay motivated, I have stayed true to myself and set realistic and attainable short to medium term goals and focussing on them until they are achieved without losing hope. I am an avid reader of business and political biographies and learn from other people’s experiences and I always tell myself that the best is yet to come.’
In the future, Hewu Attorneys aims to build a medium size multidisciplinary firm and to maintain high levels of integrity. According to Bartlett, the firm will aim to have strategic partnerships across the MEA region.
Company: Hewu Inc. Attorneys
Name: Bartlett Hewu
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.hewu.co.za
Address: Ground Floor, Block 9, Fourways Office Park, Cnr Fourways Boulevard & Roos Street, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa
Telephone: +27 (0) 11 465 7901