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  • Roxanne Smith

WhyAfrica | NSDV's 'People over Paper' mantra attracts top talent



Top African law firm NSDV maintains its 70% women-led position in a male-dominated industry.

NSDV has grown by 12% year on year on the back of a surge in demand for expertise in the African mining, environmental and energy space.

The firm recently appointed three more women to its team specialising in mining, the environment and energy.


“We attract a lot of women because of how different the firm is. ‘People over Paper’ – our unofficial mantra – captures our preferred relationships with all stakeholders within the industries which we work.


“From unions to communities to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) we simple enjoy being relational versus transactional.

“I think women want to be part of a brand of law that is known for this contemporary approach,” says Lili Nupen Co-founder and Director of the Mining and Environmental Law Departments at NSDV.


Mining’s untapped potential

The three new appointments are in keeping with President Ramaphosa’s sentiments that mining has untapped potential for the continent (including female talent).


In his address at this year’s Investing In African Mining Indaba 2024 he said that Africa has the potential to be the fulcrum of the global energy transition with mining at its core.

“We’re seeing a massive boom in renewable energy, construction, and environmental needs at mines. It’s so exciting to see the growth in the sector and to be a part of it. As the industry expands, so do we and employing the right team is critical for us to maintain our culture of approachability paired with expert advice and experience.,” says Nupen.


Mandy Hattingh joins the firm as a Senior Associate in NSDV’s Energy Law Department. Her primary passion is energy regulation, as well as environmental and natural resources law. Mandy’s experience in a wide range of matters across numerous sectors including energy, mining, oil, and gas makes her one of the most knowledgeable minds in the industry. She has joined NSDV from Herbert Smith Freehills.


Tamia Martin joins NSDV as an Associate in the Mining team. She completed her BA Law and LLB degree at the University of Cape Town and completed her articles at Malebye Motaung Mtembu Attorneys Inc., where she gained experience in various fields of law and had the opportunity to conduct site inspections at Mining sites, sparking her interest in Mining Law.


Nokuphila Zobolo or ‘Noks’ as she likes to be called , is an Associate in NSDV’s Environmental Law Department, with a particular interest in developments in the changes to the environmental legislation as well as regulation of renewable energy and green hydrogen projects.


Her experience includes advising on environmental and other regulatory licensing and approval requirements and processes in respect of various mining operations, conducting environmental due diligences for mining and non-mining clients, drafting environmental legal opinions and lodging and defending appeals against environmental authorisations, licenses and permits.


Read the full article here.


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