South Africa

Team Leader, South AfricaDavid Woodhouse

29 years of experience in labor and employment law. 

Other Areas of Practice:

  • Executive dismissal disputes
  • Mergers and acquisitions from an employment law perspective 
  • Transfers of business, right sizing organisation and attendant employment considerations such as retrenchments, unfair discrimination disputes, unfair dismissals and advising employers on strikes and lock-outs. David regularly appears in all employment law tribunals, and has acted as a judge of the Labour Court.

Professional Experience:

  • Partner, Tabacks, November 2012 - Present
  • Head of the Employment Law Department, Tabacks & Associates
  • Partner at Perrott, Van Niekerk, Woodhouse & Matyolo from May 1998 to November 2012
  • Partner at Norton Rose Fulbrights (previously Deneys Reitz) until May 1998


  • BA and LLB Degrees from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban)

Languages: English, Afrikaans and Zulu 

Professional Memberships:

  • Member of SASLAW and the Law Society for the Northern Provinces of South Africa


  • Has been reported in the Industrial Law Journal and was the lead editor on Employment Law in South Africa in the EU and International Employment law publication with worldwide circulation


  • Often presents lectures at conferences 


Our team in South Africa is based in the Johannesburg area and covers all aspects of South African labor and employment law as well as all major business law disciplines including mergers & acquisitions, inward investment, mining, development and other areas critical to the South African economy.

The labor and employment law practice offers expert legal assistance and practical commercial advice including labor and employment law to a broad spectrum of clients. 

Clients include a wide range of both listed and unlisted companies operating in a number of sectors of the economy, including agricultural, property, building and construction industry, manufacturing sector, the energy (oil, gas and renewable technologies) and mining sectors, as well as retail operations covering food and clothing, pharmaceutical products and franchise operations, property and the banking sector.

Labor and Employment Practice: 

Employment relations are extensively regulated in South Africa through both positive legislation and collective agreements between employers and trade unions. Employment law plays a central role in the running of all businesses in South Africa, requiring careful application and consideration in most business decisions.

The labor and employment team focuses primarily on advising employers. Its experience includes collective employment law - including best practice dealing with strikes, work force reductions, employment related mergers and acquisition issues, drafting collective agreements between employers and trade union in respect of organizational rights and collective bargaining rights, board reorganization, outsourcing and employment equity / affirmative action compliance; Individual employment law –  including drafting employment contracts, restraints of trade and confidentiality agreements, enforcing restraints and governance, advising on unfair labor practice, unfair dismissal and unfair discrimination claims, including sexual harassment, race discrimination, equal work for equal pay, compensation and commission claims, employee privacy, independent contractors, non-solicitation of employees,  and policy, procedure and company handbook development. The team also covers all other aspects of general employment law and litigation as well as union work, strike actions and related labor disputes. 

The Plus - Business Law Capacity:

Our team’s business law services includes the full range of practice areas comprising: corporate and commercial law - including mergers, acquisitions and takeovers; listings; schemes of arrangement; capital restructurings; corporate law; commercial litigation and arbitration; corporate governance; commercial law; labor and employment law;  private equity and venture capital; technology and emerging industries; distributorship and agency law; economic empowerment; competition law,  insolvency and business rescue proceedings; property and construction law; tax advice, banking and finance; project finance; environmental law; power and energy law; oil and gas law, both in South Africa and Africa generally; land use planning and zoning, environment law, water law,  and all aspects of mining and natural resource law including regulation.

Key Facts:

  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Size: 15 Directors, 17 Associates  
  • Business Law Practice Areas: Banking & Finance, Competition Law, Corporate & Commercial Law, Employment Law, Environmental Health & Safety Law, Litigation and Disputes, Mergers & Acquisitions,  Mining Law, Arbitration, Natural Resources & Energy Law, Tax.
  • Languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu  


Teams highly rated in Legal 500, ILFR and Chambers 2015 for various disciplines including for Corporate & Commercial, M&A, Energy & Natural resources and Mining among other disciplines.