Postcard from… Johannesburg

In the heart of Johannesburg, the Norton Rose Fulbright towers stand out as a one-of-a-kind modern structure – a meeting place for Africa’s economic players who are looking to develop the continent into a global powerhouse.

Not only is the city a gateway into the rest of the continent, but it is also richly diverse and cosmopolitan. Here you will find global businesses that want to cater to the next great consumer market meet an insatiable demand for infrastructure and tap into its natural resources. It is a place with unpredictable potential, a lot of which the Africa Legal team is a part of.

Norton Rose Fulbright is known for its global reach and being part of the African legal team has really epitomised this. My day starts with a call to lawyers in Zimbabwe or in Namibia or to the Congo (really, you could insert the name of ANY African country) to scope out the jurisdiction for clients in Brazil, Europe or Asia who are excited and pushing to do business here.

Although a lot of what we do is rooted in English law, grappling with numerous jurisdictions and explaining the vast differences in legal principles between neighboring countries to clients keeps you on your toes. And… the best part? The work-life balance!

The city is abuzz on a weekday evening and over the weekend, you can find everyone at San Deck, the local watering hole, where you can enjoy home-grown wine where a glass of wine is quite literally served in a glass bowl. If you want something different you can go to Braamfontein for live jazz bands and Afro-house, to Parkhurst if you fancy a drink at a traditional Irish pub, or head over to the Neighbour-Goods market for jam-jars and freshly made paella from locally sourced products.

For a lot of culture you can head to Soweto where tuk-tuk tours will take you to the Tutu and Mandela house. Take a break from the hustle and bustle that is Jo’burg and drive to Hartbeespoort to get to know rescued elephants preparing to re-enter the wild or take in truly scenic hiking trails in Magaliesberg. Never a dull moment!

Without a doubt, Johannesburg is a world class African city.

Hridi Chowdhury is a trainee at Norton Rose Fulbright