CATHERINE WARBURTON BA LLB LLM (cum laude)
Managing Director – IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd
Catherine Warburton established IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd in the year 2000 and the company celebrated the 20th year of operation in 2020. Catherine has acted as the Managing Director of IMBEWU since inception.
Catherine has more than twenty years of practical experience in the relatively new field of sustainability law in South Africa. Her experience has been mainly developed across a broad spectrum of infrastructure development and mining projects. She has also assisted NGO groups and government with legal advice and has provided input into governmental policy development in South Africa. Catherine was involved in the environmental legal aspects of the Gautrain Project as specialist advisor from 2002 to 2016 and has advised on a number of development projects and climate and energy related projects.
Whilst working as in-house Environmental Legal Counsel for Anglo American she completed a two and a half year international sustainable development training programme in 2001 entitled LEAD i.e. Leadership for the Environment and Development. In 2012 Catherine completed a Sustainability Reporting Course, certified by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In 2013 she completed the GRI Certified Course based on the G4 reporting guidelines. Catherine completed her dissertation for her Master of Laws at Wits University in 2014 with distinction. The title of her dissertation was, “Evaluating South African EIA processes in the context of the Gautrain Project”.
Catherine has developed specific expertise in the area of climate change. She has attended UNFCCC meetings as a South African business representative and has worked on greenhouse gas mitigation and reporting projects in South Africa. She presents papers and training courses on a wide range of sustainability legal issues in South Africa. She provides strategic legal advice at the Board level, is currently advising on a number of mine closure projects and is acting in a large corporate criminal environmental prosecution.
From 2007 – 2012 the Practical Law Company in London rated Catherine as a “highly recommended” attorney in the field of environmental law in South Africa. From 2013 – 2019 Catherine Warburton has been listed as one of the Best Environmental Lawyers in South Africa by Best Lawyers SA, as published in the Business Day. She was ranked in the Chambers & Partners Guide (Environmental) on Band One from 2016 to 2021, in Who’s Who Legal (Mining) in SA in 2015 and 2016, in Who’s Who Legal (Environmental) from 2015 to 2019 and in Who’s Who Legal (Climate Change) in 2018. The Chambers 2020 Guide indicates that her peers praise her as “extremely approachable while simultaneously being an expert in environmental law with vast amounts of experience,” and describe her as “methodical, meticulous, experienced and efficient.” Catherine serves as the vice-Chairperson of the Law Society of South Africa’s Committee for Environmental Law and has been a member of the Gauteng MEC’s External EIA Appeals Advisory Panel from April 2015.
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Alistair Young (BA LLB LLM)
Senior Sustainability Legal Consultant – IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd
Alistair Young is an admitted Attorney who completed his tertiary education at the University of Cape Town where he obtained a BA degree specialising in environmental science, a LLB degree, and a Master’s degree specialising in International and South African Environmental Law. His LLM dissertation focuses on the negative impacts of large dams on the environment and the curtailment of such impacts through the application of relevant international environmental conventions and indigenous environmental legislation.
Alistair completed his articles through a general practice firm of Attorneys based in Cape Town and was, upon his admission as an attorney in the beginning of 2006, appointed as a professional assistant. Alistair operated in such capacity until his appointment at IMBEWU in March 2007.
Alistair specialises in environmental and health & safety-legal compliance evaluations (“audits”) of numerous industrial and mining operations throughout South Africa. He has also developed operation specific and user-friendly pro-forma environmental audit questionnaires for various sectors including mining and retail.
He has also consulted with various municipalities on matters in connection with the establishment and ongoing management of UNESCO biosphere reserves in the Waterberg and Magaliesberg and has consulted with the Peace Parks Foundation on natural resource legislation harmonisation for the KAZA Transfronteir Conservation Area situated in Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He has developed a Protected Areas Legal Register to assist conservation-based operations with legal compliance in relation to operation specific activities.
He provides assistance with all other services provided by IMBEWU, including risk assessments, evaluation of EIA reports, legal register training, South African legislation training, legal opinion drafting, providing general legal support and assisting with database maintenance. Alistair has also reviewed documentation for purposes of assisting clients with OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification.
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Nicole Kruger BA LLB LLM
Sustainability Legal Consultant – IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd
Nicole Kruger is an admitted Attorney who obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law (BA) in 2015 through the University of Pretoria, a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) in 2017 through the University of Johannesburg and a Masters of Laws degree in Public International Law (LLM) (with distinction) in 2019 through the University of Johannesburg.
Nicole worked at the University of Johannesburg Law Clinic in 2017 where she gained experience in drafting, research and developing case strategies, consulting with and advising clients. Nicole also worked for the University of Johannesburg as a Senior Tutor and Research Assistant for Banking Law and Intellectual Property in 2018.
Nicole commenced work at IMBEWU on 1 February 2019 as a Junior Consultant and assists the senior consultants with a wide range of environmental and health and safety legal matters, including environmental legal due diligences, compiling legal opinions, drafting monthly legislation update newsletters, undertaking environmental legal compliance audits and she has worked on the IMBEWU SHE Legal Registers. Nicole has given presentations at workshops on developments in environmental law. Nicole has recently been admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa.
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Ayanda Dube (BCom LLB)
Junior Sustainability Legal Consultant – IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd
Ayanda Dube obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree, majoring in Law, Economics and Management in 2018 from Rhodes University. She then graduated with a Bachelors of Law (LLB) degree at Rhodes University in 2020 and will be pursuing a Master of Law in the field of environmental law in the near future.
During university vacations in 2019, Ayanda interned at Sasol South Africa Limited within the Safety, Health and Environmental Centre of Expertise within the Legal, Intellectual Property and Compliance Services Division. In this regard, she worked closely with three internal legal advisors with accountability for SHE Legal advice and support to the Sasol group of companies. Her deliverables included legal research, inputs into legal risk assessments and informing legal positions on material sustainability matters.
From January 2020, Ayanda worked at Boqwana Burns Incorporated as a candidate attorney where she assisted with the drafting, filing and instituting of matters in corporate law, state and administrative law, divorce law, construction law as well as banking and finance law. She also immersed herself in the firm’s social media and marketing initiatives and its transition into virtual business and court practices such as CaseLines.
Ayanda commenced work at IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Consultants (Pty) Ltd on 1 May 2021, as a junior consultant and assists the senior and junior consultants with a wide range of matters involving environmental and health and safety compliance measures and audits as well as environmental legal due diligences. In addition, Ayanda assists with the IMBEWU SHE Legal Registers and the drafting of monthly legislation update newsletters.
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Office and Marketing Manager
Samantha Phillips has over 15 years experience in Marketing and Administration. She completed her IMM Diploma in Marketing and Management in 2007 and is IMBEWU’S Office and Marketing Manager. Samantha is also responsible for IMBEWU’s SHE Legal Registers and manages all of IMBEWU’s online content.
Nomhle Ngwenya is the receptionist and assists with office administration.