Aadil Patel is the national head of the employment practice. A thought leader in his field, he is recognised for his in-depth expertise in employment law and has acted extensively for various employers in both the public and private sectors. Aadil has worked across multiple jurisdictions in Africa and globally. He has presented on a wide array of legal topics to different audiences and is featured regularly in published articles. Recognised by both his peers and his clients for his proficiency in employment law, Aadil’s track record includes having successfully advised and represented a number of state-owned enterprises as well as companies listed on the JSE.
What inspired you to pursue a legal career?
To ensure economic empowerment through law, and to ensure that the rule of law is used and applied equally.
What motivated you to specialise in labour and employment law?
The need to ensure fairness prevails within the employment law sphere. It is also an ever-evolving area of the law, which makes it exceptionally interesting to practise.
What aspect of being a labour and employment lawyer do you most enjoy?
Providing strategic advice regarding business decisions that may affect employment relationships. I also enjoy advising on the impact of the fourth industrial revolution, and assisting clients in being well prepared for its impact on their businesses.
As national head of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s employment practice in South Africa, what are your main priorities for the firm’s development over the next five years?
Ensuring that the employment department grows efficiently and that the firm’s practice is aligned with artificial intelligence.
I also focus on developing alternative employment models that will continue to attract and retain young professionals.
What effect do you think artificial intelligence will have on the market over the next few years?
Our view is that it will reduce legal costs and time, enhance the employment relationship and introduce new ways in which employees render services to their employer.
How has the labour-broker industry changed over the past few years, and what effects do you think this will have for the future?
The labour-broker industry has changed significantly and is more regulated than ever before. In terms of amendments to our labour legislation, labour brokers may no longer be used for extended periods of time without reason and labour-broker employees are better protected. In future, there may be a decrease in the use of labour brokers generally.
Looking back over your career, what is the most memorable case you have been a part of?
My most memorable case was working with workers who had given up their right to strike at a major power utility.
What advice would you give to younger practitioners looking to start out in the area?
We would suggest that they be prepared to work hard, and be committed to ensuring that they are the best they can be.