Manndi was admitted as attorney in 1995 and started her own firm shortly after, initially focusing on criminal law. Defending white collar crime matters gave her useful insight into how the ‘not-so-ethical’ mind works, which proved helpful in the rest of her career. She continued to do commercial litigation against banks and corporate companies and also gained extensive experience in trust law; particularly the role of trusts in asset protection and estate planning. She brought all this valuable, diverse experience to her family law practice when she started specialising in 2006. Manndi uses her international coaching training and skills to enhance her interaction with clients and colleagues, and to deepen her understanding of their situations. She is one of only two South African attorneys who trained in the US to practise the Collaborative Law model. She also initiated the first collaborative divorce case in South Africa in 2013. Subsequently, an increasing number of cases have evolved into collaborative divorces, including cases that began with litigation. Thanks to Manndi’s expertise, in recent years, 66% of the law firm’s cases have been settled and completed in under six months. The settled matters include highly technical, complicated issues involving family trusts and marriages in terms of international law, governed by international treaties; change of primary care; vesting of parental rights for fathers of children born out of wedlock; and the return of abducted children. Every client receives Manndi’s individual attention and no work leaves the office without prior discussion. Manndi’s policy is to be transparent and honest and she is committed to being completely truthful with clients. Whether she has to deliver good news or bad, she is aware of their needs and handles each case with integrity and sensitivity.
Karen started off her career in the field of law in 1996 when she was employed as the personal assistant to the then Regional Head of the Department of Justice for the Western Cape. In and around 1998, she was employed as a Judge’s Registrar at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Western Cape High Court. She worked for various judges and in particular for the erstwhile Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, Justices Siraj Desai and Andre Le Grange. She assisted the Judes with the typing of civil, criminal and appeal judgments. She assisted them with research on relevant case law and the applicable Rules and Regulations. The positive influences and wealth of knowledge that she was surrounded with, motivated her and she commenced her part-time studies at UNISA and obtained her LLB-degree in 2011. She was thereafter enrolled as an Advocate at the Cape Bar in 2013. She however applied for the voluntary removal as a member of the Cape Bar Council as she obtained articles at a law firm and commenced with same in 2014. During her period as candidate attorney, she obtained valuable experience in various fields of law such as commercial law, employment and public, general litigation, family law, estate planning, foreclosure, insolvency etc. Despite the experience gained in these fields of law, she soon realised that she has a special interest in matrimonial/family law matters. She completed her articles and was enrolled as an Attorney in February 2016 specialising in Family Law. Karen is broadening her horizons as she has a keen interest in Surrogacy as well as Donation Agreements. Surrogacy law is an exciting field of law, yet foreign territory for most. Her passion for people and love for children makes for a solid foundation to assist our clients with the legalities during this process. Her aim is to ensure that our clients have peace of mind and a proper start to a future filled with special moments.