OUR PEOPLE

Kerry Underwood
Senior Partner and Solicitor

Kerry is an acknowledged expert on funding, costs, regulatory matters relating to fee arrangements between solicitors and clients, and the legal system generally.

He is the author of several books on these matters.

He is a former Judge, current author, lecturer, broadcaster and a former Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate.

Kerry has extensive experience in virtually all types of litigation and has appeared as an advocate in many high profile and reported cases.

Kerry is mentioned in the Dictionary of International Biography, Debrett’s People of Today and American Biography Institute – Great Minds of the 21st Century. Kerry is a Regional Committee Member of the Lord’s Taverners Charity for disadvantaged children and is Knight Commander of the Order of St John (for charity work). He is a patron of Cape Town Opera.

Kerry travels extensively and home is his beloved adopted town of Hemel Hempstead.

In his spare time Kerry enjoys watching cricket and football and can be found during the football season cheering on QPR and Hemel Hempstead Town FC. Underwoods Solicitors is a Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassador. He also enjoys gardening and reading. Nelson Mandela, TS Eliot and Elvis are amongst his heroes.

kerry.underwood@lawabroad.co.uk

Robert Males
Managing Partner and Solicitor

Robert has over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of litigation matters including personal injury, clinical negligence and building and contract disputes. He also has considerable experience on advising companies both small and large on a range of business issues. He has a particular specialism in stress at work claims having been successful in the leading case of Dickins v O2 in the Court of Appeal.

Robert has advised both companies and individuals on a wide range of employment issues ranging from cases in Employment Tribunals through to the High Court and advising on many Settlement Agreements.

Robert is also experienced in Corporate Insolvency having acted for the Insolvency Practitioners in the winding up of the Cambridge Analytica group of companies. Robert used his extensive knowledge of Data Protection issues when dealing with the Information Commissioners Office in relation to this high-profile case.

Robert has contributed to Butterworths Personal Injury Law service and other legal journals. Robert also appears on local radio and national radio as an expert on a variety of legal issues.

Robert is a member of the Lord's Taverners Charity for disadvantaged children.

Robert is also a Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassador and legal adviser to Hemel Hempstead Town Football Club.

In his spare time Robert can be found umpiring hockey games or aiming for a hole in one on the golf course.

robert.males@lawabroad.co.uk

Leah Waller
Consultant Solicitor

Leah is a keen advocate of Employee Rights and always looking to achieve the best results for her clients, whether Employee or Employer. Leah qualified in 2013, after training with Underwoods Solicitors under Kerry’s supervision, and has experience in a broad range of disciplines but has a passion for Employment Law. 

Leah has experience in dealing with both Employers and Employees and understands the headache that can be caused when problems arise in the workplace and is always happy to help her clients, every step of the way, to relieve some of that burden whilst bringing the best resolution for the client. 

Leah is author of ‘Babysteps: A Guide to Maternity Leave & Maternity Pay’. Leah also writes and presents training material for the legal profession on Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace, Maternity, Paternity and Shared Parental Leave Rights, amongst other topics.

Leah also volunteers extensively in the Dementia arena as well as with Young Carers and Vulnerable Adults with CHUMS Charity.

With extensive experience working with the elderly, mentally impaired and vulnerable adults, alongside their families, Leah enjoys assisting clients with later life planning, including Wills, Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

In her spare time, Leah loves keeping fit through a variety of exercise classes such as strength training and zumba. She is obsessed with all things Disney and an avid collector of Disney Snowglobes. 

Leah Waller
Emma Dorrington
Accounts Manager

Emma is an accounts manager with over 20 years’ experience and joined Underwoods in October 2019. 

Emma is responsible for all aspects of accounts within the firm.   

In her spare time, Emma enjoys singing and has won a few karaoke competitions and has taken to the stage in her sons’ school PTA panto and cabaret. 

Emma is also an Active Youth Worker in her local church helping in the Sunday school and is the Treasurer at her Sons school PTA. 

Emma enjoys spending quality family time with her husband and two sons and can usually be found having fun at Paradise Wildlife park. 

When the chance arises, Emma also enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends over a drink or 2. 

emma.dorrington@lawabroad.co.uk

Emma Dorrington
Claire Long
Director of Marketing and Advertising

Claire is responsible for all marketing and business development activities within the firm including direct marketing, digital marketing, advertising, seminar and event planning, sponsorship and PR.

Claire has over seventeen years’ marketing experience within the professional services industry.  

With a height of only 4ft 10.5in Claire is smaller than petite Australian singer Kylie Minogue.

In her spare time Claire enjoys keeping fit, and spending quality family time with her husband and two daughters.

claire.long@lawabroad.co.uk

Tracy Lippert
Office Manager and Trainee Legal Executive

Tracy Lippert, born in Paarl the heart of the Boland Cape, joined the company in 2015 as a legal typist and is based in the South African office. Tracy took over general management of the company and works closely with the Senior Partner of the firm.

Her role involves administration in the office as well as Human Resources and financial duties.

Tracy is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.

In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, reading and being close to the beach. She has a son and absolutely loves spending time with him.  

tracy.lippert@lawabroad.co.uk 

Tracy Lippert
Charney Lategan
Legal Secretary

Charney Lategan, born in Paarl, works for Underwoods Solicitors as a Legal Secretary based at the South African office.

She is a Human Resource Management Graduate and has four years of experience in various roles such as Receptionist, Admin Assistant, Data Capturer and HR In-service Trainee.

Charney has a passion for working with people, being client orientated as well as working with fellow employees. She believes being professional and consistent all the time is a very important aspect.

Charney is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.

In her spare time Charney enjoys music, reading and the company of her beautiful funny daughter.

charney.lategan@lawabroad.co.uk

Charney Lategan
Michelle Germishuys
Legal Secretary

Michelle Germishuys – Born in Paarl, is a legal secretary and is based at the South African office.

Michelle has been in the retail industry for 10 years. She is well organised and considers prioritising of importance. Michelle is a team player and aims to satisfy organisational goals as well as her own. When there is an opportunity to learn new things and gain more experience, Michelle takes it as a challenge and makes the best of it.

Michelle is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives of England and Wales and is studying for the Institute’s examinations.

Michelle enjoys listening to music, reading and spending every possible minute she can with her precious daughter.

michelle.germishuys@lawabroad.co.uk 

Michelle Germishuys
Ashlynne Pilz
Legal Secretary

Ashlynne was born in Port Elizabeth, also known as the Windy City, Eastern Cape, South Africa. She then later moved to the majestic Winelands in the Western Cape and has been living in Paarl for the past 20 years.

Ashlynne has worked in the Hospitality industry for the past couple of years and has gained exceptional communication skills. She joined The Underwoods Solicitors team in September 2020, and it has contributed to her enthusiastic personality and allowed her to reach yet another milestone in her future and career. 

In her free time, Ashlynne enjoys spending priceless moments with her adorable son, close family and friends and taking spontaneous road trips.

ashlynne.pilz@lawabroad.co.uk 

Ashlynne Pilz
Ulreka Joshua
Legal Secretary

Ulreka was born and raised in Paarl, Western Cape, and joined Underwoods Solicitors in the South African Office in December 2020.

Ulreka was involved in events co-ordinating, pageants, reception duties and has a passion for working with various charities. 

Ulreka has her Diploma in photography and looks forward to this new chapter in her life with the Underwoods Team. 

Ulreka has two children which she enjoys spending all her spare time with and taking long drives on a motorcycle.

ulreka.joshua@lawabroad.co.uk 

Ulreka Joshua
Julius Mupinga
Property Maintenance

Julius was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa in 2009. He has been working for Underwoods Solicitors since 2017.

Julius is in charge of the property maintenance at the office in Wellington, South Africa and the extensive grounds and gardens.

In his spare time, Julius loves spending time with his two children at home and visits his eldest son in the Northern Cape when on holiday.

Julius also enjoys watching football and listening to music.


Julius Mupinga
Andrew McCabe
Web Manager

Andrew created our website including the online booking and payment systems. He also manages our email system. He's worked with Underwoods for 14 years.

He lives in the south of Spain between the mountains and the sea.

Andrew McCabe

Associates

Anville Van Wyk
Consultant

Anville specialises in Property Law, General Commercial Law, Estate and Tax Planning, Administration of Deceased Estates and Trust Law. Through the years, he contributed to the community life in Paarl. He was a founding member of the Drakenstein Rotary Club in Paarl, founding member of the Paarl Attorneys Association, served as Captain, President and Chairman of the board of the Paarl Golf Club and has played a major role in establishing the Boschenmeer Golf and Country Estate.

Anville obtained his BA LLB degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1974. He served his articles with Silberbauers Attorneys in Cape Town and joined Solomon Miller, Hymie Maisel and Willem Gaum in Paarl in May 1977.

He is an experienced and seasoned attorney who commenced his career in litigation and migrated into Commercial, Trust and Tax work. He obtained his post graduate diploma in Tax Law at the University of Cape Town, with distinction, in 1993.

Anville celebrated his 40th year in practice in 2017.

Anville Van Wyk
Nazlee Abrahams
Director

Nazlee Abrahams grew up in Paarl and obtained the degrees B.Sc. and LLB from the University of Stellenbosch in 1992 and 1997 respectively.

She commenced with her articles at Van Wyk Fouchee in 1998 and was admitted as an Attorney with right of appearance in the High Court in 2000 after which she consequently became a Director at the firm.

In October of 2002 she was admitted as Conveyancer and also Notary Public in 2006. She currently manages Bonds registrations in the Conveyancing Department and further specialises in family & marriage law, drafting of wills, administration of estates and all notarial work.

Nazlee makes a valuable contribution in pro-bono work when the opportunity arises and invests a considerable amount of time in community service. She also serves as the current Chairperson of the governing body of William Lloyd Primary.

Nazlee Abrahams
Willem Van Heerden
Director

Willem van Heerden is a Direct at Van Wyk Van Heerden in the dispute resolution, litigation and mediation department. He specialises in contractual disputes, company law, shareholder issues, evictions, family law, banking law and insolvency law. He provides sound strategic advice and direction on all commercial and company issues.

He is an accredited commercial mediator as well as a business rescue practitioner.

He has encouraged the appropriate use of mediation in the resolution of all disputes.

He has acted for various international and cross border trade, transport, agricultural and construction companies. Willem has acted for major banks, insurance houses, leading retailers, property groups as well as high network of entrepreneurs and individuals. He serves as a trustee on a number of trusts.

Willem has written various articles and is a co-author of a published legal book on farm evictions.

Willem Van Heerden
Charl Ackermann
Director

Charl obtained his law degree at the North West University in 2008. And finalised his articles at Van Velden & Duffey Attorneys where after he practised at the same firm and became a director in 2014.

Charl was recruited by Van Wyk Van Heerden in 2017 to strengthen and assist our growing litigation department. He handles a wide range of litigation matters including company, family, insolvency, banking and delictual law.

Charl Ackermann
Carla Geldenhuys
Director

Carla grew up in the Free State and decided to relocate to the Cape Winelands to study law at Stellenbosch University. She obtained her LLB degree in 2002 and furthered her studies at the University of Cape Town’s School for Legal Practice where she received the Dean’s award for the best student in Business Management and Administration.

She joined the litigation department at Van der Spuy & Partners as a candidate attorney where-after she decided to pursue a career in property and commercial law, specializing in sectional title schemes, security estates and developments, servitudes, subdivisions and consolidations as well as commercial contracting.

Carla heads up the Conveyancing Department of the firm and mainly assists estate agencies and developers and is actively involved in the marketing of the company. 

Carla Geldenhuys
Leonette Ackermann
Associate

Leonette completed her studies at the University of Pretoria and obtained her LLB degree in 2009. She practised in Rustenburg for 8 years and specialised in debt Recovery, debt review and related matters.

Leonette joined the firm in 2017 and manages all correspondent work.

Leonette Ackermann
Antionette Rawlings
Associate

Antionette obtained her LLB degree, with distinction, in 2015 at the North-West University of Potchefstroom.

She completed her articles at Van Wyk van Heerden Attorneys in 2017, and currently practices as an attorney in the litigation department. She completed her conveyancing examination in 2018 and will be admitted as a conveyancer in 2019. Antionette handles a wide range of litigation matters, including company, property, estate, family and insolvency law.

Antionette Rawlings
Gaynor Bezuidenhout
Attorney

Gaynor obtained her LLB degree in 2012 from the University of Stellenbosch. She then completed her articles at a law firm in the North West Province where she gained experience in General Litigation, Family Law and Debt Collection. In 2016 she moved back to the Western Cape and finally joined the firm in November 2018 where she forms an integral part of the Evictions Department, assisting clients in both ESTA (Agricultural) and PIE (residential) evictions.

Gaynor Bezuidenhout