We wish to emphasise that our team at Beech Veltman Inc. are not dispassionate lawyers. To the contrary, we are people who care for our clients and community. This series allows you the reader to get to know our team better. In this edition we are going to chat with Partner, Eben van Zyl.
As a starting point Eben, can you please outline your area of law that you specialise in?
I provide multi-disciplinary legal and related services, primarily to the mining and construction industries. My focus is on mining health and safety law, occupational health and safety law, environmental law, litigation, and criminal law. I have experience in resolving mining disputes, together with preparing and reviewing documents and agreements related to the mining industry and conducting legal compliance audits of the Health and Safety systems implemented by various mining houses and operations.
I gained invaluable insights into the practical application of law from a lengthy secondment to a major mining company.
What is keeping you busy at the moment?
Unfortunately, I have been very busy with fatal accidents in the industry during recent months. I assist clients prepare for the fatal enquiries into these accidents. I am also busy with a whole host of safety and health audits for clients. It seems to be audit season at present! My approach is to be on-site with our clients and I am regularly in their backyard where they are comfortable.
Aside from practising law, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I have a 6-month-old baby boy who keeps me busy, especially during the weekends where I am “on duty”. I do enjoy gardening and try to garden as often as I can, sadly only on weekends. I am fortunate to have quite a large garden and enjoy developing it and beautifying it as much as I can.
What have been some of your proudest moments in practice?
Any matter which is important to my client, is important to me. It sounds corny, but I am proud of generally assisting my clients get to the other side of the relevant challenge which they are facing with a good result. I always strive for excellence and the reward is at the end of each matter, having clients who are grateful for the assistance during a very stressful time for them.
Fatal accidents in particular, are extremely traumatic for all persons involved, including management and the supervisory structure. Knowing that you were there for a person who was going through great stress and assisting them through a challenging process is what makes me most proud. While it is the goal of all our clients to prevent any fatal accidents from occurring in the workplace, they take comfort in knowing that we are there for them when things unfortunately do go wrong.
Another proud moment was being recognised by Lexology as a “Legal Influencer for Future of Legal Services- Africa and Middle East” in the 2018. Any form of recognition is welcome!
Tell us something most people don’t really know about you?
I am always game for a good car show or anything to do with cars and antiques!