Our Group, Maisels Chambers 3, moved from town and established itself in Sandton as far back as 1997. Before this, advocates at the Johannesburg Bar practised from Innes and Schreiner Chambers in the CBD. This innovative move to the new CBD in Sandton was in fact the catalyst that prompted other groups to leave central Johannesburg and establish themselves in Sandton.
The building we occupy has served as our home for the past 16 years. In 2002 a decision was reached to rename the building Maisels Chambers in honour of one of South Africa’s most respected and well-known advocates, Israel Aaron Maisels QC (1905-1994). He was recognized as one of the legal luminaries at the Bar. His illustrious career spanned more than 60 years during which time he proved to be a fearless and outstanding counsel who appeared in numerous cases involving the defence of human rights. It was only fitting then that former President Nelson Mandela should officiate at the re-naming ceremony held in 2002. Madiba was one of the trialists in the treason trial held at the Old Synagogue in Pretoria in 1958. The defence was led by Maisels QC.
After their acquittal the trialists wrote the following letter to Maisels QC shortly before he left to join the Bench in what was then Southern Rhodesia:
Throughout the long, dreary years of our trial, we are proud to have been defended by you, not only because we know that in you we have had the best defence that this land could supply, but we have been proud because we know of the magnificent legal battles that you have fought to preserve the rule of law, ……we are proud of you and we shall wait for you one day to come back to a South Africa which will honour you as you should be honoured.
These words are a testament to the skill and integrity of Maisels QC after whom the building has been so appropriately named. The members of this Group aspire to uphold the legacy of this courageous counsel through their absolute professionalism and dedication to their clients, the rule of law and the Constitution of South Africa.
The Group, Maisels Chambers 3, is led by Hilton Epstein SC and comprises a diverse and transformative membership of over 50 counsel who practise in almost every field of law. The Group hosts a strong body of senior counsel who are considered leaders in their various fields of practice. These fields include the full spectrum of litigation in all judicial and quasi-judicial forums in South Africa.
A number of the members of Maisels Chambers 3 have been elevated to the Bench; a promotion that has brought pride to the Group. Judges Tuchten, Spilg and Vally are previous members of this Group which continues to fulfil the noble tradition of volunteering its senior members to serve as acting judges.
Training and preparing new pupils for the exacting Bar Exam and for the rigours of practice is undertaken with dedication by the members of the Group. Along with this dedication comes our commitment to transformation; we wish to play a pivotal role in making the Bar more representative.
The members of Maisels Chambers 3 attempt to provide the highest quality of professional legal service at all times.