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Lavery Modise

Chair, Hogan Lovells South Africa

Lavery Modise
English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Setswana, Southern Sotho, Sepedi, Xhosa
Practice Group

In addition to his duties as Chairman of Hogan Lovells in South Africa, Lavery Modise focuses on all aspects of employment and labour law and represents clients in all courts up to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. 

He has been called upon to act as a judge of the Labour Court from time to time. In addition, he acts as arbitrator and mediator in labour related matters for corporate and government institutions. 

Lavery has advised a number of prominent companies and boards as well as state-owned entities such as South African Revenue Service, South African Broadcasting Corporation, Multichoice, Nozala Investments, National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Department of Science and Technology, CIDA City Campus, University of Johannesburg, Eastern Cape Gambling Board, Gauteng Tourism Authority and the National Prosecution Authority on executive employee exits and aspects of employment law.

In addition, he has chaired various disciplinary inquiries relating to misconduct committed by senior management executives at entities such as the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, Department of Labour, Department of Home Affairs, Wits University, Mbombela Municipality and the Limpopo Provincial Transport Department. 

Lavery has been recognised form 2014-2018 in The Best Lawyers of South Africa for Labour and Employment, and has been recommended in Legal 500 as a “seasoned professional with extensive court experience”. He had a monthly employment law column in the Sowetan for eight years and was featured in Financial Mail’s Little Black Book for many years.

“Veteran employment lawyer Lavery Modise is the current chair of Hogan Lovells South Africa. He has represented clients in high-profile employment cases before the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. He is highly respected by his fellow legal professionals and remains in high demand, notwithstanding his considerable management responsibilities.”

Chambers Global 2018

Representative experience

Frequently providing strategic advice on employee discipline at an executive level.

Representing the head of security of the SA Football Association during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in his breach of contract dispute.

Successfully representing a senior legal advisor employed by MTN who alleged that the termination of her services for operational requirements was substantively and procedurally unfair.

Representing SARS in two matters before the Labour Appeal Court relating to its Commissioner’s ability to validly overturn the sanction of an internal disciplinary chairperson.

Currently on a projects team to advise SARS on a major restructuring of the organisation as a whole.

Education and admissions


  • B.A., University of Fort Hare
  • LL.B., University of the Witwatersrand


  • Chairperson of General Public Service Sectoral Bargaining Council
  • South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW)

Court admissions

  • South Africa


Recognised as Eminent Practitioner in Employment

Chambers Global



The Best Lawyers of South Africa for Labour and Employment


Lifetime Achievement Award

South African Professional Services Awards



The Best Lawyers of South Africa for Litigation



Legal 500

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