Atterbury’s motto is “It’s a matter of association” and we are very proud to be associated with the city’s advocates who selected The Club as the seat of the new Advocates’ Chambers, and are now our neighbours. We spoke to Advocate Etienne Coetzee about the move to the Club.
How did the decision come about to move to The Club?
There was a need by a group of advocates to gain ownership of their own chambers rather than to rent for the remainder of their careers and to gain an asset. Various options were considered and discussed. Nicola Hofman from Investec enquired from me if I would like to meet Louis van der Watt, the CEO of Atterbury. The meeting was arranged and I immediately developed a rapport with Louis. He indicated that he was busy with the Club development and asked if we would be interested in developing offices for purchase and rental.
Can you explain to us what your role entails within the group? How involved were you in finding the new venue for the chambers?
I, with a core group of advocates, and with support and assistance from the Pretoria Society of Advocates, worked closely together with Atterbury to find the ideal location for our needs.
You’ve been settled in the new Chambers for a month or so now – what is the feedback from your colleagues, and what is your personal opinion?
The feedback is overwhelmingly positive. With all new projects there are teething problems and both the group of advocates and Atterbury are learning through this experience, but thanks to an accommodating and positive relationship between Atterbury and the Advocates the problems are being ironed out smoothly.
What are the highlights of being at The Club, and of the office space itself?
Being in such close proximity to a brand-new precinct which houses restaurants and attorneys’ offices and which is easily accessible from the highway are big plus points. The facilities in the building are designed to meet our needs, including consultation and arbitration facilities and a roof garden; and everything is top of the range as far as technology is concerned.
Who did the interior design and what was the brief?
Tony Hofman from Hofman Architects. The building design is functional and modern.
How many advocates in total are housed here? Is there room for expansion or are you at capacity already?
There are 118 advocates currently occupying the building and we are at capacity, however in the long term we can expand and this is a possibility. What makes this building unique is that it has a combination of purchase and rental office which provides for an inflow and outflow of members.
How have you made your office into home?
The advocates have made special effort into their offices, especially in light of the fact that many of the advocates have ownership.
What is it like having Atterbury as neighbours?
The advantage is that if there is a problem we are in close proximity of the landlord and issues can be sorted out with relative ease and without delay. The fact that the landlord has a beautiful building uplifts the entire precinct and increases the value of our property. It also shows the developers’ long-term commitment to the precinct.