Name of Business:  Tomlinson Mnguni James Attorneys Incorpated (TMJ)
Type of Business: Professional Legal & Training Services
Company Reg No: 1995/006978/21
Company Vat No: 4030153433
Company Practise No: 2377 (PMB) – 2378 (DBN) – F15103 (JHB)

Web Site:

Managing Director: M J Browning


Head Office:  Pietermaritzburg

Postal Address:   PO Box 13156, Cascades, 3202. Docex 7, Pietermaritzburg.

Physical Address: 12 Montrose Park Boulevard, Victoria Country Club Estate Office Park, 170 Peter Brown Drive, Montrose, Pietermaritzburg, 3201.

Telephone Number: 033 341 9100
Telefax Number: 033 392 4605


Durban Branch:  Umhlanga

Postal Address:  PO Box 25303, Gateway, 4321. Docex 10, Umhlanga

Physical Address: Suite 201, Ridge 6, 20 Ncondo Place, Umhlanga Rocks
Telephone Number: 031 566 2207
Telefax Number: 031 566 2503


Johannesburg Branch:Sandton

Postal Address:  PostNet Suite 328, Gallo Manor, 2052
Docex 81, Sandton Square

Physical Address: 1st Floor, Suite 11, Daisy Street Office Park, 135 Daisy Street
Sandton, 2196.
Telephone Number: 011 784 2634/5
Telefax Number: 011 784 2636



Tomlinson Mnguni James (TMJ), the successor to Shepstone and Wylie Tomlinsons, is a leading law firm which offers a wide range of legal services throughout the country. TMJ can trace its origins back to 1898 when the firm R Tomlinson was established. This firm grew to Tomlinson Francis, and in 1986, entered into partnership with Shepstone & Wylie in Durban and practised under the name Shepstone & Wylie Tomlinsons. In 1987, the firm amalgamated with James Becker & Power, and in 1995, with Msimang Rutsch & Co. In April 2004 the partnership with the Durban firm, Shepstone & Wylie, was dissolved, and the name of the firm reverted to Tomlinson (from Tomlinson Francis), Mnguni (from Msimang Rutsch & Co.) and James (from James Becker & Power) – Tomlinson Mnguni James (TMJ). On the 1 June 2010, TMJ merged with Steenkamp Weakley Ngwane (SWN), and today practices as Tomlinson Mnguni James.

TMJ is a diverse, dynamic and multicultural firm that embraces the principles of equality and transformation and is a proud and certified level one BBBEE contributor.

Many prominent, previously disadvantaged lawyers have moved through the ranks of TMJ. Three previous directors of the firm have gone onto become judges. The late Judge Herbert Msimang (from our litigation department) recently served as the KwaZulu-Natal judge president and Judge Jerome Mnguni (also from our litigation department) currently serves as a judge on the KZN bench. Judge David Gush (from our employment law department) also a previous director of the firm serves on the KZN labour court bench.

TMJ has a sophisticated IT system and application software, which can easily cope with all the electronic demands and requirements of any of our large corporate clients. Our system allows any practitioner access to shared information, database and accounting records, online creditors, CIPC and other information, all of which enables seamless reporting and handling of files.

The firm has a professional complement comprising 8 Directors, 4 Senior Executive Consultants, 4 Senior Associates, 5 Associates and 7 Candidate Attorneys. These professionals are ably assisted by support staff including 3 Managers.




Michael Browning (Managing Director)
Peter Hobden
Guy Roberts (Chairman)  
Richard Browning
Judd Reid  
Farzanah Ebrahim (Director of Operations)
Chamonie Buys
Conan O’Dwyer

Senior Executive Consultants

Oliver James
David Randles
Tony Tatham
Ian Patterson-Roberts


Maria Louw (Accounts / HR)
Nicky Whiteman (BEE / Marketing & Social Media)
Douglas Shapiro (IT)


The firm services a substantial countrywide client base and provides its clients with practical and sensible solutions to their legal requirements.


The legal services offered by the firm include:



  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Administrative Law
  • Matrimonial Law
  • Labour and Employment Law
  • Land / Labour Tenant Claims
  • Environmental Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Conveyancing and Property
  • Agency
  • Trusts and Estate Planning
  • Liquidations
  • Debt Collection
  • Training
  • Personal Injury and Medical Negligence
  • Insolvency and Business Rescue
  • Insurance Law
  • Sports Law
  • Administration of Deceased Estates and Trusts

TMJ has the capacity (both in its intellectual capital and resources) to promptly and efficiently deal with all levels of service in the above categories.



It has always been the philosophy of the management of the firm to lead by example and is resultantly firmly committed to fair and equitable employment practices. This, of necessity, includes strict and sincere compliance with not only the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act but also other equally important legislation such as Employment Equity, Skills Development, UIF, Income Tax, Promotion of Access to Information Act, FICA and the Occupational Health and Safety, to name but a few.



Tomlinson Mnguni James Attorneys recognize the disparities created by past legislation in the South African workplace, particularly in terms of job functions and income; we are continuously committed to transformation. To this end it embraces the objectives of the Employment Equity Act as well as the Skills Development Act and is in the process of ensuring a diverse workforce broadly representative of the climate within which it operates. TMJ is a proud level 1 (135%) BBBEE Contributor.


Employment Equity

The firm has developed and submitted an Employment Equity Plan, along with the prescribed Employment Equity reports. This was first done in 2000 by virtue of TMJ being deemed a small employer in terms of the Employment Equity Act. We continue to timeously submit our reports every second year.  Mindful of the need for transformation TMJ undertakes all new appointments with the Company’s numerical and substantive goals in mind so as to create a diverse, demographically representative workforce. This process is overseen by a dedicated and demographically representative Employment Equity Committee. TMJ is confident that this objective will be achieved in time. Certainly, the last few appointments made by the Company have reflected this as candidates from designated groups were specifically sought, interviewed, and recruited.


Skills Development

Again, TMJ has submitted a Workplace Skills Plan to its SETA (POSLEC SETA) and is in the process of implementing this plan. This WSP covers both professional and support staff. Aside from this, the firm has a comprehensive in–house training programme focussing primarily on its professional staff and directed at upgrading their skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis.

In addition, the firm also has an HIV/AIDS awareness programme which forms part of its HIV/AIDS policy and provides annual training sessions in this regard for all staff aimed at increasing awareness and creating an environment of openness and understanding.


Social Upliftment

The firm has a strong sense of social responsibility and is involved in numerous social and community initiatives with many of our professional staff volunteering their time and expertise serving on the Boards of various non-profit and charitable organisations.

Tomlinson Mnguni James is involved in the following community development projects:

  • Annual bursary to a local college, designated for use by a student from a disadvantaged background.
  • Vocational training for university students studying in the field of law.
  • Donation of redundant computer equipment to charitable organisations and schools.
  • Provision of free legal, training and financial services to a number of non-profit organisations.
  • Serving as mentor to FD fellow-practitioners via the LSSA.
  • Serving on the boards of community organisations.

In addition to the above, we serve on the boards –
• of a non-profit organisation specialising in the provision of bridging programmes to pre-tertiary candidates from previously disadvantaged backgrounds;
• of the local multi-cultural museum; and
• the Law Society.



Tomlinson Mnguni James has an established training division that provides a comprehensive service including the compilation and facilitation of training sessions.

Workshops and training seminars are tailor-made to accommodate the unique needs of clients and the facilitation of such workshops or seminars are structured to suit the client in terms of time and resource availability.

Our training department is staffed with experienced trainers, all of whom are qualified attorneys and have extensive training experience in both the public and private sector.

In addition, Peter Hobden (the head of our Labour and Employment Law division) has been involved in training for tertiary institutes and the Law Society of South Africa.

Insofar as it may be necessary, our training division can be co-opted to develop training sessions for the transfer of skills and knowledge to the personnel of the Department, thereby ensuring the development of the organisation’s internal capabilities.



In addition to the teams outlined above the departments within the firm work very closely with each other and draw on their combined expertise and wisdom where necessary.

TMJ can also, when called upon to do so, enlist the assistance of various external professionals and experts if necessary.



We have various procedures in place to ensure that any conflicts of interest are effectively managed and controlled. All new instructions received are dealt with by our Managing Director, Michael Browning, and the respective team leaders. Any potential conflicts are identified at this stage and an internal e-mail sent to the entire firm, including all branch offices, to confirm whether a conflict does in fact exist. Should a conflict exist, and we are unable to take on the matter, the client is informed accordingly and advised to seek assistance from another law firm.