The HJW Team

Megan Harrington-Johnson

Managing Partner

Megan is a qualified attorney, having studied law at the University of Stellenbosch, and thereafter at the University of Johannesburg. Megan began her articles at a large prestigious firm in Melrose Arch in 2010, was admitted in 2012 and went on to become a Partner in 2015. In 2018 she left in order to create HJW Attorneys in conjunction with Richard Wands.

Megan has built a solid commercial practice where she advises listed entities and SMME’s on contractual issues, and has drafted various commercial contracts tailored to her clients. Megan is renowned for her impeccable attention to detail, and ensuring that her clients are always protected and secured through their contracts. Megan has extensive experience in negotiating difficult contractual disputes, and has the ability to ensure that she obtains the best possible outcome for her clients.

Megan has wide experience in all fields of litigation, but particularly enjoys all aspects of family and child law, human rights law, education law, defamation matters and employment law, specifically unlawful competition and restraints of trade. She also has experience in media and sports law and, as a top sportswoman herself, has represented many of South Africa’s famous sporting heroes, negotiating their various endorsement deals and contracts and managing their reputations.

Megan is widely considered to be one of the top child-law experts in Africa and is a frequent guest on TV and radio, has had her own columns in South African Magazines and Newspapers and has also co-hosted a radio show on MixFM called Legally Speaking. Megan is a qualified mediator and mediates on a voluntary basis at an NGO in Parkwood called FAMSA.

Megan has been named as one of the Top 200 Young South African’s to Watch by the Mail and Guardian, and has been recognized by the Gauteng Premiere for her contribution to community safety, through her educational legal consultancy, SafeSchool.

In her spare time Megan assists in running a charity called Madswimmer which undertakes incredible swimming feats around the world in aid of children in need. She loves extreme sports, such as open water swimming and mountain bike racing.

Megan has wide experience in all fields of litigation, but particularly enjoys all aspects of family and child law, human rights law, education law, defamation matters and employment law, specifically unlawful competition and restraints of trade. She also has experience in media and sports law and, as a top sportswoman herself, has represented many of South Africa’s famous sporting heroes, negotiating their various endorsement deals and contracts and managing their reputations.

Richard Wands

Managing Partner

Richard obtained his Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008.

Thereafter, Richard was employed by the Standard Bank Group, where he fulfilled the role of Group Sanctions Manager, dealing with international law firms and companies, as well as governments and heads of state. Whilst at Standard Bank, Richard studied a Masters Degree in commercial law at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a risk management diploma at the University of Johannesburg.

Whilst in the Corporate and Investment division of Standard Bank, and within the role as Group Sanctions Manager, Richard was involved with various senior committees overseeing cross border acquisitions. This entailed acquiring and/or looking for potential acquirers of South African businesses. Richard met with the CEO, as well as the global General Counsel on a weekly basis and was responsible for ensuring that any cross border acquisitions or transactions complied with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Richard also liaised on an almost daily basis with London solicitors and New York lawyers, as well as in-house legal counsel in the various African countries within which Standard Bank operates.

Richard also has extensive experience in the Companies Act, Competition Law and Banking and Finance, which he studied over two years at Masters level. Richard has advised listed entities and SMME’s on various complex transactions, and has drafted commercial contracts for these entities too, in line with their bespoke needs.

After leaving Standard Bank, Richard went back to private practice specializing in general litigation, commercial drafting and family law, working for two firms in the Sandton area.

In 2014 Richard started his own practice in Bryanston, specializing in family law.

Richard and Megan had crossed paths in various of their matters, and decided it was time to join forces as they shared a common vision for creating an all-encompassing turnkey solutions law firm. The result of this, was the establishment of HJW Attorneys.

Richard has assisted and contributed towards the Teddy Bear foundation for abused and neglected children and has hosted numerous charity events for animals in distress. In his spare time, Richard is a passionate fisherman, he also enjoys travelling and has a keen interest in music.

Natasha Jardine

Associate Partner

Natasha qualified as an attorney and conveyancer in 2010 and 2011 respectively after completing her articles at a boutique law firm in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.

She pursued her career further in Johannesburg, where she headed up the collections departments at Brooks and Luyt Inc. and Strauss Daly respectively, where she represented all four major banks, retailers and other financial service providers with a main focus on banking law, litigation and debt collection.

Natasha also has experience in the administration of deceased estates, insolvency matters, criminal and commercial law. As a qualified conveyancer she can assist with all property related matters.

After 8 years of running various legal departments, Natasha decided it was time to take the next step in her career and joined Megan and Richard at HJW Attorneys.

Natasha enjoys swimming and cycling, and generally spending time in the outdoors. Just like Megan, Natasha was a competitive swimmer and lifesaver when she was at school and although she only swims for leisure now she still teaches children and adults to swim and has done so for many years.

Jonathan Botha

Associate Partner

Jonathan obtained his degree at the North West University in 2012. After completing his articles at Strauss Daly Inc, he qualified as an attorney in 2014.

He stayed on at Strauss Daly after his admission as an attorney and worked in the corporate advisory department and in 2015 the firm asked him to head the Banking litigation department at their Sandton branch.

Like Natasha he represented all four major banks, retailers and various financial credit providers. During his time as the head of the Banking litigation department he obtained valuable experience in Banking litigation, collections, insolvent and deceased estates and commercial litigation.

After 6 years at Strauss Daly Jonathan was looking for a new venture and grasped at the opportunity to join HJW Attorneys.

Jonathan is a sports fanatic and when he is not playing sports he will be watching it. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Ryan Speight

Associate Partner

After matriculating in Johannesburg, Ryan lived in London for a year, and spent a lot of his time travelling around Europe. Upon his return to South Africa, Ryan began articles at Martin Vermaak Attorneys, and studied towards his LLB through UNISA whilst working there full time.

Ryan qualified in 2014 with a bachelor of laws degree, and was admitted as an attorney in 2015. Ryan was then appointed as an associate at Martin Vermaak attorneys and spent a further year there, specializing in family law.

Ryan opened his own practice in Bryanston in January 2017 where he gained invaluable experience in a wide range of matters including family law, commercial law, collections and litigation. Ryan then made the decision to join HJW Attorneys as an Associate Partner in 2018.

In his spare time, Ryan enjoys watching sport, playing golf, travelling and spending time in the bush as he has a keen interest in wildlife.

Riaan Nel

Associate Partner

Riaan obtained his law degree at the North West University, Potchefstroom in 2013. He completed his articles at Geyser van Rooyen Attorneys in 2014 and was admitted as an attorney in 2015.

After his admission he worked at a collections firm where he quickly realised that general litigation was his passion,. Thereafter he joined Van der Hoff Attorneys in Pretoria where he ran the general litigation practice within the firm. During his time as a general litigation practitioner he obtained valuable experience in all forms of litigation including Magistrates’ Court matters, High Court matters, commercial and family related litigation and in particular litigious work originating out of deceased estates.

Riaan joined HJW Attorneys in December 2018.

Riaan enjoys spending time with family, friends and colleagues. He also enjoys watching sports, specifically cricket, golf and rugby.

Varusha Naidoo

Associate Partner

Varusha graduated from the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal in 2009. She also has Post Graduate Certificate’s in Competition Law and Tax from the University of Pretoria and UNISA respectively.

Early on in her career, Varusha developed a passion for Employment Law, She has practiced at MacRobert Attorneys, Labournet and Shepstone and Wylie. During 2018 she left her position as Head of Legal at Bidvest Services and in early 2019 she joined HJW in the with the aimof expanding her private practice.

Her past experience has enabled her to obtain extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of Labour and Employment Law.
Her years of experience and high level of skill have made her somewhat of a sought-after expert in the field of Labour Law, and she is often quoted in and published on various print and digital media platforms.
Varusha specialises in the following:
· Managing risks in the workplace;
· Efficient use of policies and procedures;
· Management of performance and discipline;
· S197 - Purchase and sales of companies;
· Restructuring of companies;
· Dismissals;
· Restraints of trade;
· Workplace training;
· Advising on strike action; and
· Representation at both bargaining councils as well as the CCMA.
Varusha often represents clients at both the High Court and in the Labour Court. She is a member of SASLAW and regularly spends her time at the pro bono office at the Labour Court.
In her spare time, Varusha absolutely loves fight club, painting as well as discovering and traveling to new destinations.

Gina Vlachos

Associate Partner

Gina holds a BA in Law and Psychology from Wits University, and an LLB from UNISA. She also holds an LLM - Family Law, Human Rights, Labour Law and Medical Jurisprudence from UNISA.

Gina was a temporary Public Prosecutor before she completed her articles at Moodie and Robertson, and was admitted as an attorney in 2000. Gina practised at Clarks Attorneys from 2004 to 2014, and was appointed as a Director in 2012. She has extensive experience in family law, in particular divorce litigation. She is an exceptionally well-organised and precise litigator.

Gina joined HJW Attorneys as an Associate Partner in April 2019, and continues to practise in the field of family law, seeking closure for her clients and peace for the sake of the children. Outside of work, Gina has successfully completed four Comrades Marathons and five Cape Town Cycle Tours.

Aurelia Singh

Associate Partner

Aurelia graduated with her LLB from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She commenced her articles at a specialised Medical Negligence and Road Accident Fund law firm in Pietermaritzburg.
She completed her articles and was appointed as an Associate Attorney at Louw and Heyl Attorneys, where she gained wide knowledge and vast experience in various areas of law, including Family, Labour, Rental and Body Corporate, Collections, drafting of contracts and Criminal Law. Whilst at Louw and Heyl she gave legal advice on Rental Law on Safm. She joined Martin Vermaak Attorneys in 2017, to pursue her passion for Family Law.

Aurelia has High Court Appearance and belonged to both; the Law Society of the Northern Provinces and the Law Society of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Aurelia has gained knowledge and experience in a wide variety of legal fields and has a passion for litigation.

In her free time Aurelia enjoys reading, crafts and spending time with family.

Tarin Page

Associate Partner

Tarin graduated with distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand with an LLB and an LLM in International Law.

During her studies she was the associate editor for the South African Journal of Human Rights.

She has experience in civil litigation, insurance law and administration of deceased estates but is eager to expand her knowledge with HJW Attorneys as she is passionate about law and loves how it is both challenging and rewarding.

Tarin is a music and animal lover and Megan is hoping to convert her into a triathlete.

Enhle Mtolo

Candidate Attorney

Enhle completed her Law Degree at the University of South Africa whilst working full time at HJW Attorneys.

She has an interest in Education Law and as such, has worked closely with Megan under SafeSchool. One of her aspirations is to change the perception that people have of the law whilst making it more accessible to the greater public.

Enhle enjoys all genres of music and is the happiest when she is at the beach.