Meet Rui Jorge Coelho Lopes, the Founder, Managing Director, and Head of Africa Relations of Lopes Attorneys Inc., a market-leading, boutique law firm based in Johannesburg. The law firm’s practice areas include civil litigation, corporate commercial, banking and finance, data protection and privacy, media law, access to information, trade, environmental law, ESG compliance, employment law, aviation law, maritime law, anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, etc.
Thanks to its pioneering solutions, Lopes Attorneys has become a leading boutique law firm on the African continent, overtaking competitors who have spent several decades within the industry. Being a firm completely grounded in a client-first philosophy, approaching its clients and mandates with holistic, creative, and cutting-edge solutions places the firm at the forefront of what it offers its clients.
The Steadfast Leader
After completing his Bachelor of Laws Degree with Distinction from one of the most prestigious universities in South Africa, the University of the Witwatersrand, Rui underwent his articles of clerkship with one of the world’s largest law firms. Later he moved on to become a fully qualified lawyer at the same firm, gaining experience in litigation, employment, and compensation, corporate commercial law, banking and finance, investigations, regulatory, and compliance.
During his tenure at his previous firm, Rui gained a keen interest in environmental law and animal welfare, which helped him bring environmental change in a meaningful manner. Soon, Rui solely started growing his own client base through his work. However, not many law firms wished to specialize in these niches. So, he decided to start his own law firm, which eventually started its journey in January 2021.
Soon after starting its journey, Lopes Attorneys Inc. was shortlisted as a finalist at the African Legal Awards as Specialist Law Firm of the Year. In the same year, the firm was also regarded as a Recommended Law Firm in South Africa by the Lawyers Global and Information and Media Law Firm of the Year and Sustainability and Natural Resources Law Firm of the Year by the Global Law Experts.
Later in January 2022, the firm was accepted into the prestigious legal network of the Legal Netlink Alliance, an alliance of independent small to medium-sized firms across the globe, which helped expand the firm’s reach and ability to service clients globally. Also, during the same year, Lopes Attorneys Inc. was shortlisted as Specialist Law Firm of the Year at the African Legal Awards. Moreover, the firm was awarded Sustainability and Natural Resources Law Firm of the Year by Corporate Live Wire.
Throughout this wonderful journey, Rui and his team had the privilege of serving several local and international clients on various mandates, from litigation, corporate advisory, and commercial transaction work to cannabis compliance and data protection.
Serving a Wide Range of Clients
Lopes Attorneys Inc. is a boutique law firm that serves many clients, from individuals to corporations, locally and internationally. The law firm always places its clients’ interests at the forefront of everything it does and strategizes novel courses of action and strategies for clients.
Under Rui’s leadership, Lopes Attorneys has brought back the old principles of attorneys, revitalizing and refreshing the profession, and turned the concept of engaging attorneys on its head. The law firm looks beyond what appears at face value, and in doing that, it ensures that value adds that come with engaging the law firm.
Preparing for the Future
Being the law firm’s founder, Rui advises young entrepreneurs to know the worth of their team and strive to be the company that pays above market and treats their staff as family members. “Your biggest asset is your staff members, so invest in them.”- He said.
Regarding the future of the boutique law firm, Rui plans to start an office in Cape Town and make its presence felt throughout Africa by opening new branches across the continent.