The Entreprenurial Edge

CNBC Africa

#EntrepreneurMonth: A cat, a tailor and an entrepreneur walk into a bar exam…

Article written by Shan Radcliffe in Bizcommunity Online Publication

What do 18th century tailors, cats and the 21st century legal industry have to do with local entrepreneurship? Graeme Wilson, CEO of Whipping the Cat, makes the connection for us as we chat about how his firm is disrupting the local legal industry. Tell us the story behind the name “Whipping the Cat”? It’s a great story – I’ll tell you the short version. In 18th century England, emerging tailors wanting to spread their wings beyond high-end Savile Row would break away from their master tailor and offer quality services to a wider market. At the time, they coined this practice “Whipping the Cat”, and this is what inspires our name. Those tailors offered an affordable alternative and disrupted the industry. We are doing a similar thing in the legal service market through our customized – or “tailored” – legal services. What differentiates your offering from other legal firms, and what made you decide on this model? The most important differentiator is that we threw away the clock and time sheets: there is no hourly based billing at Whipping the Cat. We started the business by seeing things from the client’s perspective, and then working backwards to offer the right...

Whipping the Cat named Africa’s best small legal practice

Article by Guest PR Filed Under: General Business

On 8 September, Whipping the Cat (www.whippingthecat.com) was named the continent’s best small law practice at the African Legal Awards ceremony in Johannesburg. The awards recognise exceptional achievement within the African legal community in the last year. Receiving the title of African Law Firm of the Year – Small Practice is a nod to the significant growth of Whipping the Cat – which has been in operation for just four years – and its impact on the industry. Whipping the Cat’s entrepreneurial CEO, Graeme Wilson, founded the company in 2013 to offer an alternative to the services of traditional law firms. Whipping the Cat’s unusual name has its origin in the tailoring industry, which was disrupted by tailors breaking away from the traditional, high-end Savile Row. The company’s equally unusual billing model of fixed fees, agreed upfront, is a challenge to the traditional practice of hourly billing. Today it is a well respected NewLaw firm which enjoyed fee income growth of 45 per cent in the 2017 financial year. Wilson’s game-changing approach to offering legal services has seen Whipping the Cat rack up an extensive clientele. The company has proved a valuable partner to SMEs as they navigate the legal...

Women in Law

December issue of Without Prejudice magazine

Finding new ways for women 2016 The conversation continues. There are numerous matters to deal with and develop, amongst them: whether law serves the purposes it sets out to achieve and whether the processes are effective; whether the adversarial system of law is ideal and sustainable ; whether there is sufficient focus on the “humanising” issues of legal education and how to bring “conscious” lawyering into the curriculums and the profession; and of course, the role of women in achieving and enhancing these ideals. Read...

Franchising Law

May 2016 issue of Lawyer Monthly

In an era of global business expansion, franchising has seen a significant increase on the back of business convenience, the likelihood for success with a franchise, and the ease in training and financing the business. However, with an increase in franchising comes a dynamic legal field for this business model and its potential risks. Here, Lawyer Monthly talks to Graeme Wilson, the Founder and CEO of Whipping the Cat, a South Africa-based legal consultancy offering businesses of all sizes an alternative to traditional law firms. Read...

Africa Special Report

November 2015 issue of Lawyer Monthly

Beginning our Africa Special Report this month, Lawyer Monthly takes a look at the economic and legal issues that abound in South Africa. To this end we speak to Graeme Wilson, the founder and CEO of Whipping the Cat (www.whippingthecat.com), a South Africa-based legal consultancy offering businesses of all sizes an alternative to traditional law firms. Read...

Encouraging women to find new ways to lead in law

Article written by Niki Malherbe in Bizcommunity Online Publication

Convened by the UCT Law @ work Professional Development Project and the Centre for Integrative Law, the recent summit entitled, ‘Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law’, evidenced that the old traditional way of practicing law is undergoing an exciting transformation. Companies with names such as Whipping the Cat and Cognia Law were among the sponsors at the event, which was attended by more than 100 women delegates. The concept of new law is undoubtedly gaining momentum, as young lawyers take up the challenge to find new ways of leading in law. Along with a noticeably greater number of women lawyers entering the profession, there appears to be a simultaneous emergence of a more conscious, more purposeful approach to spending a life in law, which underpins the new young lawyer. The summit was initiated and conceptualised by Amanda Lamond, Director of the Centre for Integrative Law, who noted the increase of women in the legal profession, and raised the question of whether the legal profession would be transformed by the women who practice law. In an emotional sharing of inspiring stories of the various journeys of women in their legal careers, from high-powered professionals and practicing lawyers...

Working for you

September 2015 issue of Destiny Magazine

The many complexities that come with running a business often necessitate logistical support. We highlight companies that provide transport, legal and financial resources and services for entrepreneurs. Read...

On the right side of labour law

May 2015 edition of Entrepreneur Magazine

All employees have basic rights in the workplace and it’s the employer’s responsibility to toe the legal line. AS SMEs GROW, one area they tend to neglect is employees’ rights. Graeme Wilson, founder of innovative SME-focused legal firm, Whipping the Cat, says there are four key questions you should be asking to ensure you are a responsible employer. Read...

Entrepreneurs wil fokus op kliënte

Sake NUUS

En staat moet asseblief sy kant bring… Dis entrepreneurs wat die voetwerk doen vir ware werkskepping. Francois Williams het ’n paar entrepreneurs en sakelui met wie Die Burger die afgelope jaar of wat onderhoude gevoer het, uitgevra oor die lesse wat hulle in 2014 geleer het en hul verwagtinge vir...

Why SMES don’t use lawyers

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com

RATHER HAVE A FENCE AT THE TOP OF THE HILL THAN AN AMBULANCE AT THE BOTTOM: WHY SMES DON’T USE LAWYERS (AND WHY THEY SHOULD) Small and medium-sized businesses typically encounter similar commercial law dilemmas. Graeme Wilson, founder and CEO of boutique commercial law consultancy, Whipping the Cat, believes that there is an opportunity to demystify law and make legal services more accessible to a wider range of companies. Below he outlines the four most common legal obstacles encountered by SMEs when “dealing with lawyers”, and some real-life solutions, which the Whipping the Cat legal advisory team has developed over the last year for its clients. 1. Lawyers are expensive. There is a perception that lawyers are expensive. This may be true in several circumstances, but I am aware of several lawyers who offer really good value for money. I think that the reality is rather that companies do not know what costs to expect when they engage a lawyer. Most lawyers will tell you their hourly rate; some may even give an estimate of the time they will spend and give you a “ballpark” figure to budget for. But, almost without exception, traditional law firms reward their staff...