Adela Petersen


Cape Town


  • Administrative and Constitutional Law
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management
  • Employment Law/ Labour Law
  • Environmental law
  • Planning
  • Housing
  • Forensic Investigations
  • Drafting of By-laws
  • Drafting of Policies
  • Drafting reports for Property Management on leases and sales
  • Reviewing, drafting and vetting of agreements.
  • Professional general advisory services



Career Overview

  • Adela completed her articles with Bernadt Vukic Potash and Getz attorneys and was admitted as an attorney in 1999. She then practised as an Associate at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. in the Insurance Litigation department for three years where she dealt with a variety of insurance related matters including public liability claims as well as personal injury claims.
  • Adela moved to Johannesburg for a year and returned to Cape Town thereafter and worked at Malherbe Hanekom Inc. where she was asked to establish a litigation department as the firm dealt predominantly with property related matters. She established a general litigation practice and dealt with a range of matters including family law, insolvency, delictual and contractual disputes and property related litigation. Adela remained at Malherbe Hanekom Inc. for three years.
  • Adela joined Fairbridges in 2008 in the Administrative Law Department.
  • She became a Director of Fairbridges in 2009.
  • She is a director in the Litigation Department as well as a member of the Management Committee.
  • Adela now specialises in Local Government, Administrative and Constitutional Law as well as Labour Law.
  • Some of the legal issues that she has litigated on relate to various review applications, land use which is contrary to the applicable zoning scheme, eviction orders against unlawful occupiers from municipal owned land and also from private and municipal single dwellings. This includes obtaining interdicts to stop large scale land invasions.
  • She also advises Municipalities on Supply Chain Management practices and assists with the drafting of tenders. Adela also assists with the drafting of by-laws and policies.
  • She works constantly with all municipal legislation, the Constitution, the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, Public Finance Management Act, Land Use Planning legislation and Building Regulations and the Building Standards Act. She advises municipalities on a wide range of issues and is familiar with all legislation applicable to Local Government and other organs of state. She also assists with forensic investigations.
  • Adela also advises and acts for Municipalities in labour disputes which included internal disciplinary hearings, proceedings at the bargaining counsel and labour court as well as the labour appeal court.
  • She acts for inter alia the following municipalities, City of Cape Town, Stellenbosch Municipality, Theewaterskloof, Overstrand, Breede Valley Municipality and Swartland Municipality.
  • She also acts for UCT, SANBI, PetroSA, and Chevron in respect of their litigation matters.
  • She recently assisted the University of Cape Town to obtain various interdicts to assist them during the student protests which matters were heard in the High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court.


  • BA (University of Cape Town) (1993)
  • LLB (University of Cape Town) (1996)


  • Articles served at Bernadt Vukic Potash and Getz attorneys
  • Admitted as an Attorney (1999)
  • Associate at ENS in the Insurance Litigation department (2000 – 2003)
  • Associate at Malherbe Hanekom Inc. (2005 – 2008)
  • Associate at Fairbridges (2008 – 2009)
  • Director of Fairbridges (2009)