Demand for its services has prompted iconic Fish Hoek law firm to set down new roots in the southern suburbs. And the move appears to be paying off handsomely … Guthrie & Colananni Attorneys – formerly Guthrie & Rushton Attorneys – moved into new office premises in Steenberg at the start of the year. The move was most surprising considering the family-owned law firm has operated in Fish Hoek since 1930.
The firm still retains its well-known Fish Hoek office, but managing partner Craig Guthrie – a fourth generation attorney in the Guthrie family – said demanding deal flows from other areas in Cape Town necessitated the move to a more central premises. “We have traditionally got the Lion’s share of business in the ‘Deep South’, but we are seeing more and more deals especially on the property side – from other areas.” The firm has acted for a number of major residential property development projects in the southern suburbs and Cape Town, and had also been involved some lucrative commercial property transactions in the city centre. Guthrie stressed the move would not compromise the firm’s strong community roots. “We will always act for people…but now we have to look after multi-national clients as well.”
Guthrie and his wife Lara Colananni, who previously run her own law firm, now manage the firm. Colananni reckoned demand for the law firm’s services was driven by a reputation for integrity, reliability and professionalism. She said this harked back to previous Guthrie generations who built a reputation for offering a very reliable and professional service. “Craig’s father Frank – who still works at the Fish Hoek office – was seen as the ‘goto-man’. People saw Frank as a person who could solve a problem, and practice law in a very humane way.” Guthrie believed that having its roots in Fish Hoek remained an advantage for the firm. “Coming from Fish Hoek, many of the big law firms just never saw us coming. We’ve been under-estimated so many times.” Guthrie said business had been brisk since expanding into the southern suburbs.
“Our new premises has significantly benefitted us in terms of being positioned for new business. In the five months since moving into our new offices our business has increased over 40% ... with essentially the same resources.”
By Jenni McCann