After a remarkable career spanning 51 years at the Johannesburg Bar, 9 February 2024 marked the end of an era for one of the Group’s longstanding members,Guy Hoffman SC, who has decided to finally allow himself the luxury of retirement.

In honour of one of our most senior and founding members, fondly known as ‘Hoffs’ or ‘Hoffie’ to his friends, Group One hosted a tea to mark Guy’s retirement. During the tea, the Group’s other founding members, SCA Justice Sharise Weiner, Chris Loxton SC and Dennis Fine SC made fond remarks about Guy.

Guy was the last member to be admitted to the Johannesburg Bar from the side-bar without having to fulfil the requirement of pupillage in January 1973. He has been in practice for over half a century since and has had a large commercial practice.

In his remarks at the tea, Guy said that, compared to when he began his career at the Bar when it had been white male dominated, he was pleased that he was leaving the Bar a more integrated, inclusive, and representative institution where briefs are largely given on merit as opposed to on the basis of race or gender. He said that one of the unique features that he revered about the Bar is the intergenerational friendships he has made over the years, for instance with Ernie Wentzel and thereafter with his daughter who is also a member of the Group, Susan Wentzel.

Guy has served on the Bar Council as both a junior and as a silk, during which times he served as chairperson of the Professional and the Fees sub-committees. He has been involved in advocacy training from the very earliest days and continues to teach advocacy and also lecture pupil advocates.

Guy was Dikgang Moseneke DCJ’s pupil-master and he bears kind mention in the Deputy Chief Justice’s autobiography, firstly, as one of the ‘tutors’ together with, amongst others, Marumo Moerane SC and Arthur Chaskalson CJ to whom the autobiography is dedicated;and that Guy ‘enjoyed one of the largest motion court commercial practices in town’ and that Moseneke DCJ ‘lived with him in the opposed and unopposed motion court hearings, nearly from Monday to Friday’.