About the firm

Established in 1990, HSG (Hornby, Smyly, Glavovic Inc.) was the first specialist environmental law company in South Africa and has extensive experience in the land-legal sector. As a firm, we work closely both with clients and built environment specialists to offer solutions that take the entire property-development process into account, enabling us to add holistic value to our clients’ projects. We also have significant experience in community facilitation, working on the ground to ensure that the social aspect of projects is handled in an effective and responsible manner.

HSG was established in 1990 by partners Peter Glavovic, David Smyly and Jeremy Ridl, with Shaun Hornby joining the firm the following year. Both Peter Glavovic and Jeremy Ridl served as professors of Environmental Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the practice has a long history in specialising in the field. The original partners have since exited the firm, and the current leadership has been made up of directors Jacques De Villiers, Odwa Dilizo and Karl Hoffmann since 2017.

Staff Empowerment
& B-BBEE Status

  • HSG is a level 2 (125%) B-BBEE contributor with one-third black ownership
  • The firm currently employs 60 staff members (in addition to the three directors)
  • In terms of demographic make-up, 36 staff members are women, 23 are black and 22 are youths
  • The firm has a strong training focus – courses to extend staff knowledge are paid for by the company
  • The training focus for the firm covers courses on conveyancing, project management, financial management, legal bookkeeping and first aid
  • HSG also assists employees who wish to pursue tertiary education

Notable Appointments

HSG has worked extensively with national, provincial and municipal spheres of government, as well as local communities, non-governmental organisationsand private developers. Some of our significant previous appointments include:

1994 to 2002
Cato Manor Development Association Asset 1

This Section 21 company was charged with facilitating the development of the Cato Manor area. David Smyly served as the land manager and Shaun Hornby served as its attorney. Notably, HSG represented the company when it obtained an order in terms of Section 34 of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 22 of 1994 to enable large scale opportunities for housing to be delivered to beneficiaries of this project.

1996 to 2000
KZN Department of Housing Asset 1

HSG was represented on the land-legal team established by the (then) KwaZulu-Natal Department of Housing responsible for resolving obstacles prejudicing the delivery of low-income housing opportunities. Additionally, Shaun Hornby was involved in the preparation of numerous policies on behalf of the Provincial Housing and Development Board. He also was involved in the training of public and private sector personnel involved in the delivery of housing.

1998 to 2010
SANRAL Asset 1

HSG participated in a joint venture contracted by Hermans & Roman Public Sector (Pty) Ltd to SANRAL, focussing on the resolution of land-related issues. HSG was also appointed to attend to conveyancing work on behalf of SANRAL during this time.

2010 to 2015
SANRAL Asset 1

HSG provided property-management work for the Manco-Aurecon Joint Venture, which was contracted to SANRAL to provide a comprehensive property service. HSG was also responsible for the preparation of property-related policies and was involved with training.

1994 to Current
First Group Asset 1

HSG has a long-standing history with First Group. This has included various matters in conveyancing, development and property law, legal advice, and litigation. As a long-standing client, First Group have requested our assistance in all manner of matters throughout South Africa.

1996 to Current
Royal Palm Property Holding Asset 1

HSG has provided assistance to Royal Palm Property Holdings throughout the development and establishment of Palm Lakes estate. This has included processes such as the submission of the DFA Order, Township Establishment and the registration of erven.

2015 to Current
SANRAL Asset 1

HSG is a member of the MAJV. This entity, led by GeoAfrika, is responsible for the efficient management of SANRAL’s extensive property portfolio. The firm’s role is in the property management of the portfolio, which has resulted in HSG employing more than 60 staff members dedicated to the project.