Since its inception in 1997 the National Forum of Advocates (“NFA”) has enjoyed recognition as part of the organised legal profession in South Africa.

It was founded with the prior blessing of inter alia the Minister of Justice in 1997, Mr Dullah Omar, as well as Chief Justice I. Mohamed.

In 2001 the then Deputy President of the NFA, Advocate L.O. (“Ronnie”)  Bosielo, was appointed as a judge in the North Gauteng High Court. He acted as Judge President of the Northern Cape Division of the High Court from 2007 until 2008. In October 2009 he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal. In 2012 and 2016 he served as an Acting Judge in the Constitutional Court. He sadly passed away at the relatively young age of 60 on 15 May 2018.

Three of the members of the NFA have so far been appointed by the President of the Republic of South Africa as Senior Counsel, namely Advocates Neil Duvenhage, Jurg Prinsloo and Harold Knopp.

Members of the NFA are regularly appointed as Acting Judges.Members such as Neil Duvenhage SC , Jurg Prinsloo SC, Harold Knopp SC , Ken Klopper, Hein Brauckmann and  Carla van Veenendaal have been appointed by the Minister of Justice as, and served as, Acting Judges in various Divisions of the High Court of South Africa.

In terms of Section 96 (1)(a)(iv) of the Legal Practice Act, No 28 of 2014, Parliament formally recognized the NFA as one of the Bar associations representing the advocates’ profession of South Africa by including it in the National Forum on the Legal Profession.

The Legal Practice Council has since 2019 formally accredited the NFA in terms of the Legal Practice Act as an appropriate organisation to present the legally prescribed structured coursework of persons undergoing practical vocational training with a view to becoming advocates.

Members of the NFA serve in subcommittees of the Provincial Councils established in terms of Section 23(6) of the Legal Practice Act.

Since its inception in 1997 the Judicial Service Commission (“JSC”) has always invited the NFA to make recommendations to the JSC in respect of the shortlisted candidates for judicial appointment.

The members of the NFA receive both criminal and civil law briefs from Legal Aid South Africa (“LASA”) with whom the NFA has since its inception been in good standing.

The NFA is affiliated to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”), based in Washington, D.C.in the United States of America.