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About Us

Client Focused. Team Driven. Forward Thinking.
Experience Excellence

Protecting the Law Since 1902

Established in October 1902 when Edward Jeffrey Holgate & Fred Blamey formed their partnership.

In 1955 the firm merged with Renaud, Fellows-Smith & Mooney with whom they had a long & close association. This resulted in the name change to Mooney Ford & Partners. The firm continued under this name from 1955 – 2002 when it changed its name to the present day Mooney Ford Attorneys.

Various prominent attorneys have practised at Mooney Ford, including the legendary Jack Mooney, a well known sportsman and Wally Chaplin, who, in the 1960s, was a President of the Natal Law Society and President of the then Association of Law Societies.

Today Mooney Ford is made up of a number of partners practising in various specialist and general fields of law. The firms head office is located at The Boulevard in Park Lane, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban and also offers a conveniently located branch office at Bristol House in Hillcrest for those clients who live and work in the outer west area of eThekwini.

Our Philosophy

Client Focused

We provide a variety of legal services tailored to our clients specific needs, allowing them to focus on their business while we handle the legal issues.

Team Driven

Our clients have the benefit of experienced attorneys focusing on each individual matter, addressing their concerns in order to find the best solution.

Forward Thinking

We keep abreast of new developments in the ever changing field of law, researching current trends & precedents both local and overseas.

Our Team is

Experienced Diverse Growth-Centered Compassionate Accomplished Collaborative

Mooney Ford is a partnership of 6 partners and a number of experienced and professional associates and paralegals.

We are a Level 2 rated BBBEE entity and subscribe to transformation and employment equity principles.

The majority of our staff are female and come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

We believe in constantly upskilling and advancing all of our members of staff, and we continually provide training and support programmes to facilitate empowerment and the transfer of skills and help all of our staff realise their full potential.

The fact that one of our partners began her career at Mooney Ford as a secretary is a testament to the success of our efforts.

Our Partners

Managing Partner

Ian King

Ian’s preferred area of practice is commercial work and in particular all aspects of the Companies Act, including shareholder disputes and corporate governance. Ian also specializes in and has extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation. Ian was appointed a partner in 1997 and managing partner in 2011. He is a member of the Association of Arbitrators.

Ian’s commercial law experience includes advising on all aspects of the Companies Act, negotiating, drafting and concluding commercial agreements as well as business rescue and liquidation applications.


Ashton Naidoo

Ashton joined the firm in 2019. He completed a BSoc Sci in Criminology and an LLB at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and thereafter worked as a legal advisor prior to going into private practice. Ashton has experience in public law, labour & employment law, insurance law and general commercial litigation.

Ashton is well known for his slot on East Coast Radio during the lockdown due to the coronavirus and the pro bono work that he performed for the Restaurant Association of South Africa, assisting them in persuading the government to open the restaurant industry up again.


Rita Padayachee

Rita joined the firm as a litigation secretary in 1999, studied for her law degree part-time and was offered articles on completing her degree.

Rita became an associate in 2006 and took up the position of partner in 2008. In addition to being a skilled litigator, Rita heads up our Estates Division.

She specializes in the administration of trusts, deceased estates and curatorship estates. She also has extensive knowledge of insurance and family law.


Louis Simon

Louis joined the firm in 1976 and is a specialist conveyancer and notary public.

Louis is the doyen of the property industry in Durban and has substantial experience in transfers, bonds and servitudes.

He acts for a number of institutions that require specialist knowledge of property rights and registration requirements.


Michelle Naidoo

Michelle joined Mooney Ford Attorneys as a partner in November 2020. Michelle has 20 years’ experience practising as an attorney in the specialist field of employment and labour law.

The foundation of her labour and employment law career was established in November 1996 when she was appointed as an Associate to Judges of the Labour Court, where she served for 4 years. In 2005, Michelle was appointed as a Director of Deneys Reitz Inc. (the firm became Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc.) where she practised labour and employment law in the role of Director for ten years. Michelle did her articles at Mooney Ford and her joining as partner sees her career coming full circle.