Paula Kennedy-Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Paula is our Chief Operating Officer and handles all aspects of our company operations and functions.

This includes managing client services, marketing, mentoring juniors, legal matters management and workflow, and creating office efficiency and team spirit, while also overseeing DML financials and overall growth and development of the firm.

Paula, often referred to as PJ, joined DML in 2011 and has managed a varied portfolio from client service relations to mediation, international litigation and commercial law until being appointed as Chief Operating Officer in 2017.

PJ is a “people person”, clear-sighted and fair, and enjoys solving problems and finding good solutions.

Paula has more than 30 years’ experience in the legal sphere including assisting with running law firms both in South Africa and internationally.  She has an LLB degree that she obtained in the United Kingdom, and she is also a qualified mediator.

She completed her articles with a magic circle law firm in London before leaving to practice civil litigation and dispute resolution in what was then Hong Kong’s largest law firm. There, Paula represented various large corporates and also trained candidate attorneys.

After arriving in South Africa, Paula joined Jan S. de Villiers (now Werksmans) as a foreign lawyer doing commercial and litigation work. Following that she took on various roles including; Manager of Human Resources, Marketing, Events, Training and Public Relations, She then ran an events management company.

Paula keeps a happy home where she enjoys the company of her two university student sons, and teenage daughter. She enjoys entertaining and the stunning Cape Town outdoors.

LLB (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)
Honours in the Law Society College of Law Final Examinations (London)
Qualified Mediator by ADR Network, South Africa

Paula Kennedy-Smith

t  +27 (0)21 200 0770
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Areas of Expertise

  • Law firm operations
  • Law Firm Marketing
  • Client Services
  • Dispute Resolution
  • International litigation
  • Qualified mediator