Jeremy Gauntlett. Picture: SOWETAN
Jeremy Gauntlett. Picture: SOWETAN

England’s Queen Elizabeth has approved South African senior counsel Jeremy Gauntlett for elevation to the ranks of Queen’s Counsel (QC).

The status of QC is the similar to that of senior counsel (SC) in SA or "silk", a reference to the fabric of the gowns worn by senior advocates in the past.

Gauntlett was recommended to the British rank by the UK’s Lord Chancellor, Lynda Truss MP.

Gauntlett on Thursday said the investiture would take place shortly in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster.

Gauntlett is considered one of SA’s top legal minds and practices from chambers in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Brick Court in London. The latter is the former chambers of Sir Sydney Kentridge QC KCMG (Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George).

At Brick Court, Gauntlett has practised as a barrister and has provided expert evidence on several occasions in relation to South African and Namibian commercial law, as well as the law of contract and tort and admiralty law.

Gauntlett has been rejected five times by the Judicial Service Commission for the position of judge — twice for the Constitutional Court and three times for the High Court.

He is a past chairman of the South African Bar, judge of appeal of Lesotho and Law Reform Commissioner.

Last year Gauntlett unsuccessfully represented President Jacob Zuma in the Constitutional Court case over the powers of the public protector.

The case was prompted by a challenge by the EFF and DA to compel Zuma to fulfil his constitutional obligations by implementing the findings of the public protector who had found that the president had benefited from security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead.

In a unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court held that the powers of the public protector to take appropriate remedial action had legal effect and was binding.

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