Always rooting for the underdog

LEGAL eagle Joanne Anthony has serious issues on her plate – such as helping to establish the PE Lobby for Change group which is pushing government to speed up much-needed DNA legislation. However, the energetic lawyer slipped out to the Friendly Stranger in Bridge Street this week, using the lunch date with La Femme to outline just what the lobby group hopes to achieve.

Anthony opted for one of the signature dishes at the bistro-cum-coffee shop: a flatbread with brie and onion marmalade, topped with rocket, followed by a slice of milk tart, washed down with Coke Zero and a cup of Ceylon tea.

She started her own practice, Anthony Incorporated, in 2010 after many years working for a big law firm in the metro. After a brief stint working alongside two partners, she decided that as a single working parent, the flexibility of working solo better suited her life. Anthony Incorporated is a family law practice and she is reportedly seen as a challenger to the title worn by Maud van Zyl of being one of the city’s toughest female divorce lawyers.

However, Anthony revealed that nearly 40% of her practice is men – 60% women – and that the “wicked husband, wronged wife” stereotype is often just that. Still, her heart is very much for the underdog, as seen in her representing abuse victim Avril Gordon free of charge, and her involvement with the new lobby group.

I love law because it is my passion and it is challenging and in my field of family law I get to make a difference in people’s lives.

I’ll know I’ve made it when… people remember me as being an attorney and not as the announcer at Edgars Greenacres, which was my student job.

The person who has taught me the most is … my mother. She taught me the importance of honesty, respect for myself and respect for others and responsibility for my actions and family values.

I have a soft spot for …children and I am passionate about children’s issues.

I should have studied … teaching.

I’d love to party with …the singer Pitbull.

I’m listening to …Nickelback

When I was 16, I wish I knew… to make every moment count as it only happens once.

My music weakness… is Kurt Darren (we always love Kaptein).

Nothing makes me happier than … heading to Keurbooms Lagoon in Plett and launching my rubberduck and going fishing / tubing with friends and family and braaiing and relaxing for a well-deserved break from the rat race.

My favourite item of clothing is … my jeans as Monday to Friday is corporate or court dress code.

I absolutely hate …violent crime and the failure of our government to implement the Criminal Law Forensic Procedures Amendment Act which was passed in 2010. As a South African I am appalled at the unacceptable level of violent crime in our communities and the apparent inability of our government to prevent it.

The act, known as the DNA Act, seeks to address gaps in our current legislation dealing with the collection, storage and use of DNA evidence and to provide for the expansion and administration of a national DNA database, which will be called the National DNA Database of South Africa.

I am saving to … purchase a holiday in Thailand which I am planning for September.

I share my life with … my 12-year-old son.

I can’t go a day without … Nescafe Cappuccino.

In 10 years I see myself … in my then well-established family law firm in my bigger office at 9 Bird Street, Central.

PE lawyer Joanne Anthony chose the Friendly Stranger in Bridge Street for her lunch date with La Femme and spoke about her likes, dislikes and profession

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