Nominated by the Black Lawyers Association, attorney Leicester Adams has, over the past two years spent acting stints totalling 26 weeks in the Pretoria and Johannesburg seats of the Gauteng High Court over the past two years. The longest period was eleven weeks in 2016. Adams, a managing partner at Lindsay Keller, has a B.Proc from Wits University and was admitted as an attorney in July 1989.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng opened Adams interview with the customary “looseners” saved for candidates about their career history before the Gauteng High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo quizzed Adams on his experiences acting in that division’s various courts.
Adams, said he found the experience of working in one of the country’s busiest courts “required a lot of hard work” because “being on the Bench is a really pressurised position” but that it was “a challenge that I cherish”. He added that acting in the various courts — from appeals to motion court — had prepared him for a position on the Bench.
Gauteng education minister Panyaza Lesufi quizzed Adams about his political activism as a student and as a lawyer. On the latter, Adams said that when he was admitted as an attorney he had spent much if his time developing young black attorneys and transforming his law firm which was “lily-white” when he joined.
Asked by commissioner Narend Singh of the IFP about what characteristics he possessed to make him a successful judge, Adams listed his being “decisive”, his “integrity” and the “ability to detach yourself form the matters” before you.