Paul Esselaar - Innovative Legal Communication

Paul Esselaar completed his BA, LLB at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 1997. Thereafter he attended the School for Legal Practice at the University of Cape Town in 2000 and went on to complete his articles at Kessler De Jager Inc. During his articles he focussed on Magistrates and High Court litigation as well as deceased estates amongst other things.

Paul was admitted as an attorney of the High Court in 2001. Thereafter he went back to the University of Cape Town and completed his LLM in Electronic Law and Commercial Law in 2003. Paul is the head of the Public Voice Portfolio for the Internet Society of South Africa (ISOC-ZA) which recently concluded a very successful iNet conference and his broad background in Electronic Law is ably assisted by a stint at an Online Dispute Resolution company called TrustEnforce as well as his experience as the webmaster for the Trade Law Centre (tralac). He has practiced as an Electronic Law specialist for the Electronic Law Consultancy and also for his own account as part of Esselaar Attorneys.

Paul was employed as the Electronic Law Manager for Korbitec (Pty) Ltd – a software company that specialises in producing software for the legal market – from 2005 to 2007. He was responsible for the End User Licence Agreements (EULAs) and other terms and conditions provided to clients and this was when he first noticed that legal language tends to be unnecessarily complex and difficult to read.

Paul worked at Dingley Attorneys between 2008 and 2011 when he set up his own law firm, Esselaar Attorneys where he now practices. Paul is currently a Wireless Application Service Providers Association (WASPA) adjudicator and has been admitted as a Notary of the High Court and he also has the right of appearance in the High Court.

Paul currently assists and audits organisations to evaluate their businesses in terms of the Consumer Protection Act and the Protection and Personal Information Act in order to identify and manage risk. He was appointed as a member of the Information Communications and Technology committee of the Cape Law Society in 2011 and is the past vice president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Technology Committee.

Paul started Novation Consulting (Pty) Ltd with Elizabeth de Stadler when he realised that the traditional model of a law firm does not support innovative and exciting methods of communicating legal issues in plain language to consumers.

Paul can be contacted at

Previously spoke at:

iWeek 2017

iWeek 2015

Company website: