Meet the faces behind the scenes

dedicated to doing law differently,
drinking decent coffee and bringing you more ‘aha’ moments every day.

Hello from
the other side

Elizabeth de Stadler

Want to find out more about Elizabeth? Check her out on LinkedIn. Better yet, contact her on or + 27 (0)83 342 6011.

Elizabeth specialises in all things compliance and risk management, plain language drafting and designing, and training. She prides herself on being slightly out there and bringing a fresh perspective to compliance issues. She happens to have a Masters (cum laude) in Consumer Law.

She is the editor of the Consumer Law Review (you can get it here for free!) and wrote A Guide to the Protection of Personal Information Act with Paul. She is also the author of Consumer Law Unlocked, a co-author of the hefty Commentary to the Consumer Protection Act and wrote chapters on the Consumer Protection Act in The Law of Contract in South Africa and The Law of Commerce in South Africa. She is currently working with Liezl van Zyl on Plain Language Legal Drafting, which will be published in 2020.

Elizabeth loves Lego, sneakers, zombies and white wine. What does she hate? Comic sans, sweet potato and most other attorneys. She is allergic to suits and ‘office shoes’ because of the years she worked at Webber Wentzel. She is very scared of moths. It is a thing – read about it.

Ilze Luttig Hattingh

Want to find out more about Ilze? Take a look at her LinkedIn profile, better yet contact her on or +27 (0)82 924 3898.

Ilze is a common-sense attorney (the Force is strong with her). She specialises in regulatory compliance, risk management, and commercial contract law. She joined Novation in 2016 after she became tired of being an in-house legal advisor. Now she’s an out-house legal advisor (she gets stuff sorted out). She finds simple, innovative and business-oriented solutions to compliance management problems.

Ilze doesn’t write books, she reads them. When she’s not out riding her bike with the wind in her face, she’s travelling the world. At the top of her bucket list you’ll find learning how to make limoncello and a beautiful Bordeaux blend. She’s caught Elizabeth’s Lego bug (come to our offices and you’ll see). She dislikes people who use jargon like ‘big rocks’, ‘on-boarding’ and ‘this speaks to’. She HATES tomatoes.

Our best tip to dealing with Ilze? Don’t even try to talk to her until she’s had her first cup of tea, and take her advice when she offers it. You’ll be glad you did!

Ann Jarvis Smith

Ann is the non-lawyer of Novation. She has a degree in Business Science and an LLB from the University of Cape Town. Towards the end of her studies she realised that a traditional legal career wasn’t for her. So, she switched to the world of management consulting and happily found her niche in change management.

Ann loves to figure out what the implications of change really are and why people respond to change the way they do. She has applied this approach, together with her common- sense attitude to communication and training, to numerous projects over her 20-year career.

Ann loves early morning exercise, musical theatre and sparkly sneakers! Her life motto is: Give me coffee to change the things I can, and wine to accept those that I can’t

Thalia Philippou

Thalia is our social flamingo*. She’s an admitted attorney specialising in all things the old ladies she works with, like. She’s proven invaluable when it comes to training development and research. Thalia has a knack for understanding clients’ needs and translating legal advice into human.

When she’s not doing handstands in the office, she’s skipping on the promenade, or doing a bit of Greek dancing. She gets excited about all-the-things. All the time. There is nothing she doesn’t like. But she is young, so give her time.

*A creepy guy at the airport asked her if she’s a dancer, ‘because she has a very long neck’. Her reply: ‘No. I’m a flamingo’.