Solomon & Nicolson traces its history back to its founder, Schalk Willem Pienaar who commenced practice in 1898 in Pretoria. Mr. Pienaar was joined in partnership by Rupert Ford Marais (a cousin of the well known poet, Eugene Marais) shortly after the end of the Anglo-Boer War in 1902. They practiced under the name of Pienaar and Marais and after S. W. Pienaar left, Rupert Marais was joined by Norman Price (later to become Judge N. C. B. Price) and Charles William Clark and the firm became known as Marais Price and Clark. (Charlie Clark, who became active in politics, will be remembered for giving up his parliamentary seat to General J. C. Smuts after the latter's defeat in the 1948 elections).
In 1922 Ivan Solomon (well-known businessman, patron of the arts and Mayor of Pretoria) joined the firm.
Malcolm Graham Nicolson (a former Secretary of the Transvaal Law Society and Town Clerk of Pretoria) joined the firm in 1927 when it became known as Clark Solomon & Nicolson.
On the retirement of Mr. Clark, the firm became known as Solomon & Nicolson. Arnold Kretzmar, Melville Graham (Mev) Nicolson and Alexander John (Robbie) Robertson joined the firm during the forties. The firm was known as Solomon & Nicolson until 1991 when it merged with Rein & Verster to become Solomon Nicolson Rein & Verster and from 2006 was known simply as Solomon Nicolson. The firm celebrated its centenary in 1998. Prior to the merger with Friedland Hart & Partners Solomon Nicolson was responsible for producing many fine lawyers whose contributions to the legal profession and the firm itself deserve recognition.
The list is too long to mention each by name but includes such distinguished lawyers as Peter Good, Roger Gillett, Dave Beyers, Gerrie van den Burg and Mark Rein.
Friedland Hart & Partners came into being with the amalgamation of the practices of Sidney “Sonny” Charles Hart and David “Ivy” Israel Friedland in 1930. During the Second World War, Sonny Hart served in the South African Forces with the rank of lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Order of the British Empire. Ivy was the brother of Phillip Friedland, the senior partner of the well-known firm in Johannesburg known at the time as Edward Nathan Friedland & Mansell.
In 1950, attorney Aaron “Arie” Cooper joined the partnership, which then became known as Friedland Hart & Cooper. David Bernard Novis who was articled at the firm, subsequently became a partner, retired as senior partner in 1999 and was a consultant at the practice until he passed away in 2016.
Mr. Justice Roger Botha Cleaver was a partner in the practice from 1962 to 1996, and served for many years as a member of the Transvaal Law Society and, on more than one occasion, as President of the Society. In 1997 he became the first Pretoria attorney to be elevated to the Bench and served as a Judge in the Cape Provincial Division until his retirement in 2012.
Rodney Jack Falkson joined the firm in 1967 and became a partner shortly thereafter. He practised as a consultant of the firm until his untimely death in 2019.
Martin Rodney Brauer joined the firm in 1972 as an articled clerk and became a partner in 1977. Martin served as the Managing Partner from 2009 until 2016 and thereafter as the Financial Partner of the firm. Martin retired from the practice in February 2018.
Other former Friedland Hart partners who are still with the firm are Gerhard Painter, who has been with the firm since 1982 and is now the Managing Partner, as well as Millie Shantall-Lurie who has been with the firm since 1995.
All of the present Partners, Associates, Professional Assistants and Consultants have formed an excellent and proud legal team. The reputation and integrity of Friedland Hart Solomon & Nicolson is known and respected throughout South Africa. These principles are jealously guarded in our professional and personal dealings with clients, colleagues and other members of the legal profession.