Gerrit Coetzee, the man, the attorney and the legacy of DBM Attorneys

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In the legal world, DBM Attorneys is a firm which resonates excellence. A highly renowned business which prides itself on high morals, values and quality care.

As a firm of integrity, its team of attorneys are individuals who are dedicated to serving the Newcastle community, always willing to go the extra mile. One such attorney is none other than, Gerrit Coetzee, a man who needs no introduction to the community.

Gerrit Coetzee is one of the directors at DBM Attorneys and oversees a vast portfolio. “I oversee the managerial operations of the firm, as well as the Estate Practice, and both labour and commercial departments.”

Known for his professional demeanour, not many know that Gerrit’s career in the legal world spans over two decades.

“Law has always been a lifelong passion of mine. Since school days, I wanted to be an attorney. I began my articles in 1990 at a large firm in Bloemfontein, before relocating to Newcastle in 1992.”

Dedicating a large portion of his life to the legal world and DBM Attorneys, Gerrit explains his love and passion for his work has never diminished.

“Every day is exciting for me. This includes being involved in managing the firm and being part of DBM Attorneys as a whole.”

Other joys he finds at DBM Attorneys can be found in the firm’s values, the way it focuses on developing young professionals and it being a new breed of law firm, which stands out from the crowd as a beacon of brilliance.

“DBM Attorneys has created the ability to specialise in Newcastle and it is the largest firm in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. I believe we have truly set the standard and this in itself has created an opportunity for us to continue striving towards maintaining that high standard,” he says with pride.

Passionate about his career, Gerrit says it is not without its challenges. “Some of the challenges we face are the local economy and the manner in the way the town is managed. One needs to look at the state of the town in general, as a place of business and to stay,” says Gerrit.

When looking at Newcastle, Gerrit says one needs to question whether Newcastle is regarded as the place to be for business and to own property.

Yet, he emphasises that Newcastle holds enormous opportunity and potential. This potential and opportunity, Gerrit explains, can be found in the town’s diversity.

“Which is why DBM Attorneys is made up of diverse people and we can be proud to be able to serve such a diverse town.”

Being involved in the legal world for years, Gerrit has seen various changes in the law industry. 

“Clients’ perspectives and needs have changed. They need everything faster than previous generations and they want to pay less for the same work. Then there is technology, which allows people to source legal services from elsewhere, which is why we need to ensure our standards are always maintained to remain the preferred choice of law firm in the area.”

As with the changes in the world, Gerrit says there is also a certain degree of misconceptions about attorneys.

These misconceptions range from seeing attorneys as individuals who are always in for a fight, to make concessions in their integrity or people to be feared. 

There is also the misconception that attorneys merely dress up in suits and try to close deals. “Some people think it is all about wearing suits and going to court. But that is not the case. There is a lot of work and long hours which goes into being an attorney.”

As a man dedicated to his career and seeing development within the community, Gerrit says DBM Attorneys has embarked on a venture to bring in more young African attorneys. A venture which is proving to be a successful endeavour.

Through empowering a new breed of younger attorneys, DBM Attorneys is sure to continue leading the legal industry in NKZN and being regarded as the preferred law firm in the area.

As a man of vast knowledge and experience, what advice can Gerrit give to young and upcoming attorneys?

“They need to develop and educate themselves. Not just academically, but with general knowledge and what is happening around them as well. They must also have an interest in society because, at the end of the day, you are serving the community.”

Furthermore, Gerrit says one must also develop an understanding of their respective communities. “As attorneys, we are here to help solve people’s problems and we can only help solve these problems if we understand the community and society we serve.”

As a renowned figure in Newcastle’s legal world and a true Newcastillian, Gerrit Coetzee is a man whose knowledge and expertise are always available to tackle the legal world.

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