Dean Tennant

Bachelor of Laws

University of Cape Town

Dean Tennant

Reflecting on your first year in practice, can you advise what the first year has been like for you, what is it like to be a CA (type of experience have you gained/been exposed to), how did you choose your rotations, which challenges have you experienced as a CA and what tips would you give new CAs?

Hard work! But it's a thoroughly enriching experience and one which you'll look back on and think "Where has the time gone?". 

When the time came to choosing my rotations, my first step was always to research those departments which interest me the most. Personally, I have had a keen interest in Competition Law ever since I took the elective at varsity so that selection was rather easy. Next I would speak to as many people in the department as possible in order to gauge how work gets done, the team dynamics and, importantly, whether their experiences in the department aligned with my expectations. 

You'll experience challenges as a CA, whether it be dealing with tight deadlines or dealing with tough conversations. When it gets challenging keep working through it and eventually, you'll see the other side of whatever problem you may face.

Another important tip I will impart is that, as a new CA, one should ask as many questions as you can. Firstly, because asking questions, no matter how obvious it may seem, will most likely streamline your approach to a task which will save you a lot of time. You should also ask as many questions as possible because this firm is filled with some of the foremost experts in their respective fields and asking questions is the best way to sponge off of them and learn as much as possible.

Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, study for board exams as soon as you possibly can!

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