Now you’re cooking with gas! | George Herbst

No matter the industry, innovators have the ability to “see things differently” from the rest of us, and they’re also great at communicating their vision and transfering their enthusiasm powerfully to their team. Barnard Inc. Senior Associate and litigation attorney, George Herbst is the epitomy of a legal innovator.

George was born in Sasolburg and grew up in Secunda and Sasolburg.  He spent most of his high school years living with his grandparents because his parents had to move around a lot for work. “My grandfather was a huge influence in my life and how my personality developed,” says George. “He taught me that a humble and caring person earns more respect than any financially successful individual. He also taught me that even when you strongly disagree with others, you can still get along without harming each other.”

When George was just sixteen, his mother tragically passed away and he eventually moved back to live with his father, sister and brother until he finished high school. He then moved to Pretoria to study law. The mentor-baton was passed from grandfather to career guide, Judge CP Rabie, for whom he worked as a clerk while studying – someone who clearly recognised George’s creativity, persistence and high EQ.

“I learned more about the law from my work with Judge Rabie than from any class or textbook. He cultivated a passion for the law in me that I may very well not have had, had I not been given the opportunity to work for him.”

George is a specialist litigation attorney. He handles various transactional matters including contract drafting and vetting, insurance specific litigation, personal injury litigation, commercial liability claims, complex recovery claims and more. In 2003, George was recruited to the Legal and Claims department at OUTsurance – a subsidiary of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings – where he oversaw a team of innovative professionals. This valuable insurance law experience helped him develop a unique claims solution for insurers. And, all the while, George has made it a priority to support many young lawyers to achieve their potential. “My greatest satisfaction is being able to give back to others by helping younger people. Some of them are now much more achieved than I am and that gives me great satisfaction,” he beams.

When George isn’t “cooking with gas,” he’s cooking with braai hout or making a mean curry! “I love the outdoors, camping, off-roading and long road trips with family and friends. I love cooking and entertaining people when I get the time.” George’s enthusiasm is infectious. He thrives on seeing people happy and successful – as his wife, Andriette and his two children will attest.

Entrepreneurship, or more appropriately, legal entrepreneurship, is the process by which creative ideas become useful innovations and it involves human agency and leadership – agents and leaders like George Herbst! Watch this space.

If you’d like to find out more about George’s work and team, click here.