Carol Holness

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

South Africa
T:+27 31 582 5625
South Africa
T:+27 31 582 5625
Carol Holness

Carol Holness


Related services and key industries


Carol is a dispute resolution and litigation lawyer based in Durban.

Carol focusses on:

  • Insurance law including marine, transport & logistics insurance;
  • Shipping, admiralty and international trade issues; and
  • Medical law and medical malpractice litigation.

Carol has represented both local and international clients in many aspects of transport law, including questions of marine insurance cover and subrogated insurance recovery actions. Carol also has experience in admiralty security and enforcement matters, bill of lading and charter party advice, casualty response, sanctions and piracy matters.

Carol also runs high value litigation arising out of cerebral palsy medical malpractice claims in the public sector.

Professional experience

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  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Rhodes University.
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


  • Attorney, qualified in South Africa

Carol’s recent experience includes:

  • Representing a provincial Department of Health in an appeal to the Constitutional Court relating to the development of the common law in terms of the Constitution;
  • One of the lead lawyers of the NRFSA team acting on behalf of two provincial Departments of Health in South Africa in respect of defending medical negligence claims which exceed ZAR8 billion in total value;
  • Assisting cargo owners and insurers following a fire on board the mv APL Austria at Port Elizabeth resulting in the largest potential general average in the South African marine insurance market since 2007; negotiating access to the vessel and cargo for marine surveyors and fire experts appointed by the cargo insurers and procuring the preservation and release of documents from the vessel and her owners in order to defend the owners' claim for general average;
  • Assisting the owners of a tug and her P&I Club in defending a claim for the loss of her tow off Saldanha Bay in 2009 resulting in one of the largest claims in South African maritime history;
  • Arresting the mt Northwind and mt Southwind for claims by the Dutch mortgagee bank; applying for and arranging the sale of both tugs and lodging claims against the vessel funds established from the proceeds of the sales;
  • Drafting of various bespoke bulk salt sale and purchase agreements and charterparty terms for bulk salt shipments from Walvis Bay to the United States, South America, various African countries and Europe and advising the commodity trader on various issues arising from such shipments including the Ebola virus and major port strikes;
  • Advising the owners of a vessel, her hull and machinery underwriters and loss of hire underwriters in defending a claim for payment and prosecuting a claim for damages of approximately USD 2m arising out of a catastrophic engine failure following repairs performed at Durban;
  • Assisting Brazilian and UK marine cargo insurers with negotiating access to, and the interviewing of, the 2 surviving crew members of a vessel which sunk off Brazil; negotiating access to her sistership; and negotiating the preservation of documents from both vessels.
  • Maritime Law Association and sits on the Carriage of Goods by Sea subcommittee.


South Africa Transport Campaign 2023 Africa

Publication | September 22, 2023

Women in Maritime

Publication | May 12, 2022