David Kapelus

Director
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

Johannesburg
South Africa
T:+27 11 685 8708
Johannesburg
South Africa
T:+27 11 685 8708
David Kapelus

David Kapelus

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Biography

David is a disputes and litigation lawyer based in Johannesburg and is the co-head of the national insurance practice. He specialises in litigation and dispute resolution including insurance disputes, general liability, rail and transport-related disputes, fires, personal injury litigation, and medical law and malpractice. . He has extensive experience in handling major litigation for insurers, brokers and insured entities. He has been doing insurance related litigation work since joining the firm in 1990.

He has been doing insurance related litigation work including risk assessment and dispute and litigation handling since joining the firm in 1990, including for the state-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Transnet SOC Ltd and their respective insurers, covering various aspects of rail related litigation including derailments, train accidents, systems failures and passenger injury claims. the Rail Safety Regulator Act, level-crossing accidents, damage to and loss of cargo, rolling stock and other assets, very substantial commuter liability claims, damage to property and generally handling major rail accidents with extensive human and goods damage and losses.

He has also handled general insurance claims for various underwriters, for the South African electricity utility, Eskom since 1994 and has developed considerable knowledge in this electricity related work which extends to insurance claims and general liability arising from electrical contact incidents, business interruption, machinery breakdown, spreading fires, farming, agricultural forestry and plantation claims, engineering claims and personal injury. He deals extensively with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations. He has presented numerous training workshops at Eskom and for their insurance brokers on aspects of litigation management, risk management, civil evidence and other related issues. David is on Eskom's panel of attorneys for occupational health and safety, and for purposes of conducting inquiries into the causes of injury and accidents.

David is certified in the Root Cause Analysis Technique (RCAT) method of accident investigations, conducted through Eskom. This is a system very often used in the investigation and analysis of accidents, including incidents involving rail operations.

He has been involved in substantial medical malpractice liability claims for insurers and healthcare providers. He has also been involved in disability-related work. He has presented papers on disability equity in the context of the Employment Equity Act, and acts for the QuadPara Association of South Africa in various aspects of disability-related legal work.

David holds a BA and LLB (WITS). After completing his articles, David was admitted as an attorney in 1992 and was made a partner in 1996.


Professional experience

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  • Attorney, qualified in South Africa
  • Advising Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and its external underwriters in relation to a number of major rail accidents. We are the primary attorneys appointed to deal with approximately 1500 claims arising from 3 major train collisions. 
  • Advising Eskom on defending an action brought by 50 plaintiffs on a claim of R280 million which arose from a spreading fire in the Free State.
  • Advising insurers and healthcare providers on substantial medical malpractice liability claims.
  • Advising PRASA and its insurers and brokers on insurance related litigation and aspects of risk assessment. covering various aspects of rail related litigation, the Rail Safety Regulator Act, level-crossing accidents, damage to and loss of cargo, rolling stock and other assets, very substantial commuter liability claims, damage to property and generally handling major rail accidents with extensive human and goods damage and losses.
  • English