Alumni Magazine #5_July 2020_single pages web

Yorgo Yiannakis: Technology changes law Faculty of Law University of Johannesburg (UJ) Chancellor’s Medal

Inspired by his father’s dedication and long hours of hard work as a small business owner heading a 7/11 store for years, he was always interested and keen on pursuing a career in the business world. So, after completing a BCom in 2010, Yiannakis knew it was time for further studies and tackled a postgraduate LLB degree that would assist him in the business world one day. He never grew up aspiring to be an attorney; however, he really took a liking to and enjoyed his LLB studies. Yiannakis was admitted as an attorney in March 2016 and it was time to venture into the business realm. This proved to be a good first step into the corporate world, where he has been working at the same firm for the past four years. He met his wife Tegan while they were completing articles at the same firm and progressing to further master’s study was a combined decision. “Once we settled in Johannesburg, we decided to pursue our master’s degrees. Both of us studying at the same time would be beneficial and make the long hours a bit easier.” Yiannakis finally chose to specialise in corporate law because it provided a better understanding into applicable law. “It was the most appropriate fit to my career and line of work that I thoroughly enjoy.” In South Africa, there is still a gap to be filled, and Yiannakis hopes that his work can make the difference. “Many drone users are not aware of the legislation and

To be awarded the Chancellor’s Medal took a lot of hard work, sacrifice and time management, says Yorgo Yiannakis. The contributing elements to the achievement of the medal were seated in a variety of factors. Choosing a dissertation topic that is interesting and applicable to you as a person really helps in dealing with all the time you have to put in during the writing and research of your topic, he says. “I chose a topic that interested me: Comparing our law in relation

to drones with that of other territories – and I found that

rules in place to ensure safe drone usage, and I have started a drone blog, Drone Right, to provide insight into the drone laws in South Africa.” “Commercial attorneys can contribute to a better South Africa by making ethically sound, commercially viable and overall sustainable solutions to real world legal problems.” Yiannakis hopes that once he has gained some international career experience, he can one day play a role as a company director or CEO. “This is certainly something that I am actively working towards.” “I think the field of commercial law will always need attorneys and legal practitioners to help deal with the plethora of compliance and regulatory red-tape in the industry.” This, he says, means that the goal of an attorney is to find ethical, commercial solutions to complex legal issues. “This balance is exactly what the field of commercial law currently needs – and will continue to do so in the future.”

different regions deal with issues in different ways.” He says that his study made him realise that liability insurance might be more required for recreational drone use than commercial.” “The choice of drones and insurance was just the most applicable topic for me as an avid recreational drone user and insurance legal advisor.” A degree of this magnitude, Yiannakis says, is no small task. “A master’s degree is worth the effort. Once you’ve started working, go for it!” “UJ and their lecturers have been immense in the experience, and

I am proud to be part of such a prestigious and recognised

university and faculty. I certainly believe that this award will open doors as a glittering addition to my CV, and it shows the hard work is awarded and recognised.”



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