THE LAW FIRMS
RICHARD SPOOR INC. (RSI)
RSI attorneys have harnessed South Africa’s legal system for more than 30 years to defend the rights and interests of vulnerable, marginalised individuals and groups as a public interest private law firm specializing in complex litigation.
Through landmark judgments, pioneering settlements and targeted litigation, RSI has become a leader in occupational health and safety, land law, product law and class action litigation. Our attorneys have contributed to shaping South African case law in a way that prioritizes the principles of fairness, dignity and justice that are enshrined in the nation’s Constitution with hopes of them becoming a reality for all.
RSI has achieved notable settlements against South African mining company Gencor and Swiss multinational Eternit on behalf of asbestos mine workers. This work culminated in the creation of the Asbestos Relief Trust and the Kgalagadi Relief Trust. To date, these entities have paid more than R320 million to thousands of sick mine workers and/or their dependents.
A historic case followed on behalf of goldmine workers who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis while working in gold mines. This matter became the largest class action settlement in South African history for sick gold mine workers, establishing the Tshiamiso Trust. By August 2023, the Trust had paid R1.2 billion to sick gold mineworkers and their families.
The firm’s pioneering class actions have led to similar litigation, including serving as court-certified class action representatives for victims of Tiger Brands’ deadly listeriosis outbreak in 2017. We are also suing the coal mining industry on behalf of victims of black lung disease.
Spoor's firm, Richard Spoor Inc., is made up of over a two dozen attorneys and support staff.
See the RSI Team.
CONSULTANTS MOTLEY RICE LLC
RSI has hired American-licensed Motley Rice LLC attorneys as consultants to advise him and provide resources for this important litigation because of their experience in complex, cross-border and class action litigation in U.S. courts, their reputation for embracing important causes, and RSI’s prior successful work with them. Motley Rice consulted with RSI on South Africa’s first class action for sick workers, helping achieve an unprecedented means of recovery for gold miners injured by toxic silica dust.
While the gold miners’ silica litigation was going on, Motley Rice attorneys also were court-appointed co-lead counsel in the U.S. National Prescription Opiate MDL, which to date has resulted in over $50 billion U.S. dollars being recovered for state and local governments to use to abate the crisis.
Advocating for workers, consumers, families and investors is the American firm's purpose. As one of the largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms in the U.S., Motley Rice attorneys have had leadership roles in some of the most significant cases to ever be heard in the U.S. courts.
Motley Rice lawyers are among the first to have won cases against U.S. asbestos companies. They serve on numerous asbestos claims committees central to forming and confirming asbestos bankruptcy trusts, were co-lead trial counsel for asbestos claims committees, and are members of the trust advisory committees of asbestos bankruptcy trusts formed under the U.S. bankruptcy code.
In the 1990’s, Motley Rice attorneys sued the American tobacco industry using evidence from whistleblowers, individual smokers’ cases, and tobacco liability class actions. They led 26 states’ attorneys general litigation against the tobacco companies and were crucial to negotiating and obtaining the $246 billion Master Settlement Agreement for the states.
Since 2001, they have represented the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism in unprecedented litigation to hold those who financed or aided al Qaeda and the terrorists accountable. That case is ongoing.
Motley Rice attorneys are serving only as consultants in this litigation and are not licensed to practice law in South Africa.