People of Joburg

7 minutes with Greg Shapiro

Jan 14, 2020, Author: Carly Ritz

His boyhood whims may not have materialised but Greg Shapiro, who’s now a partner in a corporate and commercial law firm, hasn’t done too badly at all. We caught up with him to talk about work and life … and the so-called ‘balance’ in between. 


What did you want to be growing up? 

I’ve always enjoyed photography and travel, so I always wanted to be a National Geographic photographer but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, I took up law – I studied for five years at The University of the Witwatersrand and then did a further two years of articles before qualifying. 

Anything you wish someone had told you before you chose this path?  

I really wish someone would’ve told me to do vacation programmes during your studies and to be prepared for long hours. 

Who are some of your firm’s biggest clients? 

We have a wide variety of clients in the ICT sector, industrial sector, mining and private equity as well as high-net worth individuals. 

How do strike a worklife balance?  

It’s a challenge, but I try and do as much as I can during the week to ensure that there’s quality time with my family over the weekend. I also try and prioritise other aspects of my life to keep the balance. 


How do you spend your down time? 

I’m constantly in search of the perfect coffee, so I often go to local coffee shops, such as Naked Coffee, Croft & Co and Loof. I also enjoy the outdoors, so on weekends I’m usually out trail running at Groenkloof Nature Reserve or Klipsrivierberg if I have the whole morning, or otherwise on the Delta Park greenbelt. Reading is another hobby of mine – there’s a great second-hand bookstore in Joburg CBD that always has a treasure. 

What do you love most about Jozi? 

Definitely the diversity of space. There’s a city centre with traffic, loud noises and people from all walks of life as well as greenbelts running through the whole city with no cars, peace and serenity and hardly any people. I love the juxtaposition. 



Binge-watching The Walking Dead series 

Spending time with his wife and kids 

Enjoying a good, strong cup of coffee 


Sport – it makes his wife happy, but not his mates 

People who sit on their phones at restaurants 

Restaurants that don’t have All Gold tomato sauce 

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