Aalia Manie

IP and technology lawyer, Webber Wentzel

Aalia Manie is an intellectual property (IP) and technology lawyer at Webber Wentzel, and entered the profession because of how the law influences the way people live, work and interact which each other. “I wanted to be involved in a field that would allow me to make a meaningful impact,” says Manie.

“The legal profession also presents daily opportunities to be intellectually stimulated, find solutions, build businesses and foster relationships.” She is passionate about technology, innovation and the future of law and has a keen interest in advising “disruptors” on how to be agile and legally savvy, and how they can leverage the law to their commercial advantage. Manie lobbies government and drives national engagements between industry stakeholders to influence important changes to laws.

Over the last year, she has focused on amendments to the IP exchange controls and some positive changes have already been implemented. Her ambitious interests have presented her with the privilege of being elected to the Community Council of the Silicon Cape Initiative in 2016, where she assists in accelerating the tech start-up ecosystem. Manie is of ten invited to contribute to publications and present on legal topics, and has appeared in the media several times.

Manie is commit – ted to legal excellence. She helps manage many of the prominent deals brokered by Webber Wetzel’s IP and technology team. She assists in the management of her team’s knowhow and training and contributes to the firm’s wider initiatives on innovation. She has seen first-hand how laws and regulations don’t always work as they should. “Properly formulated laws balance competing interests, foster growth and encourage innovation while still mitigating risk,” she says.

“Poorly formulated laws can be unduly restrictive and therefore damaging. The latter has been a frustration in my practice. I have seen the practical, unintended negative consequences of some laws, which have discouraged deal-making and investment in the technology industry. However, the law must change in response to a changing society and economy and, thanks to technology, the pace of change is on the rise.” Manie mentors scholars of the Gallagher Foundation, and was recently invited to join the advisory board of the 88 Business Collective.

— Kerry Haggard

Twitter: @Aalia_IP