Melissa Cogger

Melissa Cogger

Senior Associate
Cape Town, South Africa
T: +27 21 480 7808
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Melissa Cogger is a senior associate in our Cape Town office Employment and Benefits practice.

She specialises in employment law and has a range of experience in the dispute resolution of employment matters, as well as advisory work in employment law.

Melissa regularly appears in the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (“the CCMA”) and the Labour Court to represent clients, as well as initiating and chairing internal disciplinary proceedings for clients, and advises extensively on such processes. She assists clients in the recovery of damages due to misconduct and fraud by employees, including the withholding of pension benefits and engages our corporate litigation team to assist in civil claims against previous employees.

Melissa has in-depth experience and routinely advises on complex employment related matters including restraints of trade, foreign employers engaging employees in South Africa, remote working of foreign nationals overseas, labour brokering or employer of record arrangements, retrenchments, mutual separation, transfers, sexual harassment, collective bargaining (including interdicting unprotected strike action and organisational rights disputes), protected disclosures, occupational health and safety, data protection and equality issues within employment law.

She has been involved in a number of investigations into allegations of serious misconduct concerning senior executive employees, sexual harassment investigations, harassment and bullying claims as well as the debarment of key individuals or representatives in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 37 of 2002.

Melissa is an executive committee member of the South African Society for Labour Lawyers for the Western Cape Chapter.

Melissa completed her LLB (with distinction) and LLM (with distinction) in labour law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

  • Melissa has represented various clients in successfully launching and opposing the enforcement of restraints of trades in the High Court and Labour Court as well as advice and presentations to clients on restraints of trade generally;
  • Melissa has experience in representing clients in the financial services industry in relation to the investigating, disciplining and debarring key individuals;
  • Advised on various aspects of remote working, including the employment of foreign nationals overseas working remotely for South African entities, and South African entities engaging foreign nationals overseas;
  • Melissa has advised large financial sector clients on mandatory vaccination policies in various sectors and is involved in litigation pertaining to alleged unfair discrimination claims;
  • Advised on the equality considerations of transgender issues and is involved in trial litigation and advisory work in this area, including pro bono work;
  • Involved in successfully launching urgent interdictory proceedings in Labour Court against unprotected strike action for one of the largest fishing companies in South Africa;
  • Arbitration proceedings concerning the interpretation of a collective agreement, the outcome of which gave clarity to the Fishing Industry at large;
  • She assisted a special needs school on a pro bono basis in investigating allegations of serious misconduct against employees relating to the misappropriation of R2 million in donor funding, representing the school in internal disciplinary proceedings and in arbitration proceedings at the CCMA, and assisting the school in laying criminal charges and civil claims against employees involved in the misconduct; and
  • Melissa is routinely involved in successfully opposing review applications of arbitration awards in the Labour Court.

Publications & Insights