We value our relationships and create opportunities for all: individually we are strong; together we thrive.

A leadership team with an unparalleled combination of business and legal experience.

Ana Pacheco

Associate Director Clients and Markets

Ana strategically positions Cognia as a leading law company through integrated marketing and communication campaigns.

Ana thrives on delivering results to meet sales, operational and growth targets having built over 20 years’ experience at many organisations from start-ups to global professional services firms including Deloitte & PwC.

Bridgette Dresner

Associate Director

As Head of Cognia’s PMO, Bridgette drives strategic projects and advisory support for key clients. She is a specialist in strategic business management and execution to deliver strategic objectives.

Bridgette brings a multi-dimensional view of business, with over 25 years of experience having successfully built technology support divisions, run project management offices, delivered projects in operations, managed strategic planning risk and audited strategic business change across the emerging markets.

Janet Taylor-Hall

Founder and CEO

As a pioneering legal strategist, Janet is known for using her business acumen and adapting models to provide sustainable outcomes for global clients.

Janet brings over 20 years’ diverse, international experience in senior executive roles working in the corporate and legal sector at EY, Clifford Chance and Integreon.

Jennifer Yazdanpanahi

Global Delivery Director

Jennifer has deep experience of efficient delivery of multifaceted projects for multinational clients at professional and financial services companies.

She brings an extensive skillset developed over the last 20 years managing engagements for large international corporations such as State Street Global Advisors, Barclays Global Investors, KPMG and Maitland.

Johan Claassen

Finance manager

Johan manages Cognia's finance team and ensures the business operates smoothly.

He has extensive accounting and finance experience from working with global professional services firms and across the legal industry. Prior to starting his career, he graduated with a BAccounting Honours from Stellenbosch University.

Justin Ridl

General Counsel and Managing Director

Justin is Cognia's General Counsel and leads our financial services sector and financial documentation service.

As a GC himself, he uses his learnings to develop practical solutions for in-house legal teams that are also commercially sustainable. He also brings over 20 years’ experience as a market-leading derivatives and structured finance lawyer at law firms and in-house, including the London Stock Exchange, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Ashurst, Dresdner Kleinwort and Barclays Africa.

Karen October

Senior Manager, HR Operations

Karen heads up Cognia's HR operations, which involves ensuring Cognia recruits and retains the best talent out there and leads an optimised human resource operations function.

She has a unique blend of commercial and HR experience, built over the last 20 years with business managerial roles such as heading up teams across various segments including insurance, imports/exports and procurement at Rentokil Initial, and more recently, developing talent in the legal sector.

Kathryn Williams

Director, Business Advisory

Kathryn has 25 years’ experience delivering complex, transformational programmes across the private and public sector including at the BBC, Tesco, Unilever and Yorkshire Building Society.

She brings a highly commercial approach from working as a consultant and at EY, PwC and Clifford Chance. Kathryn specialises in helping Legal Functions align their strategic goals and deliver high value, cost effective services.

Kavin - Team Cognia Law

Kevin van Tonder


Kevin leads our Corporate sector and Commercial Contract Management services.

He has over 20 years' experience, initially as a barrister then moving into corporate world where he became a GC. At Cognia, he shares his expertise with clients from having tackled similar challenges and being aware of the latest trends. His work at multinationals including Schlumberger involved being responsible for contract management, legal operations, anti-bribery and corruption compliance, and people management across many challenging jurisdictions.


Mike Farrell

NED, Business Development and Commercial

Mike performs an advisory role supporting the shaping of Cognia Law's commercial relationships and business development.

As a consummate professional with a keen eye for detail in every brief he undertakes, Mike brings invaluable commercial contracting and outsourcing experience. Mike was on the Board of IBM Global Services in the UK, Netherlands and the Nordics and was responsible for Outsourcing before joining Accenture as a Senior Partner where he built the outsourcing capability for one of the divisions in EMEA and Latin America.

Nicola Clayton

Associate Director Clients and Markets

As an Associate Director in Clients and Markets. Nicky establishes and develops strategic relationships with Cognia's clients creating and delivering value to clients across the legal services landscape.

She brings over 20 years’ experience in senior business analyst and senior account director roles at Clifford Chance and Paragon Customer Communications (previously RRD UK).

Oliver von Hasseln - Team Cognia Law

Oliver von Hasseln

Legal Delivery Manager Financial Documentation

As team leader and line manager, Oliver is responsible for the timely delivery and support to our financial services clients. He has held several roles at Cognia since he joined in 2014 and has a deep understanding of what Cognia is all about. He is currently managing a team of lawyers supporting a leading international investment bank, within their derivative documentation team.

Prior to joining Cognia, Oliver held a role as a Derivative Reconciliation Analyst at Morgan Stanley in London before returning home to Cape Town to qualify as a lawyer and practice commercial and civil litigation at Springer Nel attorneys.

Peter - Team Cognia Law

Peter Hall

Chief Operating Officer

Peter leads the smooth running of Cognia’s business services and flexible legal resourcing services. Having held CFO and COO roles over the last 25 years at global companies such as Old Mutual Direct, LTP Trade PLC and Standard Chartered, he understands the challenges clients face to deliver results on time and on budget.
Roberta- Team Cognia Law

Roberta Eggers

Legal Delivery Manager Commercial Contracts

Roberta is responsible for the timely delivery to clients, within budget and at agreed service levels of contract managed legal services to clients.

Roberta is a team leader and has held several roles over the last six years at Cognia, including quality manager, legal project manager and commercial contracts negotiator in both financial documentation and general commercial. Her experience means she understands not just the commercial landscape in which clients operate, but also the policies, regulations and methodologies that influence their ability to operate effectively. She also brings a wealth of process and continuous improvement skills having set up and managed Cognia’s ISO9001-certified Quality Management System.

San Makanjee

Global Head of People

San has over 20 years’ experience of leading the people agenda.

She brings deep HR expertise combined with a robust understanding of key business drivers to deliver successful people and talent outcomes. San built her credibility and reputation as a trusted advisor working at international global organisations including Deloitte, PwC, and Accenture.