Kavisha Baboolal

The Mastermind

Director, Specialist Legal


Having completed her LLB in 2005, Kavisha pursued and completed her Masters in Commercial law in whilst simultaneously fulfilling the role as Judge’s Associate at the Durban Labour Court.

She then joined the Mediterranean Shipping Company as in-house counsel and lectured the Masters Maritime students on a part-time basis at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Kavisha joined private practice at Garlicke & Bousfield Inc. and remained with the firm for a period of 2 years before joining Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs as an Associate in the Corporate and Commercial department.

Having gained experience in practice as an attorney, Kavisha chose to enhance her exposure to corporate and acted as legal counsel for multinationals and leading South African companies in the FMCG, logistics and energy sectors.

With her blended experience in excess of 8 years in both private practice and corporate, Kavisha then propelled her career into the dynamic legal recruitment industry and joined Leonie Ellis Placements in February 2017 as a Director focussing on legal talent acquisitions.

She is also a Director of the Itsebe Foundation and sits on the Board of Directors at the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA).

Professional qualifications

Admitted Attorney, LLB, MCom

Nthabiseng Ndlovu

The Visionary

Director, Specialist Compliance


Nthabiseng is passionate about the development and empowerment of young people. She believes that success is often the result of a “REGA moment” which translated means a moment of opportunity. Consequently, if young people are given opportunity at an early stage in their lives, success is imminent.

A Managing Director and 51% Shareholder of Leonie Ellis Placements Pty Ltd. She specialises in assisting successful businesses and corporates in sourcing talent in the Risk and Compliance profession. Her career started in one of the Big 4 Banks where she gained experience in stockbroking. The love for financial markets inspired her to join the Regulator - JSE Limited where she spent 7 years of her career.

Upon leaving the JSE, she worked predominantly in the Banking Industry, where she gained further expertise in the Compliance profession. She spent the last 5 years in corporate within a specialized compliance role dealing with conflicts of interest management and became one of the first black females to acquire experience and manage a Compliance Control Room Function in an international banking institution. She continues to mentor and coach young talent in this industry with the aim of increasing capacity of black talent in this area within South African banks.

She is the Brainchild of Itsebe Foundation which she founded in 2017. The foundation aims to assist and empower young people to make informed decisions about their future career paths through developing self-awareness and hence enabling them to “know themselves”.

Professional qualifications

 National Diploma: Accounting (UJ); B Tech: Corporate Administration (UNISA); Postgraduate Diploma in Compliance Management (UJ); Postgraduate Diploma in Money Laundering (UJ).

Leonie Ellis

The Legend

The Founder


Leonie Ellis is the founder of Leonie Ellis placements with over 15 years of experience specialised in legal and compliance recruitment.

Possessing a Diploma in Marketing, she started her career as a Property Broker- negotiating sales and letting for corporate clients. During this time, she developed a passion for matching people and honed her negotiation skills.

Leonie spent two years in London learning the art of negotiation with two leading global property players. On her return to South Africa, she sought out a new challenge which appeared in the form of recruitment for one of the leading recruitment specialist focusing on the banking and legal community. She founded the legal desk at the firm branching into compliance and company secretarial placements.

Here she specialised in matching people with careers and cultures of banking giants, corporate boutiques and law practices. After six years working with the highest market standards, she was offered an opportunity to launch The Global Skills Exchange (TGSE) in the late 2007.  At the time the vision was to create opportunities for South African lawyers to work in the global hubs such as Singapore, UK, UAE and Australia.  However after the market crash in 2008 she focused her attention on the South African market.  At the same time changing the name to Leonie Ellis Placements.

Over the past 10 years she  gained valuable insights on how (and not to) run a business.   She honed selection, negotiation and matching skills that enabled her to etch her mark as a leading specialist  legal/compliance recruiter; with an array of reputable clientele and a database of remarkable “best in class” talent.

In 2016 Nthabiseng Ndlovu joined forces with Leonie Ellis Placements, transforming the business into a female lead, empowerment business.  It was an exciting time of learning to expand and grow as a partnership of two, a small staff complement and a virtual team that supported the business.

In 2017 due to personal circumstance, Leonie emigrated to the UK with her husband.   The legal desk is now managed by Kavisha Baboolal who is putting her own mark of professionalism and vision to the function.

Leonie remains a shareholder and advisor to the team.  Over the past year she has been exposed to various aspects of recruitment in the London market.  Currently advising legal recruitment companies on maximising efficiencies and effective structures in order to remain profitable and thrive.

 A special thanks to the following sponsors for their generous contribution towards the success of the "Leaders in the Making" event with the LeanIn Circle at UCT, Rondebosch.