Cranko Karp and Associates Inc. was founded in Johannesburg in 1911. It is one of the oldest and most respected corporate and commercial law firms in South Africa. The firm is currently led by Senior Partner Michael Karp, who has been with the firm his entire career. Karp, admitted as an attorney in 1976, is ably supported by the firm’s other partners and associates.


The name Cranko has been associated with the Attorneys’ profession in South Africa for over 100 years.

Jimmy Cranko commenced practice for his own account in May 1911. When Jimmy Cranko retired from practice the partners of the firm were Jack Eric Hyman, Jimmy’s brother Herbert Cranko and Jack Hyman’s brother Abe Hyman.

Jimmy Cranko was not only the attorney for OK Bazaars but was also one of its founding directors.   He was the president of the Transvaal Law Society between 1935 and 1940. When Jimmy Cranko retired in 1951 most of the firm was absorbed into Werksmans.

David Edward Cranko, the son of Jimmy Cranko worked for Hayman Godfrey & Sanderson immediately after qualifying as an attorney. He then also worked for Denys Reitz & Effune and later joined Sydney Hoffman before commencing practicing for his own account.

David Edward Cranko also had numerous partners and the firm changed its name on numerous occasions to include the names of those partners. The firm today is known as Cranko Karp & Associates Incorporated.

Although the firm has always practiced Corporate Commercial Law, during the last 25 years, the firm has acquired a super speciality in Mining Law and today represents many Junior Miners and many of the De Beers Sight Holders both local and internationally.

The Practice of Mining Law and in particular the legal work involved in the representation of the Diamond Manufacturing Industry has resulted in the firm developing an expertise in International Banking Law. The two areas of expertise go hand in hand.

Work with the Best

  • Michael Karp
    Michael Karp

    Michael is the Senior Partner and practices mainly in the fields of Corporate and Commercial Law, dealing mostly with mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience in the drafting of all documentation required in order to restructure companies so as to facilitate their listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Over the years much of Michael’s work included advising many mining clients worldwide.

    Michael has represented major large scale miners and diamond traders before the Portfolio Committee of the South African Parliament in regard to the Diamond Bill which was passed in 2005. He has guest lectured at Wits University in post graduate courses in Property Law which are attended by lawyers, accountants and property managers. He has, on behalf of clients, travelled regularly to London, Antwerp, Switzerland, Israel, the US and neighbouring Southern African Countries.

  • Paul Carbonari
    Paul Carbonari

    Paul has been a partner at Cranko Karp since March 2007. Having joined the firm in 2003, Paul completed his articles and was admitted first as an attorney in 2005, and then as a conveyancer in 2006. Although Paul heads up the Property and Real Estate Department the majority of his time is spent in the Commercial and Dispute Resolution Departments.

    Paul’s clients range from professional football clubs, property developers, banks, retail businesses, transport businesses, trade unions, gaming entities, direct selling businesses and telecommunication businesses.

  • Eli Karp
    Eli Karp

    Eli is a partner at Cranko Karp and Associates Inc. in the Corporate Commercial Department. His experience built over eight years extends across many sectors including Liquidation, Mergers and Acquisitions, Shareholder restructuring, Aviation Insurance, and Minerals and Energy.

    Eli has acted for clients both in the High Court as well as the Arbitration Foundation in commercial litigation against various Health Schemes, Mining Consortiums, and Government departments. Eli is a specialist in advising and implementing regulatory and statutory requirements to maintain and obtain mining and prospecting licenses and permits on behalf of local and international clients. This includes commercial advice and due diligence on corporate entities where necessary. Eli also heads up the Trust, Curatorship and Administration of Deceased Estates department at the firm.