Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Esmari Jonker

Attorney, Head of Franchising


Esmari Jonker is an Attorney of the High Court with both LLB and LLM degrees. She is a dynamic Intellectual Property (IP) attorney with many years’ experience in the fields of trade marks, copyright, and franchising.  Esmari acts on behalf of local and international clients in the franchise industry, and advises both franchisees and franchisors with regard to legal matters. As a leading attorney in the field of franchising Esmari is often invited by industry and the media to give presentations on franchising, branding and copyright issues.

Professional Contributions

Insolvent or struggling franchisees
How to effectively address the issues, FASA Franchise Manual 2019.

The International Comparative Legal Guide to:
Franchise 2018, 4th Edition, South African chapter.

International Franchise Handbook 2nd Edition, South African chapter.

FASA Franchise Manual 2016
Legal aspects in relation to brand protections by franchisors in a global market.

Esmari Jonker, Attorney



  • LLB
  • LLM

Areas of expertise:

  • Franchising and licensing, franchise agreements and franchise litigation.
  • Trade mark applications, prosecution and enforcement.
  • Commercial agreements with the focus on intellectual property aspects.
  • Unlawful competition and passing off.
  • Copyright matters.

Awards and Market Recognition

Best Lawyers
Recognised by Best Lawyers in Franchise Law 2022, Best Franchise Lawyer Award 2023.

World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000
Listed by WTR 1000 as a recommended expert in the fields of prosecution and strategy in 2021 and 2022.
Quotes: “Shining star Esmari Jonker stands out as a highly regarded franchising specialist with significent credibility“.

Lexology Client Choice
Won the Lexology Client Choice Award 2020 and 2021 – Franchise Lawyer in South Africa. The Lexology Client Choice recognises those individuals around the world that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service. Lawyers can be nominated only by corporate counsel.

Who’s Who Legal
Listed by Who’s Who Legal in the Franchise Law category for South Africa from 2018 – 2023.

Smit & Van Wyk. is a registered industry member of the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) and Esmari is the Smit & Van Wyk. representative at FASA.  Esmari also advises corporate clients on franchise development and franchise management.