Contact us if you are interested in obtaining a Regulatory Compliance Manual for your licences  - detailing compliance requirements in respect of all relevant laws and regulations.  It includes a calendar of submissions due.


Lisa Thornton Consulting
(LTC) provides policy, legislative and regulatory advise to various types of clients including small and large businesses, both established and emerging, civil society and government entities, including Ministries, regulators and state-owned enterprises.

LTC offers an alternative to the experience of working with large practices; although we are small, we are able to deliver high quality, professional, solution oriented and timely work product on both small and large matters by focusing on one area of the law and by teaming up with trusted colleagues outside the practice where necessary.  Where large firms delegate work to junior, often inexperienced attorneys, LTC is able to pull in the right expertise for the right matter.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.


Regulatory Services

Contact us if you have ECS and ECNS licences that you would like to sell, or if you are in the market for purchasing ECS and ECNS licences.

Lisa Thornton Consulting can assist you in evaluating your business to ascertain whether ICASA licences are required and assist you in obtaining any necessary licences.  We can also assist you in structuring your deal or business to ensure compliance with the relevant regulatory framework, and to avoid any unnecessary regulation.

The CEO of Seacom had this to say about our recent contribution.

Lisa worked for SEACOM on regulatory issues in South Africa pertaining to our build of a submarine fiber optic cable. The work we requested of her was highly complex as SEACOM was setting precedent in a changing regulatory environment. Despite the complexity of the work, Lisa counseled SEACOM in such a way that the investors and lenders were willing to move forward in this changing regulatory environment; furthermore, her counsel has held up against the test of time as SEACOM approaches its ready for service date. I would highly recommend Lisa Thornton.November 17, 2008, Brian Herlihy, CEO, Seacom

Lisa Thornton Consulting can also assist with ongoing regulatory compliance issues, regulatory due diligences, and the preparation of submissions on draft policy, legislation and regulations.

Alison Gillwald, formerly head of the Wits University Link Centre, recommends us in these words.

"Lisa Thornton has worked with and for me as a regulator, researcher and provider of technical assistance to African states for over a decade on issues of broadcasting and telecommunications reform. The combination of her legal expertise and detailed knowledge of the evolving communications sector in South Africa allow her to provide insights and advice that few others are able to offer." November 2010, Alison Gillwald, Executive Director, Research ICT Africa

Opinions / Reports

Lisa Thornton Consulting has written countless opinions on matters ranging from constitutional issues to the more technical aspects of communications regulation.  Some examples include Electronic Communications Regulatory Review:  Proposed Amendments to the Electronic Communications Act - prepared for The Edge Institute and Shuttleworth Foundation, Openness & Transparency at ICASA - prepared for ECN Telecommunications, Protecting Minors from Harmful Content via Mobile Phones - prepared for the Lawyers for Human Rights Child Rights Project and Civil Society Advocacy Programme, and an opinion for the South African History Archive Trust on the issue of Copyright in State Documents in South Africa.  Please contact us to discuss your needs.

If you are a law or consulting firm requiring an expert opinion or just need additional capacity, please contact us to discuss how we can help you help your client.


Contracting in the ICT field is unique; it requires someone who understands the technical and business issues relating to your deal.  On the other hand, like all contracts, a good one is a well written story about the deal - with a slant in your favour of course - that will stand up even after those who have negotiated it are gone.  Lisa Thornton Consulting specialises in drafting and negotiating good ICT contracts, including buy/sale agreements, software development agreements, service agreements, interconnection agreements, and website and communications systems use policies.  

Although not generally a fan of standard agreements, Lisa Thornton Consulting, has developed a few products, including website and communications systems use policies, and Standard Terms and Conditions for ISP Service Agreements. 

Policy, Legislation, and Regulation Development

Lisa Thornton Consulting has been involved in most of the ICT policy developments over the past decade.  We have  represented clients seeking to influence the direction of policy and regulatory development, and has represented government entities responsible for the development of policy, including the Department of Communications, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (and its predecessor organisations) and the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa.  We have been involved extensively in the development of legislation and regulations, detailed here.

A former Chairperson of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority had this to say .

Lisa was instrumental in providing numerous pioneering legal opinions and ideas in an environment where telecommunications regulation was still in its infancy. Lisa's work today forms the standard by which others are judged for their understanding of, and innovation in, telecommunications regulation in South Africa.August 27, 2009, Nape Maepa, CEO, Mahlasedi-Inkwali Energy Systems (former Chairperson of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority)

Training and Materials Development

Lisa Thornton Consulting has provided training and training materials to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the Competition Commission, and to the members of the Telecommunications Regulators Association of Southern Africa on behalf of the International Telecommunication Union and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.  

We have also organised and conducted various workshops for ICT lawyers and for the industry, the most recent of which was a series of workshops after the promulgation of the Electronic Communications Act.

A selected list of teaching experience of Lisa Thornton can be found here.  We will be happy to assist you with any or all of your ICT regulatory training requirements.  Please contact us.

Competition Law

Lisa Thornton Consulting was called upon by the Competition Commission to assist it in the preparation of The State of Competition in the Telecommunications Sector in South Africa, included in the 2006 Report of the ICN Working Group on Telecommunications, Appendix III, Country Studies, and to conduct training exercises with Competition Commission personnel on the competition aspects of the Electronic Communications Act. 

We have represented clients before the Competition Commission and was instrumental in the preparation of the first complaint referral to the Competition Tribunal regarding the anti-competitive conduct of Telkom Ltd.

"Lisa provided a highly professional service on a number of public law and telecommunications regulatory matters for me. She provided great results, demonstrated in-depth knowledge and timely and cost effective services. Lisa does her work with great integrity and commitment.Yasmin Carrim, Tribunal Member, Competition Tribunal, Nov 2010


If you think hiring a really good lawyer is expensive, try hiring a really bad one.