BA LLB LLM (cum laude) LLD (UJ)
  Home Department: Mercantile Law

Position, academic and professional qualifications

Prof Niek Grové returned to the Faculty of Law in January 2018 after serving as Registrar of the University of Pretoria for 18 years.

He formally retired at the end of 2020. He was re-appointed on a post-retirement contract as the Director of the Insurance Law and Governance Unit (ILGU) until 2022. ILGU is partly funded by the Ubuntu Botho Community Development Trust.

He is a member of the Department of Mercantile Law.

He obtained a BA degree at the University of Pretoria in 1976 with Roman-Dutch Law and Afrikaans. Subsequently, he obtained the LLB degree in 1978 and an LLM degree in 1985, also at UP. He received the LLD degree in 1989 at the former Rand Afrikaans University (now UJ) with a thesis on Consumer Credit Law with the title "Gemeenregtelik en Statutêre Beheer oor Woekerrente" under the supervision of Prof J M Otto. In 1997 he qualified as Mediator at the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (AFSA).

Academic and professional experience

He commenced his academic career in January 1981 as a senior lecturer in the Department of Mercantile and Labour Law at the University of Pretoria. He was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Mercantile and Labour Law in 1986 and subsequently as Associate Professor in the Department of Private Law in 1987. In 1989 he became a full Professor in the Department of Private Law at UP, a position which he held until 2000.

Since 1 March 2000, he served as Registrar of the University of Pretoria and member of the University Executive. He stood down as Registrar at the end of 2017. During his tenure as Registrar, he was responsible for the following portfolios: The Office of the Registrar (including Institutional Governance and the Secretariat), Legal Services, UP Archives and intermittently for Internal Audit, Information Governance, Academic Administration and the Client Service Centre (which were later restructured as the Department of Enrolment and Student Administration), TuksSport, Facilities Management, Security Services, Residence Affairs and Accommodation and Employee Relations.

In addition to his duties as a member of the Executive of the University of Pretoria, he served as Director of campus companies such as TuksSport (Pty) Ltd, TS Soccer (Pty) Ltd, the TuksSport Study Centre and as trustee of the Eduardo Villa Trust and the Javett Arts Centre Foundation. He is also a trustee of the UP Pension and Provident Funds.

Areas of specialisation

His field of expertise is Contract Law and Consumer Credit Law.

Teaching experience

He previously lectured the following modules: Law of Contract; Family Law; Law of Persons; Unjustified enrichment; Cession; Law of Purchase and Sale; Lease agreements; Suretyship; Law of Agency; Negotiable instruments; Insurance; Law of Insolvency and Consumer Credit Law.

Doctoral candidates (completed)

He acted as supervisor for the following doctoral candidates: Juanita Chamberlain (1995), Steve Cornelius (1999), Villiers Terblanche (2003), and Monica Vessio (2016) (co-supervisor Prof Corlia van Heerden).

University-related activities

Intermittently between 1984 and 1997, he was an editorial board member of De Jure. He served as editor during the following periods: 1986, 1991-1993 (including the 25th commemorative edition in 1992), 1996-1997.

He was the acting assistant editor of the Tydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg in 1985.

He was Head of Residence for House Olienhout from 1983 to 1985.

He served as Chairman of the Law Faculty's Research Committee from 1997 to 2000.

He served as Co-chairperson of the Broad Transformation Forum (BTF) at UP, which played a significant role in transforming the university's governance structures (from 1997 until its dissolution in 1999).

He developed a programme for a postgraduate diploma in Dispute Resolution in cooperation with AFSA (1998). The first presentation of the programme took place in Johannesburg during 1998/1999.

He drafted the UP Statute as required in terms of the Higher Education Act, 1997 and accompanying documents during his last years at the Faculty (1999-2000).

He was a member of the Institutional Forum from 1999 to 2017. He served as Chairperson of the Institutional Forum from October 1999 until the end of 2003.

He was Chairperson of the Legal Advisory Committee of USAf (Universities South Africa, formerly known as Higher Education South Africa) for several years.


During his tenure as Professor in the Faculty of Law, he published in the region of 50 articles in recognised law journals and contributed to several textbooks and workbooks. These include the following:

South African Law Commission Project: Paper 46 Project 67: JM Otto and NJ Grové: “The Usury Act and Related Issues: New Credit legislation in South Africa” (1993) (in both English and Afrikaans) (including a final report in March 1994). (See 1993 THRHR 169 (Part 1); 1993 THRHR 380 (Part 2).

“Die Gemeenregtelike Beheer van Woeker” 1989 De Jure 233 (Part 1); 1990 De Jure 118
(part 2).

“Renteberekening, Regshervorming en die Woekerwet” 1990 THRHR 28.

“Kredietdiskriminasie” 1992 THRHR 543 (with Ms LJ Jacobs).

Basic Principles of Consumer Credit Law. Juta (1993) (textbook with LJ Jacobs as co-author).

“Vonnisbespreking First National Bank of Southern Africa v Saayman NO 1997 4 SA 302 (HHA) 1998 THRHR 687.

“Die Kontraktereg, Altruïsme, Keusevryheid en die Grondwet” 2003 De Jure 2003 134.

Basic Principles of Consumer Credit Law (2nd edition) with JM Otto (2003).


As Registrar of the University of Pretoria he regularly presented papers at the Registrar’s Forum and various other fora on higher education matters.

Community Service, External Activities and Contract Research

During his time as Registrar, he served as a director of several campus companies, including TuksSport (Pty) Ltd, the TuksSport Study Centre, Bookmark at UP (Pty) Ltd, the Eduardo Villa Trust, TS Soccer (Pty) Ltd and the TuksFM Trust. He also is a trustee of the University of Pretoria Pension and Provident Funds and was a trustee of the Javett Arts Centre Foundation.

From 1996 until 2009, he served as Chairperson of the Iemas Board, the country's largest trade co-operative. He served as a non-executive director of MiWay Insurance Limited from 2008 to 2017.

He was a founding member of the Hatfield City Improvement District (CID).

He is currently a member of the Higher Education Quality Committee and a Ministerial appointee on the Mangosuthu University Council. He is the Chairperson of the Accreditation Committee of the Council for Higher Education.

He is a Director of the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd – a professional rugby franchise.

[Last updated: 17 March 2021]