Copyright specialist Graeme Gilfillan found dead in his home

Renowned lawyer and copyright specialist Graeme Douglas Gilfillan was discovered dead at his residence outside Yeoville in Johannesburg on Sunday.

According to sources close to Sunday World, Gilfillan’s driver arrived at his home earlier on Sunday to pick him up but received no response when buzzing the intercom.

Concerned about his wellbeing, the driver sought assistance from security staff to gain access to the residence. Tragically, upon entering the residence, they found him deceased.


“His driver went to pick him up at his house this morning and buzzed him on the intercom but he did not pick up,” the source said.

“The driver then asked security to let him into the house to check on him. When they opened the house, they found him already dead.”

Gilfillan, considered an engine driving the growth of the music industry, was widely recognised for his exceptional expertise in copyright and intellectual property law.

As the founder and owner of Siyandisa Music and Nisa Global Entertainment, established in 1998, he dedicated his career to providing an array of business and intellectual property services to authors and rights holders within the arts, entertainment, and presentation service sectors.

His contributions to the field have been invaluable, as Gilfillan consistently advocated for the protection and fair treatment of creators and their works.

Through his expertise and legal guidance, he played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of intellectual property rights in South Africa.


His passion for his work and unwavering commitment to his clients earned him a stellar reputation within the industry. Colleagues and clients alike admired his profound understanding of copyright laws and his ability to easily navigate complex legal matters.

His extensive knowledge and sharp legal acumen made him a go-to resource for artists, entertainers, and businesses seeking protection for their intellectual property assets.

Beyond his legal prowess, Gilfillan was known for his warm personality and willingness to mentor aspiring legal professionals.

He leaves behind a legacy of excellence and dedication, inspiring future generations to uphold the principles he stood for.

Music producer and a close friend of Gilfillan, DJ Cleo, born Tlou Cleopas Monyepao, told Sunday World that he is deeply saddened by the loss of “Squire”, whom he considered a mentor and confidant.

“Graeme Douglas Gilfilan, affectionately known as Squire to most of us, did all my legal affairs [contracts, deals et al] for the last 23 years,” said DJ Cleo.

“Our last conversation was on Friday, discussing some song clearances for my new release. I’m saddened to have lost a mentor and confidant. It pained me seeing his lifeless body lay there in his bedroom knowing that I can’t do anything about it.

“He ran his race and his legacy will live on and reverberate through all those whose lives he touched and assisted in the music industry.”

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