Joseph Pretorius obtained the B- Iuris degree from the University of Pretoria in 1973 and the LLB degree from the University of Natal in 1975. After serving his articles for two years he was admitted in 1978 as an attorney of the Supreme Court of South Africa and in the same year obtained the LLM degree from the University of Cape Town. He obtained a second LLM degree in company law from the University of London (King’s College) in 1979. From 1981-1985 he was a senior lecturer in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was appointed professor of law in the Department of Mercantile Law at the University of South Africa 1986. In the same year he obtained the LLD degree in company law from the Rand Afrikaans University. He is the co-author of some 20 text-books and the author and co-author more than 115 articles in legal journals. He is rated as 'an ‘internationally acclaimed researcher’ by the National Research Foundation. He is a life member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK. He teaches banking law and the law of suretyship.