Phonnie, who holds a B.Proc degree from the University of the Free State, was first motivated to pursue a legal career because criminal litigation fascinated him. He commenced his clerkship with Vermaak & Dennis in Bloemfontein and completed it at Schoeman, Kellerman & Kotze in Welkom.

He was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 1991, whereafter he practised for his own account. He acted as a senior legal adviser at Senwes Ltd. in Klerksdorp before he was approached by his friend from University, Pieter Kloppers, to take up a post as a professional assistant in Kloppers Empangeni Inc. in 2004. Once he was admitted as a notary and conveyancer in 2005, Phonnie became a partner and director of Kloppers Inc.

Phonnie is particularly skilled at High Court and Magistrates Court litigation, conveyancing, criminal law matters, commercial law and contracts and family law related matters. In his free time, Phonnie enjoys fishing, playing tennis and spending time with his wife and three children.