About the Cape Law Society

The Cape Law Society is a statutory body established in terms of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979 to administer and regulate the attorneys’ profession in the Eastern, Western & Northern Cape Provinces.  The Society operates in terms of a set of Rules which are prescribed.

Council

The Society has a Council of 20, of whom 5 are from the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) and 5 are from the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL).

Directorate

The Directorate is the administrative arm of the Society with its offices in Cape Town.  Mr Rampela William Mokoena has been appointed as the Director with effect from 1 October 2012.  The Director has overall responsibility in respect of the Society and is also responsible for strategy and stakeholder liaison.  The Society has four Departments-

Administration

The Administration Department is headed by Caron Jeaven who oversees-

·       the Candidate Attorneys Department,

·       the Records Department

·       Shared services(including the mailroom, reception and  switchboard)

 

The Department also attends to the Assessment of Bills, the administration of the Benevolent Fund and the Rule 19 Clinics, Readmissions and Access to the Profession initiatives. Caron also liaises with the SETA and LEAD at a national level.

 

Disciplinary

 

The Disciplinary Department is headed by Frank Dorey who oversees-

·       The Investigation of Complaints

·       The Referral of Matters to the Discplinary Committee

·       Disciplinary Enquiries

·       Inspections

·       Litigation

·       Curatorships

Frank also liaises with the Special Commercial Crime Unit and the Attorneys Fidelity Fund in respect of claims and criminal prosecutions.

 

Trust Accounting

The Trust Accounting Department is headed by Glenn Flatwell who oversees-

·       Compliance with Regulation

·       Practice Support

·       Business Development

·       The Society’s financial records

Glenn also is responsible for national liaison on practice development, auditing standards and audit reform

Professional Affairs

The Professional Affairs Department, currently under the supervision of the Director, deals with-

·       Guidance to members

·       Specialist Committees

·       Liaison with stakeholders

·       Communications/Seminars

·       Pro Bono

·       Appointment as Arbitrators & Mediators

·       Appointments as Judges

·       Appointments as Small Claims Court Commissioners

 

Candidate Attorneys Department

Sam Khatib is the Legal Officer supervising this Department.  The department-

·       Maintains Database of all candidate attorneys

·       Facilitating access to the profession

·       Registers Contracts of Articles

·       Issues Certificates of Right of Appearance

·       Registers Contracts of Cessions

·       Administers the Attorneys Admission Examinations

·       Administers the Conveyancing Examinations

·       Administers the Notarial Practice Examinations

·       Checks and endorses Attorneys Applications

·       Arrange assessment of bills

·       SETA

·       Seeking Articles

·       Guidance to candidate attorneys and principals

·       Readmission Applications

 

Facilitating access to the profession

SAWLA Project

The Society in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development(DOJ) facilitates an initiative to promote Access to the  Profession. This initiative is aimed at securing contracts of articles for female candidate attorneys . A pilot project is currently running. In the 2009/2010 period 13 candidates were placed in the Western Cape and 17 candidates were placed in the Eastern Cape. SAWLA assists in the recruitment process and the DOJ makes the subvention in relation to the candidates’ salaries. Watch this space for the national roll out!

 

Certificates of Rights of Appearance

Candidate Attorneys who have the LLB degree are entitled to appear in the Magistrate Court during their first year of articles and in the Regional Court during their second of articles. The candidate appears on behalf of his principal. The principal is required to apply for a certificate of Right of Appearance which confirms that the candidate may appear. The application is made in the form of a letter signed by the principal, accompanied by payment of R114,00.

 

Arrange Assessment of Bills

Members who wish to have bills for work done in non-litigious matters assessed must send the

following list of requirements:

·    Five copies of the Bill of Costs properly drawn in terms of the guidelines (Bills drawn by a cost consultants must be endorsedby members that it has been prepared in accordance with his instructions and that he accepts responsibility for it.)

·       The record/office file

·       Copy of the client mandate

·       Copy of client notification of termination of mandate, where applicable

·       A one page memorandum setting out the work done, who did the work and this individual (s) hourly rate.

·       Written confirmation that no previous bill was presented to client. If a previous bill was presented, copy thereof is required.

·       Your clients contact details including email and postal addressee.

 

On receipt of these requirements the matter will be placed on the first available roll.

 

In respect of litigious matters, the member and the party liable for payment are required to sign and submit

the Consent to taxation form. On receipt of the forms and the above requirements from the member, the

matter will be enrolled.

 

SETA

The Attorneys Profession falls under the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority(SASSETA).  Attorneys or firms who wish to register learnerships in respect of candidate attorneys and support staff must follow the guidelines as presented on the SASSETA website at www.sasseta.org.za. You are also referred to the Society’s guideline.

 

Seeking Articles

If you are looking for an attorney to engage you as a candidate attorney, here are some hints:

Consider what field of law interests you and what type of firm will best give you that experience.  Also find out as much as you can about the culture of the firm.  Your Curriculum vitae (CV) should be professional, factually correct and supported by certified copies of your degree certificates. Spell check your document! 

Send out your CV to as many firms as possible-remember that many firms have cut-off dates for applications so do your homework in this regard.  The De Rebus also offers candidate attorneys the opportunity to place an advertisement in their yellow pages free of charge!  The Society is presently working on a facility whereby you may place your details on the Society's website for a period of 3 months - an announcement will be made on the site, once this becomes avilable.  When you are called for an interview, remember that you should do some preparation. You should find out who will be doing the interview and as much as possible about the firm. Prepare a set of questions that you may wish to ask. You should be dressed professionally.  At the interview, answer questions honestly!  Once you have successfully secured a contract of articles, you will find all the necessary information available on this website. Best of Luck!

 

Guidance to Candidate Attorneys and Principals

Principals and Candidate Attorneys are assisted by the Legal Officer and his assistants with queries relating to all aspects of the Department. Please see Guidelines for Principals.

Please consult the Frequently asked questions in this regard.

 

Records Department

Marli Herman is the Legal Officer supervising this Department. 

The Society’s membership totals about 5470 active members. It is the Records Department’s responsibility to maintain a database of these members.

 

The Department also:

·     Registers New Firms and Branch Offices

·     Issues Certificate of Good Standing

·     Records the closure of firms

·     Enrolments in terms of Section 20 of the Attorneys’ Act

·     Issues Fidelity Fund Certificates

·     Assists with the Incorporation of Practices

·     Monitors the Mandatory Practice Management requirement

·     Assists with the Naming of Practices

·     Advises re Opening New Practices

·     Issues Certificates for Right of Appearance in the High Court

·     Advises re Sharing Offices

The Records Department also collects members’ subscriptions every year.  Subscriptions are due on 1st July each year. 

 

Commencing October each year the department is tasked with issuing Fidelity Fund certificates for qualifying members. In 2010 approximately 3800 certificates will be issued.

 

Disciplinary

·       Investigation of Complaints

·   Should you wish to lodge a complaint against a member of this Society, you should complete a Complaints Submission Form and forward same to the Disciplinary Department. The procedure for the investigation of complaints is laid out in the Guideline for complainants.

·       Disciplinary Committee

·      The Disciplinary Committee consists of 10 Councillors who meet once a month to consider matters referred to it by the Disciplinary Department.  The Committee does not take decisions but makes recommendations to the Council. The procedure is set out in Rule 15.

·       Claims to the Attorneys Fidelity Fund

·    Should you wish to lodge a claim for misappropriation of trust funds by your attorney against the Attorneys Fidelity Fund, you should do so as soon as possible.   Visit http://fidfund.co.za  for further information