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 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 Frank Dorey has been appointed as the Director with effect from 30 April 2016.  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 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 Acting Head of Department is Craig Lucas.  The Disciplinary Department deals with-

  • The Investigation of Complaints
  • The Referral of Matters to the Disciplinary Committee
  • Disciplinary Enquiries
  • Inspections
  • Litigation
  • Curatorships

There is also liaison 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 is headed by Alfred Hona, who oversees the following-

  • 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

Sithembele Zenzile is the Legal Officer supervising this Department.  The department-

 

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.

 

Records Department

Marli Meyer is the Legal Officer supervising this Department.

The Society’s membership totals about 6400 active members. It is the Records Department’s responsibility to maintain a database of these members.

The Department also:

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 liaising with member with respect to the issuing Fidelity Fund certificates for qualifying members (applications are now done via the on-line portal administered b the Attorneys Fidelity Fund)

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.
  • 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