By Barbara Whittle
The Co-chairpersons and Management Committee (Manco) members of the LSSA met with General Council of the Bar (GCB) Chairperson, Vuyani Ngalwana SC and Craig Watt-Pringle SC, early in March in the first of what is expected to be regular meetings during this crucial time for the legal profession. Discussions focused on various issues facing the legal profession as a result of the imminent implementation of the Legal Practice Act 24 of 2014, in 2018. These included the implications of s 35 of Act, which deals with fees and the requirement for cost estimates to clients, including at every stage of the litigation process. This would not only affect attorneys and advocates with trust accounts in the future dispensation, but also all advocates, including how their fees would be determined.
The GCB raised the issue of late payment of advocates’ fees by attorneys and the impact particularly on junior advocates at the Bar. From the side of the LSSA, concern was raided at the defaulters’ list by the Bar and the far-reaching consequences that has for attorneys.
Other aspects that were discussed included current legal education issues and legal education in the future dispensation for the profession, although this is being dealt with by a sub-committee of the National Forum on the Legal Profession.
It was agreed that the LSSA and GCB would meet regularly, with the next meeting set for 8 May, to ensure ongoing channels of communication and possible cooperation between the two branches of the profession.
Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa, email@example.com
This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (April) DR 9.