2018 prize winners for best articles in De Rebus

April 16th, 2019
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Pretoria legal practitioner, Gert Nel has won the LexisNexis prize for the best article published in to De Rebus by a practising legal practitioner.

By Kgomotso Ramotsho

Pretoria legal practitioner, Gert Nel, has won the LexisNexis prize for the best article published in De Rebus by a practising legal practitioner. Mr Nel’s article ‘Decoding s 2(1)(a) and (b) of the Contingency Fees Act’, which was published in 2018 (June) DR 14, focused on a number of issues, including the origin of contingency fees, foreign law, incentives for legal practitioners, the reasonability of fees and how the fees should be calculated. The Contingency Fees Act 66 of 1997 states that:

‘(a) … the legal practitioner shall not be entitled to any fees for services rendered in respect of such proceedings unless such client is successful in such proceedings to the extent set out in such agreements;

(b) … the legal practitioner shall be entitled to fees equal to or, subject to subsection (2), higher than his or her normal fees, set out in such agreement, for any such services rendered, if such client is successful in such proceedings to the extent set out in such an agreement.’

Mr Nel said the article was written to serve as a reference and a practical guideline to be used by any legal practitioner engaging clients on a contingency fees basis. He added that he was thankful and humbled by the fact that De Rebus and LexisNexis considered the article and bestowed on him this prestigious prize.

Mr Nel has won a Lenovo Tablet and one year’s free access to onc practice area on the LexisNexis Practical Guidance platform.

Legal practitioner, Ndivhuwo Ishmel Moleya, won the Juta Law prize for the best candidate legal practitioner article published in De Rebus.

Legal practitioner, Ndivhuwo Ishmel Moleya, won the Juta Law prize for the best candidate legal practitioner article for his article ‘The effect of the Oudekraal principle on the rule of law’, published in 2018 (Aug) DR 28. Mr Moleya began his article by quoting Lord Denning, who once said, ‘[i]f an act is void, then it is in law a nullity’ and that ‘every proceeding which is founded on it is also bad and incurably bad’ (MacFoy v United Africa Co Ltd [1961] 3 All ER 1169). He said in the South African context, the same principle was expressed by Innes CJ in Schierhout v Minister of Justice 1926 AD 99 at 109, where he stated that ‘[i]t is a fundamental principle of our law that a thing done contrary to the direct prohibition of the law is void and of no effect.’ Yet, in Oudekraal Estates (Pty) Ltd v City of Cape Town and Others 2004 (6) SA 222 (SCA) the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) developed the principle that an unlawful act may produce legally recognisable consequences (Oudekraal principle). Mr Moleya wrote about the application of the Oudekraal principle, which was the bone of contention in the three cases he analysed, namely, MEC for Health, Eastern Cape and Another v Kirland Investments (Pty) Ltd t/a Eye & Lazer Institute 2014 (3) SA 481 (CC); Merafong City v AngloGold Ashanti Ltd 2017 (2) SA 211 (CC); and Department of Transport and Others v Tasima (Pty) Ltd 2017 (2) SA 622 (CC).

Mr Moleya said that he had some interest in the decision as he was a clerk at the Constitutional Court. He added that he was particularly attracted by the fact that the court was divided on the same issue in three judgments, which to him highlighted the contentious nature of the issue. ‘I felt the need to weigh in on the discourse, with the benefit of hindsight of course,’ Mr Moleya said. He added that he felt honoured and humbled to be selected as one of the winners of the best articles in De Rebus.

Mr Moleya has won a 32GB tablet with WiFi and 3G, including a one-year single-user online subscription to Juta’s Essential Legal Practitioner Bundle.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

 

Click on the adverts below to see what exciting prizes, LexisNexis and Juta are offering for 2019. – Editor