LPC amendments

December 1st, 2021
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As we bid farewell to 2021, amidst a looming fourth wave of the rise in COVID-19 infections, the discovery of a new B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant and the concerning multitudes of hung municipalities after the November local government elections, the year has proved to be an eventful one until the end. Added to that, the Legal Practice Council (LPC) has made several amendments during the month of November, below are the amendments:

Amendments to Rules made under the authority of ss 95(1), 95(3) and 109(2) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (LPA)
  • Amendment of r 22.1.4.2

‘22.1.4.2 Council may, on the application of a candidate attorney in any case –

22.1.4.2.1 where the principal refuses to grant the candidate attorney leave of absence from office; or

22.1.4.2.2 where the period of absence from office exceeds, or the periods of absence from the office in the aggregate exceed, thirty working days in any one year of the practical vocational training contract authorise leave of absence from office for the period in question, if Council is satisfied that the principal and the Council received due notice of the application and that sufficient cause for the absence exists or existed, as the case may be.’

  • Amendment of r 30.1

‘30.1 Any person duly admitted by the High Court and enrolled to practise as a legal practitioner under the Act may, in the manner prescribed by rule 30.2, apply to the Council, through the Provincial Council where the legal practitioner intends to practise, to convert his or her enrolment as an attorney to that of an advocate, and vice versa.’

  • Amendment of r 30.4.4.2

‘30.4 The application referred to in rule 30.1 must be signed by the applicant, and must be accompanied by the following –

30.4.4 where the applicant is an advocate applying to convert his or her enrolment to that of an attorney, proof to the satisfaction of the Council –

30.4.4.2 a statement indicating whether he or she intends to practise as an attorney and, if so, whether he or she intends to practise for his or her own account or as a partner in a firm of attorneys or as a member of a professional company’.

  • Amendment of r 32.2.2

‘32.2 An advocate referred to in section 34(2)(a)(i) and practising as such may at any time, as determined in the rules and upon payment of the fee determined by the Council, apply to the Council for the conversion of his or her enrolment to that of an advocate referred to in section 34(2)(a)(ii) and practising as such, provided the applicant satisfies the Council –

32.2.2 that the applicant shall within a period of one year after the date on which the applicant was required for the first time to be in possession of a Fidelity Fund certificate, or within such further period as the Council may approve in any specific case, complete to the satisfaction of the Council a legal practice management course approved by the Council’.

  • Amendment of r 47.7.1

‘47.7 Every such application shall be accompanied by –

47.7.1 in the case of an applicant who, for the first time, is required to be in possession of a Fidelity Fund certificate, a statement indicating that the applicant shall within a period of one year after the date on which the applicant was required for the first time to be in possession of a Fidelity Fund certificate, or within such further period as the Council may approve in any specific case, complete to the satisfaction of the Council a legal practice management course approved by the Council, failing which a Fidelity Fund certificate will not be issued to him or her until he or she has completed the course’.

  • Amendment of r 54.34

‘54.34 An office other than a branch office opened by a firm, which for the first time opens a practice within the jurisdiction of a Provincial Council, shall be designated as a main office of the firm in that jurisdiction, and the firm shall ensure that:

54.34.1 banking accounts for the firm are opened;

54.34.2 consolidated accounting records are kept for the firm, including all branch offices.’

Amendments to the Code of Conduct made under the authority of s 36(1) of the LPA by amendment and inclusion of the following clauses to the Code of Conduct
  • Amendment of Clause 13

‘An attorney, other than an attorney referred to in section 34(5)(c), (d) and (e) of the Act, may not, without the prior written consent of the Council, share offices with a person who is not an attorney or an employee of an attorney or a trust account advocate.’

  • Insertion of Clause 25.9

‘25.9 Counsel may not, without the prior written consent of the Council, share offices with a person who is not a counsel.’

  • Insertion of Clause 41.6

‘41.6 A trust account advocate may not, without the prior written consent of the Council, share offices with a person who is not a trust account advocate or a practising attorney or an employee of an attorney.’

The De Rebus Editorial Committee and staff wish all our readers compliments of the season and a prosperous new year.

De Rebus will be back in 2022 with its combined January/February edition, which will be available at the beginning of February 2022.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2021 (Dec) DR 3.

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