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Uniform rules for the attorneys' profession

Download the final draft of the Uniform Rules.

Click here to download (PDF- 913KB)

The uniform rules have been approved by all the Judges President and the Chief Justice.
The implementation date across the profession is 1 March 2016.

Historically, the four statutory provincial law societies have had four disparate sets of rules that apply to practitioners in their respective jurisdictions.
Over the past few years, the LSSA has facilitated discussions and the process to unify the rules into one uniform set of rules that will apply to all attorneys and candidate attorneys on a national basis, irrespective of where in the country they may be practising.

The process to unify the rules of the attorneys’ profession has taken more than six years. The LSSA appreciates the ongoing support of all constituents, the level of debate and the fact that the interests of the profession and the public were prioritised in the process.

The last draft of 2013 received the support of all members of the LSSA Uniform Rules Task Team and was then submitted to the annual general meetings of the four statutory law societies. The members of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society (KZNLS) and the Law Society of the Free State (LSFS) approved the draft Uniform Rules, and they were approved by the Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP), subject to some minor changes. The rules were not approved by the members of the Cape Law Society (CLS) and it was resolved at the annual general meeting of the CLS that a Rules Committee be appointed to deal with members’ concerns.

The LSSA Uniform Rules Task Team considered the issues raised by the LSNP and finalised a new version in March 2014. The KZNLS had, in the meanwhile, sent the draft rules to its Judge President for approval; he made some minor corrections. Legal Aid South Africa also requested an amendment to the rules (regarding wills). The CLS Rules Committee then raised further concerns.

The LSSA’s Management Committee (Manco) engaged with the CLS committee to resolve the issues and find a common way forward. This meeting took place on 26 August 2014 and a new version of the rules was produced. After this meeting, the CLS Committee raised only a few outstanding issues. Manco was of the view that it is important for the profession to reach a national position and held a special meeting on 15 September 2014 to consider the CLS’s issues.

The draft rules were adopted at the AGMs of the provincial law societies in October and November 2014.