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LSSA Synergy Link

The Law Society of South Africa’s mentorship initiative for law firms, Synergy Link, sees ‘growing’ law firms linked to established ‘transferring’ law firms’.

Download the brochure View our current Transferring Firms

The objective is the empowerment of ‘growing’ firms – especially black-owned law firms – to specialise in fields of practice or enter new fields with confidence.

The LSSA Synergy Link sees this being achieved through creative relationships where one firm transfers leadership competency to another. The ‘transferring’ firm will provide guidance in business models, systems and strategy development and transfer of skills in specialised areas of legal work.

The practice

‘Empowerment’ does not mean ‘twinning’ in the sense of both firms being appointed to deal with one matter.
It refers to a synergy between the ‘transferring’ and the ‘growing’ firm. The ‘growing’ firm will either observe the
‘transferring’ firm in the handling of its legal matters or be assisted by the transferring firm in handling its own
matters.

Synergy will include

  • training
  • mentorship
  • counselling
  • observing
  • networking and coaching.

These activities are scheduled at times and locations agreed to by the parties.

To ensure success, the ‘transferring’ firm and the ‘growing’ firm conclude an agreement, and progress reports are submitted to LEAD. Expectations are agreed upfront and included in an outcomes-based format.

An individual in each of the firms serves as programme leader. Although individuals will be tasked to provide and undergo development, the relationship will focus on the ‘growing’ firm as a business entity.

Mutually beneficial relationships

The link between the ‘transferring’ firm and ‘growing’ firm can promote mutually beneficial mentoring and business relationships.

Ultimate goal

The ultimate goal of the LSSA Synergy Link programme is to maintain and enhance the professional standards, prestige and standing of the profession and of all its members.

The ‘link’ between two firms

  • takes place in terms of a written agreement;
  • requires the parties to set down their expectations as regards development, location, time and method of transfer; (this will include counselling, mentorship, coaching etc);
  • takes place for a specific duration; and
  • requires both parties to report to the LSSA in writing.

Benefits for Transferring Firms


‘Transferring’ firms receive recognition on the LSSA website, in De Rebus, in LSSA newsletters and at any relevant media opportunity.

B-BBEE 
In addition, the LSSA has worked with a BEE consulting and advisory firm and a rating agency to assess opportunities in Synergy Link’s transformation narrative. Due to the facilitative role played by Synergy Link, the view is that the programme can be deemed to be an Enterprise Development Programme in terms of the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice.
View the B-BBEE aspect for Synergy Link and sample documents for the portfolio of evidence to be maintained by both the transferring and growing firms.

Register as a transferring firm

From theory to practice: The role of third parties
The LSSA aims to canvas ‘third parties’ (state-owned entities and companies) who are prepared to contribute to transforming the profession by briefing the growing firms as supported by the transferring firms. In the case of state-owned enterprises, they would invite both the Synergy Link ‘transferring’ and ‘growing firms’ to participate as teams in their legal panels.