History of the Legal Practice Act
|5 December 2017||Legal Practice Amendment Bill passed by the National Council of Provinces.|
|28 November 2017||Legal Practice Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly.|
|1 November 2017||Legal Practice Amendment Bill passed by the Justice Portfolio Committee.|
|14 October 2017||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its tenth meeting in Kempton Park on 14 October 2017. It submitted its recommendations to the Minister on 26 October 2017.|
|30 June 2017||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its ninth meeting in Kempton Park on 30 June 2017.|
|6 May 2017||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its eighth meeting in Kempton Park on 6 May 2017.|
|26 November 2016||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its seventh meeting in Kempton Park on 26 November 2016.|
|3 September 2016||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its sixth meeting in Kempton Park on 3 September 2016.|
|23 April 2016||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its fifth meeting in Centurion on 23 April 2016.|
|23 January 2016||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its fourth meeting in Centurion on 23 January 2016.|
|19 September 2015||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its third meeting in Centurion on 19 September 2015.|
|18 July 2015||The National Forum on the Legal Profession held its second meeting in Centurion on 18 July 2015.|
|31 March 2015||The National Form on the Legal Profession held its inaugural meeting on 31 March 2015
The first meeting of the designated members of the National Forum on the Legal Profession was held on 31 March 2015. Advocate Kgomotso Moroka SC was elected as Chairperson and attorney Max Boqwana was elected as Deputy Chairperson of the National Forum.
|1 February 2015||Parts 1 and 2 of Chapter 10 which implemented the National Forum on the Legal Profession from 1 February 2015, were gazetted in Gazette 38412 of 23 January 2015.
This brings into effect the National Forum on the Legal Profession, the transitional body which must lay the groundwork for the Legal Practice Council. The provincial law societies continue to carry out their functions in terms of the Attorneys Act.
|22 September 2014||The Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 was promulgated in Government Gazette 38022 of 22 September 2014.|
|12 March 2014||Legal Practice Bill passed by the National Assembly as amended by the NCOP. The Bill will be sent to the President for assent.
View the Legal Practice Bill [B20D-2012] (PDF – 241KB) as amended and passed by the NCOP and the National Assembly.
|5 March 2014||The National Council of Provinces passed the Legal Practice Bill with five of the nine provinces in favour.
|4 February 2014||Free State Legislature hearings: Old Parliament Building, QwaQwa 09:00|
|4 February 2014||North West Provincial Legislature hearings: Chamber, Legislature Building, Mahikeng, 10:00|
|4 February 2014||Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature hearings
Govan Mbeki Foyer, Lower Ground, Mpumalanga Government Complex, Riverside Park. Nelspruit 15:00
|5 February 2014||Free State Legislature hearings: 4th Raadsaal, Bloemfontein 09:00|
|5 February 2014||Gauteng Provincial Legislature briefing, Johannesburg 09:00
Committee Room A, 1st Floor Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Corner City Hall and President Street, Johannesburg.
|7 February 2014||KwaZulu-Natal Legislature hearings: Main Chamber, Legislature Building, Pietermaritzburg 10:00|
|11 February 2014||Northern Cape Legislature hearings, Kakamas. Contact Judy Masekela at (053) 839 8374.|
|13 February 2014||Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature hearings: Raymond Mhlaba Chamber, Legislature, Independence Avenue, Bhisho 10:00|
|14 February 2014||Limpopo Provincial Legislature hearings: Bolivia Lodge, Polokwane, 09:00|
|18 February 2014||Western Cape Provincial Parliament hearings: Chambers, 8th Floor, Cape Town: Provincial Legislature Building, t Wale Street, Cape Town 09:00-13:00.|
|19 February 2014||Gauteng Provincial Legislature public hearings on the Legal Practice Bill, City Hall, Johannesburg at 10:00.|
|12 November 2013||National Assembly passes the LPB: Download (PDF – 381KB) the final version of the Legal Practice Bill as passed by the National Assembly.|
|Legal Practice Bill Draft 7 (PDF -560KB).|
|24 October 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee plans to finalise the Legal Practice Bill for adoption on 29 and 30 October 2013.
Legal Practice Bill Draft 6 with amendments proposed by Portfolio Committee pursuant to discussions on 23 October 2013 (PDF – 253KB).
|22 October 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee will continue discussing draft 5 of the Legal Practice Bill on Wednesday, 23 October 2013.
Legal Practice Bill Draft 5 with amendments pursuant to discussions on 10 September 2013 (PDF -513KB).
|2 October 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee is debating the various options in draft 5 of the Legal Practice Bill over the next two weeks.|
|26 September 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee is to meet next week for further discussions of the Bill.|
|16 September||As the Justice Portfolio Committee has not scheduled a final meeting, it is unclear when the Bill will be finalised.|
|12 September 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee postponed its final meeting to next week. It is envisaged that the Bill, if finalised, is to receive a second reading at the National Assembly on 19 September 2013.|
|10-11 September 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee is meeting on 10 and 11 September to discuss outstanding issues on the Legal Practice Bill. A fourth draft of the Bill was presented on 10 September. This contained amendments as discussed by the committee on 3 and 4 September 2013.
Legal Practice Bill Draft 4 with amendments pursuant to discussions on 3 and 4 September 2013 (PDF – 908KB).
Legal Practice Bill Draft 3 with amendments as at 15 August 2013 (PDF 473KB).
|July-August 2013||The Justice Portfolio Committee has been debating the Legal Practice Bill throughout July and August. The committee has been discussing changes to the Bill with the drafters from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The drafters have been making amendments to the Bill as requested by the committee and various working document drafts of the Bill are tabled which include deletions and additions. Draft 2 of the Bill reflects the instructions given by the committee for possible options and changes of wording as at 13 August 2013. The chairperson of the committee, Mr Landers, has emphasised that there have been no formal decision on these matters yet, and changes to the Bill merely reflected options for further deliberation by the committee.
Legal Practice Bill Draft 2 as at 13 August 2013 (MSWord – 704KB).
Legal Practice Bill draft working document as at 1 August 2013 (PDF -744KB).
Legal Practice Bill draft working document as at 24 July 2013 (PDF – 690KB).
Original draft of the Legal Practice Bill [B20—2012] (330KB).
|June – July 2013||The Legal Practice Bill is being discussed by the Portfolio Committee for Justice and Constitutional Development.
The Committee is discussing responses and recommendations made by stakeholders with the Justice Department. Read the summary by the DoJ&CD (PDF 867KB).
|16 May 2013||The LSSA has made its further submissions on the Legal Practice Bill, 2012 to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development. These submission responded to a number of questions raised by the Portfolio Committee during the oral hearings in February 2012. In a separate annexure, the LSSA submissions also carried a full response to the oral and written submissions made by the Attorneys Fidelity Fund. Click here to download the further submissions (PDF -1478KB).|
|19 February 2013||The LSSA made its submissions to the Justice Portfolio Committee. The LSSA was requested to supplement its submissions with further information requested by the Committee.
Read the De Rebus comprehensive feature article (PDF – 1708KB) covering the submissions by 12 organisations and individuals invited to make oral submissions to the Justice Portfolio Committee on 19 and 20 February 2013. In addition, the article summarises all the written submissions made by other stakeholders and individuals.
|31 January 2013||The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development will hold public hearings on the Legal Practice Bill on 19-20 February 2013. Stakeholders and interested people who have already made written submissions and those who wish to make supplementary submissions are invited to do so. Stakeholders and people who have not made written submissions are invited to do so by Tuesday, 12 February 2013.|
|26 October 2012||The LSSA has published its draft submission that will be made to the Justice Portfolio Committee once confirmed by the LSSA Council at the end of November.
Download the LSSA draft submissions on the Bill (PDF – 267KB).
Read the advisory of 1 November 2012 (PDF -116KB).
|26 September 2012||The LSSA and the General Council of the Bar will meet on 26 September 2012 for a further round of discussions.|
|8 September 2012||Representatives of the LSSA – including Co-Chairpersons Jan Stemmett and Krish Govender – and of the General Council of the Bar – including its Chairperson Ishmael Semenya SC – met with representatives of the Justice Department and the Office of the State Law Adviser to brief them on discussions held between the LSSA and GCB in seeking to align their positions on the Bill.|
|7 August 2012||The LSSA and GCB have met for further discussions to seek to align their positions as far as possible. The next meeting is scheduled for 30 August 2012.|
|27 July 2012||The Justice Portfolio Committee has extended the deadline for written submissions on the Legal Practcie Bill. Download the media statement here (PDF – 37KB).|
|12 July 2012||The LSSA and GCB met on 7 July. They have issued a joint press release stating that the two branches of the profession will be able to make a largely uniform submission to the portfolio committee. They have requested an extension of the time for comment to 31 August 2012.
Download the press release (PDF – 35KB).
|3-4 July 2012||The LSSA Council met to discuss the Legal Practice Bill. A further meeting to finalise its comments to the Portfolio Committee will be held on 17 July 2012. The LSSA is formulating its comments. However, the LSSA Council noted the following positive changes made in the Bill were noted:
|17 June 2012||The Portfolio Committee for Justice and Constitutional Development called for written submissions by 27 July 2012
Legal Practice Bill [B20 – 2012]
Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development
Submissions and Hearings
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development invites stakeholders and interested persons to submit written submissions on the Legal Practice Bill [B20-2012].
The purpose of the Legal Practice Bill is to:
|6 June 2012:||The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development briefed the Justice Portfolio Committee on the Bill. Click here to download the DoJ&CD presentation to the committee (PDF – 119KB).|
|1 June 2012||The LSSA and General Council of the Bar will meet on 7 July 2012 to discuss the Bill.|
|30 May 2012||The Legal Practice Bill was tabled in Parliament. Click here to download the Legal Practice Bill [B20—2012] (PDF – 331KB)|
|22 May 2012||The LSSA welcomed the publication of the Bill. Read the press release (PDF – 25KB).|
|17 May 2012||Justice Minister Jeff Radebe announced that the Legal Practice Bill has been tabled in Parliament after it was certified by the Chief State Law Adviser. He said the Bill is a milestone in the history of the profession. It opens doors of access to the profession and guarantees accessible legal services, by creating a framework for the determination of reasonable and affordable fees.
Download the Legal Practice Bill, 2012 (PDF – 554KB)
Download the Minister’s Budget Vote Address (PDF – 64KB).
|March 2012||Parliamentary discussion on Bill expected to start in last quarter of 2012
At the LSSA AGM on 27 March 2012, policy adviser to the Justice Department, JB Skosana, told delegates that the certification process of the Legal Practice Bill by the Chief State Law Adviser was all but complete and that the Bill would introduced before Parliament shortly. The Bill would then be channeled to the Justice Portfolio Committee for public engagement.
Mr Skosana indicated, however that discussion around the Bill would take place once the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill and the Superior Courts Bill were dealt with in August of September 2012.
Click here to read the full report in the May 2012 issue of De Rebus.
|29 January 2012||LSSA and GCB to set up team to draft joint submissions on Legal Practice Bill
At a meeting on 29 January 2012, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) and General Council of the Bar (GCB) agreed to set up a joint technical committee to work on a joint position paper on the Legal Practice Bill (LPB). This came after little or no contact between the two branches of the profession on the Bill during the past decade. The LSSA was led by Co-Chairpersons Praveen Sham and Nano Matlala, and the GCB by its Chairperson, Gerrit Pretorius SC.
Also, the GCB was of the view that advocates had no interest in the regulatory affairs of attorneys and vice versa. Where there were issues in common to both branches, these should be dealt with together at the highest national level, but regulatory matters specific to each branch should be dealt with by the respective branch of the profession. Although there were different views on whether the Minister should have representation on the Council, the LSSA’s proposal of one ministerial representative would be discussed. Further discussion was also required on the role of paralegals and also on community service, particularly in the context of access to justice, as well as on vocational and workplace training models.
In general, at the close of the January meeting, representatives of the LSSA and GCB agreed to go back to their respective constituents to seek a mandate to set up a joint technical committee to draft the joint position paper covering issues where there were uniform views.
|December 2010||Draft Legal Practice Bill (PDF -351KB).
Download (PDF – 523KB)the presentation from the Legal Practice Bill information sessions in July/August 2011
|18 August 2011||Legal Practice Bill delayed to allow for consultation on policy issues and thorough certification process
The Justice Department advised the LSSA on 18 August 2011 that the Legal Practice Bill was being delayed, after the Minister announce in his budget speech in June that it would be introduced to Parliament ‘within the next few days’. The delay has been on the side of the State Law Adviser, whose office had asked for an extension of time to certify the constitutionality of the Bill. Also, the Justice Department was considering a number of broad policy issues that impact on the Bill.
Competition issues: In addition, the Department was in discussions with the Competition Commission on various issues that impacted on the Bill, such as reserved work and fee arrangements. The Justice Department indicated that it would convene a joint meeting between itself, the Competition Commission and the legal profession to discuss these issues.
Cross-border practices: The Department has indicated that it is investigating the implications of opening the market for legal services across the SADC region and beyond. It would be considering foreign policy and international commitments in terms of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
Broad policy issues
Some of the policy issues being investigated include
Although the Bill provides the principles for unifying the governance of the profession, no guidance is given on how the operational aspects are to be streamlined and integrated.
The Justice Department has undertaken to consult the profession on all the policy aspects being considered.
Although the Department is preparing a broad policy document on all the issues impacting on the Bill, indications are that this will not necessarily delay the certification of the Bill once the State Law Adviser was satisfied that it would pass constitutional muster. The Bill could then still be introduced this year, although the parliamentary process and public hearings would probably not be completed and would continue into 2012.
|December 2010||Draft Legal Practice Bill (352 – KB) (this is the latest version of the Bill, but not the final Bill, which is still being awaited)
Download (PDF -523KB) the presentation from the Legal Practice Bill information sessions in July/August 2011
The LSSA invites attorneys to submit their comments or raise their concerns with the Acting CEO of the LSSA, Nic Swart: E-mail nic@LSSALEAD.org.za or fax 086 677 8824.
LSSA completes national information sessions on the Bill
Information sessions on the Legal Practice Bill (LPB) were held throughout the country during July and August by members of the LSSA Task Team and members of its Management Committee.
Active participation by practitioners was recorded at all sessions, with attorneys being given the opportunity to raise their concerns and engage in discussion with those who have been involved directly in the negotiation process with the Justice Department.
Attorneys raised the following issues at most of the sessions:
The LSSA is consolidating the reports on all the information sessions into a report. The Legal Practice Bill will also be on the agenda for discussion at the annual general meetings of all the LSSA constituent members throughout October and November 2011.
Information sessions schedule
The Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa, Nano Matlala and Praveen Sham, invited attorneys to information sessions to discuss the Legal Practice Bill and the implications of the Bill for the profession. The LSSA undertook to take into account the issues and concerns raised at the sessions, and to take direction from attorneys to guide it when making representations to Parliament.
Some issues discussed:
|7 June 2011||In his budget vote address, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said:
‘The revised Legal Practice Bill was approved by Cabinet in December 2010, following continued engagement with the legal profession on the initial Bill approved by Cabinet in May 201. A ground-breaking compromise which enjoys the support of many in the profession relates to the legislative mandate proposed for the Transitional Legal Practice Council to deal with the outstanding areas of contention in the Bill within a period of 18 months. These areas of contention are, among others, the type of regulatory structures for the profession; the appointment mechanism for the members of the regulatory structures, disciplinary mechanisms and assets and financial arrangements relating to the profession. I am pleased to inform the House that the Department and the State Law Advisers are addressing all the concerns that would have likely obstructed the certification of the Bill and I am confident that this Bill will soon be ready for introduction into Parliament. The certification process will be finalised in a matter of days to pave the way for the introduction of this important Bill to Parliament.’
|26 May 2011||The LSSA made its final submissions of the Bill to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (PDF – 275KB) on 26 May|
|12 May 2011||On 12 May 2011 the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) made several last-minute proposals on the draft Legal Practice Bill to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development prior to the Bill starting its progress through the parliamentary process.
The Department’s representatives indicated that the Justice Minister intended to speak to the Bill in the debate on his budget vote in Parliament on 7 June 2011.
The LSSA made some suggestions on adjusting the representation of members on the Legal Practice Council on the basis that it was not in favour of separate representation for various blocks of legal practitioners.
The LSSA highlighted the following concerns it had with the Department’s December 2010 draft of the LPB:
See also De Rebus article below.
|March 2011||Read the report in De Rebus (PDF – 199KB)on discussions on the Legal Practice Bill at the LSSA annual general meeting at the end of March 2011. DIscussions focused around the December 2010 draft of the Bill.|
|9 December 2010||Cabinet announced in a statement that, at its meeting on 8 December, it had approved the December 2010 version of the Legal Practice Bill (PDF 253KB) for submission to Parliament.|
|8 November 2010||The LSSA has submitted its comments on the Legal Practice Bill (PDF – 423KB) in legislative format to the Justice Department.|
|5 November 2010||The LSSA finalised its comments on the second draft Bill for submission to the Justice Department on Monday, 8 November 2010.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe announced in his Budget Vote address on 5 May 2010 that Cabinet had approved the Legal Practice Bill for introduction into the parliamentary process.
|April 2010||In April 2010 the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development published a second draft of The Legal Practice Bill (PDF -384Kb) as well as a document summarising the key principles (PDF – 36Kb) undepinning the Bill.
The LSSA submitted its comments (PDF – 141Kb) on the first working draft to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on 17 November 2009.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development published a first working draft of the new Legal Practice Bill, 2009 [PDF – 1.175MB] in August 2009.
Background prior to 2009
|Discussions on the Legal Practice Bill, which is to transform the governance structures of the legal profession, were started between the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and the legal profession in 2001. The then Minister, Dr Penuell Maduna, set up a Task Team chaired by Geoff Budlender to draft the Bill.
Fundamental differences of opinion between the attorneys’ profession and the advocates’ profession led to two versions of the Bill being drafted, one by the Law Society of South Africa (PDF – 286Kb), representing the view of the attorneys’ profession, and the second draft by the remainder of the Task Team stakeholders (PDF – 267Kb).
The two drafts were presented to the Minister in 2002. A report by Mr Budlender summarised (PDF – 59Kb) the views which led to the drafting of two versions of the Bill.
There were no further developments for some time.
In 2008 the LSSA reopened discussions on the Bill with then Minister Enver Surty.