Latest developments on the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014
For the advisories/notices from the Legal Practice Council, view here
For key documents, including the Legal Practice Act:
Read the LPC notification here.
5 April 2019: The LPC has invited legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) to serve on the following committees at the provincial offices:
- Fee Assessment
Applications must be made to the relevant Provincial Council director. The deadline for applicatiosn is Friday, 12 April 2019.
Read the LPC notification here.
29 March 2019: The Legal Practice Council has published the final Code of Conduct. The Code applies to all legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) as well as all candidate legal practitioners and juristic entities as defined, and is effective from 29 March 2019.
The Code of Conduct serves as the prevailing standard of conduct and will be enforced by the LPC. Failure to adhere to the Code will constitute misconduct and transgressors will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings in terms of the Rules promulgated under ss 95(1), 95(3) and 109(2) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (LPA).
Download the Code of Conduct here.
18 March 2019: The Legal Practice Council (LPC) announced the results of the elections of provincial councillors to the Provincial Councils on Monday, 18 March 2019. Read more here.
The nomination and election period for Provincial Council (PC) members of the LPC has opened. The nomination period closes on Friday, 15 March 2019.
Read the LPC advisory here.
4 March 2019: Examination langauge: The LPC has resolved that the dual language system for professional examinations will be discontinued in 2019. The examinations to be presented in March 2019 and April 2019 will still be presented in Afrikaans and English. Thereafter, all the examinations will be presented and conducted in English only and examination candidates will also be required to answer in English only. Read the LPC advisory here.
7 February 2019: The LSSA commented on the draft Code of Conduct to the LPC. View LSSA comments here.
1 February 2019: Legal Practice Council Notice 57 of 2019: On 1 February 2019, the LPC published an amended Rule 21.11 of the Rules previously published under the authority of ss 95(1), 95(3) and 109(2) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (as amended), on 20 July 2018 in GG 41781. Rule 21 deals with the requirements for the examinations or assessments to be undertaken by persons wishing to be enrolled as legal practitioners.
This has been necessitated by the fact that a number of persons wishing to be admitted and enrolled as attorneys have completed the full time practical training course presented by the School for Legal Practice, but are not entitled to present themselves for the competency-based examinations or assessments provided for in s 26(1)(d) of the Act, read with Rule 21, because they are not eligible to do so under the provisions of the current Rule 21.11. Section 14(3)(d) of the Attorneys Act, 1979 (as amended), which has been repealed by the Act, would have entitled the Candidate Attorneys concerned to present themselves for the practical examinations, but in terms of the existing Rule 21.11 they are no longer eligible to write the examinations. They are accordingly prejudiced thereby. There are 30 days to comment on the rule change.
Read the LPC notice 40 of 2019: Provincial Council Elections – Call for nominations.
13 December 2018: The Legal Practice Council (LPC) gazetted the draft amended Code of Conduct for public comment on 21 December 2018 in GG42127 in terms of s 36(5) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (as amended) (LPA). The deadline for comments is 7 February 2019. Practitioners are urged to interrogate the Code carefully and submit their comments to the LPC. In terms of s 36(2) of the LPA, the code of conduct serves as the prevailing standard of conduct, which legal practitioners, candidate legal practitioners and juristic entities must adhere to; and failure to do so constitutes misconduct. Written comments should be addressed to Ms Charity Nzuza, Acting Executive Officer, Legal Practice Council at e-mail address email@example.com, or hand delivered to the LPC at Procforum Building, 123 Paul Kruger Street, Pretoria.
View the LPC notification here. Download the draft Code of Conduct here.
13 December 2018: The Legal Practice Council gazetted an amendment to Rule 16 on 21 December 2018 in GG42127. This rule deals with the election of Provincial Councils and allows for electronic voting of provincial councl members. The Rules were previously published on 20 July 2018 in Government Gazette No 41781.
View the Legal Practice Council notice here.
21 November 2018: Legal Practice Council Notice: Application for 2019 Fidelity Fund Certificates in terms of the LPA: new requirements. Read LPC notice here.
12 November 2018: Legal Practice Council Notice: Election of Provincial Councils: Section 23(4) of the Legal Practice Act, 2014 and (Rule 16). Read LPC notification here.
1 November 2018: Legal Practice Council Notice: Conversion of enrolement. Read the LPC notificiation here.
1 November 2018: Legal Practice Council Notice: Operations of the Legal Practice Council. Read LPC notification here.
1 November 2018: The Legal Practice Council has announced that the Code of Conduct, and therefore the new robing provisions contained in it, are not yet in force. Read LPC notification here.
31 October 2018: At its first meeting, the Legal Practice Council elected Johannesburg attorney Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu and Johannesburg advocate Anthea Platt SC as Chairperson and Deputy-Chairperson of the LPC.
The members of the Executive are Greg Harpur Sc (advocate), Trudie Nichols (attorney), Lutendo Sigogo (attorney), Jan Stemmett (attorney) and Phillip Zilwa SC (advocate).
Attorney council members: Miles Carter, Priyesh Daya, Krish Govender, Nolitha Jali, Noxolo Maduba, Hlahleleni Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu, Janine Myburgh, Trudie Nichols, Lutendo Sigogo and Jan Stemmett.
Advocate council members: Greg Harpur SC, Grace Goedhart SC, Harshila Kooverjie SC, Vuyani Ngalwana SC, Anthea Platt SC and Phillip Zilwa SC.
Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund nominee: Anthony Miller
Legal Aid South Africa nominee: Brian Nair
South African Law Deans Association: Prof Avinash Govindjee
South Arican Law Teachers: Clement Marumoangae
Minister’s nominees: Christine Qunta, Nancy Kalebe and Adv Ghandi Badela
29 October 2018: Proclamation 42003 Legal Practice Act (28/2014) was gazetted on 29 October proclaiming 31 October 2018 as the date on which Chapter 2 of the LPA, with the exclusion of s 14, comes into operation (bringing the Legal Practice Council into operation); and 1 November 2018 as the date on which the rest of the LPA, with the exclusion of certain sections, comes into operation (the for statutory provincial law societies are abolished).
The Section 94 Regulations (also referred to as s 109(1)(bA) Regulations) were gazetted on 29 October 2018. Read here.
25 October 2018: The Legal Practice Council (LPC) can only be validly constituted and start working when Chapter 2 of the Legal Practice Act is implemented in terms of s 120(3). Chapter 2 and most of the rest of the LPA are intended to come into operation on 31 October 2018, on the same day the four statutory provincial Law Societies are due to be abolished. Before 31 October 2018, the s 94 Regulations must be approved by Parliament, Chapter 2 must be proclaimed to come into operation and the 7 other members of LPC must be appointed. On 31 October 2018, Chapter 2 must be implemented, the LPC must be constituted, the office bearers of the LPC (Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and 5 Councillors) must be elected and the Natioanl Forum must be wound up. On 1 November 2018 the rest of the LPA must be implemented ito s 120(4), which will repeal the Attorneys Act, 1979 and will abolish the statutory provincial Law Societies. The LPC will then take over the Law Societies’ staff and assets and commence to regulate the profession.
8 October 2018: The names of the 10 attorneys and 6 advocates were announced by the National Forum as follows:
Attorneys:Miles Carter, Priyesh Daya, Krish Govender, Nolitha Jali, Noxolo Maduba, Hlahleleni Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu, Janine Myburgh, Trudie Nichols, Lutendo Sigogo and Jan Stemmett.
Advocates: Greg Harpur SC, Grace Goedhart SC, Harshila Kooverjie SC, Vuyani Ngalwana SC, Anthea Platt SC and Phillip Zilwa SC.
Read more here
The following persons are also due to serve on the LPC in terms of s7(1):
Teachers of Law: Avinash Govindjee – Eastern Cape and Clement Marumoagae – Gauteng
Designated by Legal Aid SA: Brian Nair – Gauteng
Designated by the Minister: 3 persons are still due to be designated
Designated by LP Fidelity Fund: 1 person is still due to be designated.
20 September 2018
Voting for Council members for the Legal Practice Council opened on 19 September and closes at 12 noon on 3 October 2018. The lists of nominees (attorneys and advocates) standing for election to the Council, as well as their profiles, have been published. Voting can be carried out at any of the 74 polling stations, or alternatively, ballot papers can be sent via fast mail, courier and docex or hand delivered. Read about the voting process, access the profiles of candidates, download the ballot papers, the NF’s ‘How to vote’ communiqués and the list of voting stations here.
15 September 2018
The preliminary lists of attorney and advocate candidates standing for election has been published. The final list will be published on Monday, 17 September 2018.
View the preliminary lists here.
4 September 2018:
On 4 September 2018, Justice Minister, Adv Michael Masutha, together with the National Forum on the Legal Profession, announced the opening of the election process for Council members of the Legal Practice Council. The nomination period runs from 4 to 14 September 2018. Original, signed nomination forms must reach the election agency – EISA – as agent for the NF by midnight on 14 September 2018. Read more on the nomination process and access the nomination forms here.The LSSA welcomed the opening of the election process. Read press release.
Change in timeframes
There is a delay of about two months in the implementation of the Legal Practice Act (LPA), but according to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the LPA can still be fully implemented and the statutory provincial Law Societies can still be dissolved on 31 October 2018. Reservations have been expressed by members of the National Forum who are of the view that due to the large number of transitional arrangements, the effective date in the transfer agreements with the Law Societies will have to be moved forward to the end of December and the final implementation is more likely to stand over until 1 or 2 January 2019.
Read the guest editorial in the September 2018 issue of De Rebus: Is the profession ready for the full implementation of the LPA? Read here.