SALRC’s investigation into legal fees

The South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) has requested for comment and input on its ‘Issue paper 36 project 142: Investigation into legal fees.’

The SALRC prepared the issue paper as it has been mandated in terms of sections 35(4) and 35(5) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 to undertake an investigation into legal fees.

According to the SALRC, the issue paper is the first document published by the SALRC during this investigation and therefore does not contain any recommendations for law reform. The paper aims to announce the investigation, initiate and stimulate debate, seek proposals for reform, and will serve as a basis for further deliberation by the SALRC.

The issue paper details the SALRC’s study on –
• Circumstances giving rise to legal fees that are unattainable for most people;
• improvement of access to justice;
• desirability of establishing a mechanism responsible for determining legal fees and tariffs;
• litigious and non-litigious matters;
• attorney-and-client costs and contractual freedom; and
• contingency fee agreements.

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) urges all legal practitioners to have a look at the issue paper and provide comment and/or input to Kris Devan from the LSSA’s Professional Affairs department at by no later than 31 July 2019. The LSSA will collate all the comments and will provide feedback to the SALRC.

To read the full issue paper click here.