Services

HUMAN CHAMBERS

Creating and monitoring the overall performance objectives for the legal team.

Career development for lawyers and non-lawyers within the legal team.

A legal practitioner has a  wide variety of legal and financial decisions to make in the day-to-day operations, including the management of small business insurance costs and identifying their target markets.

 The Legal Practitioner must make use of resources  that will help you get up to speed with marketing, advertising, extending credit,
e-commerce, the use of technology in day-to-day operations, business insurance, negotiating leases, managing logistics

Key Expertise:

Criminal Law

Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people inclusive of one’s self. One is only criminally liable and subject to punishment if the following requirements are met.

  1. It must be proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the accused committed some wrongful conduct which coincided in time with a culpable/guilty mental state. 
  •  For illustration purposes, it will be helpful to bear the definition of the crimes of murder and culpable homicide in mind. 
  •  Murder is defined as the intentional unlawful killing of another human being. 
  •  Culpable homicide is defined as the negligent unlawful killing of another human being. 
  • Notably, the two crimes are identical, except that murder requires intention, while culpable homicide requires negligence.

 2. Wrongful/Unlawful conduct (also known as the actus reus) requires conduct, in the form of an act or omission, which is voluntary and is wrongful/unlawful.

3. A culpable mental state (also known as mens rea) requires, on the current law, at least ‘capacity’ and – at least for all serious crimes – some form of fault (intention or negligence).

Criminal liability attaches to conduct which is voluntary and unlawful if the accused had capacity and the relevant form of fault at the time of his/her conduct. 

In addition, if the crime is a consequence crime, the accused must have caused the prohibited consequence. All of this must be proved by the prosecution, beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Criminal Litigation

We specialise in:

  • Bail Applications
  • Trials Appeals & Review Proceedings
  • Criminal Matters

Civil Law

A Legal practitioner is hired by a client to pursue or defend a civil lawsuit in a court of law. A civil lawsuit can arise in many different areas of law and often concerns the recovery of money or property.

Legal Practitioners specialize in a wide range of areas, including: personal injury lawemployment lawfamily lawbusiness and finance lawimmigration lawreal estate lawlandlord / tenant law, and more.

As mentioned above, someone can sue or be sued under almost any non-criminal theory of law. If you believe you have been wronged financially or otherwise, it would be ideal to hire a Legal practitioner to help you assess the merits of your case.

Furthermore, if another person or business ever sues you, it is best to immediately consult with a legal practitioner to determine the best course of action—delaying your response to the lawsuit can have dire consequences for your defence.

Our Firm, will attempt to resolve your legal issues without you going to court and will assist you with the following:

  • High Court & Magistrate’s Court Litigation and Labour Court Litigation
  • Applications
  • Admissions of Advocates and attorneys
  • Debt Collection
  • Debt Review Matters
  • Settlement negotiations, rescission
  • Eviction Matters
  • Rent Interdicts
  • Liquidation & Sequestration
  • Family services, divorces, child matters, antenuptial contracts
  • Wills and Estates
  • Medical negligence
  • Other civil services, Mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, labour Disputes

Labour Law

Our firm is capable of handling your case in Labour Law with care and diligence. Below is an outline of a dispute process in a Labour matter.

Steps for referring Disputes at the CCMA
If you have a labour problem, it is particularly important that you take steps immediately.

In the case of an unfair dismissal dispute, you have only 30 days from the date on which the dispute arose to open a case. With discrimination cases, you have six months.

If you have decided to lodge a dispute, you need to complete a CCMA case referral form, also known as a LRA Form 7.11. These forms are available from the CCMA offices, DOL offices and the CCMA website. (http://www.ccma.org.za).

Usually the first meeting is called a conciliation hearing. Only the parties, trade union or employer organisation representatives (if a party to the dispute is a member) and the CCMA Commissioner will attend. The purpose of the hearing is to reach an agreement acceptable to both parties. Legal representation is not allowed.

If no agreement is reached, the Commissioner will issue a certificate to that effect. Depending on the nature of the dispute, the case may be referred to the CCMA arbitration or the Labour Court as a further step.

Arbitration is a more formal process and evidence, including witnesses and documents, may be necessary to prove your case. Parties may cross -examine each other. Legal representation may be allowed. The commissioner will make a final and binding decision, called an arbitration award, within 14 days.

 

If a party does not comply with the arbitration award, it may be made and order of the Labour Court.

Disputes
If you are an employee in dispute with your employer, or vice versa, over a matter such as:

  • Dismissal. 
  • Wages and working conditions. 
  • Workplace changes. 
  • Or discrimination

You may want to ask the CCMA to conciliate or even arbitrate your dispute.

The CCMA’s compulsory statutory functions are to:

  • conciliate workplace disputes.
  • arbitrate certain categories of disputes that remain unresolved after conciliation.
  • establish picketing rules.
  • facilitate the establishment of workplace forums and statutory councils.
  • compile and publish information and statistics about our activities.
  • consider applications for accreditation and subsidy by bargaining councils and private agencies; and

provide support for the Essential Services Committee.

 

CCMA Processes

With the amendments of the LRA, section 188A came into effect. This is unlike a normal arbitration at the CCMA where conciliation has failed, and a certificate issued. This process is intended to take the place of a disciplinary enquiry and subsequent proceedings, which are heard by the CCMA. An employer may, by agreement with the employee, request the CCMA or council to conduct this arbitration if it relates to the conduct or capacity of that employee.

Limine is a hearing on a specific legal point, which takes place before the actual case referred, can be heard. It is a process that addresses the technical legal points, which are raised prior to getting into the merits of the case and relates to matters of jurisdiction.

Conciliation is a process where a commissioner meets with the parties in dispute and explores ways to settle the dispute by agreement. At conciliation, a party may appear in person or only be represented by a director or employee of that party or any member, office bearer or official of that party’s registered trade union or registered employer’s organisation. The meeting is conducted in an informal way.

When conciliation fails, a party may request the CCMA to resolve the dispute by arbitration. At an arbitration hearing, a commissioner gives both parties an opportunity to fully state their cases. The commissioner then makes a decision on the issue in dispute. The decision, called the arbitration award, is legally binding on both parties. Attempts must generally be made to resolve the dispute through conciliation. If it cannot be resolved by conciliation, the parties can go to arbitration or the Labour Court, the Act specifies which dispute goes to which process.

Pre-arbitration conference
By agreement between the parties or when so directed by the Director or a Senior Commissioner, the parties to the proceedings must hold a pre-arbitration conference to-

  1. determine facts in dispute, common cause facts, issues to be decided, and relief claimed.
  2. exchange documents that will be used in the arbitration.
  3. draw up and sign a minute of the pre-arbitration conference. 

Section 191(5A) makes provision for the Con-arb process, which is a speedier one-stop process of conciliation and arbitration for individual unfair labour practices and unfair dismissals. In effect, this process will allow for conciliation and arbitration to take place as a continuous process on the same day. The process is compulsory in matters relating to-

  1. dismissals for any reason relating to probation; and
  2. any unfair labour practice relating to probation.

  • Condonation

    If you have a labour problem, it is particularly important that you take steps immediately. The statutory time periods for referring disputes are as follows- 

Unfair dismissal – the dismissed employee must refer the dispute to the CCMA or council within 30 days of the date of the dismissal. If the employer makes a final decision to dismiss, say for example, the outcome of an appeal hearing, the matter must be referred within 30 days of that final decision to dismiss.

Unfair labour practices- the employee must refer the matter to the CCMA or council within 90 days of the date of the act or omission, which allegedly constitutes an unfair labour practice. If an employee only became aware of the occurrence at a later date, the matter must be referred within 90 days of the employee becoming aware of such occurrence.

Discrimination – the employee must refer the matter to the CCMA or council within six months of the act or omission that constituted unfair discrimination.

In terms of section 145 of the LRA, a party may apply to the Labour Court on the basis of an alleged defect with a commissioner’s rulings or awards. The party who alleges such a defect must apply to the Labour Court to set aside the award within six weeks of the award being served.

Research

Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making.

Legal decision-making consists of.

  • COMPLEX legal issues
  • Applied to SPECIFIC facts
  • Requiring COMPLETE answers
  • For clients that PAY for your expertise

 

Step 1:

1.1 Gather and Understand the Facts of Your Case. The first step in legal research is to write a statement of facts.

1.2 Gain a complete understanding of everything that has happened, in your case, and write down everything that has happened so far, and everything that is currently going on. 

1.3 Do include facts you consider unimportant. Sometimes facts that seem unimportant can make a big difference in the court process. 

1.4 Revise it to make sure is accurate and reflects the facts of your case. Make a case timeline as well. On the case timeline, list dates from the time your problems started until the present day, along with the events that occurred on those dates. 

1.5 This easy visual reference will help you keep important dates in your case straight as you go through the legal research process.

 

Step 2

2.1 Determine Your Legal Problem and Your Desired Outcome.

2.2 Simply figuring out where to start your legal research can often be an extremely hard part of the process. 

2.3 It may help to sit down and write down the issues you are facing, along with your ideal outcome. Also think about what a good compromise could be.

2.4 The legal issue you are facing will guide what type of law you research. For example, if you are currently a noncustodial parent under to a court order—but would like to become the custodial parent—that means you may be seeking to modify the prior court order. 

2.5 Here, you have a family law issue involving modification. Thus, your legal research would be focused on family law and modification.

 

Step 3:

3.1 Finding Legal Information and Reading About the Law

3.2 Legal research sources are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. 

3.3 Primary sources include statutes, rules, regulations, and case law. Broadly speaking the primary sources are common law, legislation (national and regional; statutes and regulations) and law reports.

Examples that can be found in hard copy in the law library as well as electronically in the databases are:

  • Law Reports/ Case Law/ Judgments.
  • Legislation/ Act/ Statutes.
  • Government Gazettes.
  • Treaties and Conventions

3.4 Secondary sources are much more diverse and secondary sources are materials that discuss, explain, analyse, and critique the law. They discuss the law but are not the law itself.

Examples that can be found in hard copy in the law library as well as electronically in the databases are:

  • Reference Sources (dictionaries, encyclopaedias & notes).
  • Law books (textbooks).
  • Loose-leaf publications (regularly updated).
  • Law Journals.
  • Yearbooks.


Step 4
:

 4.1 Legal Analysis/Legal Writing and beyond.

4.2 During legal analysis, you apply the law to the facts of your case.

4.3 Once you have determined which law applies to your case, made sure it is binding and current, and have read up on it, it is time to start your legal analysis and writing.

Divorce Law

Divorce proceedings usually involve intense emotions and significant expense. Our firm can work with you throughout the divorce process to minimize the emotional strain and cost normally associated with these proceedings. We handle complex contested and uncontested divorces. 

During the divorce proceedings, we will assess all of the assets and debt and strive to attain the largest possible distribution of marital assets for our clients. When appropriate, we will work closely with you to guarantee proper financial support through alimony. If children are involved, we will work with you to help you obtain custody of your children, child support payments or help in the development of a parenting plan, if preferred.

Types of divorce in South Africa

There are essentially three ways to get divorced in South Africa. The type of divorce procedure profoundly affects the practical matters of how long the divorce procedure will take and how much the procedure will cost.

The three types of divorce include:

  • Uncontested divorce
  • Mediated divorce
  • Contested divorce

The longer and more contentious the divorce process, the greater the negative impact on the family’s mental and emotional well-being.

 

Divorce with children
The relationship with your spouse is complex and requires a Legal Practitioner who is both discreet and professional. Through mediation and family law, we will help you safely negotiate the split and secure care and contact rights that are in the best interests of the child. For healthy closure, your needs and the lifestyle of your children must be protected by putting a reasonable maintenance in place.


Child maintenance
Under South African law children have the right to receive financial maintenance. Both parents, whether married or not, are required to provide financial support for a child.

Maintenance amounts must be negotiated and finalised according to the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Parents are obliged to pay for their children’s upbringing. Their respective payments depend on how much each earns.

The amount paid to the primary caregiver is based on the monthly earnings of each parent and the cost of the child’s education, care and upbringing. Maintenance orders are orders of the court. Failure to meet these obligations is a criminal offence.

Grounds for divorce
In South Africa there are only three grounds for divorce, two of which are very rare.
1. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage

The relationship has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be restored. According to the Divorce ct 70 of 1979, certain circumstances can be classed as causing irreversible damage to a marriage:

  • Separation for a continued period of at least one year
  • Adultery: contrary to what some believe, and what was the case historically, adultery in itself is not grounds for divorce. It is no longer possible to sue a third party for “alienation of affection”. 

The defendant has committed multiple crimes and/or is serving time in jail.

2. Mental illness

3. Continuous unconsciousness for a period of at least six months


Our Services

The child’s best interest is a constitutional right of every child, we will endeavour to act in a professional and dignified way to achieve an outcome to issues relating to disagreements flowing from your marriage with your partner

We take care to highlight the precise legal options available to you to protect your children, your assets and yourself from unnecessary financial or emotional harm.

 

We protect your legal interests

Divorce is one of the most powerfully stressful experiences that humans can experience. It has a profound impact on the mental, emotional and physical and psychological well-being of all family members. We can help to keep you safe. We will fight on your behalf, protecting your legal interests with uncompromising dignity.

Family Law

Our Firm has extensive experience in dealing with family and matrimonial matters. We can act on behalf of both parties concerned in divorce proceedings where it is clear at the inception of the matter that the parties will be able to reach an amicable settlement.

Family Cases
Family cases are a type of civil case, but they generally involve issues between or concerning spouses, parents, and children.
Family courts handle a wide variety of cases involving domestic matters. The most common issues handled at family court include:

Marriage Dissolution
 When someone wants to end a marriage, they can file a case at family court to ask for a court order ending the marriage. Marriages can be terminated through divorce or annulment cases. The court can also grant a separation, where the court issues orders regarding property, alimony, and child custody, but the parties remain legally married. You can find more information on the DivorceAnnulment, or Separation sections of this site.


Paternity and Child Custody 
When a man needs to be declared the father of a child, either parent can file a case asking the family court to determine paternity. This permanently establishes the father of the child. Unmarried parents can also ask the court to order legal custody, physical custody, visitation schedules, and child support. 


Protection Orders Against Domestic Violence
 Victims of domestic violence can ask the family court to issue protection orders to keep their abuser away.


Name Changes
 A child or an adult may be able to legally change their name through a name change case at family court. 


Guardianship
 Guardianship involves determining who will be responsible for the medical, personal, and financial decisions over a child or an adult who cannot care for themself. 


Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption
If there are serious reasons why a parent should no longer have a parental relationship with a child (such as abandonment, neglect, abuse, etc.), the family court may terminate that parent’s rights. If someone else wants to become a child’s legal parent, the family court can grant an adoption where the parent-child relationship is legally created. 


Juvenile Matters
Family court oversees all matters where there are allegations of child abuse, child neglect, or where minors are accused of participating in illegal behavior. These matters are largely handled by the District Attorney Juvenile Division.


Emancipation and Approval of Underage Marriages
 Those under the age of 18 who wish to marry or want to be “emancipated” (meaning, being legally free from the control of their parents) can petition the family court for approval.

Bail Application

The accused or his/her legal representative can apply for bail at the police station before the accused’s first court appearance, or at court.

Principles relating to the law on bail include that: 

  • Bail should strike a balance between the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the interests of society and justice. 
  • The amount at which bail is set is not a punishment but a mechanism to secure attendance of an accused in court. 
  • Denial of bail is not a punishment. Bail should be denied when it is assessed that the accused will fail to return to court or will interfere with the interests of justice if granted bail.

Bail granted at the police station

  • The amount set by the police official should be paid and the accused will be released from custody. The person paying the bail should be in possession of their identity document/passport.
  • The police official will give a receipt and notice indicating the alleged criminal offence together with the date and time the accused should appear at court.

At the hearing of the application for bail in court

  • The court may at the hearing of the application for bail:
  • postpone the application for 7 days or less.
  • obtain further information that is needed in order to make a decision regarding bail; or
  • require the prosecutor to place on record reasons for opposing the application.
  • The accused or his/her legal representative is compelled to inform the court whether the accused has been convicted previously of any criminal offence or whether s/he is currently out on bail in respect of any other alleged criminal offence.

If bail is granted at court

  • The court may release the accused on bail at any stage before his/her conviction, provided that the interests of justice permit the release of an accused or that there are exceptional circumstances that exist, for example, where the accused has an illness that prevents him/her from being detained.
  • The court may set an amount to be paid for bail or release the accused on warning. The court may also impose certain conditions to the release, such as for the accused to report to the nearest police station once a week or to be placed under correctional supervision.
  • If the court decides to set an amount for bail, it should be paid at the clerk of the court and the person who paid the amount must be provided with a receipt.

 Circumstances where bail are denied

  • The court will not release the accused on bail where the following grounds are present:
    • there is a chance that the release of the accused will endanger his/her own safety, the safety of the public or any other particular person.
    • there is a chance that the accused will avoid his/her trial.
    • there is a chance that the accused will attempt to influence or intimidate witnesses or hide and/or destroy evidence.
    • there is a chance that the accused will undermine or endanger the functioning of the justice system including the bail system. 
    • there is a chance that the accused will disturb public order or undermine public peace and security.

If the accused does not appear at court, or comply with the conditions of bail

  • If the accused does not attend court on the date and time allocated, or fails to comply with the conditions set for bail, the accused’s bail will be cancelled and the bail money will be forfeited to the State, unless the accused can give the court good reasons why s/he failed to appear or to comply with the conditions.
  • Where the accused failed to appear in court, a warrant of arrest will be issued.

The rights of the accused

  • An accused has the right to:
    • legal representation.
    • be informed that s/he is entitled to bring an application for bail.
    • be informed that s/he may not incriminate him/herself.
    • be informed of the reason for his/her arrest.
    • be brought before a court within 48 hours (weekend and public holidays excluded) after his/her arrest or on the first court date after the expiry of such period should the 48 hours expire over a weekend; and
    • a speedy and fair trial.

Admissions of Legal Practitioners

Our Firm specialises in Admissions of Legal Practitioners to be enrolled with the Legal Practice Council as an Attorney or Advocate.

For admission as an advocate, the applicant must serve his/her application on the relevant Bar Council and the relevant Provincial Council (PC) of the Legal Practice Council (LPC) in terms of Rule 17 of the LPC. The relevant PC will be the one in whose area of jurisdiction the applicant intends to practise.

The Code of Conduct:

  1. Definitions
  2. Code of conduct: general provisions
  3. Conduct of attorneys
  4. Conduct of advocates contemplated in section 34(2)(a)(i) of the Act
  5. Conduct of advocates contemplated in section 34(2)(a)(ii) of the Act
  6. Conduct of legal practitioners and candidate legal practitioners in relation to appearances in court and before tribunals
  7. Conduct of legal practitioners not in private practice

It is really hard to work out who must comply with which part, so we have created a table to help you. We also created the image above which tries to visually show you who is who.

Download the Code of Conduct for all legal practitioners

The Code of Conduct was published under Section 36(1) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 on 29 March 2019. You can download (South African Legal Practice Council Code of Conduct made under the authority of section 36(1) of the Legal Practice Act, 28 of 2014) the final version in searchable pdf format.

As a legal practitioner, if you fail to adhere to the Code of Conduct, the LPC may take disciplinary action against you under the Rules. If you are found to have breached (or transgressed) the code, your conduct will be misconduct.

Please feel free to contact us with any assistance you need with regards to admission of a Legal Practitioner.

South African Family and Divorce Law Legislation

Recognition of Customary Marriages Act
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Divorce
Divorce Act, 1979 (Act No. 70 of 1979), with Caveat.
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Child Rights
Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)
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Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) – Regulation
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Child Justice Act, 2008
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Children’s Court Draft Forms
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Children Status Act, 2006
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Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
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Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act 1 of 2008
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Domestic Violence and Harassment​
Domestic Violence Act, 1998
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Protection from Harassment Act, 17 of 2011
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Prevention of Family Violence Act, 1993
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Maintenance
Maintenance Act 99 of 1998
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Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act
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Civil Unions
Civil Union Act 17 of 2006
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Matrimonial Property
Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984
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Domicile
Domicile Act, 3 of 1992
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