We understand the fine line between legal certainty and commercial reality, which enables us to provide comprehensive legal and strategic advice and deliver practical, commercial solutions when attending to corporate and commercial matters.
COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS AND DOCUMENTS
In addition to the traditional contract drafting service, we also specialise in the creation of bespoke legal template document suites for our commercial clients. This approach breaks away from the traditional service law firms offer and aims to provide our clients with a document automation solution that creates legal documents that are in line with the South African Legal framework.
The benefits of these legal template document suite include:
Increased productivity on the side of our commercial clients by creating legal compliant documents in a fraction of the time it would take using non-automated methods
These document automation solutions also enhance the quality and accuracy of documents which in turn means avoiding the embarrassment and cost associated with errors. Cutting and pasting (the usual alternative) often result in problems even the most careful proof-readers will miss.
Standardizes document content also provides additional benefits. Logical and business rules, along with approved language, ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working with the latest language and rules.
Automation additionally enables capturing the expertise and experience of knowledgeable people. This has multiple sub-benefits, including better delegation of tasks to lower-level workers and preserving intellectual capital when more experienced people leave the organization.
COMPANY STRUCTURING AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
We believe that prevention is better than cure and view the renewed interest in corporate governance practices of modern corporations as a step in the right direction. The high-profile collapse of several large corporations worldwide provides a case in point. We aim to provide advice that makes sound business sense while ensuring an appropriate balance between compliance with corporate governance regulatory requirements and the optimisation of organisational performance.
Registration of Private Bonds
Sectional Title Developments
Life Right Developments
Real Right Developments
General Property Transfers
Subdivisions & Consolidations
Behind every successful, real estate transaction or development lies careful planning and structuring. The haste to acquire and build can often result in the omission of the crucial preliminary structuring and planning stage.
We recognise the pivotal role which careful structuring and planning plays in every successful real estate venture and offer the full spectrum of expert advice required at the outset of every real estate venture.
We are always cognisant of the underlying commercial transaction behind the legal documents and thus we ensure a quick turnaround without sacrificing a comprehensive and thorough service.
PRIVATE BONDS AND ALTERNATIVE FINANCING
Without finance, there can be no successful acquisition or development of real estate. With the current economic climate, Developers are turning to alternative forms of financing. We have extensive experience in structuring of these type of financing alternatives and our involvement commences with negotiating and preparing deal and term sheets and continues through drafting and settling the full suite of loan and security documentation, auditing underlying sale and lease agreements relevant to the venture being financed, attending to the registration of all registrable securities (whether notarial or mortgage bonds) and monitoring the fulfilment of advance pre-conditions.
For developers and landlords, leasing real estate represents a crucial phase in realising these assets’ potential. It often forms the basis upon which real estate ventures will be financed. Ensuring the integrity of lease agreements concluded with anchor tenants or tenants otherwise identified as being critical to the viability of a real estate venture is central to the role which we play in representing the interests of landlords and developers in leasing real estate.
Personal and Praedial Servitudes
Long Term Notarial Lease Agreements
Notarial Authentication of Documents
Certain documents are required by law to be notarially executed, in which case a notary has to draft the document which is then signed and witnessed in the presence of the notary. These documents are known as notarial deeds, and include, inter alia, ante- and postnuptial contracts, deeds of servitude, deeds of cession of usufruct, notarial leases and notarial bonds. Such documents are kept in the notary’s safekeeping and the notary is also required to keep a protocol and register of all the documents drafted by and attested to before him.
Furthermore, a Notary Public is a specialist attorney who has an intimate knowledge of certain acts, and the processes prescribed therein, who is legally empowered to officially witness signatures, take statements and certify the validity of documents.
Being held to a higher standard of care than an attorney, a notary is a specialist in the drafting and/or legalisation of certain documents. The legality of which can be positively assumed, drawn from the fact that the document was notarially executed.
A notary is also needed for the Notary Apostille legalisation services which include attestation, authentication and notarising of documents for use in foreign countries. Legalisation of documents means that official documents are sealed and signed with an Apostille Certificate affixed for use internationally (where countries are party to The Hague Convention, to which South Africa is a party). Or, where countries are not party to The Hague Convention, with a Certificate of Authentication.
An Apostille Certificate aims to simplify the legalisation of documents. By certifying their authenticity makes diplomatic or consular legalisation (or other certifications) unnecessary, to be valid internationally.
If you are going to send to, or receive from a foreign country an important document, you may need to ensure it has been through the apostille process.
Implementing compliance and risk management frameworks, including formulation of policies and procedures
Opinion and advisory work
Financial Intelligence Centre Act
Electronic Communications and Transactions Act
Promotion of access t Information Act
Protection of Personal Information Act
Most organisations use information technology to efficiently conduct business. While these advances have provided tremendous advantages, the integration of business, technology and data usage raises novel and complex legal issues and has necessitated the need for increased regulation. As such, a highly regulated environment has emerged where every single sector is affected because anyone and any entity, private or public that collects information is regulated.
Information law encompasses legal services focused on information technology and the collection, processing, transmission, security, storage and disposal of digital and hard copy repositories of information.
The access to and control of information is regulated by a number of pieces of legislation. These are, The Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA), Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication – Related Information Act (RICA), the National Credit Act and the National Health Act. Personal Information will be regulated and protected by the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI).
CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW
Plain language and contractual review
Opinion and advisory work
The Consumer Protection Act
Older Persons Act
Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act
Rental Housing Act
Housing Development Schemes for Retired Persons Act
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) has a major impact across all business sectors and at all levels of the supply chain in South Africa. We assist our clients in making the necessary changes to their businesses to protect them from litigation and regulatory investigations. Working alongside our other practice groups, we are able to provide seamless advice in all related areas.
The CPA is far reaching, strongly influenced by equivalent legislation across the globe, and both the National Consumer Commission and the National Consumer Tribunal have substantial power to enforce its provisions. We can assist with developing and implementing compliance programmes and, in particular, training employees on how to comply with the CPA to mitigate the risk of infringement and to protect brand and reputation. Depending on the special requirements of each client, we also advise on the sector-specific regulation that works in conjunction with the CPA.