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ROOTED
17th edition

Welcome to the seventeenth  edition of our newsletter Rooted!
 

When the directors reviewed the year that was, we called this year the year of the lemon. Because we had so many lemons thrown at us as a firm and as a country. But what makes us who we are is what we make with the lemons. We can be proud of ourselves that we are the people who make lemonade. We have shown ourselves to be people that pick up the pieces and keep on fighting. Sometimes that just means getting up in the morning and putting on a happy face. Sometimes it means thinking out of the box and finding a solution to a vexing problem- but whatever it looks like- we are fighters and survivors.

We are a law firm- in the service of others. And notwithstanding all the lemons, we continued to service our clients with excellence and dedication.

Being recognised by Chambers, Legal 500, Who’s Who, Best Lawyers- name the ranking and we are there! That is something to be very proud of!

And then our Pro bono team won the Africa Legal awards. For those that don’t know- that is like winning an Oscar! And for such meaningful work! We must all stand proud of our achievements.

 As we look at the year that has passed be grateful for what we have achieved this year and be grateful for our strength and resilience.

Over the festive season- enjoy your break, take time for yourself and your family to remember who you are, refresh and recharge and we then start the new year with renewed vigour, determination and our indomitable Lawtons spirit!

We are happy to announce that we’ve had a good flow of bids and RFQs coming in throughout the year. Our African Legal Awards submissions paid off again this year, with a phenomenal win for our Pro Bono team. And our directory submissions were also fruitful with many of our professionals being ranked.

Our year-end function was a fun-filled outing – definitely something we have not done before. And continuously being asked “how are you going to top it next year” confirms that it was a success. Thank you to everyone who attended the function and a big congratulations to all the teams and individuals who won the awards/games however, if you weren’t there, click here to view snaps from the day.

We trust that the new year will bring growth and prosperity to the firm and show a steady growth within the current and potential clients.

For our latest digital firm brochure, please click here.

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In preparation of the December holiday season, our last working day will be 21 December 2023 and the firm will be closed on the following days:

You do not need to submit leave on ESS for the dates that the firm is closed (22 Dec 23 – 1 Jan 2024 (four days). These dates (excluding the public holidays) will automatically be deducted from your annual leave.

Should an employee be required to work during that period out of absolute necessity, the request will have to come from the relevant director/manager, and the employee will have to be physically present at the office, or work from home and submit timesheets.

New Starter

Laurette Ratale is our new HR consultant who will be working under Lindi Mengezeleli. Laurette focuses on general recruitment, on-boarding, performance management, and promotions. She will be responsible for the vacation programme, assessments, and look after the CAs for the duration of their articles.


CA Rotations (1st year)

Second rotations for 1st year CAs will be effective 1 September 2023 to 30 April 2024.

We have six new CAs joining us on 8 January 2024. The practice groups will be shared with you at a later stage.

Benefits and Wellness

Turnberry

At R174 per family, Turnberry Gap Cover is available until 31 December 2023. 

This provides your family with a cover of any shortfall on their medical plan and with in-hospital expenses. The Gap also covers the following: Cancer | Medication; Trauma care; Breast Cancer Prevention & Reconstruction; Biological; Traditional & Innovative Cancer Drug Cover.

Discovery Year End Revision

The following Medical Plans will be discontinued as of January 2024. Members currently on these plans, please make urgent arrangements with your representative:

  • Classic Delta Comprehensive

  • Essential Comprehensive

  • Essential Delta Comprehensive

REMINDER: The submission deadline for plan changes online is 31 December 2023.

Please ensure all admin and revision period schedules are uploaded or completed by 31 December 2023.

Please also find attached the new rates table for the 2024 contribution increase. (Premiums may still be subject to change.)

KeyFIT is only available to members who already have it.

 

Work Anniversaries 2023

October

  • Maria Tsolo – 3 Years

 

November

  • Thope Mothebesoane – 9 Years

  • Wiseman Dalane – 14 Years

  • Dalida Marchi – 24 Years

  • Daphney Nkotswe - 27 Years

 

Congratulations to all of you. You’ve made your mark with your invaluable presence in the firm. We appreciate you and wish you all the best on the journey ahead with us!

ASI Wellness solution

ASI Wellness Solutions is a respected provider of counselling and support services, with a team of trained professionals who can help you navigate the emotional and practical challenges associated with this transition. Whether you need assistance in coping with job loss, managing stress, or planning your career path moving forward, their experts are here to assist you.

Here are some key points about the counselling services provided by ASI Wellness Solutions:

  1. Confidentiality: Your privacy is of the utmost importance. All counselling sessions are strictly confidential, and no information will be shared with the firm without your explicit consent.

  2. Professional Guidance: ASI Wellness Solutions' counsellors are experienced in helping individuals during times of change and uncertainty. They can provide emotional support, guidance, and strategies to help you cope and move forward.

  3. Flexible Appointments: You can schedule counselling sessions at a time that is convenient for you, whether it's during work hours or outside of them.

  4. No Cost to You: Lawtons will cover the costs of these counselling services, so there will be no financial burden on you.

If you feel that you would benefit from counselling, please don't hesitate to reach out to ASI Wellness Solutions. You can contact them directly to schedule an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Toll free no: 0807 488 855SMS or please call me: 071 681 1247

We want to emphasise that your well-being is a top priority for us, and we are here to provide support in any way we can.

If you have any concerns or need further information, please feel free to contact HR.

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Please view our updated graph of fees generated since the beginning of the 2023 financial year here.

Well done to everyone!

Pro bono Initiatives

The 16 Days of Activism

In the spirit of this campaign, we joined forces with Defence Unlimited to make a lasting impact on the lives of students in Eldorado Park. Defence Unlimited's skilled self-defence instructor, Warren Ho, led an interactive workshop where he taught young girls how to protect themselves from physical harm.

In the heart of Kliptown, we embarked on a transformative journey as part of our commitment to #16daysofactivism. We led a poetry writing and awareness workshop for teenage girls, amplifying their voices to combat the pervasive issue of gender-based violence. The workshop sought to equip these young minds with the tools and knowledge to speak out against injustice. Empowering them to articulate their experiences through the medium of poetry was a deliberate step towards fostering self-expression and resilience.
 
These events were a reminder of the responsibility we bear as legal professionals to advocate for justice beyond the courtroom. It underscored the urgent need for a societal shift in addressing gender-based violence, a multifaceted issue that demands our unwavering commitment.

 

National Wills Week

Language should never be a barrier when it comes to safeguarding your legacy and protecting your loved ones. To celebrate our heritage, and in honour of National Wills week, volunteers from Lawtons Africa have drafted simple will templates in a variety of South African languages. All templates are free to download, edit and use, To download in a language of your choice, please click here.

 

In addition, we celebrated National Wills Week by providing advice on the administration of estates and drafting wills free of charge for members of the public at the Master’s Office in Johannesburg from 11-15 September 2023.

LifeLine Legal Education Partnership: Equipping Social Workers with Legal Knowledge

LifeLine is a crisis counselling non-profit organisation that operates throughout South Africa. It assists and supports survivors of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and also offers HIV/Aids counselling services.


Our Head of Pro Bono and Citizenship, Sarah Goldman, assisted by other Lawtons Africa legal experts, designed a programme and facilitated training to provide social workers and counsellors with vital legal knowledge. Equipped with a better understanding of the law, we empower counsellors to be in a better position to provide more informed and effective support to survivors of abuse.


The Lawtons Africa training and education initiative and project at the LifeLine South Africa Head Office is a powerful aid to the counsellors and will now be rolled out to assist LifeLine social workers nationwide. This project aims to bridge the gap between essential legal knowledge and frontline social counselling work, ultimately leading to improved access to justice for vulnerable individuals.

 

Youth Leadership Summit: Upskilling Young Entrepreneurs

In honour of Youth Day, Lawtons Africa collaborated with Believers Care Society, a public benefit organisation dedicated to the youth and their development.

 

Together with officials from the Department of Labour, we introduced young entrepreneurs to company law at the annual Youth Leadership Summit. We focused on the intricacies of company registration, industry-specific legal compliance, and tax implications. The enthusiasm in the room was truly inspiring, and we are in awe of the future generation of young entrepreneurs who will contribute to the growth and prosperity of South Africa.

 

Freedom Day: Promoting Voter Education in Alexandra

Freedom Day celebrates the first democratic elections held in South Africa from 26 April to 29 April 1994. Every year on 27 April, we remember the rise of equality and the birth of our democratic dispensation.


On Freedom Day 2023, we visited MC Weiler Primary School in the township of Alexandra, Johannesburg. Learners participated in a voter education programme and mock election, complete with exciting campaigning guided by the rules of the Independent Electoral Commission. By engaging with young minds and fostering an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as future leaders and voters, learners were actively empowered to shape our communities and nation.

 

World Social Justice Day: Empowering the Homeless through Poetry

World Social Justice Day, also known as International Day of Social Justice, is observed annually on 20 February. On this day, individuals, corporates, and government are encouraged to engage in advocacy to lay the foundation for a more inclusive society built on equality, non-racialism, and non-sexism.


On World Social Justice Day 2023, we joined hands with the New Beginnings Foundation, a shelter for the homeless in Boksburg. We presented on the importance of social justice and facilitated a poetry-writing workshop for the shelter residents to help them share their personal experiences and hopes through poetry. The project fostered an awareness of community, empathy, and social change within the shelter.

The Pimville ECD Centre Christmas party was on 7 December 2023. We are extremely grateful to everyone who generously contributed food, treats and gifts to make it a memorable day. A special thanks to the volunteers who hosted the Christmas party.

View the amazing moments with the kids here.

Conclusion

Remember to send us any comments, suggestions or proposals you might have regarding the newsletter or the firm itself.  You can either send this with your name or keep it anonymous by clicking here.  Wishing you success, happiness, opportunities, and prosperity in life.  We hope all your goals and dreams come true in the coming year.

Jeff, Veronica and SJ

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