Welcome to the sixteenth edition of our newsletter Rooted!
We would like to start by extending our traditional big Lawtons Africa welcome to our new Lawtonites, Darryn Mer, who joins as a consultant; Zaakira Haffejee returning as a director; and Sazikazi Mnikina and Nonhlanhla Sibiya, who joined the real estate team in March. We wish you all the best on your journey with us and trust that it will be a fruitful one. We would also like to welcome aboard all our new YES programme candidates, Tshepo Roy Ramaotsoa, Sphesihle Mitchelle Phakathi, Mpho Dhlamini, Alicia Lawrence, Nomaswazi Zwane, Micheala Wheeler, Nomabhele Nandipha Phakane, and Dineo Elizabeth Nndwammbi.
Another big congratulations on our three promotions: Tshavhungwe Tshivhase promoted to director effective 1 April 2023, Nicole Nel promoted to senior associate effective July and Sipho Mtsweni to associate effective March. Well done to you all!
In even more great news, Congratulations to Dimitra Kouvelakis and Sarah Goldman for being selected as finalists in the 2023 African Legal Awards! Dimitra is nominated for the General Counsel of the Year Award, while the firm is nominated for the CSR, Diversity, Transformation and Economic Empowerment Award from Sarah's hard work. We wish you all the best for the winners’ announcements taking pace later in the year.
Two recent media publications referring to the firm have been comprehensively addressed, and the inaccuracies in the media articles corrected, in our three statements on our website. Please read the three statements on our website, and if there are any queries or you wish any further clarification, please chat to Winnie.
In relation to the firm’s financial position, the firm has traded profitability for two consecutive financial years, and the management board has recently approved increases and bonus payments for previous good performance. Our conservative budget for the current financial year that will end on 31 March 2024 is set for a third consecutive year of trading profitably. So please join the directors in continuing to provide top quality legal services to our loyal client base, and continue to grow the firm. The directors are all proud of our achievements over the past two financial years, and have a vision and plan we are working on to build and grow the firm.
Be sure to read in the pro bono section about all the great initiatives our pro bono team is working on. The firm remains dedicated to providing meaningful pro bono services to many eligible disadvantaged individuals and communities. We are also excited to be bringing back the 130 Hours Initiative. Here’s to 131 years of professional legal services!
A reminder that we have included our Excitor in the engagement letter for our clients. Our Excitor is to provide free legal advice for our qualifying clients’ eligible employees and came into effect 1 February 2023. Please share our Excitor posts from our social media pages, so that we attract more quality clients from this. Click here to access the post.
Email signature update
Please note that we have changed our email signature by removing the 130 years logo and gone back to using our main Lawtons Africa logo. We have two email signature options. Option one has a logo and option two does not have a logo and is to be used only when sending an email to clients who have strict firewalls that do not accept graphics. Should you need assistance on updating your email signature, please can you send an email to IT helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can assist.
We have noticed that there is a lot of recycling of letterheads that contains incorrect information. Please note that the letterhead is updated monthly, and the footer on our letterhead must include the correct information when shared with our clients. This is a reminder that our branded templates can and please must be accessed through XpressDox every time you are preparing a letter. Please follow the guidelines shared with the firm to be able to access the correct updated current letterheads.
Please note that the same process needs to be applied when working with precedents.
Do not recycle and use saved old letterheads, precedents and old email signatures.
Please continue to send any media queries to Winnie.
Please click here for the latest internal directory (click download).
Please click here to access our Corporate Identity (CI) guide for your attention. This will assist you with making sure that you use the correct formats at all times.
Directories and Awards
It gives us great pleasure to announce that we have been shortlisted for the 2023 African Legal Awards in the below categories:
General Counsel of the Year Award: Dimitra Kouvelakis
CSR, Diversity, Transformation and Economic Empowerment Award: Lawtons Africa (Sarah Goldman's team)
Congratulations to all the individuals nominated, and their teams, and the firm!
Please note that we are working on our Legal 500 rankings submissions which are due on 7 August 2023. Please keep a look out for the emails that will be sent out by the beginning of July.
To make life easier for us, we’ve created a folder on iManage that contains all the required company information documents for FICA purposes and other requests that may arise from clients. Please click here to access the documents. Should you require additional documents (other than the ones in the folder) or encounter an error when accessing the link, please let us know and we will assist.
How to access your Alexander Forbes statement on the AF portal
Register on the portal; see the attached “quick registration member brochure.”
Here is the link below where you can easily access your pension fund statement.
Tshegofatso Malatji and Bradley Frolick for passing their Board Exams.
1st Year CA Board Exams
Paper 1 Court Procedures – 23 August 2023
Paper 2 Wills and Estates – 23 August 2023
Paper 3 Professional Ethics and Attorneys’ Practice – 24 August 2023
Paper 4 Legal Practitioners’ Bookkeeping – 24 August 2023
We would like to wish all our 1st year candidate attorneys the best of luck for their upcoming exams. The directors pay a lot of attention to the results - and wish you all the best in your studies!
First Rotations - CA 2023
The first-year CA’s will be rotating 1 September 2023, this will be their 2nd rotation.
Professional Development Programme
Professional Development Training commenced on 4 April. All sessions continue to take place on the 2nd floor at the long table next to the corporate team.
Congratulations to Tshavhungwe Tshivhase, our newly promoted salaried director, Nicole Nel, our newly promoted senior associate and to Sipho Mtsweni, associate. Well done to you all!
Training has concluded and the material was shared with attendees.
eLearning Platform has gone live
The 3-month free trial to access the 286 online courses (https://training.elearning.co.za) platform has been extended to 7 July 2023.
It first went live on 13 March 2023.
We have successfully on-boarded 8 YES learners below:
Workplace Skills Plan for the period 2023-2024 and Annual Training Report (WSP & ATR)
We are pleased to announce that we have received confirmation from our SETA that the firm’s Workplace Skills Plan for the period 2023-2024 and the Annual Training Report for 2022-2023 have been approved.
The verification process in progress. Sample documents required by the verification agency are being collected on an ongoing basis and the process will come to an end on 10 July 2023.
As per firm policy: Desk telephones are primarily provided to staff members as a business tool to enable them to perform their duties and conduct the business of the company. The company recognizes that there may be some instances, normally emergencies where it is necessary for staff to utilize the desk telephone for personal use must be kept at an absolute minimum.
Please note, Finance and HR will monitor the telephone cost on a monthly basis and any employees misusing the desk telephone will be addressed according to the company’s disciplinary procedures.
Please contact the HR team if you need any assistance or clarity.
Please view our updated graph of fees, here.
Pro bono Initiatives
Lawtons Africa Little Library Project at Dr Knak Primary School, Alexandra.
As we approach Mandela Day on 18 July 2023, a day dedicated to honouring the extraordinary legacy of Nelson Mandela, we are excited to announce a special initiative that aims to uplift underprivileged students and foster a love for reading.