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ROOTED
18th Edition

Welcome to the eighteenth edition of our newsletter Rooted! 

 

We would like to start by welcoming our new team member, Mpho Mogodi, who has been appointed Head of Pro Bono & Citizenship. We trust that you have been warmly welcomed and that our journey with you will be a fruitful one.

While on the topic of Pro Bono & Citizenship, we extend our congratulations to the Pro Bono Team for being awarded the Housing Award at the ProBono.Org Annual Awards 2024.  Our Pro Bono team has been extremely passionate about housing in the Pro Bono space and it is wonderful to see that hard work has being recognised by third parties.

We also extend a big congratulations to the teams and individuals who have been ranked in Chambers Global Guide as well as Legal 500 EMEA 2024. We are proud to see you fly our Lawtons Africa flag high!  For more details on these, please read the marketing section below.

What a way to kick start the year. Let’s continue to give our best in everything we do!

Legal Directories
The firm has been successful with numerous Directory Rankings and award wins this year thus far! Well done again to Veronica Vurgarellis for being ranked in the Chambers Global Guide 2024 under the Dispute Resolution category.

Additionally, all the practise areas in the firm being Real Estate, Dispute Resolution, Commercial, Corporate and M&A teams were recognised in this year’s Legal 500 EMEA.  This is a tremendous achievement of which each of us can be very proud.

Chambers has started with interviews and research for the first phase of the 2025 rankings- please remember to give a heads-up to your referees on this. The closing date for the second phase of submissions is 17 April 2024. Good luck to all our professionals!

Social Events Committee
The firm has revived the Social Events Committee and has elected a representative from all the occupational categories. This is the team that will be responsible for all 2024 internal events.

Meet the team:
Chairpersons  - Zaakira Haffejee & Yagashen Pillay            
Marketing and BD Representative - Phindile Phenduka             
Associate’s Representative - Nicholas De Decker
CA's Representative -  Lethabo Madumo
Secretaries’ and Support Staff Representative - Dalida Marchi
YES Representative - Mitchelle Phakathi

To kick start this initiative they worked really hard to put together our first ever get-together for the year, the Speed Networking Event, that was specially tailored to expand professional networks and foster meaningful professional connections within the Lawtons family, the event was a roaring success and very well attended. If you missed it, click here to view the pictures.

If you have any ideas for the social events team don’t hesitate to let them know.

Spotlight
Yagashen Pillay, was appointed by the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, to the position of Chairperson of the Tax Board. This appointment will run until 1 February 2029. This is an incredible recognition congratulations once again, Yagashen!

Junior Professionals – Build Your Brand
As a junior professional it is of paramount importance that you establish yourself as a leading lawyer as soon as possible, one of the easiest ways of achieving this is to publish articles under your and the firm’s name.

These articles can be added to your LinkedIn profile; and will let the public know that you are a leading expert on a particular topic.
We therefore strongly encourage you to write regularly, comment on legal issues in the news and be mindful of your online presence. 

Please send through your articles and/or snippets for publication on our website and social media platforms to the marketing team and remember #lawtonsafrica.

Firm WhatsApp group
To join the firms WhatsApp group please scan the below QR code:






 

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How to access your statement on the AF portal 

Log into www.afonline.co.za, navigate to the Individual tab, and select “Documents”. Enjoy the deluxe experience, which gives you access to:

  • Investment balances

  • Benefit statements

  • Fund fact sheets

  • Personal details

  • Investment portfolios

  • Tools to help you secure your financial well-being

  • Nomination of beneficiary form

Shining Star

This month’s shining star was awarded to Micheala Wheeler for taking on the challenge of evaluating the Lexis Nexis vs Juta Evolve offering for our lawyers.  You are our problem-solver!

Thank you for your quick responses, your excellent analytical skills, and your ability to turn problems into opportunities. You displayed a cool and calm demeanour with all your difficult dealings with the existing supplier and went above and beyond your call of duty by carefully evaluating the cost of the service vs the offering provided.

Congratulations Micheala – we are proud that you are part of the Lawtons family!

YES Intake

We have opened the applications for the YES Programme, and we would like to encourage all staff to recommend qualifying and deserving candidates for the 2024 intake. Please make use of the application form that was attached on the initial advert.

VAC Programme

The VAC programme screening is already underway, and some interviews are being currently conducted. The VAC Programme is expected to run from 1-5 July 2024, so don’t be alarmed if you see some strange faces around the office during this time.

University Career Fair

The recruitment team has already attended two career fairs (1) at the University of Pretoria on 14 March 2024 and (2) at the Stellenbosch University on 20 March 2024. Our next career fair will be at the University of Johannesburg on 7 May 2024. Should you wish to be a part of the delegates representing Lawtons at the fair, please contact HR. Don’t forget to inform your director that you wish to attend the fair and if HR confirms that you are eligible to attend obtain written approval from your director to do so.

Third Rotations - CA 2023

The second-year CA’s will be rotating to their new teams on 1 May 2024. This will be their 3rd and final rotation.

 

Admissions

Congratulations to our newly admitted and soon to be admitted Associates

Bradley Frolick

Tebogo Maunye

Nicholas De Decker

Shannen Etter 

 

BEE Verification

Sample documents needed for the B-BEE verification will commence on 10 May 2024.

 

Work Anniversaries

January

  • Penny Chenery - 22 years

  • Sebastion Rassow - 10 years

  • Sipho Mtsweni - 3 years

  • Marie Robilliard - 3 years

  • Bradley Frolick -  2 years

  • Tebogo Maunye - 2 years

  • Nicholas De Decker - 2 years

  • Shannen Etter - 2 years

  • Bonke Mavuso - 1 year

  • Shannice May - 1 year

  • Lethabo Madumo - 1 year

  • Thomas Anderson - 1 year

  • Shurayh Hassim - 1 year

  • Ke-Ami Naidoo - 1 year

  • Kirstin Eloff - 1 year

February

  • Shaz Randle - 36 years

  • Christian Sentsho - 32 years

  • Amanda Khumalo - 8 years

 

March

  • Peggy Sebe - 20 years

  • Abram Mosetlha - 16 years

  • Sazikazi Mnikina - 1 year

  • Nonhlanhla Sibiya – 1 year

 

April

  • SJ Thema - 18 years

  • Melissa Leibowitz - 16 years

  • Jeff Buckland - 9 years

  • Reena Ramnarain - 4 years

  • Kobus De Beer - 2 years

  • Yagashen Pillay - 2 years

  • Nicole McNamara - 2 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!

Please view our updated graph of fees, here.

Pro bono Initiatives

ProBono.Org annual awards – 2024

On 7 March 2024, the Pro Bono and Citizenship team was honoured with the prestigious Housing Award at the ProBono.Org annual awards. This esteemed accolade is a testament of our dedication, impact, and our commitment to advance human rights, access to justice, land reform, security of tenure and policy change. To view pictures, please click here.

Second year CA's first court appearance a success - secures grandparents’ contact, care and access rights

On 13 February 2024, our second year Candidate Attorney, Lethabo Madumo, secured a successful victory during his first court appearance at the Randburg Magistrate’s court. The court hearing was an application brought on behalf of our clients, the grandparents who desperately longed to maintain a relationship and/or connection with their two grandchildren. Our clients were denied and/or restricted physical and telephonic contact with their grandchildren.

The court granted an interim order in favour of our clients, in accordance with Section 23 of the Children’s Act.

This accomplishment marks a monumental milestone, considering the longstanding history of litigation surrounding the case.

Pro Bono’s inaugural Constitutional Hill Human Rights Festival

On 24 March 2024, we attended the Human Rights Festival at Constitutional Hill. The theme aligned with the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s Democracy. At the heart of the Human Rights Festival are the principles of our Constitution, emphasizing a commitment to equality, dignity, freedom, and justice for all. By bringing the public and social justice organizations together, the festival aims to showcase the enduring power and relevance of human rights.

The walk demonstrates our commitment to human rights, social justice, and community engagement, aligning with our core values and mission.

We had plenty of fun and look forward to your attendance next year. To view pictures, please click 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.  

Veronica, Penny and SJ

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