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Frequently Asked Questions
We add to this page continually, but if your question isn't covered here, please feel free to contact us.
Where are your offices?
Faerie Glen, in Pretoria East, South Africa.
I want to book a consultation.
Great! We have provided more information here.
Is it necessary to come in for a consultation, or can I just have a quick call with you / send you the details via email?
Although it is sometimes possible for us to accept an instruction via email if the matter is very simple, that is almost always not the case. It is essential to have a proper consultation and determine the full facts of the matter. The first step in assessing your case is to determine not only its strengths, but more importantly, its weaknesses. In some cases, you might be advised not to proceed at all.
Remember - every case ever brought before the court was brought by two parties, both of whom thought they were correct!
We take a practical, holistic view to every case, and try to save you money by negotiating a settlement. It is only if settlement is impossible that one should proceed to litigation.
Do you work on contingency / credit?
No. Every case, no matter how airtight it may seem, has weaknesses. Often, these weaknesses come to light during the course of the case that we have not been made aware of - and that the client may not have been aware of.
How do your charges and services work?
Where possible, transactional work (for example, drafting of contracts) is charged for on a fixed fee system - take a look at our Pricing Guide for more information. However, most legal work requires the application of expertise over time and is billed for by the hour (for example, consultation, advice, negotiation of contracts, and litigation). Our charges are competitive and compare favourably with rates of commercial attorneys.
Consultations may be paid for beforehand or directly afterwards. We offer convenient card facilities for easy payment.
To undertake larger tasks, such as initiating litigation, we require upfront payment of a deposit of 60%. To help combat cybercrime, please confirm our banking details in person or via telephone call with our director, AND obtain additional confirmation from your banking institution.
How do I recover my legal costs in a case?
If your case is successful (i.e. if you win), you are usually entitled to payment of your legal costs by your opponent, unless the court has not awarded you costs for some reason.
Take note however that there are several scales of costs. By default, costs are awarded on the "party-and-party" scale as per the Gazetted tariffs in the Rules of the High Court and Magistrate's Court. This translates to recovery of around 25% - 75% of your legal costs incurred.
In some cases, the court may award costs on the "attorney-and-client" or so-called "attorney-and-own-client" scale, which results in a higher recovery (but still usually not your full legal costs). This can occur where, for example, you have a contract where your opponent agreed to be liable to pay for costs on one of these scales. This is one of the many reasons we encourage clients to have us draft proper contracts for them - take heed!
In rare cases, the court may award costs on a punitive scale. This may mean that your opponent has to pay your full legal bill. However, such awards are only made in exceptional circumstances - for example, where your opponent has acted in grossly bad faith or generated unnecessary volumes of delay and paperwork during litigation.
Note that you as the client are always liable for payment of your legal bill to us, and recovery of legal costs is an exercise that may be undertaken only after the conclusion of a trial, and provided you have been awarded costs. You cannot rely on your opponent to pay your legal costs to us.
What are your terms and conditions of service?
Our Terms and Conditions generally, and for the use of our website, are here: Terms and Conditions
Our Client Agreement, applicable when you become our client, is here: Client Agreement
Do you offer retainer services?
Yes we do - we offer a Business Plan for your business here.
We do also sometimes offer a retainer service for personal matters - please contact us to discuss.
Why must I provide FICA documents?
In terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act, as attorneys we are required by law to verify the identity of every client.
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