South African Legal Practice Council V Catharina Van Der Merwe


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1. This is an application for suspension of the practice of the profession of lawyer or, in the alternative, for removal of the defendant`s name from the list of lawyers. [18] The report indicates that on September 22, 2020, the Respondent sent an email to the LPC office informing it that she would stop working in 2017. She had returned her firm`s files to her clients and the rest of her clients had been handed over to Alida Rossouw Avocats in Springs. Since then, she has not had any new clients or appearances. It has no active records and all its investment and estate accounts were closed in 2019. She has no intention of practicing. She told the LPC in early 2019 that she was not practicing. She works in the administrative field and not in a legal field or as a lawyer. It does not intend to oppose this request. 9. Whether a lawyer is an appropriate person does not depend on factual findings, but is left to the discretion of the court.

[7] Although the then Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope initially filed its application as an emergency motion in March 2013, it decided, after consulting with its counsel, to amend the remedy it had sought to a two-year suspension of the practitioner from the practice and to complete its governing documents for this purpose. This was delayed as further complaints were filed against the practitioner in question, resulting in further submissions, and then the Law Society was unable to locate the practitioner. Eight years elapsed before the amended application and additional submissions (in October 2020) were filed requesting the suspension of the practitioner concerned from the list of lawyers for a period of 2 years. 25.3 On 1 August 2018, she informed the Board of the details of her practice, the opening of her new escrow account with FNB and the closure of her Nedbank escrow account. [55] The respondent`s conduct in the above cases and the extent to which it reflects his character clearly demonstrate that he is not worthy of remaining in the profession. The court must protect the public from this type of behaviour. We cannot find any exceptional circumstances that would justify a lesser sanction. We therefore find that the appropriate sanction in the circumstances is to have the respondent`s name removed from the list of counsel. 10. The court must therefore decide, in the exercise of its discretion, whether to remove the name of an advocate from the list or whether to suspend the practice of the profession. This exercise of a court`s discretion involves a three-step investigation. She is a consummate professional in all her administrative tasks and goes above and beyond to support our team, our clients and our mission.

One of the candidates` most significant recent accomplishments has been managing our best practice learning sessions. She is there to plan and coordinate sessions presented by various members of the international team. 19.2. As regards the unpaid fine imposed on him by the Council, he admitted that on 1. December 2014 for pleading guilty to a charge for which a fine of R 10,000.00 was imposed, payable in monthly instalments of R 2000 per month. [17] However, his affidavit does not expressly deny that, when this fine was reduced, he paid only R 2500 for that fine. It is also apparent from his affidavit why he did not pay the balance of the fine imposed by the Council for Legal Practice and, moreover, he ignores the fact that, as a result, he did not attend a subsequent disciplinary hearing. [12] The respondent acted on behalf of Mr. Kotze in a debt collection case in which Mr. Kotze was a debtor. On 9 October 2015, Mr Kotze paid R16,351.82 into the defendant`s escrow account, which was paid to his creditors to settle a debt owed by him and legal costs. Mr.

Kotze considered the debt settled until the sheriff attempted to seize his property on January 23, 2018. He found that the respondent had not paid its funds to the creditor`s counsel as indicated. Instead, it had spread the debt payment and legal costs over several payments between November 2, 2015 and April 3, 2017. The defendant also failed to pay the full amount to the creditor`s lawyers. He paid only the sum of R14,351.00 for the debt. As a result of the defendant`s conduct, Mr. Kotze had to make further payments to the creditor for additional interest and costs. Reddy investigated the complaint during his inspection of the respondent`s professional affairs.

The respondent confirmed the installment payments to counsel for Mr. Kotze`s creditors. Reddy found that four of the eleven payments made by the respondent to counsel for Mr. Kotze`s creditors had not been paid from his escrow account. According to Reddy, statements from the respondent`s trust bank indicate that the defendant used Mr. Kotze`s funds for various transfers and payment of various withdrawals and that the escrow account had a zero balance as of February 1, 2016. For Mr Kotze alone, the account should have contained an amount of R7 851.82. Reddy noted that the respondent`s misappropriation of these funds resulted in a lack of trust. 2. The defendant shall forthwith issue his certificate of admission to the bar of this honourable court and surrender it to the clerk of this honourable court. [37] The application was made pursuant to subsection 44(1) of the PCPA. The provisions of the AHR Act do not affect the power of the court to adjudicate matters and make orders respecting the conduct of counsel.[2] 13.

Every lawyer therefore has certain legal obligations. The lawyer must strictly comply with the provisions of the Law on Lawyers, the Law on Lawyers and the rules governing the legal profession, in particular with regard to the money of a client in his custody and control. Trust money does not belong to a lawyer`s assets. The essence of a trust fund is the absence of risk and the trust it creates. The unwarranted management of trust funds is totally untenable and not only contravenes the legal requirements applicable to trust funds, but also undermines the principle that an escrow account is completely secure with respect to funds held by a lawyer on behalf of another person.

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