NEWS & ANALYSIS

Legal Practice Council has not replaced Law Society – LSSA

Society continues to exist as an independent body to represent, support and assist attorneys

Law Society clarifies confusion relating to its continuation under the Legal Practice Act

8 November 2018 

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) continues into the Legal Practice Act dispensation as a voluntary, representative, professional interest body for attorneys.

‘The LSSA is concerned at the confusion created by reports that the new Legal Practice Council has replaced the Law Society of South Africa. These reports are factually incorrect as the LSSA continues to exist as an independent body to represent, support and assist attorneys,’ say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Mvuzo Notyesi and Ettienne Barnard.

In the dispensation preceding 1 November 2018, the four provincial law societies – the Cape Law Society, KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, Law Society of the Free State and the Law Society of the Northern Provinces – were the only statutory regulatory bodies for attorneys in terms of the Attorneys Act, 1979. These four law societies, together with the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) (the latter two being voluntary associations), were the six constituent members of the LSSA, a voluntary association of those six bodies. The LSSA was never a statutory body.

The Legal Practice Council is the new statutory regulatory body for legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) in terms of the Legal Practice Act, 2014, which came into operation on 1 November 2018. The four statutory provincial law societies are now regional offices of the Legal Practice Council and are no longer constituent members of the LSSA.

The LSSA recently amended its constitution in terms of which BLA and Nadel remain its constituent members, and the provincial law societies have been replaced by voluntary provincial attorneys’ associations.

Issued by Barbara Whittle on behalf of Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of SA, Ettienne Barnard and Mvuzo Notyesi, 8 November 2018