Tag Archives: Attorneys

WHAT MAKES ANNERINE TICK?

14311251_1831191280448809_8913264364133753815_o-2Annerine du Plessis is one of Schnetler’s Litigation Attorneys, who also heads-up the Litigation Department. Annerine has been part of the Schnetler’s team for the past 4 years. She has taken a fledgling department and grown it into a very busy and ever-expanding division of the firm. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover – she may be young, but she knows her stuff!

I sat down with Annerine, armed with a list of questions aimed at allowing us to discover a little more about who Annerine is.

Where did you grow up and attend school, and thereafter university?

I grew up in the Northern Cape, and attended high school in a small town named Groblershoop, which is near to Upington. After matriculating, I packed my bags and set out for the Western Cape to become a Matie. I still miss those care-free days!

What or who influenced you in your decision to become an attorney?

My late father was a Magistrate, and I used to love sitting in his courtroom during school and varsity holidays listening to trials. My mother always says that I love arguing and fighting for a cause, so I suppose for me, law was the obvious career choice!

For how long have you been practising as an attorney?

After completing my two years of articles, I was admitted as an attorney of the High Court, and have now been practising as an attorney since 2010.

What part of your work is the most interesting to you and brings you the most satisfaction?

I am a very inquisitive person by nature, and in my line of work I learn something new every day. When I am confronted with a legal matter or question, I always start off by dissecting the issue/s at hand, carrying out extensive research on the topic if required, and then by evaluating what the possible solutions to the problem may be. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than a client who appreciates my brutal honesty regarding the feasibility of pursuing a matter.

I am sure that many people would agree that the last profession that comes to mind when meeting you is ‘law’. Is there any other profession/field of work that you could have been/are interested in?

I get that a lot! Yes, looks can be deceiving! I have been blessed with a creative and artistic side to my personality. It has always been a dream of mine to have my very own art studio/gallery, combining it with an intimate arts theatre. Let’s say that this is my 20-year goal!

Another great love of mine, is teaching. My dream is to complete my Master’s Degree, and thereafter to lecture at my alma mater.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t at the office?

This might sound boring, but I am crazy about sleep! My colleagues will confirm that I religiously have a lunch-time nap in my office. I am the proud mother of a beautiful two-year-old daughter who keeps me busy, and with whom I adore spending time with. I am also a big movie fan!

Compiled by: Laura Ames

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

SOUTH AFRICAN ATTORNEYS NOW PAINTED WITH THE SAME BRUSH

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As a young attorney I am often confronted with the question whether there is a body that governs the legal profession or whether we, as the peacemakers of a nation, have carte blanche to act as we wish, not abiding to any rules or regulations. Are we free to do as we please?  Strangely enough I do not feel offended by questions of this nature, and to be blatantly honest, I can comprehend why such a question may be asked. I once read a quote by Mario Puzo that is self-explanatory: A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.” 

In South Africa there are four statutory law societies in place:  The Cape Law Society, The Law Society of the Northern Provinces, The KwaZulu-Natal Law Society and The Free State Law Society. Every attorney in our country is a member of the law society in which he / she is practising law.  Each of these law societies had their own separate sets of rules which applied to their members.  This worked all good and well until in more recent times law firms started to branch out to different parts of the country.

National law firms normally have offices and branches in various provinces and different sets of rules would apply to each different branch of the same firm – this created chaos and led to some untenable situations.

Little did we know back in 2009, when discussions on the nationalising of rules for attorneys initially kicked-off, that all South African lawyers will be painted with the same brush seven years later!

The unification of the four sets of rules was a long and complex process. During 2014 attorneys had to approve the new standardised rules at annual general meetings of the provincial law societies, where after the Judges President and Chief Justice had to give the proverbial thumbs up. These discussions and negotiations lasted nearly a decade and after the long wait, the National Rules for the Attorneys’ Profession finally came into operation on 1 March 2016.

The Rules consist of eight parts and 55 rules in total. Some of these rules include inter alia rules regarding the general practice of attorneys, accounting rules for law firms, rules on the conduct of attorneys and the process of disciplinary proceedings against attorneys whose conduct is unprofessional and dishonourable.

So, the simple answer to the popular question I am often asked is, yes we do! As with many other professions legal practitioners are also bound to their own set of rules.

Law is an imperfect profession in which success can rarely be achieved without some sacrifice of principle. Thus all practicing lawyers — and most others in the profession — will necessarily be imperfect, especially in the eyes of young idealists. There is no perfect justice, just as there is no absolute in ethics. But there is perfect injustice, and we know it when we see it. ALAN DERSHOWITZ, Letters to a Young Lawyer

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).