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Buying of Work

25 February 2003

In her article, Conveyancing, marketing and ethics, featured in the August 2002 De Rebus, Susan Aird, Director of the Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope, discusses the motion that was passed at the last Law Society AGM. The motion was prompted by the need to ensure that practices within the conveyancing profession and the relationship between estate agents and conveyancers remain professional and ethical.

As professionals, buying work is not only unethical but it also compromises the independence of the attorneys' profession. If work is accepted through an intermediary or a third party, for money or in exchange for gifts, the attorney's allegiance shifts from the client to that of the intermediary or a third party.

The motion, a copy of which is appended to the article, starts with the words "The buying of work of any nature, be it conveyancing or otherwise by a member, his firm or via a third party is strictly prohibited." The motion then goes on to illustrate what constitutes the buying of work.

    Examples include:
  • Payments in cash, gifts, benefits etc.
  • Fee discounting as well as lending, financing or making equipment like computers and cellphones available to people such as estate agents, clients or mortgage originators.
  • Payment for purported services.
  • Excessive or lavish entertainment.
  • The granting of excessive discounts.
Specific exclusions include nominal gifts and joint advertising with clients or other entities under certain circumstances.

derebus.org.za website

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