Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Legal Practice Council?
The Legal Practice Council is a national, statutory body established in terms of section 4 of the Legal Practice Act, No 28 of 2014.
What does the Legal Practice Council do?
The Legal Practice Council and its Provincial Councils regulate the affairs of and exercise jurisdiction over all legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates), both practising and non-practising, and candidate legal practitioners.
How many provincial councils are there?
There are nine Provincial Councils located in all major cities in South Africa
How do I lodge a complaint with Legal Practice Council?
Members of the public who wish to lodge a complaint of misconduct against a legal practitioner, a candidate legal practitioner or a juristic entity must do so in writing. Complainants should complete a complaint submission form and submit it to the appropriate LPC provincial office. It is important that the complaint submission form be submitted together with all relevant documents which support the allegations of professional misconduct made against the legal practitioner.
Who are “legal practitioners?
There are three kinds of legal practitioners defined in section 34 of the LPA: attorneys, advocates and fidelity fund advocates who are advocates in possession of a Fidelity Fund certificate.
How do I enrol with the LPC?
Application for admission and enrolment as legal practitioners [sections 95(1)(k) and (t)read with sections 24(2)(d), 30(1)(a) and 30(b)(iii)]
A person seeking to be admitted to practise and to be authorised to be enrolled as an attorney or as an advocate under the Act – must apply to a High Court in terms of the provisions of section 24(2) of the Act; and must simultaneously lodge an application in terms of sections 30(1)(a) and 30(b)(iii) of the Act with the Council, through the Provincial Council where the applicant intends to practise (or in the case of a person who does not intend to practise, where that person is ordinarily resident), for the enrolment of his or her name on the roll of attorneys or advocates, or on the roll of non-practising attorneys or advocates, as the case may be, which application shall be treated as an application subject to the condition that the applicant is duly admitted by the High Court and authorised to be enrolled as a legal practitioner in terms of section 30 of the Act.
Are legal practitioners members of the Legal Practice Council or the relevant Provincial Council?
The Legal Practice Council (LPC) is a statutory regulatory authority and does not have members like the previous Law Societies had. All admitted and enrolled legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) are regulated by the LPC. The PCs are substructures of the LPC and have delegated functions.
What is Fidelity Fund certificate?
It is a licence that a legal practitioner is required to have in order to hold deposits on your behalf as a client. A legal practitioner cannot not receive or hold funds or property belonging to any person without it.
In terms of Section 84(1) and (2) of the Legal Practice Act, 28 of 2014, (1) Every attorney or any advocate referred to in Section 34(2)(b), other than a legal practitioner in the full-time employ of the South African Human Rights Commission or the State as a state attorney or state advocate and who practises or is deemed to practise – (a) for his or her own account either alone or in partnership; or (b) as a director of a practice which is a juristic entity, must be in possession of a Fidelity Fund certificate.
Where do I access the online portal to apply for my FFC?
I have already been admitted as an advocate, will I have to register with the LPC?
All advocates must register with the LPC, the definition of an advocate (sec 1) is “’advocate’ means a legal practitioner who is admitted and enrolled as such under this Act” . You will have to register but you will not have to undergo further exams unless you want to become a fidelity fund advocate.
What fees do I pay?
The fees charged by the LPC include application fees; annual fees for fidelity fund certificates; annual fees payable by all legal practitioners; fees payable in respect of examinations conducted by the Council; Other fees, levies, contributions and charges raised in terms of Rule 6 of the Rules promulgated under Sections 95(1), 95(3) and 109(2) of the Legal Practice Act (“LPA”).
What subscriptions is levied on admitted and enrolled LPs by the LPC?
As of the 1st of January 2020, Council approved and gazetted the final amendment to Rule 4 to increase annual levies as follows:
- All legal practitioners practising for 2 years and less – R1725 (incl. VAT)
- All practising legal practitioners – R4025 (incl. VAT)
- All non-practising legal practitioners be exempted from paying subscriptions.
How do I change from the attorneys’ roll to the advocates’ roll?
(1) Section 32 of the Legal Practice Act allows for Conversion. A legal practitioner may, at any time, as determined in the rules and upon payment of the fee determined by the Council in the rules, apply to the Council to convert his or her enrolment as an attorney to that of an advocate and vice versa. (b) An advocate practising as such referred to in section 34 (2) (a) (i) may, at any time, as determined in the rules and upon payment of the fee determined by the Council in the rules, apply to the Council for the conversion of his or her enrolment to that of an advocate practising as such referred to in section 34 (2) (a) (ii) and vice versa. (2) The Council may impose any conditions as it considers appropriate to give effect to the conversion and the provisions of this Act relating to enrolment.
How do I register for a practical vocational training contract (PVT)?
Section 27 of the Legal Practice Act, No. 28 of 2014 states The Legal Practice Council must in the rules, determine the minimum conditions and procedures for the registration and administration of practical vocational training.The practical vocational training requirements for candidate legal practitioners as contemplated in section 26 (1) (c);
What are the documents that must be submitted to the Legal Practice Council for a PVT?
- The original, signed practical vocational training contract and two copies thereof;
- Certified copy of identity document / proof of date of birth;
- Certified copy of LLB degree / proof of compliance with the requirements for the LLB degree obtained at a South African University or Certified copy of law degree obtained at a foreign university and certification by SAQA that the degree is equivalent to the LLB degree;
- Payment of the registration fee in the amount of R345;
- Proof to the satisfaction of the Council that he/she is a fit and proper person to serve as a candidate attorney under a practical vocational training contract. (Two written character references, not older than six months, by persons in a position of authority);
- A written request by the principal that a certificate of right of appearance be issued to the candidate attorney in terms of section 25(5)(a) or 25(5)(b), if applicable.
- A certified copy of the report/certificate confirming completion of the programme of structured course work of at least 400 notional hours over a period of not more than six months (if applicable);
- Registration application form, completed by the principal and the candidate attorney;
- If the candidate attorney has a criminal conviction, an affidavit must be submitted setting out the details and sentence (notwithstanding the fact that such conviction may have been expunged or pardoned or that the candidate attorney may have been indemnified from prosecution therefore). A copy of the Court record is also required;
- If there are pending criminal charges or disciplinary enquiries against the candidate attorney, an affidavit must be submitted setting out the details.
Where do I pay my fee for my Fidelity Fund certificate?
The fee is payable into the business accounts of the regional offices of the LPC as per the invoices sent to each practitioner.