Opportunities in LawTech in Africa

Business leaders in South Africa might be feeling a bit depressed at the moment, but it does feel as though the startup ecosystem in South Africa is beginning to come of age – a decade’s worth of work all coming together to refine the models that work here.

Kevin O'Keefe speaks to Garth Watson from Libryo

Kevin O’Keefe: You’re the founder of Libryo. What is Libryo? - Garth Watson: Libryo is an online platform typically used by global companies that have diverse operations and they use it to know the specific regulations that they face at each of those distinct operations.
Read more at LexBlog...

Finalists for Innovating Justice 2018

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) is pleased to announce that 17 innovators and entrepreneurs have been selected to enter its prestigious Justice Accelerator program, which commences from the end of October.

LexisNexis Cape Town staff involved with the Cares Day Hackathon

This October, various charity organisations and NGOs across South Africa are set to benefit from the local roll-out of the annual RE Cares Month. This global community outreach programme is spearheaded by leading content and technology solutions provider, LexisNexis South Africa, through its international parent company, the RELX Group.

Masego Khusoane at e4

Digitalisation expert, e4, has appointed Masego Khutsoane, as its new Divisional Head of Financial Services. Khutsoane joins e4 with a wealth of experience having held senior positions within the JSE, Absa, Woolworths Financial Services and Nedbank. 

Law Society of South Africa

The first election period for the new Legal Practice Council (LPC) closed at 12 noon today, 3 October 2018. Throughout the nomination and election process for Council members for the LPC, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has encouraged legal practitioners to participate in this historic process.

Daan's Snippets for the week

Economy - The US is said to be the largest giver of foreign assistance: this president Trump wishes to curtail when it comes to countries unfriendly to the US. Understandably, the threat of cutting off aid to countries that vote against the US at the UN’s smacks of coercion, but one cannot really take issue with the principle at stake; can one?

Transfer Duty Checklist from LSSA

The Law Society has sent out a conveyancers’ checklist of guidelines that may be followed by conveyancers when applying for transfer duty receipts, we have converted the PDF into text and have shared it for all to use.

Baker McKenzie

Organisations in Africa that are processing the personal information of data subjects from within the European Union (EU) should already have effective General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance procedures in place, including Data Breach Security Checklists, impact assessments and subject data requests procedures.

Daan Steenkamp's Don Quixote

Business - Coca-Cola is reportedly in talks with a Canadian marijuana producer to develop health-focused beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping… Surely someone should be doing field tests in Margate?

Daan Steenkamp's Snippets

Economics - A recent article about the Tanzanian president, urging women to throw away their contraceptives, because the country needs more people, dealt with the negative effects of population growth. At the back of my mind I could not help but wonder whether that president was not angling for so-called demographically driven economic growth: this is a seemingly self-sustaining method of achieving overall economic growth, albeit most probably at the expense of individual wealth. Looks good on paper though. 

Eddy Ogbogu (Group Executive, Operations & Technology at Ecobank) with Andrea Tucker (R&D Head at e4) and Ryan Barlow (Chief Technology Officer at e4)

Technology specialist, e4, achieved second place in the second Ecobank Fintech Challenge, hosted in Lomé, Togo. According to Andrea Tucker, R&D Head at e4, the lack of a fully digital onboarding solution across the majority of banks is one of the key reasons behind e4’s impressive second position in this Africa-focused innovation challenge.

Commonwealth Law Conference 2019 in Zambia

To give lawyers a better idea of what is going to be covered at the Commonwealth Law Conference on the 8th to the 12th April 2019 we have decided to share the draft programme. We hope this will convince everyone to take part.

Opening of ITU 2018 by President Ramaphosa

2600 delegates attending the ITU World 2018 conference listened intently as President Ramaphosa spoke of the dawn of the digital revelation that is rising on the African continent at the ITU World 2018 on the 10th September 2018 in Durban.

Daan Steenkamp's Snippets

Economy - Quite an interesting take on the technical recession we have entered, was a note by minister Nene that the technical recession (caused by a dramatic contraction of the agricultural sector output) was, in part, caused by the previous over-performance of the agricultural sector and not the expropriation debate. Perhaps.. but see below.

Legal Practice Council Formation

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha, that the elections for the Legal Practice Council (LPC) will commence with the nomination of Council members to the LPC, which starts at midnight on 5 September 2018. All practising legal practitioners are urged to participate fully in the elections.

Cape Law Society

The Council of the Cape Law Society (Council) views the current debate around expropriation without compensation (EWC) and land reform in South Africa with keen interest and serious concern, in particular, given the recent media reports, President Trump's tweets and the position adopted by certain advocacy groups, such as Afriforum.

HiiL Innovating Justice South Africa 2018 winners

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) is pleased to announce Baobab.law as the Southern Africa winner of its annual Innovating Justice Challenge. The winner was decided at a special pitching event on Tuesday 4 September at Sandton Convention Centre, by a panel of expert judges from the fields of law and innovation.

Snippets from Daan Steenkamp

Business - Have you ever wondered why Muslims do so well at business? They are a community of traders and entrepreneurs descended of Indian and Arab- Muslim traders and involve themselves in community collaboration. Hate them or love them, the fact is that they, much like the Jewish community, punch way above their weight.

Christi Maherry CEO of Etion Secure

Since acquiring cyber security firm LAWtrust last year for R108.5m, Etion Limited (previously Ansys) has created four new divisions, including Etion Secure, which incorporates LAWtrust. Since the acquisition, Etion is focusing on integrating LAWtrust as the building block of the new Etion Secure and identifying projects where it can innovate.
Read more at ITWeb...

ILTACon 2018

This year there were numerous legal tech startups and emerging growth companies. Whether speaking, exhibiting or just walking the halls, legal tech entrepreneurs were present — in big numbers. Perhaps it was my growing interest in the stories of legal tech entrepreneurs, but there is something more going on. The legal community is ripe for new legal tech.
Read More at LexBlog...

Andrea Tucker, Research and Development Head, e4

Technology specialist, e4, has been named among the top 11 finalists in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge for its new Virtual Identity product. The competition aims to identify innovative solutions that address African-centric issues within the financial services sector.

V BRICS legal forum 2018

The BRICS Legal Forum finalised its meeting and conference in Cape Town on the 24 August 2018 and here is the final declaration that was signed by all five (5) countries.

2018 attorney admission exam leak

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) and the Examination committee, today decided that based on the leaks of the attorneys admission examinations, all four (4) papers should be rewritten in October 2018, with the exact dates to rewrite the examinations to be confirmed. 

Daan Steenkamps Quixote Snippets

Business Review - Most ex large-practice conveyancers have a love/hate relationship with banks. I share the sentiment. I business-bank with Nedbank to access, what has become the industry standard for handling client deposits and guarantees, Corporate Saver.

ANC contracts explained by JOC Christie

In terms of South African Law - in a marriage between a man and a woman - it is the domicile of the husband at the time of the marriage which governs the patrimonial consequences of a marriage. (This brief article does not purport to deal with a marriage or civil partnership concluded between two males, or between two females, in terms of the Civil Union Act No. 17 of 2006)

Nigiri Law by Barry Varkel

Nigiri Law by Barry Varkel  - So many firsts…first funny book on the South African law process, first time I have heard of a stand-up comedian who is a qualified and practicing attorney and author on top of that and the first time I have done a book review for Tech4Law. 

Mark Heyink

I have read articles reporting on the welcome acceptance of a Power of Attorney to transfer land, signed using an Advanced Electronic Signature, by the Registrar of Deeds in Bloemfontein. I have also read with disappointment and surprise the comments that the report sparked. 

Legal Trends Report 2018 on data

What does it mean to be a data-driven lawyer in 2018? For most law firms, it means access to key data points that can help inform better, more confident business decisions. The problem for most firms is getting quality data. Fortunately, as firms rely more on technology, we’re able to generate reliable insights that are both context-specific and actionable.
Read more at Above the Law...

Daan Steenkamp's Don Quixote

Business Review - It is common cause that our SOE’s have been managed into financial difficulty. What to do? Borrow money from the public service pension scheme to such an entity and convert the loan to equity and voilà, the problem is solved. The government still controls the SOE involved and the debt disappears.

Ryan Barlow - Chief Technology officer at e4

Ryan Barlow, Chief Technology officer, e4 says that when it comes to the insurance sector, it is mobile-only as insurance brands grapple with disruption from lighter, more agile technology rich cloud insurance products: “It is no longer just mobile-first, thanks to the dominance of technologies such as AI, ML and IoT and start-up companies taking full advantage of this phenomenon.”

Adv John Mullins and Attorney Paul du Plessis

The legal event that was a “no-brainer” for all small to medium law firms to attend this year has just passed – here are some of the highlights I picked up from the seminar.

Daan's Snippets Don Quijote

Economic review - The Rand has plummeted against the US dollar of late: understandably if one considers the poor performance of our retail stocks of late, growing state debt and so on. Seemingly out of step are the following:

Daan's Snippets 2018

Economic review - It is not only South Africa that is again experiencing an economic slowdown: the European Commission cut its forecasts for the Eurozone’s economic growth this year to 2.1 percent. The economies of both France and Germany are expected to lose steam both this year and the next. The slowdown is attributable to the growing trade tensions with the US.

HiiL Innovating Justice South Africa 2018

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) is pleased to announce the Southern Africa finalists for its Innovating Justice Challenge 2018. 

LexisNexis new appointments

Leading provider of content and technology solutions, LexisNexis South Africa, recently appointed Stephen Okelo-Odongo as Chief Operating Officer, while Gcobisa Ntshona has been appointed as Human Resources Director. 

Daan's Snippets Don Quijote

Order without law: ADR - Universities, in the past, taught on the assumption that litigation is the primary method of dispute resolution. This mindset is therefore that which tends to dominate when lawyers are involved in dispute.

Clive Bredenkamp from e4

Conveyancing should remain the domain of the Conveyancer - Software as a Service technology company, e4 has reiterated its support for conveyancers and legal practitioners following a recent ruling in the Pretoria High Court, which found that administrative processes inherent to property transfers in South Africa should remain within the ambit of the legal fraternity.

Daan's Snippets Don Quijote

Economic reviewIt has been said that the state needs to nationalise the SA Reserve Bank. One of the arguments against nationalisation is that the bank does not make much money anyway. Judge for yourself: The March profit before tax of that entity was R3.2bn; its governor earns R7m per annum.

Boot camp for small law firms 2018

The Gauteng Law Council along with sponsors Lexis-Nexis and AJS Legal Accounting will be hosting a seminar on how law firms can beat the challenges facing the profession today. If there is only one seminar you attend this year, this should be it! This one-day Boot Camp, specifically for Small and Medium Law Firms will give you the practical advice and tools you need to create and maintain a sustainable practice.

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