The year that was - 2018

Casting my eye over the 370 or so articles published in the GhostDigest during 2018, a number of newsworthy, notable and interesting ones spring to prominence and are worthy of a revisit before PCs are switched off, offices shut and holidays embarked upon. They are in no particular order the following:

Into operation today - the 1st of November 2018 saw The Legal Practice Act No 28 of 2014 (with some exclusions) coming into operation with the Legal Practice Council taking over the regulation of the profession. The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) continues as a voluntary body to represent, support and assist attorneys.

A giant leap had some lively contributions, culminating in Mark Heyink arguing in A giant leap - 2 that the small step of replacing a paper document with an electronic one, and a pen signature with an electronic one is indeed a giant leap for conveyancing.

Conveyancing Tables – July 2018 - by far the most used resource on the GhostDigest. A number of changes were made this year to reflect changes in VAT, the Recommended Guideline of fees for conveyancers and to the Deeds Office fees. These changes came into effect in the following order – VAT: 1st April, Recommended Guideline of Fees: 1st June, and Deeds Office fees: 1st July.

Mounthaven (Pty) Ltd - II opened up the debate as to whether registering a re-transfer clause in a deed of transfer at the deeds registry changes the fact that it remains a personal right.

In Facts and myths John Christie discussed S 87 and S 88 of the Deeds Registries Act No. 47 of 1937 as distinct to S 21 of the Matrimonial Property Act No. 88 of 1984 when applying for the registration or execution and registration of an ANC.

To sequestrate or not to sequestrate had Jack Crook reporting on a case which underscored the need for trustees of bodies corporate to, before applying for a defaulting owner’s sequestration, make sure that there is no danger of a subsequent contribution on the body corporate’s part.

While in The application of Regulation 44A Dudley Lee highlighted the reason for Section 15A and regulation 44A of the Deeds Registries Act - to relieve Registrars of Deeds of certain responsibilities - and that examiners should keep that in mind.

Lexis® RatesClearance continued its countrywide implementation as the trusted, secure and quicker all-in-one rates clearance management system to more than 67 councils.

As a result of the increase in cybercrime fraud the LSSA issued a Cybercrime advisory  suggesting how attorneys can reduce the risk of IBusiness eMail compromises (BECs) cybercrime fraud when communicating with clients.

In Early lease cancellation Jack Crook gave insights and explained one’s rights in terms of the lease itself and under the Consumer Protection Act as to what happens if one cancels a lease early.

Not so sterling saw the Registrar of Deeds being held liable for damages for negligently transferring immovable property when the deeds ought to have been rejected.

While in Unable to write Dudley Lee suggested that the rule about the signing of a power of attorney by a person who cannot write, requiring a commissioner of oaths' confirmation, is wrong.

In Beacon question the following question was asked: “Does the law require that at the point of transfer, the land must be physically defined, if one considers that between 50% to 60% of the beacons that define property are missing?”

Coming almost full circle, the year started with our publication of the results of the Law Firm Marketing survey which we held in 2017.

Lastly a stocking filler: The Practitioner's Guide to Conveyancing and Notarial Practice by Allen West was updated in July and is now available as an eBook and in an online format in addition to the print version.

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