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Change is coming - adapt or perish
The Herald - UK
The legal profession is facing unprecedented commercial pressure to change.

There has never been a period when practices have been forced to be so business-like in their management and operations. Issues arising from alternative business structures and, to a lesser extent in Scotland, the post-White Paper/Clementi situation, mean that the legal profession faces greater competition, a freer marketplace, and increased client demands. All of these factors are contributing to increased pressure on staff, on margins, and on developing business.

In Grant Thornton's seventh series of legal focus groups, more than 100 partners from a range of large and mid-size law firms from across the UK were gathered to debate and discuss the commercial pressures affecting law firms.

Key strategic issues that were identified included the need for firms to build competitive advantage by focusing on technical expertise and service delivery, while at the same time implementing operating structures which limit risk and optimise efficiency.
The Herald

The buying is easy
Financial Mail - South Africa
But emerging black executives are bearing many burdens in headlong rush to be rich
Forty-year-old bank executive Phumi Buthelezi (not her real name) has bought land at Blue Valley golf estate in Midrand. She is paying a big price for realising a dream.

Buthelezi will have to sell her house in Bryanston, bought so that her son, Thabo (10), could attend a nearby private school. She has had to swap her Nissan SUV for a small Audi, so she can no longer cart her extended family around.

And she can only afford to build the first two bedrooms of her dream house, room enough for Thabo, herself and her helper. "We must all make sacrifices for this," says Buthelezi.

She's not alone: a clutch of new data paints a picture of more than 600 000 dual-income households stretching their time and money to the limit in a quest to build real wealth.
Financial Mail

Housing minister 'unhappy' with lawyers
The EP Herald - South Africa
The housing department has defended its decision to clear Uitenhage law firm Lessing Heyns and Co of any legal wrongdoing in the sale of RDP houses in Tiryville, but has expressed concern over the ethical and moral conduct of the firm.

The department said it had fulfilled the mandate of its investigation by ensuring that no relevant housing legislation had been infringed.

But Monwabisi Maclean, spokesman to Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, said yesterday: "The minister is not happy with the conduct of these lawyers but she has noted the process (of the investigation).

''In terms of the morality of the case, she has said over and over that it is not fair to treat anyone in this manner. She is not happy with what is happening in the Eastern Cape around this particular case."
EP Herald

DIY developing? Think again
Iafrica.com - South Africa
Most people think that property development is an easy way to retire young, but there is many a slip between bold and sold as scores of self-styled and even professional developers have discovered on the long and bumpy road to property riches.

Saul Geffen, Managing Director of MortgageSA, says, "Development requires large amounts of cash throughout the process and many factors such as difficult neighbours, outdated systems and lack of infrastructure can bring a development to a jarring halt.

"It's something potential buyers need to consider before they sign up for what they think is a done deal - it's always worth doing a bit of extra research to find out about factors that could hamper the process."

Think twice about price
Iafrica.com - South Africa
Home sellers who stipulate a hard-and-fast limit below which they will not consider any offers on their property may end up losing out.

It may be tempting, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, to instruct your agent to not even show you offers below your stipulated minimum, especially in view of the huge gains in property prices registered in the recent past.

"But sellers should keep in mind that the property market is in constant flux and there is currently a discernible trend of resistance to high asking prices."

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