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Watch out for this scam doing the rounds
South Africa - The Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund
The Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund (LPFF) would like to warn legal practitioners of a scam targeting law firms in order to defraud them.

Legal practitioners must be wary when being contacted by a “representative” of the LPFF, claiming that overpayments or payments in error were made, and trying to induce them to repay these monies.

The modus operandi is when a practitioner/ Law firm receives a call, an email or letter informing them that a payment was made into the law firms’ trust/ business account. This is usually in the form of a cheque deposit, and under the pretence that it is a payment from the LPFF for Audit refunds.
Watch out for this scam

House Price Index trends lower in February
South Africa - FNB
More of the same …

The FNB House Price Index (HPI) kicked off the year on a mildly lower note, averaging 3.7% y/y in February, below the 4% y/y recorded in January and the 3.9% annual average for 2018. This is against our CPI inflation expectation of 4.2% y/y in the same period. Month-to-month, the FNB HPI accelerated to 0.27%, up from 0.15% in January.

As has been the case since February 2016, house prices remain mildly below CPI inflation, although January recorded a better outturn (-0.02% versus -0.38% in December). This slight improvement was, however, solely driven by benign inflation rather than house price appreciation.
FNB Residential Property Barometer

The importance of price and service transparency
UK - TodaysConveyancer
A recent report by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has found that the public have severe misunderstandings and negative attitudes toward legal service providers. In particular, perceptions of affordability deter many people from using legal service providers.

BSB research has found that a staggering 63% of the UK population do not believe that professional legal advice is an affordable option. Similar research from the Legal Services Board also found ‘perceived high costs’ as one of the main barriers to consumers and home movers accessing legal services.

Failing to provide instant and accessible information will only perpetuate this stereotype further. Consumers require full and instant information when it is most convenient for them.

Some legal service firms have embraced price reform that was introduces late last year by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers (CLC) and Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), viewing it as a potential opportunity rather than regulatory systems that require conformity. Conveyancing specialists Fletcher Longstaff have been advocates of providing clear customer information and have thrived as a result.

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