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Attorneys to take Deeds Office to court
South Africa - Miltons
By now you will all have heard that the Cape Town Deeds Office has closed yet again, because one of their staff have allegedly come into c ontact with someone who is allegedly Covid-19 positive. As such and for now, our registrations are yet again on hold and we can again not predict with any certainty when our transfers and bonds will register.

Yesterday, the Cape Town Attorneys Association (CTAA) sent a letter to the Deeds Office demanding that it reopen, because we are all of the view that there are no proper grounds for a complete closure. In their letter the CTAA threatened to bring an urgent High Court application to address the matter if no positive response was received. The Deeds Office has not responded.

Speeding up the property buying process
UK - Legalfutures
Speeding up the process of property buying and selling has taken on new urgency following the conveyancing market meltdown due to Covid-19.

At least one consortium of conveyancers and estate agents has sought to introduce a memorandum of understanding to bring forward the point at which property professionals are paid in an attempt to redress the dire cash flow problems that many businesses are believed to be suffering.

In any case, moves were afoot – and the government was apparently receptive to the plans – to cut the time between a property entering the market and exchange of contracts, before the virus came to the UK. The hope is that a process presently averaging upwards of 14 weeks in England and Wales can be bought down to six to eight weeks.

Guidelines on key compliance requirements for legal practitioners as employers
South Africa - LSSA
Law firms and legal practitioners with employees (practitioners) can render permitted services subject to several Directions issued by the Minister of Employment and Labour dated 4 June 2020 (the Directions).

The purpose of the Directions is ‘to stipulate measures that must be taken by employers in order to protect the health and safety of workers and members of the public who enter their workplaces or are exposed to their working activities’.

The risk assessment
Practitioners, when commencing operations, must undertake a risk assessment to:

  • Give effect to the minimum measures required under the Directions considering the specific circumstances of the workplace; and
  • take special measures, as required, to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 for vulnerable employees to facilitate their safe return to work or their working from home;

Practitioners must also ensure that the measures required by the Directions and the risk assessment plan are strictly complied with through monitoring and supervision.

E-commerce to give industrial sector a boost
South Africa - Property360
The pandemic will affect various property sectors differently, with commercial and big malls in for tough times
The commercial property sector has taken significant knocks as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but experts are confident it will recover. The recovery journey, however, could take as long as three years, says Rick de Sousa, commercial property finance executive at Fedgroup.

A number of early trends are emerging in the commercial property market as more companies prepare to go back to work, says Org Geldenhuys, managing director of Abacus Divisions. Investors and business owners can plot their recovery journeys or investments using these trends.

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