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Conveyancing Association launches revised Cyberfraud & Fraud Protocol
UK - TodaysConveyancer
The Conveyancing Association (CA), the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has launched a revised fifth version of its Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol which provides conveyancing firms with practical information on how criminals operate and the measures they, and their staff, can take to avoid being victims of fraud and cyber-crime.

Since the original Protocol was launched in 2016, the CA has committed to regularly reviewing and updating the document to keep pace with the growing number of threats to conveyancing firms and their clients.

Those firms who adopt and adhere to the Protocol, along with other safeguards, have been certified as ‘Cyber Safe’ and also commit to ensuring they are up to date with each new iteration.

This latest version of the Protocol includes feedback from a number of stakeholders and organisations, specifically the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – www.ncsc.gov.uk – which has used this iteration to further emphasise specific existing threats and prevention measures conveyancing firms can take.

Notice of communication: Cape Town Deeds Office
South Africa - Tech4Law
This office had to close on three occasions during the month of November 2020, in comparison to the previous two months when there were no closures, and now once again in December 2020 due to a conveyancer testing positive and being in the deeds office.

The Western Cape is a hotspot and the Premier has intimated as per a newspaper report that there may be the possibility of a mini lockdown in the Western Cape.

Given the above and the resurgence in infections with the Covid – 19 virus, conveyancers are urged and advised to ensure that: deeds are correct upon lodgement; rejections and withdrawals are avoided; trial runs are stopped; deeds are link correctly; certificates are valid for at least 10 days ; that timeous arrangements for registration of bonds; fee payments; and purchase price payments are resolved, to avoid the possibility of being negatively impacted due to possible closures. Any further closure this month given the circumstances would set all of us back very badly.

Construction industry applies for exemption during the annual shutdown
South Africa - PropertyWheel
The construction industry was one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic and the economic shock brought on by the two-month work suspension has caused great hardship for the sector. After a turbulent year, the industry is optimistic about 2021.

Allen Bodill, Executive Director at the Master Builders and Allied Trades Association Western Cape (MBAWC) is encouraged that while South Africa remains on Level 1 of the Government’s Risk-Adjusted Strategy, it is now operational albeit in a limited capacity.

“The recent Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) and supplementary Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTMPS) expanded on the Government’s medium to long term plans for the economy. These timely strategic and policy statements have helped to address some of the uncertainty in the market” he says.

How does the Law Society of South Africa fulfil its functions?
South Africa - De Rebus
In the November Editorial, ‘What does the Law Society of South Africa do?’ 2020 (Nov) DR 3, I wrote about the functions performed by the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) for the enhancement of the legal profession. The LSSA performs its duties through the different departments it has, below is an overview of its different departments.

Legal Education and Development (LEAD)
The LSSA’s legal education division, LEAD, offers Practical Vocational Training (PVT) programmes to candidate legal practitioners, through the PVT Schools and the 23-day PVT short course to prepare candidates in PVT contracts for the attorneys’ admission examinations. In addition, LEAD also offers post-admission training programmes to practising legal practitioners to keep abreast of developments in the profession and to ensure the standards of practice in the profession are maintained and enhanced.

The recent lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupted most, if not all, of the LEAD training programmes. This has required LEAD to come up with a new mode of training that would address the ‘new normal’ in the training space. At some of the PVT Schools based at universities around South Africa, access to campuses was only recently allowed. In an endeavour to remain relevant and continue offering quality training programmes to legal practitioners, LEAD will be presenting webinars and online training. LEAD can present courses at a reduced rate through its online portal called eLeader.
De Rebus

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