Raking in the rands

2013-07-28 20:20

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Johannesburg - South Africa's top advocates reportedly are raking in millions, sparking concerns that the conferral of senior counsel status is "tantamount to a licence to print money".

Several senior advocates and lawyers who spoke to City Press said South Africa’s top advocates charge as much as R45 000 per day.

The issue of advocates' fees were brought into sharp focus when lawyers acting at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry withdrew last week owing to a lack of funding.

City Press spoke to advocates about the range of fees they charge. Two confirmed that some advocates are completely "off the scale", charging as much R60 000 per day for their services.

But Ishmael Semenya, the chairperson of the General Council of the Bar, said most advocates don’t make that much.

“Most of the time, people are really talking about the high end of legal services."

Semenya said a debate was needed about provisions in the legal practice bill about compulsory community service for graduating law students, similar to what medical students are currently required to do.

A Johannesburg advocate, who asked not to be named, told City Press: "There’s absolutely no question that advocates are out of reach for most South Africans. If you’re above the legal aid limit, you're buggered."

Read more on:    ishmael semenya  |  judiciary

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