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Offers to settle in litigation: Beware, they can bite!
20 November 2019 Dispute Resolution

Offers to settle in litigation: Beware, they can bite!

“That’s the difference between me and you. You wanna lose small, I wanna win big.” So said Harvey Specter in Suits. In the real world, many disputes are not worth fighting, should be settled and that decision, to settle or fight, requires insight, maturity and wisdom. Having decided to settle though, and perhaps having disappointed Harvey Specter by deciding to lose small, it is vital to see the matter through with the same diligence that would have been applied to a fight to the death. It is easy to stop concentrating on the settlement and find suddenly that you have lost big.

Direct marketing – the way forward
20 November 2019 Corporate & Commercial

Direct marketing – the way forward

Direct marketing is big business. It is frequently used by businesses as a marketing tool. Many businesses undertake research about prospective customers by accessing information already in the public domain. This includes gleaning information from publicly accessible websites (such as LinkedIn, Facebook and the like), and obtaining information via company switchboards. The personal information is then captured and stored. The business then reaches out to these prospective customers (in person, via post, via personalised or mass-generated emails and/or via telephone calls) to market goods or services. The communication via person, mail or electronic communication for the purpose of promoting any goods or services, or requesting a donation constitutes direct marketing.

Can a shareholder recover loss caused by a wrong done to the company in which it holds shares?
20 November 2019 Corporate & Commercial

Can a shareholder recover loss caused by a wrong done to the company in which it holds shares?

It is trite law that a company is a separate legal entity distinct from its shareholders. Shareholders enjoy the benefit of this primal distinction in that they cannot be sued as shareholders for the liabilities of the company. However, when a company suffers loss due to a wrongful act perpetrated against the company, the shareholders of that company also suffer as a result of the value of their shares decreasing.

No rest for the wicked Social Media Policy
18 November 2019 Employment

No rest for the wicked Social Media Policy

Our courts have often dealt with employees operating under the misconception that their social network sites are personal, private and detached from their employment. Employees may often feel secure under the guise offered by the divide between work and personal life, particularly during the festive “leave” season where employees spend less time in their work environment. However, dismissals on account of social media misconduct are on the rise.

The contours of Ubuntu: A principal’s right to terminate a contract of mandate
15 November 2019 Corporate & Commercial

The contours of Ubuntu: A principal’s right to terminate a contract of mandate

It is firmly established in our law that both the terms and enforcement of a contract must not offend public policy, a matrix of rules articulating society’s values and sense of propriety. These values are neatly encapsulated in the concept of Ubuntu which, as our courts have held on a number of occasions, suffuse all areas of our law (including the law of contract). Should the terms of the contract per se or their enforcement in a particular context violate public policy, our courts will decline to uphold them.

A silver lining? Relaxation of the exchange control rules regarding loop structures announced in the MTBPS
14 November 2019 Tax & Exchange Control

A silver lining? Relaxation of the exchange control rules regarding loop structures announced in the MTBPS

On 30 October 2019, the Minister of Finance (Minister) tabled the 2019 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). In his speech on the MTBPS, the Minister was frank in describing the challenges faced by the South African economy and emphasised that our economy must grow faster. Following the tabling of the MTBPS, ratings agency Moody’s indicated that South Africa’s credit rating would remain at the lowest investment grade level, but changed its outlook from stable to negative.

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Supreme Court of Appeal confirms its decision regarding trading stock obsolescence
31 October 2019 Tax & Exchange Control

Supreme Court of Appeal confirms its decision regarding trading stock obsolescence

There have been various jurisprudential and legislative developments over the past 12 months regarding section 22 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 (Act), which, in its simplest form is a timing provision which ensures that the cost of trading stock in the hands of a taxpayer matches the income earned in respect of that trading stock sold, or otherwise disposed of. We previously wrote about the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment handed down last year in C:SARS v Volkswagen South Africa (Pty) Ltd 81 SATC 24 as well as the proposed amendments to section 22 that were published for public comment on 21 July of this year. In this alert we discuss the most recent judgment handed down by the SCA on the same issue on 27 September 2019 in C:SARS v Atlas Copco South Africa (Pty) Ltd (834/2018) [2019] ZASCA 124.

Seeing eye-to-eye: The National Credit Act’s applicability to settlement agreements
30 October 2019 Dispute Resolution

Seeing eye-to-eye: The National Credit Act’s applicability to settlement agreements

It is no secret that the National Credit Act, No 34 of 2005 (Act) has its problems. Courts have been called upon numerous times to interpret what should be simple provisions that confuse contracting parties. A measurable portion of the court cases involving the Act and its interpretation concern the application of the Act to agreements.

Setting aside dispositions – a practical approach
30 October 2019 Dispute Resolution

Setting aside dispositions – a practical approach

In winding-up proceedings, the commencement date of the winding-up and the establishment of the concursus creditorum (meaning the coming together of the creditors) play an important role. The purpose behind the establishment of a concursus is to ensure that the company’s property is collected and distributed amongst its creditors in the prescribed order of preference.

Shareholder self-help and the board’s refusal to convene a meeting
30 October 2019 Corporate & Commercial

Shareholder self-help and the board’s refusal to convene a meeting

In the case of Heatherview Estate Extension 24 Home Owners Association v Mahlatse Trading Enterprise CC and Others (22616/2019) [2019] ZAGPPHC 180 (20 May 2019), the High Court considered the meaning and effect of s61 of the Companies Act, No 71 of 2008 (Companies Act), and whether a meeting convened by certain members of a non-profit company themselves, in instances where the board failed to do so upon having received written demand by such members in terms of s61(3), was a lawfully constituted meeting.

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Video: Nationals Schools Moot Competition Seminar hosted by the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice
29 January 2016 Pro Bono & Human Rights

Video: Nationals Schools Moot Competition Seminar hosted by the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice

The National Schools' Moot Court Competition (the Competition) is a nation-wide high school level moot court competition aimed at building awareness amongst learners about the Constitution, providing them with exposure to the legal profession and facilitating access to legal education. It is a joint initiative of the University of Pretoria, the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Foundation for Human Rights.

Think twice before you tweet
22 January 2016 Employment

Think twice before you tweet

South Africa has walked into a veritable social media storm in the early parts of the year, with employers increasingly being placed in the difficult position of having to decide whether or not to take action against employees for their behaviour online.

Uber: Convenience vs controversy
6 October 2015 Insurance Law

Uber: Convenience vs controversy

Members of public are increasingly making use of the convenient service offered by Uber. While this is undeniably an essential service, questions arise as to its legitimacy and whether this service is not already on offer by existing legitimate transportation services. The latter consideration sparked conflict between Uber service providers and the metered taxi industry and the issue was also recently debated in National Parliament.

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Jerome Brink discusses sugar tax
12 March 2018 Tax & Exchange Control

Jerome Brink discusses sugar tax

Senior Associate in Tax & Exchange Control, Jerome Brink, was recently interviewed by Cape Talk's John Maytham. During his interview he discussed sugar tax, which will come into effect on 1 April.