The South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW) initiated a pilot pro bono project, the SASLAW Advice Centre, in Gauteng in February 2011 to assist people with labour issues who would not otherwise have access to lawyers. The SASLAW Pro bono project, now in its third year, continues to successfully assist pro bono clients with access to justice at the Johannesburg Labour court.
For the second year in a row, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr business law firm once again contributed more hours to the project than any other law firm in 2012 – racking up 218 hours in all.
Michael Yeates, a director in the Employment practice, spent 49 hours working in the SASLAW Advice Centre in 2012. Yeates says that every director and associate in the Employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has been involved in the Centre.
“Our employment practice has basically adopted this project as our own,” he says.
Since the inception of the project in February 2011 until December 2012, the Johannesburg advise office has advised 3595 clients.
“The Advice Centre is excellent experience for a labour attorney who gets to see the other side of employment law. Advising employers is somewhat different to advising individuals and it can only lend itself to making one a better all-round labour lawyer. It is also extremely rewarding to be able to help someone who would otherwise not have access to legal advice and help," adds Yeates.