Corporate Governance Part I

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Subject:This is a 2-part course on corporate governance – the guidelines formulated by Mr Mervyn King and captured in the King IV Report. These guidelines identify key principles, practises and outcomes for organisations including companies, as they navigate the increasingly more complex world of ethics, compliance and good business practise.

Purpose:If you complete only Part I you will have a good understanding of the basis of the King IV Report and what it is trying to achieve. You will be able to recognise many of the elements of good corporate governance and explain them. You will also gain high level insight into how organisations can best be structured for optimal risk mitigation, transparency, reporting and decision-making.

Reflection: Once you grasp the essence of what King IV is about, you should understand the purpose of the framework, and be able to place in context its focus on people, profit and planet.

Approx. time: 40-60 minutes

Price: R450.00

Introduction to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI)

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Subject: This law is not new but it is only coming into effect in parts. On 1 July 2020 a large number of sections were brought into force, and will be binding from 1 July 2021. This Act gives effect to the Constitutional right to privacy.

Purpose: The POPI Act creates a framework within which the processing of personal information must take place. Simply put, you must not collect, store, amend, distribute or otherwise deal with information that can identify a natural person unless you comply with the requirements of this Act. This is to protect the individual’s right to privacy. The module will identify the key terms and conditions for processing, give you some examples of what lawful processing could be, identify the risks of failing to comply, and give you an overview of the regime. Bear in mind that there is no case law yet and over time, the interpretation and application of this Act is likely to develop substantially.

Reflection: We all need to take the personal information about others seriously. This includes their names and addresses, but also their religious beliefs, health information, preferences and employment records. Having completed this module, you should be able to identify some of the key rules and be comfortable with what lawful processing entails.

Approx. time: 30-40 minutes

Price: R350.00

Unfair Dismissal

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Subject: When is a dismissal fair and when is it unfair? This difficult topic is broken down into manageable parts in this module.

Purpose: The law around employment is clear, but the facts required to support a claim for unfair dismissal are not as obvious as you may think. This module aims to point you to the relevant parts of the legislation and documents and notices that must be used if any action based on unfair dismissal is to be brought; and examines the key requirements for a successful claim. It offers guidance for employment lawyers on how to manage their client when facing a claim of this type.

Reflection: Having completed the module you can test yourself and your understanding of the topic and the process of claiming for unfair dismissal, by reviewing a case study and answering the questions that follow.

Approx. time: 45-60 minutes

Price: R350

Force Majeure

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Subject: Acts of God, events out of our control, even bad weather, all of these events – also known as ‘force majeure’ – can affect our ability to carry out contractual obligations.

Purpose: Understanding when a party to a contract can escape liability on the basis that he could not control and had no hand in an event which affected his ability to perform is a very complex issue. Force majeure is currently being considered in relation to COVID-19, and questions are being asked about whether or not the common law or the terms of a contract should apply. Understanding that there are several different issues to consider when a possible force majeure event is raised is half the battle. This module will take you through several real-life examples in the courts, and in every day life.

Reflection: This module will introduce you to various types of force majeure events, how the common law has dealt with force majeure events, and the importance of clear drafting of force majeure clauses in contracts. Make sure you do the recommended reading.  You can also download our checklist for pointers in relation to force majeure.

Approx. time: 45-60 minutes

Price: R350

Plain English (Drafting)

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Subject: This module sets out a ‘plain English’ approach to drafting and examines the importance of spelling and language. It will be useful for you to also have completed the modules on Language and the Lawyer, Communications with Clients, and Contracts I, II and III.

Purpose: Lawyers are expected to know how to use language to instruct, advise, challenge and communicate with other people and institutions. Text-speak is not suitable for formal communications, but neither are Latin phrases and complicated terminology. This module aims to give you practical ways to simplify your drafting, and encourages you to check your spelling.

Reflection: When you have completed this module you will have had the opportunity to engage with language and spelling exercises and review the reasons why simple language and correct spelling are so important.

Approx. time: 30-60 minutes

Price: R250.00

A conflict of interest

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Subject: Conflicts of interest are a thorny problem for any legal practitioner (or director) and there are not many practical guidelines available to decide how best to apply the LPC’s rules.

Purpose: Legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) are required to adhere to strict rules about dealing with conflicts of interest. This is not unlike other sectors where personal interests must take a backseat to professional interests, but the duty of care that is expected of lawyers is very strict. Find out more about the rules for legal practitioners and see if you can apply them in some practical examples.

Reflection: You should have some questions about when a conflict is a conflict that can be managed, and when its not permitted, and what you can do about it. In a follow-up module we will consider the concept of ‘chinese walls’.

Approx. time: 30-60 minutes

Price: R350

An introduction to compliance

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Subject: Compliance is the behaviour of knowing and adhering to applicable laws, regulations and policies, internal company rules, and best practice.

Purpose: This is an introduction to the concept of ‘compliance’. It considers what this means, how this takes place, what type of documents or practices may constitute compliance, and who is responsible. The module examines why compliance is necessary in both business and law. Corporate governance incorporates compliance, and we will shortly launch a module dealing specifically with King IV, the gold standard for corporate governance.

Reflection: This introductory module introduces you to the basics of compliance and you should be able to identify the types of laws, regulations and policies that deal with compliance and what the responsibilities are of the person tasked with this activity. Download the checklist at the end of the module.

Approx. time: 30-45 minutes


Getting to know your clients

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Subject: Meeting with a potential client for the first time can be daunting. Learn how to prepare for a meeting and how to make a good impression.

Purpose: This module should equip you to prepare for and engage in a meeting with a potential client in a meaningful way. You should understand the value of researching the topic of conversation and issues that the client raises with you.

Reflection: When you review what you have learnt, test yourself – are you comfortable that you could prepare for and carry out a meeting with a client on your own? Download the checklist from the module.

Approx. time: 15 minutes.

Price: ZAR 250.00

Regulation Part III

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Subject: Regulation III takes a closer look at a regulated sector and the powers and duties of the regulatory authority for telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services.

Keep checking back for a practical case study of the regulations recently passed under the national state of disaster which will be published to the website soon.

Purpose: Although we recommend you take Modules I and II of Regulation before you attempt this Module III, you can take any one of the Modules without having completed the others. Together, however, they create a full picture of the what, how and why of regulation and its importance in our society. Regulation III takes a more detailed look at the structure of a regulatory body, what the alternatives might be, how a regulator interacts with central government, what impact it could have on investment in a particular sector, and the kinds of activities that a regulator should undertake. If you have completed the SEIAS module, you will be better-equipped to understand the rationale behind regulation.

Reflection: Do you understand the importance of a well-regulated sector for consumers and the economy as a whole? You should be able to put your finger on the key characteristics of regulation, particularly by Chapter 9 institutions in South Africa, and identify the requirements of administrative justice where regulatory bodies are concerned.

Approx. time: 30-60 minutes

Price: ZAR 450.00

Regulation Part II

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Subject: This second module on Regulation reflects on where this type of activity fits into the general framework of law and administration in South Africa. If you are in utility regulation or the public sector, this is a must for you.

Purpose: Regulation as a form of administrative law must be based on considerations of fairness and reason. It is not a common area to study but it is a vital part of enforcement within sectors such as utilities, competition and consumer protection. There are different types of regulation, and this module takes you through the most commonly used forms, noting that these differ in countries and sectors because of a range of factors. This module also aims to provide background to early forms of regulation, and how national bodies have adapted the general principles over time. This module should enable you to situate regulation within the wider framework of legislation and implementation.

Reflection: Why is regulation necessary – can you explain this? What makes regulation different from other forms of law-making and enforcement? What are the usual principles of regulation?  If you cannot answer these questions having done Regulation I and Regulation II, you should redo the modules, and ensure you have considered the recommended reading.

Approx. time: 30-60 minutes

Price: ZAR 350.00

Regulation Part I

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Subject: This is the first of three modules on regulation – what it is, how it is used, and why it is necessary.

Purpose: Legal practitioners operating in the field of regulation are a relatively rare breed. Few lawyers know what regulatory law entails or how important an area it is. More young law graduates should be considering regulation as a career option – either in competition law, or utility regulation (such as telecommunications, electricity, broadcasting). You can enter either the public or private sector.

Reflection: When you have concluded this module you should understand and recognise that there are different forms of law and that different industries might be governed by regulatory authorities, not directly by Ministerial departments, and what regulation aims to do.

Approx. time: 20 minutes.

Price: ZAR 350.00

The basics of drafting a contract – Part 3

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Subject: You need to have completed Contracts Part I and II in order to make the most of Contracts Part III.

This module considers the all-important element of risk in the drafting of a contract, using the basic elements to construct a balanced contract, taking account of risk for each party and how to address it.

Purpose: Having completed both Parts I and II, you should be able to approach a drafting exercise with confidence, knowing the basic elements of a contract and with having gained insight into additional concepts such as risk mitigation.

Reflection: Ensure that you understand why a contract contains certain clauses and how best to ensure clarity in your drafting, avoiding common mistakes. You can download the risk checklist from the module.

Approx. time: 45-60 minutes.

Price: ZAR 650.00

Do you know what a SEIAS is?

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Subject: The Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System in South Africa (when you have read the rest of the description of this module, click on this link to go to the Guidelines)

Purpose: This module is intended to (i) expose you to the type of government document that has wide-ranging consequences for the rule of law; (ii) ensure that you know where to look for this sort of document; and (iii) determine if you have read and understood the document. A SEIAS is a critical way of thinking and particularly important for administrators and lawmakers who must make rules. It is vital that the making of rules is not undertaken in isolation from the likely effect of those rules and consideration of whether there may be another way to achieve the outcome sought.

Reflection: When you have read the Guidelines document carefully, you will need to answer the questions that appear in the text below. Consider whether you have really understood the Guidelines. The answers to the questions appear in this link.

Approx. time: 20 minutes

Ethics in business

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Subject: In this short course we unpack the meaning of ethical conduct in business. This module is a must for compliance officers.

Purpose: An ethical way of doing things or maintaining an ethical approach to life can often be hard to measure.  This module unpacks the meaning of ethical conduct and looks at a choice of standards. The type of ethical conduct required in a business setting may be hard to put your finger on. In this module we look at the sort of actions and behaviour that could be considered to be ethical and what is not ethical. We also investigate the effect of both types of behaviour on the broader world. For lawyers, our module on Ethics under the LPA is another take on ethics and supplements this module.

Reflection: In order to ensure your own conduct is ethical, consider the stakeholders that your business affects, and how your personal beliefs might (or might not) constitute ethical behaviour.

Approx. time: 45-60 minutes.

Price: ZAR 550.00 (bulk licences are discounted)

Ethics and the LPA

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Subject: This short course assesses the essence of ethical conduct for lawyers. Our module on Ethics in Business is another take on ethics and supplements this module.

Purpose: An ethical way of doing things or maintaining an ethical approach to life can often be hard to measure. This module unpacks the meaning of ethical conduct and looks at a choice of standards. Ethical behaviour is difficult to define, this module will ensure that you can identify what conduct is ethical and how to make decisions about how you act or react in particular situations. The module is based on standards and models expressed in the Legal Practice Act. Note that the many regulations and guidelines passed from time to time by the LPC may give more information about the ethical conduct required from legal practitioners.

Reflection: Do you understand how your conduct in the past might have been unethical? Can you think of any examples of other people’s conduct that could be said to be unethical under the LPA? How would you go about creating an ethical environment in your law firm? Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the Legal Practice Act and the regulations, notices and guidelines passed in terms of this Act. Download a ‘Lawyer’s Code’ which summarises the main requirements of the LPA in one place.

Approx. time: 30-60 minutes.

Price: ZAR 450.00

Making more time

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Subject: This module deals with the nature of time and the need for lawyers (and other busy people) to make the most of it.

Purpose: When you have completed this module you should have greater insight into why you need to manage your time, and how you can achieve better use of your time. Lawyers often relate the value of their work to the time spent on it – but if you do not work efficiently you may be wasting your client’s money and your own available resources.

Reflection: Time management is essential for lawyers. Ensure that you have understood the module and reflect on how you manage your own time and if there are any ways that you could manage it better – or if you simply have too much to do. You should also have some insight into how clients view time spent by lawyers on their instructions.

Approx. time: 20 minutes

Price: R100

The basics of drafting a contract – Part 2

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Subject: You need to have completed Contracts Part I in order to make the most of Contracts Part II although each module is a complete module itself. This module takes the drafting of a contract even further, using the basic elements to construct a more complex relationship.

Purpose: Having completed both Parts I, you should be able to approach a drafting exercise with confidence, knowing and understanding what the basic elements of a contract are and with having gained insight into additional concepts such as liability. Your drafting should be clear and concise, and well-ordered.

Reflection: Ensure that you understand why a contract contains certain clauses and how best to ensure clarity in your drafting, avoiding common mistakes or vagueness, which might result in disputes. You can download some notes from the Library.

Approx. time: 30-40 minutes.

Price: ZAR 450.00

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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Subject: This module defines sexual harassment in all of its forms, gives examples of how and when it might happen, and sets out the legal position in South Africa in relation to its treatment. This is a must for anyone dealing with employment matters or compliance.

Purpose: Sexual harassment is a complex but pernicious phenomenon. There are very few environments where it cannot or does not occur, and there are not always very clear rules on what to do when it takes place. This module is a comprehensive guide for businesses concerned about the phenomenon of sexual harassment, particularly but not only in the workplace.  This is also a convenient way to educate staff. It refers to employment and other legislation, policy and guidelines, and offers insight into behaviour modification.

Reflection: Do you understand the elements of sexual harassment? You should now be fairly comfortable reporting on or dealing with sexual harassment in your workplace.

Approx. time: 60 minutes.

Terms and Conditions: Click here to read course-specific terms.

Price: R650

Are your drafting skills up to scratch?

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Subject: This short module covers basic rules for the use of language in writing any document.

Purpose: When you have completed this module you should be able to construct simple sentences using the proper punctuation and grammar, and should be confident that your written work is simple and understandable.

Reflection: The module should enable you to reflect on the use of language in communications and review your own use of language in any communication, article or advice you prepare.  Supplement your skills by also completing the Plain English drafting module. Download a list of words to avoid and what to replace them with at the end of the module.

Approx. time: 20-30 minutes.

Price: ZAR 250.00

The basics of drafting a contract – Part 1

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Subject: This module can be completed as a follow on to the Language and the Lawyer module. It addresses basic rules for drafting, particularly in contracts.

Purpose: This module is intended to clarify and explain in simple terms, the elements of a legal agreement (otherwise known as a contract), for that contract to be understood and to be binding on the parties that enter into it.

Reflection: Once you have completed the module, you should check your understanding of the elements of a contract, and put them into practise the next time you start drafting.  Be sure to review the contracts you have to study with the practical aspects of drafting in mind. Supplement your learning with the Plain Language drafting module. You can download the checklist of elements from the module.

Approx. time: 30 minutes.

Price: ZAR 350.00