Page 7 - Transformation Report 2018/2019
P. 7


          With so many law firms falling under the R50 million turnover      The Group
          mark it stands to reason that law firms are keenly interested in the   has compiled
          benefits of automatic recognition. Even more so given the cost     an internal
          and complexity of BEE verification and the pressure on firms from   policy
          corporate and financial clients  to achieve high BEE levels or risk   document
          losing such clients.                                               to correctly
          Within the Group, member firms have also been motivated to         members
          consider the benefits of becoming black-owned and gaining          firms towards
          automatic recognition. With member firms having internally         becoming a
          invested in developing black professionals over a period of time,   black-owned
          some member firms have so-doing created the opportunity to         law firm
          identify potential black professionals to advance further in the firm
          and take up equity, even if at an accelerated pace.

          Recognising the benefits and incentive in moving towards
          becoming a black-owned law firm and taking cognisance of
          the intentions of a number of member firms to accelerate black
          professional equity in the firm, the Group has deemed it relevant
          to compile an internal policy document for member firms to guide
          them on moving towards becoming a black-owned law firm.

          This policy document is based on the requirements of the BEE
          Codes as well as advocated practices of verification agencies,
          and provides best practice guidance to member firms on how to
          move towards becoming a black-owned law firm as well as being
          compliant. Given the impact of taking a decision to accelerate
          black professionals into equity positions in the firm, the economic
          benefit  must  follow  suit  and  reflect  positively  on  the  decision
          taken. The policy helps firms negotiate pitfalls, understand the
          decisions they need to make and steps to take to ensure that
          their compliance is and remains beyond repute. In support of the
          policy, member firms that are black-owned are annually audited
          by the Group, with advice and recommendations provided where
          necessary to ensure firms are compliant in all respects.

          The result of this proactive approach has seen a number of
          member firms taking the decision to become black-owned or to
          start planning for such a situation in the near future – a positive
          development that will help contribute to a growing number of
          black-owned law firms in the country.

                                                                         Group Transformation Report for 2018/19
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