Govt lawyers need not pay into Fidelity Fund
MBABANE – Lawyers who are full-time employees in the public service (government) are exempted from paying a contribution to the Fidelity Fund.
This is contained in the Legal Practitioners Act.
Section 48(8), headlined ‘Establishment of Fidelity Fund’ reads: "Every mem- ber of the Law Society other than a member who is a full-time employee in the public service, or such other service as the Law Society may specify, shall pay contributions to the Fund as the Law So- ciety may determine."
Law Society President, Titus Mlangeni, said there was no need for lawyers who are employed by government to contribute to the Fidelity Fund.
Mlangeni stated: "The Fidelity Fund serves as security when funds have been embezzled by a particular attorney."
However, he noted that lawyers in the public service were not exempted from paying the annual subscription fee of E3 000.
The Legal Practitioners Act, Section 35(1) provides that: "Every person admitted and enrolled as a legal practitioner shall be a member of the Law Soci- ety."
Mlangeni stressed: "You are not a member of the Society by choice, but by admittance to the High Court and, as such, you need to do what members are supposed to do as contained in the by-laws."
ã€€It’s unlawful to bill clients if ...
MBABANE – Titus Mlangeni, the President of the Law Society, has noted it is unlawful for lawyers to bill their clients when they are not up-to-date with their subscript ions.
Mlangeni, an erstwhile Cabinet minister, was speaking to the Times in an interview on Thursday.
"If you’re not a paid-up member of the Society, then it is unlawful to charge your clients," he said. He further stated: "Actually, there’s no point in practising if you’re not a paid-up member of the society."
He said the Law Society of Swaziland by-laws made it mandatory for lawyers to pay annual subscription fees.
Section 19(1) of the by-laws reads: "There shall be an annual subscription payable to the society by each member which shall be fixed by the council for each year and shall be payable not later than December 31 and the council may differentiate among the members belonging to different categories determined by it for the purpose of fixing subscriptions."
The subscription fee currently stands at E3 000 per year.
Section 19(3) reads: "If a member fails to pay his or her annual subscription within one month after it has become due, the secretary shall, by prepaid registered post, draw his attention to this fact and if the subscription is not paid within 21 days from the date of such letter or within such further time as the council may allow, proceedings for the recovery thereof may be taken by the council."
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