Patience plea by South African Law Soc

Barrister John Taylor will team up with a doctor and an architect on BBC television this week to help the residents of a typical English street with their problems. Taylor, a former prospective Tory MP, will be providing the legal know-how for the consumer series which begins at 8.30pm this Thursday. Over the next six weeks experts on The Street will be advising residents from six typical streets across the country.

FACED with a flood of requests from English solicitors looking for South African qualifications, the secretary general of the Association of Law Societies of South Africa has faxed The Lawyer with a plea for patience.

The association's ruling council decided in March to make it easier for English and Welsh solicitors to practise South African law, since the Law Society of England and Wales allows South African attorneys to practise here.

“Ever since the decision was announced in England,” says Andre Van Vuuren, “we have been inundated by letters from English solicitors enquiring how they should go about applying for admission. We shall be most grateful if you could bring it to your readers' attention that it will take quite some time.”

For the rule change to be legal, the Attorneys Act has to be amended in the South African Parliament and a draft amendment will not go before Parliament until 1997.

The association's standing committee on legal education is currently drafting the rules, which must then be referred to the Department of Justice for consideration.

Following that, the amendment will be discussed by the Select Justice Committee before it is tabled in Parliament.