What to Expect During Your First Consultation With a Commercial Lawyer

November 13, 2022
Commercial Law
Man writing notes - thumbnail for our commercial law pageS

If you’re in need of an expert in Commercial Law for any number of matters - be it contractual, commercial, occupational health and safety law, or income tax litigation, our professional team at Witz Inc.’s Commercial Law Department are ready to assist you with the right legal solution. Our aim is to keep things as simple, efficient, and transparent as possible at all times.Here’s what you can expect when engaging the services of our Commercial Law professionals.

What to Expect When Setting up a Consultation

Give us a call and advise us on the nature of your legal matter so that we can put you in touch with the person best able to assist you with what you need. We appreciate that your matter is urgent and we’ll set up an appointment to see you at the earliest possible opportunity.We’ll also outline our fee structure for you, so that you know exactly what to expect upfront, and that you won’t be in for any surprises.

Which Legal Documents Do You Need for a Commercial Law Appointment?

With most legal matters, there will inevitably be paperwork attached. We ask that you do a thorough search and collect all documentation in your possession and those in possession of anyone else involved in this matter. Put all documents into a dossier and send it to our offices for us to review before we meet.

Which Documents Are Important?

Rather than having you waste your time trying to decide which documents to include and which to leave out, we ask that you include everything – even if it’s seemingly insignificant. That way we can consider everything and decide which documents are relevant from a legal perspective.  Our team will go through your documents prior to our meeting, and we’ll make notes of any questions we have regarding any areas we need to be clarified.  We’ll also make note of any potential legal remedies available to you.

FICA Requirements

In 2001, the South African government introduced the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, more commonly referred to as FICA. There are a number of control measures in place, and specific responsibilities placed on accountable institutions relating to starting a business relationship with clients.  To this end, we are legally required to obtain ‘Know Your Clients’ or KYC documents from all our clients. Please note that all documentation you provide us with must be either:

  • An original, or
  • A copy of the original document sighted by a Witz Inc. employee, or
  • A copy of the original document certified by an independent Commissioner of Oaths.  The Certification needs to include the full name, title and signature of the Commissioner of Oaths, and the wording must stipulate "Certified a true copy of". Where the document being commissioned is more than one page, the stamp/full commission must appear on either the front or back page and the Commissioner must initial every page of the document in between.

What to Expect When Meeting Your Lawyer

As lawyers, meeting with clients is a regular part of our day, but for many clients – and especially first-time clients - meeting with lawyers is generally not an everyday occurrence.  It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive, but rest assured, we’d like to welcome you and put you at ease.   We’re interested in what you have to say, and the aim of the initial consultation is to enable us to find out exactly what your situation is.  We’ll take down notes while you tell us about your matter and then we’ll address any queries and questions. If it’s a straightforward matter, we may be able to advise you immediately on available courses of action, but in more complex matters we may need more information from you and more time to investigate the details thoroughly.If this is the case, we’ll provide you with a list of requirements in writing, so there’s no miscommunication and no guesswork.It may be necessary to take a statement from you, and from any witnesses (if applicable), which you’ll be required to sign.To make budgeting easier for you, we have a convenient project fee structure at Witz, which we’ll explain to you during the consultation, so you know exactly what to expect. A deposit will be required prior to any more work being undertaken, and you will be billed on a monthly basis.We’ll discuss the next steps with you and agree on a timeframe on when we’ll get back to you with advice.   We’ll also send you a record of what we discussed in short minutes.

What to Expect If Counsel is Required

At Witz Inc, we believe in being transparent with our clients and keeping them in the loop. If we believe that counsel may be required in your matter, we will explain the relationship between us and counsel, as well as client and party and party costs so there are no surprises.

When to Expect Updates

We’ll provide you with regular feedback regarding your matter and where we are in the process, and we’ll also explain any particular action and the implications of launching the action. If there are any changes in strategy, these will be discussed with you upfront.

What to Expect When an Agreement is Reached

At the conclusion of the matter - either as agreed, or by court order - we will take you through exactly what the settlement agreement or court order entails.

What to Expect When Working With Witz Inc.

Like any other good relationship, our relationships with our valued clients are based on mutual respect and trust.  We’re committed to providing you with professional, friendly service and the best legal advice available.Please contact us to discuss your Commercial Law requirements today.