Waalburg Building, 28 Wale Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 424 5351

Application Procedure and Guidelines

When the legal practitioner accesses the online system for the very first time, he/she must first complete his/her identity number and email address, same as those provided to the regulator, in the space provided on the system. The system will verify the legal practitioner against information already received from the regulator’s system, and send login credentials to the legal practitioner via sms and/or email. Should the system not allow you to proceed returning a message “the password and user code cannot be resolved”, you need to check your identity number and email address with the regulator. It is therefore important that legal practitioners update their details with the regulator whenever these change.
To complete the online application form, legal practitioners need to login using the credentials received from the system. At first login, the system requires a legal practitioner to create a unique and secure password. The password must be at least six characters long, and contain at least one capital letter and a special character. The system stores this password, and the legal practitioner uses the password, together with the other credentials (User name and User Code), to access the system in future.
Legal practitioners are required to have at their disposal such financial information as required for the previous four calendar quarters starting 01 October and ending 30 September of the following year for the categories reflected in the accompanying table. Legal practitioners also need to provide the following information to the regulator:

  • FICA registration number
  • Financial Services Provider (FSP) number (if running an investment practice)
  • Firm’s Registration number (for Incorporated legal practices)

In addition, legal practitioners should ensure the following:

  • That the Legal Practice Council has received and approved audit report/s for all firm/s that legal practitioners are linked to. Failure to satisfy this requirement in respect of any of the firms that the legal practitioner is linked to will result in the legal practitioner not receiving his/her Fidelity Fund certificate, irrespective of the status of the audit reports in the other firms
  • That they have complied with the requirements in respect of the Practice Management Training (PMT). The system will pass legal practitioners who are either exempted from doing PMT or have completed PMT, or completion date of PMT is in the future. Legal practitioners whose PMT is not concluded, when it should have, will not be able to generate their certificates.
  • That they have paid their R345.00 contribution for the Fidelity Fund certificates to the LPC.
  • That they have completed information pertaining to the firm/s that they are linked to, as well as the AIIF risk questionnaire.
  • That they have completed the online Fidelity Fund certificate application form
    The Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund (the Fund) uses the financial information provided to negotiate enhanced benefits with the banking industry in an ongoing effort to improve the interest returns on trust account balances. Interest returns enable the Fund to contribute towards the costs incurred by legal practitioners in operating the trust bank accounts, and for the first level of professional indemnity insurance cover, provided to all legal practitioners via the Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund. This Fund also uses this information for risk management initiatives and reinsurance programmes.

Reporting Periods
When applying for a Fidelity Fund certificate, balances required relate to the following quarters, and we explain these further in the table:

Q1 01 October – 31 December
Q2 01 January – 31 March
Q3 01 April – 30 June
Q4 01 July – 30 September
Category Explanation Information required per quarter
Section 86(2)
It is mandatory to complete this section for all firms Main trust account/s into which trust creditors deposit their money – if more than one account, balances for each account are to be reported individually.

Legal practitioner need to assign these accounts to the section on the system, if not already assigned.

Balances

 

Interest Rates – obtained from the bank

Section 86(3)
It is not mandatory for all firms, but for those that have opened savings accounts in terms of this section Investment/s account/s – excess amount in s86(2) account/s not immediately required by the firm – if more than one account, balances for each account are to be reported individually.

 

Legal practitioner to assign these accounts to the section on the system, if not already assigned.

Balances

 

Interest Rates – obtained from the bank

Section 86(4)
It is mandatory for all firms. Where no balances exist or the firm has not opened these types of accounts, balance of “NIL” to be captured, and a financial institution of “NONE” to be selected Investment/s account/s opened for specifically designated trust creditors with underlying legal transactions – balances are reported per financial institution Consolidated balances per financial institution
Financial institution/s involvedBreakdown of the balances per quarter and per financial institution (broken down in values). Breakdown to tally 100%, to the last cent, to the balance reported e.g
amount for litigation matters, commercial matters, conveyancing matters, RAF matters, etc
Investments in terms of the rules
It is mandatory for all firms. Where balances do not exist, or the legal practice does not engage in investment practices, balance of “NIL” to be captured, and a financial institution of “NONE” to be selected Pure investments made by the firm on behalf of a client, but the investment is not linked to any legal service provided to the client Consolidated balances per financial institution

 

Financial institution/s involved

Deceased Estates
It is mandatory for all firms.
Where balances do not exist, or the legal practice does not engage in deceased estates matters, balance of “NIL” to be captured, and a financial institution of “NONE” to be selected
Balances relating to deceased estate matters and not accounted for through the main trust account – where  separate late estate bank accounts opened for these matters Consolidated balances per financial institution

 

Financial institution/s involved

Other Entrusted Assets / Property
It is mandatory for all firms.
Where balances do not exist, or the legal practice is not entrusted with any other assets or property other than money, balance of “NIL” to be captured.
Balances relating to any other entrusted assets or property other than money. Consolidated balances – balances should be as valued by a qualified valuator

Guidelines are provided to members on how to navigate the system.  Click here for a simplified Guideline, print it out, and follow the instructions