ATTORNEYS FIDELITY FUND
The Attorneys, Notaries and Conveyancers Fidelity Guarantee Fund (“the Fund”) was established under section 8 of Attorneys’ Admission Amendment and Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund Act, No. 19 of 1941, and its continued existence – as the Attorneys Fidelity Fund – is provided for by section 25 of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979 (“the Act”).
The Attorneys Fidelity Fund (“the Fund”) is a statutory body established and regulated by the provisions of the Attorneys Act of 1979 (“the Act”). Its objective is to protect the public against loss as a result of the theft of trust funds by practitioners. The protection provided by the Fund encourages the public to use services provided by legal practitioners with confidence.
The Fund derives its income principally from interest earned on practitioners’ trust accounts, which enables the Fund to offer valuable financial support to the profession. It values the active involvement of all practitioners in the maintenance of a sound Fund.
The Fund vests in and is administered by a Board of Control, which holds the Fund in trust for the purposes defined in the Act. The Board consists of representatives of the (at present) four statutory law societies in South Africa, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers.
The Board is primarily charged with the formulation of policy and decision-making with respect to management of the Fund’s affairs. The day-to-day administration of the Fund is carried out by its Management, comprising of Mr M B Molefe (Chief Executive Officer), Mr A M Stansfield (Finance Executive), Mr JB de Beer (Forensic Executive), Mr J M Losper (Claims Executive), Mr R Burawundi (Investment Executive), Ms P Z Ndima (Senior Claims Manager), Mr S D Maile (Board Secretary),
The Fund’s Management, in turn, is overseen by an Executive Committee of the Board of Control, comprising of Mrs Nonduduzo Kanyile-Kheswa as Chairperson, Messrs Tony Thobane, Etienne Horn and Carel Pieter Fourie as Vice-Chairs of the Fund’s Board of Control.
NATURE OF THE FUND
- might be termed a statutory client protection fund as it serves to protect trust creditors against loss by reason of theft, of money or property entrusted to a practitioner.
- although not an insurer, given the above definition, is in the nature of an insurer.
- again, according to the above definition, is a service provider functioning as a component of the organised attorneys’ profession.
In common with similar client protection funds elsewhere, the Fund is a fund of last resort. If, therefore, it is apparent that stolen money or property can be recovered from another source, the Fund will require a claimant to first exhaust all available legal remedies against the third party, i.e. a surety under a court bond with respect to insolvent or deceased estates, the practitioner who stole the money, and/or the practitioner’s partners