Experience

Working History

Serina Govender Attorneys (October 2016 - Present)
Botha & Sutherland Attorneys (May-June 2016)
Desmond Barry Attorneys (March 2015-May 2016)
D.L. Wilson Attorney (August 2014-March 2015)
Wits Law Clinic as part of the L.E.A.D 6-month course (June 2014)
Wits Law Clinic for the required ten months in final year LLB. (2013)


Positions Held

Consulting Attorney at Serina Govender Attorneys (October 2016 - Present)
Associate Attorney at Botha & Sutherland Attorneys (May 20016 – June 2016)
Post Articles at Desmond Barry Attorneys (September 2015-May 2016)
Candidate Attorney at Desmond Barry Attorneys (March 2015-August 2015)
Candidate Attorney at D.L. Wilson Attorney (August 2014-March 2015)
Student Counsellor at the Wits Law Clinic, working under the supervision of an attorney (2013, June 2014).
Part-time: Correspondent in South Africa for France’s widely read French-language Les News news-service (appointed in 2014) (unpaid and with any work entirely at my discretion)
Part-time: Web assistance, advice to ADHASA (2011-2012) (unpaid)
Class representative: Contract Law class 2nd year. (2010)
Class representative: Global English Literature & Film 1st year (2009)
Part-time: Editor: SACNS news (from 2008) (unpaid, with any work at my discretion)

Chronological Summary of Experience:


MY EXPERIENCE IN THE LEGAL FIELD 

PARALEGAL 

Prior to my articles of clerkship, I gained experience at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Wits Law Clinic, in the Family Law Unit (10 months in 2013) and in the General Unit (June 2014). 

I dealt with matters of a family law nature, including: divorces, matters involving custody and adoption, customary marriages including where the proof of unregistered nuptials would be required, so-called ‘breach of promise’ cases which the Supreme Court of Appeal had substantially limited around that time, universal partnerships, and even the researching of which government hospitals could provide a client with the best quality paternity test for the least amount of money. 

I also dealt with matters of a general nature, including: interpretation of contracts, the law of landlord and tenant, and matters where the law could not directly help a client with their specific issue, but where other lawful options existed in order to solve the underlying cause of their problem, such as the existence of government grants which if successfully applied for would allow a tenant to move their lawful business away from a situation where the classically applicable law could not assist. 

ARTICLES OF CLERKSHIP 

I acquired legal experience during my articles of clerkship, in the following areas of practice, while performing the duties of my articles of clerkship: 

 MAGISTRATES’ COURT 

Taking of instructions and drafting of pleadings, applications, notices and legal opinions, indexing and paginating of files, serving and filing of documents, debt collecting, defended matters of civil, criminal and domestic violence natures, appearing in opposed court applications, preparing for trials, and attending at round table conferences along with my principal, with a view to settlement of litigious matters. Organising for the transcription of the trial days of a matter for the purposes of appeal. Drafting of an affidavit for an arrest warrant for a client’s domestic violence matter. Drafting of the request for the docket for a criminal matter wherein I had been representing a client during their court appearances, interfacing with police to request information, interfacing with prosecutors. 

LEGAL DRAFTING 

Assisting in the drafting of contracts, notices, affidavits, pleadings, forms, and commercial agreements. Drafting of wills, living wills, legal opinions, correspondence, and other documents. 

LABOUR AND RELATED MATTERS 

Drafting of documents, advising of clients, assisting with the filling out of forms, drafting of notices, drafting of documents for and being present at retrenchments, advising for CCMA matters, requesting and obtaining copies of documents which were not served on a client in their CCMA matter. Drafting of opinions involving the Turquand rule and estoppel where employees had made misrepresentations to third parties. Advising on the dismissal process, advising on warnings for employee wrongdoing and the processes to be followed in order to discipline an employee for wrongdoing. 

DEBT COLLECTION, ATTACHMENT AND EXECUTION 

Drafting of documents such as letters of demand, communicating with debtors, appointment of a tracing agent to find an absconded debtor, corresponding with clients, drafting of documentation for execution, and interfacing with sheriffs. 

EVICTIONS AND LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES 

Assisting in the legal process for the eviction of tenants and unlawful occupants. Serving of eviction documentation on tenants. Advising in landlord-tenant disputes. Advising on the landlord’s tacit hypothec in a rent dispute matter. Serving of documentation on unlawful occupiers and tenants for the purposes of their potential eviction in eviction matters. 

HIGH COURT (Inter alia divorces, custody, insurance, pension, contractual, property, and by-law violation matters) 

Taking of instructions and assisting in the drafting of pleadings, notices and legal opinions, indexing and paginating of files, serving and filing of documents, attending on briefing and consulting with counsel and attending court with counsel and my principal during trial proceedings, preparation of court and counsel’s documents, attending on pre-trial notices and procedures, discovery, the practice and procedure relating to opposed and unopposed divorces, the practice and procedure relating to opposed insurance matters, interpretation of contracts for litigation. Assisting extensively with a High Court insurance matter which could not be understood without an in depth understanding of pensions and benefits law. Assisting in research and writing of opinions on certain nuances of civil procedure, assisting with amendment of pleadings, and in processes relating to the exception procedure. 

SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL 

Indexing, pagination, special binding and reviewing of papers, insuring compliance to the court’s format requirements, and serving of documents, organising for a transcription of the trial days and judgement of a matter for the purposes of appeal, interfacing with opposing counsel, interfacing with client. Posting of documents to corresponding attorneys for filing. Interfacing with corresponding attorneys in relation to the documents posted and their service and filing. 

ARBITRATION 

Attending on drafting of notices and of correspondence with opposing attorneys, indexing and paginating of files, serving and filing of documents, attending on briefing and on consultations with counsel, attending arbitration with counsel and my principal. 

PENSIONS AND PROVIDENT FUNDS 

Desmond Barry is a contributor to Kobus Hanekom’s annually updated Manual on Retirement Funds and other Employee Benefits, which is published by LexisNexis, and he has in the past given lectures on pensions and provident funds for Monash University. A good portion of his practice is reliant upon a sound knowledge of this area of law. In legal drafting, contract interpretation, and High Court litigation, I gained, inter alia, experience in this area, from the period during my articles of clerkship that I was his candidate attorney. I also assisted him in the drafting of an article on the duties of trustees and investment consultants when they appoint asset managers, with the aim of it being published in a trade magazine focussed and marketed at trustees and provident funds. 

CURATORSHIP MATTERS 

Interfacing with doctors and other relevant parties in curatorship matters, making of an inventory of a patient’s property, communication with experts for valuation of patient property, assisting in researching the conditions of life of a patient, researching of care homes for a matter where application for curatorship was to be made, attending on meetings with relatives of a patient and financial advisors where application for curatorship was to be made, researching medical professionals and their status with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) prior to their being consulted. Assisting in the drafting of affidavits, interfacing with relatives and care providers of patients. 

GENERAL 

Drafting of correspondence with, inter alia, attorneys, clients and counsel, handling of case files, diarising of matters, drafting of invoices for payment by clients, attending at consultation with clients and counsel on a variety of subjects, drafting of legal opinions, finding and communicating with potential and finalized corresponding attorneys in matters, assisting in the winding up of the estates of deceased persons, interfacing with the office of the Master of the High Court, interfacing with the office of the Family Advocate for their report in a divorce matter, assisting in matters where my principal had power of attorney, interfacing with Stats SA as regards inflation for divorce matters, researching of companies, close corporations and of other available relevant information via the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), researching ownership of property based on the records of the Deeds Office, verifying of the areas of practice and registration status of Financial Service Providers (FSPs) via the Financial Services Board (FSB) where relevant, researching medical professionals in relation to divorce, domestic violence and custody matters via the publically available records of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and attending on various other matters which are associated with the practice and procedure of an attorney. 

AFTER THE OFFICIAL PERIOD OF MY ARTICLES OF CLERKSHIP 

I continued to assist Desmond Barry, with my official duties correlating to those I had during the official period of my articles of clerkship.

BOTHA & SUTHERLAND ATTORNEYS (Associate Attorney)

I appeared at court on behalf of clients in about 3 dozen matters. I drafted pleadings, motions and affidavits in most areas of Magistrates' Court and Regional Court litigation. I performed many other functions of an attorney.

SERINA GOVENDER ATTORNEYS

Effective from 1 October 2016, I am a consulting attorney at Serina Govender Inc Attorneys. It is a general law practice and I take matters in all areas of law.