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5 Important Rules of Professional Conduct to Remember When Advertising a Law Firm.

With the recent updates in how Attorneys are able to advertise, it is necessary that we be aware of the longstanding traditions and decorum required of the profession.

The Rules.

The previous rules relating to the regulation of the Attorney profession (the "Repealed Rules"), as held by the various law societies, were repealed and replaced by the uniform Rules for the Attorneys' Profession as set out in Government Gazette No. 39740 on 26 February 2016 (the "Updated Rules").

Where the Repealed Rules differed in some cases from law society to law society, the Updated Rules have effectively placed the Attorney profession under one banner and made the conduct expected of Attorneys uniform across all provinces.

"It is hereby notified that the Rules of the Law Society of the Northern Province, the Cape Law Society, the Kwa-Zulu Natal Law Society, and the Free State Law Society, are hereby repealed in toto, to be replaced by the Rules for the Attorney's Profession." - Government Gazette No. 39740

5 Important Rules to Remember.

The Updated Rules set out what can and what cannot be done when advertising to clients.

Accordingly engaging in advertising, it is important to keep these 5 rules at the front of your mind:

1. Respect the freedom of clients to be represented by the Attorney of their choice;

2. Do not refer to a client by name in advertising, unless prior written consent is obtained;

3. Do not criticise or claim to provide superior services provided by any other Attorney;

4. Behave towards colleagues with integrity, fairness, and respect;

5. Refrain from doing anything which could or might bring the profession into disrepute.

Rules in General

There are of course more rules to consider when engaging in advertising and these must all be borne in mind when undertaking any form of "publicity".

It is therefore important to be in full understanding of the Updated Rules, the case law surrounding publicity, and the common law practices.

If you need assistance navigating this aspect of the profession, please feel free to give us a call at any time.

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