Alex Kamwi Law Agents Practitioners CC
Members of the public are warned to be on their guard of persons who hold themselves out to be legal practitioners or who provide reserved legal services, while in fact not qualified under the Legal Practitioners Act to practice law. “Clients” of such agents of a close corporation enjoy very little protection as these close corporations and their agents are not admitted professionals who must practice in terms of a statute. They are accordingly not covered by professional indemnity insurance, do not hold trust accounts, are not supported by the Law Society and do not have back-up from the Fidelity Fund. Due to a lack of the mentioned insurance and support, the risks to clients are substantial as they may suffer severe prejudice, financial loss and irreparable harm.
In this regard various criminal complaints are pending for further investigation and/or prosecution.
The Law Society of Namibia, being the governing and regulating body of admitted legal practitioners in Namibia, would like to draw the public’s attention to an advertisement placed by Mr Alex Kamwi pertaining to the services which his newly registered close corporation will be rendering based on an incorrect citation of a part of the judgment given in the Supreme Court in the matter Ex Parte In Re: Kamwi v Law Society of Namibia 2009 (2) NR569 (SC) – Case SA21/2008.
Mr Kamwi inter alia contends that the Close Corporation Act, Act 26 of 1988, entitles him to act as agent of Alex Kamwi Law Agents Practitioners CC on behalf of the close corporation’s clients and to therefore be able to appear in any court in Namibia. This “argument” had already been made in the Supreme Court matter and Mtambanengwe AJA concluded as follows in this regard:
“ … While Mr Kamwi vigorously denies that he applied to be admitted as a legal practitioner, in essence he contradicts this denial in many ways. For example, during his submissions in this court he was pertinently asked to specify the things he was seeking to be authorised to do. In substance he listed all the things which a person who is not admitted as a legal practitioner is forbidden to do by s 21 of the Legal Practitioners Act. Mr Kamwi identifies himself as one with second and third respondents. In para 6.1.7 of his heads of argument in this appeal he baldly states:
‘If a paralegal firm’s memorandum of Association/founding statement is incorporated in terms of s 4 of Act 61 of 1973/s 13(1) and 14(2) of Act 26 of 1988 as amended and he or she is issued with a certificate to commence his or her business by that law he or she may prepare summons or process or commence, carry on or defend any action, suit or other proceedings in any court of law in the name of or on behalf of any other person. See art 98(2) of our Constitution.’ [My emphasis.]
 Except for a few quibbles (eg about who issues a summons, the registrar/clerk of court or the legal representative of a party) Mr Kamwi does not deny doing what the Law Society complains he and the other entities he represents do. He claims he does all that on the authority of art 21(1)(j). He submits in para 4.7 of his heads of argument (in respect of his ex parte application):
‘I submit that the Court erred in law for finding that there is no basis in Law on which to grant me the relief sought, I say so because in terms of art 1(6) of our constitution, the Namibian Constitution which provides in art 21(1)(j) that all persons shall have the right to practice (as is) their profession or carry out any occupation, trade or business, is the Supreme Law of Namibia. It is the most authoritative and thus binding source of law. Therefore, to say that there is no basis in law is a fantasy because no law in Namibia or elsewhere is above our Constitution.’
One only needs to imagine Mr Kamwi advising a lay client along such lines to see the real danger to the public posed by an unadmitted person purporting to act as a legal practitioner. It is from such dangers that the Law Society is duty bound to protect the public.”
Should you have any doubt as to whether a person is in fact a legal practitioner, you are welcome to contact the Law Society of Namibia. The telephone numbers are Windhoek 230363 or 230088.