The Law Society of Namibia (LSN) is a self-regulating body created in terms of the Legal Practitioners Act (1995) which serves the profession and the public by promoting justice, protecting the independence of the judiciary and upholding the Rule of Law.
The LSN has a number of objectives articulated in section 41 of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1995. The objectives include:
- To maintain and enhance the standards of conduct and integrity of all members of the legal profession;
- To present the view of the legal profession;
- To further the development of law as an instrument of social engineering and social justice;
- To encourage and promote efficiency in and responsibility in relation to the profession;
- To promote the education of lawyers at all stages and levels, with particular emphasis on the broadening of such education;
- To make recommendations to interested parties in relation to the training of lawyers;
- To define and enforce correct and uniform practice and discipline among members;
- To give all necessary assistance to the effective implementation of any legal aid scheme established and governed under any law;
- To promote social intercourse among members;
- To consider and deal with all matters affecting the professional interest of members;
- To cooperate with the representative bodies of other professional bodies;
- To promote applied research in the development of the law and participate in the reform of law by the Government and other agencies;
- To seek the enhancement of the rule of law and promote the protection of Human Rights; and
- To represent, protect and assist members with regards to their conditions of practice and related matters
The Council is responsible for the proper and effective management of the LSN. A President and Vice President are elected from the members of the Council. The President acts as Chairman of Council meetings.
The Council is responsible for convening general meetings of the LSN members, making rules providing for procedures at general meetings and keeping proper books of account of the LSN, as well as records of LSN assets and liabilities.
The Council also exercises a number of powers set forth in the Legal Practitioners Act, 15 of 1995, as amended, which includes prescribing certain rules and regulations appertaining to the practice of Law in Namibia.
A number of Council Committees have been established to assist the Council in the exercise of its functions. The Council Committees are respectively tasked with matters ranging from professional ethics to human rights.
For the purpose of addressing the needs and logistical constraints experienced by legal practitioners not practicing in the central region, Namibia is divided into three regions referred to as Circles. Members of the Council visit these regions once annually to meet with those legal practitioners practicing within those particular regions.
The Directorate of the LSN is appointed by the Council and is provided for in the Amended Rules of the Law Society of Namibia.
The Committee System
In addition to the Directorate, 20 committees assist the Law Society’s Council in its work. The legal practitioners serve on the committees voluntarily. They do not do it because they have to, but because they want to. They donate and dedicate their time, effort and expertise to serving the profession and as a service to the broader Namibian society without asking for anything in return.
The LSN committees which deal with matters of Public and Professional Interest include (to name but a few), the Bursaries and Sponsorships Committee that deals with bursaries awarded by the Law Society to deserving Namibians to study law; the Legal Ethics Committee that deals with the professional standards and conduct of legal practitioners; the Law Reform Committee that provides input and conducts research on the laws of our country. Other committees include the Human Rights Committee, the Access to the Law and Social Responsibility Committee, the Non-Legal Practitioners Committee, the Taxation Committee and the Sustainability Committee.
Committees which deal with matters of Legal Practice and are in general tasked with the nuts and bolts of the practice include the Legal Education and Professional Development Committee, the Civil Litigation Committee, the Criminal Litigation Committee, the Commercial Law Committee, the Labour Law Committee, the Gender, Child and Family Law Committee, the Fees and Guidelines Committee, the Property Law and Notarial Practice Committee and the Liquidations, Trusts and Estates Committee.
Current ad hoc committees of the LSN include the Mediation Committee, the E-Judiciary Committee and the Investigations Committee.
The Director of the Society is the head of the office and is inter alia responsible for:
- Regulatory Compliance Management: Ensuring statutory compliance in terms of all relevant legislation
- Stakeholder Engagement Management: Local, regional and international levels with all relevant authorities and entities.
- Membership Management: Maintaining and governing the existing LSN members.
- Operational & HR Management: Leading and directing individuals with a focus on performance and results.
- Communication Management: Media spokesperson responsible for maintaining a continued positive perception of the LSN.
- Training and Events Management: Organising local, regional and international trainings, conferences and events, including all marketing material.
This position supports the Director in achieving inter alia, the primary management of internal and external relationships in various segments, such as continuing professional development, management of committees and facilitation of complaints against legal practitioners; corporate governance; supporting the strategic and operational objectives of the LSN; and ensuring statutory and policy compliance.
The Manager: Regulatory & Compliance is inter alia responsible for:
- General Governance: Assist the Director to ensure compliance with the strategic vision and mission of the LSN in adherence of the ‘Objects’ and ‘Powers’ of the LSN.
- Regulatory Compliance Management: Ensure proper management of data protection, staff, budget and assets, and applications for admission as a legal practitioner.
- Stakeholder liaison: Assist the Director with managing and maintaining relationships with members and stakeholder.
- Provide efficient administrative and ‘company’ secretarial support and services to the LSN Council Chairperson, Director and various Committees in line with legislation and regulation.
The Manager: Finance, Administration & Compliance is inter alia responsible for:
- Ensuring and overseeing the proper bookkeeping and financial management of the LSN.
- Ensure best practice and good corporate governance and develop strategies and long-term goals.
- Develop external relationships with the banks, Receiver of Inland Revenue, the members of the LSN, the LPFF and other statutory organisations.
- Contribute and execute LSN policies relating to IT, HR and procurement, and provide risk management.
- Manage payroll and human resources functions.
The Compliance Officer is inter alia responsible for:
- Ensuring that inspections of Legal Practitioners trust account records are done when required.
- Review for compliance with the Legal Practitioners Act, the LSN’s rules and basic accounting principles. Provide reports on inspections as required.
- New Firm Management: Interviewing all legal practitioners, who want to establish new firms to ensure that applications are filled in correctly.
- All Firm Management: Conduct annual visits for meetings with the legal practitioners and the bookkeepers to establish the type of problems the practitioners are experiencing and to check on controls; if books are written up monthly, compliance with the Act and Rules of the LSN, and etcetera.
- Update and maintain a log of firm and member related accounting issues and problems.
- General Management: Assist the Manager with any other relevant task deem necessary in order to ensure that the department operates sufficiently.
The Legal Officer: Committees & Complaints are inter alia responsible for:
- Using internal and external resources and research to provide legal and technical support to the Director and Committees.
- Assisting with managing and facilitating complaints against legal practitioners and non-legal practitioners.
- Assisting with arranging all meetings of the standing and ad hoc committees.
- Compiling agendas and minutes on Committee meetings.
- Assisting, co-ordinating and organising functions, continuing professional development and public legal education and other events.
- Assisting with compiling circulars, newsletter and press releases.
The Legal Officer: Compliance inter alia responsible for:
- Ensuring the efficient delivery of administrative and secretarial support to the LSN Council, President, Director, Managers and various Committees.
- Using internal and external resources and research to provide legal and technical support to the Director and Council.
- Compiling agendas and minutes on Council meetings.
- Assisting with compiling circulars, newsletter, press releases and advertisements.
- Updating the LSN website with newsletters, press releases, advertisements, training videos and information relevant to the members as well as the public and managing the website changes.
- Updating the LSN database with member information to ensure smooth communication via inter alia, e-mail, text message, website.
The Accountant is responsible for performing day-to-day financial activities, providing support to the Finance Manager, Director and Council (when required), assisting with the maintenance of reports and statistical information, as well as assisting with other projects as directed.
The Accountant is inter alia responsible for:
- Ensuring that practises are billed in line with contractual obligations and collect all outstanding debts in line with company policies.
- Reconciliations and complete monthly financials up to trial balance.
- Financial Accounting Management: Monthly processing, reconciliation and reporting on the LSN.
- LPFF Management: Monthly compilation and preparation of interest received of not receive, per law firm.
- Assistance to Manager Finance, Administration & Compliance: Assist in preparation for annual and bi-annual audit and budget for LSN and Rule of Law Trust.
- Finance administration and related functions.
The Librarian is inter alia responsible for:
- Proper management of library stock and identification of new purchases.
- Keeping the catalogues, registers and indexes up to date.
- Liaising with members, other librarians, LexisNexis, JUTA and publishers.
- Keeping records of electronic reported and unreported judgments, and to maintain an index or computerized database.
- Provide research assistance, where applicable.
- Annotate amendments and subordinate legislation in the Namibian Government Gazettes and Notices.
Windhoek based firms may make use of the general service of processes at the Law Society, First Floor, Namlex Chambers, 333 Independence Avenue, from 08h00 to 13h00 and from 14h00 to 17h00 from the 15th day of January, or the first working day following the 15th day of January, until the 16th of December, or the last working day before 16th of December, of each and every year.
The Receptionist/GOSP is inter alia responsible for:
- Greeting all visitors.
- Handling telephonic queries and complaints.
- Transferring calls to relevant office personal, where necessary.
- Taking and ensuring messages are passed to the appropriate office personal on a timely basis.
- Supplying and maintaining a register for all processes to be served and uplifted.
- All process, both civil and criminal (excluding process instituting legal proceedings, Urgent Applications, Notice to Plead/Bar) may be served at the LSN.
The Messenger/Cleaner is inter alia responsible for:
- General kitchen and office cleaning/maintenance.
- Preparation of the boardroom for meetings, trainings and conferences.
- Receiving and dispatching deliveries.
- Assisting with mail as required.
- Stocktaking, reporting, deliveries and banking duties.
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