The Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA), previously known as the Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa (CLASA),was formed in 1982 to promote the common interests of corporate counsel in South Africa as the South African Government does not formally recognize or endorse CCASA or its members.
CCASA is currently the only Association in South Africa which represents Corporate Counsel in South Africa. It operates under and in terms of the common law “universitas” concept.
Despite a valiant effort on the part of CCASA, the in-house profession in South Africa, for the past 33 years, has not:
In response to this situation, CCASA was formed in order to give Corporate Counsel a voice.
CCASA is funded by members’ subscription fees and by revenue generated by educational courses and other activities.
The terms ‘corporate counsel’ / ‘legal advisors’ / ‘corporate lawyers’ / ‘in-house counsel’ / legal counsel’ are used to describe practitioners who hold a legal degree/qualification and who are employed by companies and other organisations (public and private sector) for the purpose of providing in-house legal counsel, giving legal guidance and advice on a variety of legal and business related topics.
In other words such person generally acts as an in-house lawyer who provides advice of a legal and business nature, to his/her employer, the corporation, its employees, related companies and stakeholders, and who does not write fees in respect of this advice, but instead gets paid a salary by the employer. Corporate Counsel, as compared with practicing attorneys and advocates who provide their services to the public at large on an independent basis and in exchange for a fee, provide their service to a single employer.
Corporate Counsel are not regulated by a state body or by statute in South Africa, unlike International jurisdictions such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
When a practicing attorney elects to leave the practicing profession, he/she is required to remove him-/herself from the practicing roll held by the provincial Law Society and from this time he/she will no longer fall under the jurisdiction or control of the Law Society. Corporate Counsel, where employed by a public / private sector employer (corporate) will be subjected to, and must comply with any rules, policies and codes of practice as laid down by his/her respective employer.
In-house practice has showed tremendous growth in South Africa over the last several years. Talented and ambitious practitioners now routinely leave private practice for in-house posts that provide compensation and sophistication of work that rivals the cream of the profession.
CCASA’s main objectives are as follows:
CCASA provides its members with the following:
Whilst CCASA operates as a non-profit entity, it is managed like a business under a sound business structure.
CCASA is governed by a Constitution and supporting governance documents, including:
Furthermore, CCASA has embraced and applies strong corporate governance principles and practices in its day-to-day activities, and at all times places strong focus on the following factors:
CCASA is managed by a CEO under the direction of a properly constituted Board in accordance with CCASA’s Constitution. The Board is annually elected by CCASA’s members.
Management is responsible to:
The current CEO is Alison Lee who is consulted on a part-time basis to manage CCASA a position which she has held since 2004.
The CCASA Board is currently composed of a number of independent members, who have offered their services on a voluntary basis, who are in good standing with CCASA and who are employed by companies as Corporate Counsel in South Africa.
CCASA also employs the services of a Secretariat. Ronel Lindeque has been employed by CCASA on a full time basis since 2007. The Secretariat is responsible to manage the day-to-day administration and project management of the Association. She is assisted by Sarah Pleass.
CCASA has three main types of membership categories:
The services which CCASA offers its members include the following:
CCASA runs customised courses and workshops for Corporate Counsel on a regular basis. The courses and workshops are prepared and presented by Corporate Counsel and a selection of attorneys and other subject matter experts. On average some 25 courses are run over a year in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
CCASA staple courses, which are extremely popular, include the Contracts Skills Workshop, Implementation of the Companies Act workshop and the Compliance Course, to name a few.
CCASA has established an educational trust which is a separate standalone entity known as the “CLASA Foundation Trust”. Each year it sponsors a final year LLB student’s tuition and books up to the value of at least R25,000. The Trust has provided at least 6 students with funding over the past 7 years.
CCASA has over the years forged a relationship with certain law firms and legal service providers who provide CCASA with a sponsorship or partnership fee in exchange for certain rights such as the right to:
CCASA is currently associated with the following entities:
CCASA is run from offices based in Northcliff, Johannesburg and can be contacted at:
Telephone: 011 476 3217 (ext. 3) | e-mail: email@example.com | Website: www.ccasa.co.za