Lawyers

What does it cost to become a panel member?

Nothing, panel membership is free.

How do I apply for membership?
  • You complete our online application form;
  • We establish whether we require further capacity within your field of specialisation;
  • We check that your application complies with our admission criteria (available on our panel applications page);
  • We arrange a meeting with you;
  • We conduct thorough reference and Law Society checks; and
  • We welcome you aboard.
Do all panel members consult exclusively through Caveat Legal?

We don’t require exclusivity, but many panel members work exclusively with us.

Is Caveat Legal a recruitment agency?

No, we are a legal consultancy company. We do, however, assist clients requiring secondments of legal staff on a contract basis.

Should I join Caveat Legal while I look for a permanent job?

No, our panel members are professionals who choose legal consulting as a long-term career choice.

Why should I join Caveat Legal as opposed to going out on my own?

With Caveat Legal, you benefit from maintaining your independence and autonomy whilst having the support of a large panel of like-minded professionals, comprehensive PI insurance, marketing and administrative support and access to our vast client base.

Does Caveat Legal guarantee workflow?

No. We are engaged in ongoing and active marketing for our individual panel members, but we cannot guarantee certain levels of workflow.

Where are Caveat Legal panel members located?

Panel members work from any location as long as they are online, easy to contact and available to meet with clients as and when required, unless they work at a client’s premises by agreement.

What kind of fees do panel members charge?

Panel members determine the fees that they charge, taking into account their level of experience and field of specialisation. Panel members’ fees usually accord with counsel’s fees at similar levels of experience, which work out to being between one third and one half of Big Firm fees for similarly qualified professionals.

Do panel members earn their full fee?

Yes, Caveat Legal makes no deductions from fees earned by panel members other than a nominal once-off annual contribution to PI insurance, which is deducted from fees earned.

What fee does Caveat Legal charge?

Caveat Legal charges a service fee calculated at 20% of the panel member’s total fee. The service fee is added to the panel member’s fee when the client is invoiced.

May I bring my own clients to Caveat Legal?

Yes. In such a case, you will remain the lead attorney on that client’s work where the work is within your field of specialisation.

Are panel members covered by PI insurance?
  • Caveat Legal provides its panel members with comprehensive PI cover, for which a nominal annual contribution is deducted from fees earned.
  • Panel members are able to request top-up insurance on an ad hoc basis should a brief require additional cover. This is agreed with the insurer, and the client is charged for the increased premium by agreement.
Does Caveat Legal arrange meetings for its panel members?

Yes, we host quarterly meetings and a year-end lunch in Johannesburg and Cape Town. These are the only events at which attendance is required.

Clients

How do I go about engaging Caveat Legal’s panel members?
  • You send us a mail or complete the contact form describing the type of legal assistance that you need;
  • We analyse your brief to understand the field of specialisation that it falls within and the level of experience required of the panel members assigned to it;
  • We recommend panel members that would be appropriate for the work; and
  • You engage your chosen panel member/s by signing our standard terms.
How are the rates determined?

Each panel member has an hourly rate which is determined taking into account his/her level of experience. This rate is usually between one third and one half of his/her equivalent Big Firm fee. Caveat Legal charges a 20% service fee over and above the panel member’s fee.

How is Caveat Legal able to charge such low rates?

We have stripped away all unnecessary overheads, so don’t need to pass the costs of large buildings and teams of staff on to our clients.

Can I ask for a quote?

Yes, you may request a quote or cost estimate for the work involved.

May I request a panel member to agree to a fixed fee for a specific piece of work?

Yes, we are very flexible as to fee arrangements.

May I engage a panel member to work on a retainer or secondment basis?

Yes, we are very flexible as to working and billing arrangements.

When do I pay for the work?

We issue invoices at the end of each month for work done during that month. We also issue interim fee summaries on request to help clients keep abreast of fees incurred on their briefs.

How do I know that panel members are suitably qualified?
  • We have a very strict vetting process which involves careful reference checks and verification of credentials with the Law Society.
  • Members are also required to remain up to date within their field of specialisation and only to work within such field.
Where do the panel members work from?

Panel members can work remotely from their own office or at your offices, depending on your requirements.

Are panel members covered by professional indemnity insurance?

Yes, each panel member is covered by our very comprehensive professional indemnity insurance.