What we do
ngoLAW provides practical legal advice and assistance to not-for-profits of all shapes and sizes. Our interesting and inspiring clients range from local community start-ups to trans-frontier projects and multinationals.
How we work
We provide a cost-effective, no-frills service that also aims to go the extra mile where it counts, and we aim for clarity and accuracy in all our dealings with you. We don’t have fancy offices or a smooth corporate image to maintain but focus on getting the job done as efficiently as possible. We work as a team and play to our strengths, which means you will probably deal with all of us at some stage.
Office hours and communication
- We all work flexi-time and (these days more often than not) remotely. One of us should be in the office between 8.30 am and 3.30 pm on week days.
- If you are not able to reach us on the landline, please email us or call our cellphone numbers. We will (unless we are in meetings or on other calls) answer our cellphones between 8.30am and 4 pm on week days.
- Email is our preferred method of written communication. We do not use Whatsapp or SMS for work purposes (except for CIPC pin confirmations).
- Because we prefer to deal with incoming emails in a comprehensive and considered fashion, we do not aim to answer all emails on the day they are received. If you do not receive a response within a week, please do feel free to resend and remind us about any pressing deadline you may have.
- Please try to give us at least three weeks’ notice of deadlines and meetings so that we can plan to have the work done when you need it. We do try to accommodate sudden emergencies, but this is not always possible when we are already working to other deadlines.
Dealing with government
he government departments that we deal with often have backlogs and turnaround problems. We keep abreast of these, so we can advise you on the sorts of delays you can expect.
We have long-standing collegial relationships with many of the officials working in government departments. The cordiality of these relationships is beneficial to all of our clients. We are mindful of the constraints and pressures that these people are under and will not pester, insult or harangue them as they deserve respectful treatment and it does your case no good to be demanding or rude.
Before we start work for you we will
- Usually provide some initial advice;
- send you a short ‘letter of engagement’ to sign; and
- Send you a pro forma invoice with a deposit to be paid (which will later be offset against the first invoice we send you).
Once we have the details we need from you, the signed letter of engagement and proof of payment of our deposit, we will open your file, set up meetings/ telephone consults (if necessary) and commence work.
- We will provide estimates for the work to be done and fixed quotes for some sorts of work. Where we do provide the option of a fixed quote, you can still opt to be charged for actual time spent on your project.
- We charge for all of our time spent working for you. We do not take free meetings and, while we may give out some initial advice before you are officially a client, we will record the time spent doing this, and, once you are a client, invoice you for it, as this initial advice is probably the most valuable work we will do for you.
- We record our time spent on every sort of work done for you- researching, drafting, advising, meeting, travelling, emailing you, talking to you on the phone, filling out forms, checking and collating what you send, and following up with you when you don’t respond to us. (We don’t charge per email, or per page, or for minimum periods, just per minute).
- If you want us to stop work on a project, or to hit pause for a while, let us know, or we will keep working for you.
Meet the team
BA(LLB)(LLM-tax), Master Tax Practitioner (SA)TM Nicole has consulted to the NGO sector since 1993. She is an admitted attorney (non-practising), has her Masters in the tax exemption laws and is a Master Tax Practitioner. Nicole developed her drafting skills while working as a business lawyer, and she has a pragmatic problem-solving approach to all the work she does. Her depth and breadth of experience over many years and her work with government and a wide range of clients, give her useful perspective and insight. Nicole also lectures and trains on various topics of importance to the NGO sector. She is author of ‘NGO Matters: A practical legal guide to starting up’, and publisher of the series of NGO Matters handbooks.
Janice’s background is in travel consultancy and she spent 15 years working for South Africa’s leading tour operator heading up the international reservations department. She now navigates a different sort of landscape for the clients of ngoLAW, and has been a valuable part of ngoLAW since 2007. Experienced and resourceful, Janice manages the business, handles all of the invoicing, deals with trust forms and exemption applications, and ably guides our clients on matters of compliance.
Dorothy is an experienced legal secretary and paralegal assistant who worked in a legal practice for eight years before taking time off to have a family. She returned to her desk in 2013 when she joined ngoLAW. Apart from providing essential administrative assistance, Dorothy, with a keen eye for detail, makes all of the NPO applications on behalf of our clients; compiles the PBO applications, and tracks the various registration processes until completion.
BSoc Sci Lisa joined ngoLAW in 2018 and is our calm and efficient Companies Office consultant- she handles all CIPC documents, NPC and Pty registrations, changes and compliance matters. Lisa also deals with PBO applications. Lisa worked in investment banking in London for four years, being employed initially in trading support at DeutschBank and later at Merrill Lynch as a Foreign Exchange analyst.
BA(LLB) Bandile is an admitted attorney who joined the team at ngoLAW towards the end of 2018. Bandile heads up our compliance section, and assists clients with drafting, research and advice, training and exemption applications. Bandile volunteered at Legal Aid South Africa where she gained practical legal experience in social welfare within the legal system before completing her articles. She has a passion for young people and especially seeing young people realising their potential and accomplishing their goals.
(BA) Prior to joining the team at ngoLAW, Alison worked in management and administration in various contexts - publishing, architecture and international corporate. Alison assists clients with NPO reporting and is organised, positive and loves working with people and solving problems.