NGO Law 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.
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 dealing 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 sometimes remotely, so some of us may not be in the office on every week day.
- Our landline is reliably answered between 8.30am and 2.30pm on weekdays. Nicole and Philippa will (unless otherwise occupied in meetings/ workshops or on landline calls) answer their cell phones between 8.30 am and 4.30pm on weekdays.
- 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
The 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 small 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, but do not generally work to fixed quotes and will charge for the actual time spent, whether more or less than estimate. Charging for actual time spent on your project is still the most straightforward and even-handed way of doing it. Fixed quotes mean we have to build in more for eventualities and will be unaffordable to many.
- 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 charge for 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