New ERA get the Bill

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After their recent day in court against the bank and their SPVs New ERA have been hit by the bill.


New ERA logo


R60,000 for One Day’s Work

On December 21st  last year, the New Economic Rights Alliance attempted to stop the foreclosure of 1,100 people in the Johannesburg High Court. The case was lost with costs. Judge Brian Spilg indicated that the case had merit, but was not urgent enough to warrant the application being granted at that time. He only had one evening to review the papers.

Four separate attorney firms represented the banks and Special Purpose Vehicles in Court. A Special Purpose Vehicle (“SPV”) is a conduit used by the banks to trade bundles of customer home loans, car loans and vehicle loans on the stock and bond markets.

The bill for one attorney firm, Norton Rose, came to R66,706.44. Their Senior Counsel, Adv. Shem Symon, submitted a bill of R59,052.00. His appearance fee for arguing the case in Court against NewERA, which lasted no more than twenty minutes, was R28,000.00.

Mr Symon was just one of four advocates appearing for the banks and SPV’s. Advocate ARG Mundell’s fees were R44,688.00, Advocate Casterson came in at R31,900 and Rosalind Stevenson billed a more gentle R13,000.

“We are trying to make banking transparent and save people’s homes, cars and livelihoods. We are a non-profit organisation acting in the public interest and this is about justice for the public” says NewERA Chairman, Scott Cundill.

Currently, legal fees are being debated in a draft Legal Practice Bill which, seeks to reform the justice system. The bill is currently up for Public Debate and NewERA commented on the bill last year.

“As long as a lawyer can be paid five times more for a day’s work than a single mine worker earns in a month, we have a problem” says NewERA.

NewERA is preparing to appeal the cost order against them.

11 comments on “New ERA get the Bill

  1. It’s these kinds of legal practitioners (extortionists) that remind me of that saying: “Why don’t sharks attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.”

  2. yes – please appeal those costs. it really is ridiculous! in all honesty, i don’t see how any kind of studies would put you in the R28 000 for 20 minutes pay bracket. no matter if you hang upside down from a burning building saving children – oh …. wait… even those guys get paid peanuts….

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  4. It is absurd to charge that much money for a couple of minutes appearance. New Era is a non-profit organization and they know this. These are bullies. How do they sleep at night?

  5. The magnitude of those costs appear dissproportionate. How can an honest man not just print a few more notes just like the banks do?

  6. They are obviously charging NewEra so much because they are worried about the information that NewEra has and they are trying to stop them – therefore charging a unacceptably high fee, sharks is not the word for them as sharks have a purpose maybe parasites would be a better name.

  7. Yes i definately support Newera, i think that what they are doing is fantastic and wonderful. I agree with them not the banks Std Bank owes it’ clients over billions of rands to south african consumers and their clients. I am glad that Newera is standing up for us. It is about time someone did something to bring these banks down. It is shocking what the banks are doing and some of the things they are doing is ileagal. I support Newera all the way. You go guys. Keep it up and keep on them until they crack. Well done.

  8. Again get “Solidarity” on aboard to assist NewEra.Solidarity (Afrikaans: Solidariteit) is a South African trade union that negotiates on behalf of its members and attempts to protect workers’ rights.

  9. This is disgusting greed from average people, who leverage the reputation of a once respected profession, to charge outrageous fees, way above their skills.

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