The firm caters for the full spectrum of legal services and is accordingly able to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of clients:
Labour Law, Tax Law, debt collection, administration of deceased estates, marriage contracts, Divorce and Family Law, property transactions, claims for personal injuries (third party claims), Supreme Court and Magistrate’s Court litigation, drafting of contracts, the National Credit Act, the Consumer Protection Act, drafting of wills, registration of trusts and estate planning, Sport Law, Criminal Law and Black Economic Empowerment.
Van Velden-Duffey does not, however, merely provide the widest possible range of services to its clients. The firm also maintains service excellence and constantly strives to rise above mediocrity. In many respects, the rendering of exceptional quality service cannot be readily measured. Enquiries with our existing clients, colleagues and for instance the advocacy will however vindicate our assurance in this regard.
Our above average performance can, for example, be objectively demonstrated with the following:
“PMR Magazine’s prestigious Diamond Arrow Award is awarded to the companies and institutions doing most in their sectors over the past 12 months to stimulate the economic growth and development of the province. Van Velden-Duffey has been awarded this prize in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the North West Province.
The firm also received a Silver Arrow Award from the same magazine for the best legal firm in the North West province at the beginning of 1999. Patrons of the magazine include such well-known and influential people as Dr Oscar Dhlomo, Mr Mike Levett of Old Mutual, Mr Julian Ogilvie-Thompson of Anglo American and Dr Bill Venter of Altron. The accolades were based upon a survey of various leading companies’ auditing and accounting firms, as well as representatives from local government in the North West province. Previous winners of these accolades in the legal field included such well-known legal firms as Deneys Reitz, Edward Nathan & Friedland Inc. and Webber Wentzel Bowens – all from Johannesburg”.
We believe that specialisation leads to better service. Managed by one of our directors, Volker Krüger, and assisted by two other attorneys, 17 collection secretaries, four filing clerks and our tracers, we have a debt-collection department that specialises solely in collections. Apart from investing a great deal of time in personnel training, we endeavor to improve the speed and efficiency of our service by using the latest technology.
InfrastructureWith the help of our own IT manager, Jaco Kruger, we have made considerable investment in developing a modern IT system. We are currently using an advanced computer collections program, Lexpro, which not only performs most of the steps in the collections process automatically, but also directs immediate attention to any questions submitted by clients or debtors.Up to 999 new instructions can, for example, be loaded electronically into our database literally with the press of a button. The files are then opened and the summonses merged automatically.We also have access to the database of the Deeds Office, enabling us to perform searches on immovable property owned by any debtor. Using the CIPRO Company Search facility in WinDeed, we can search for companies, close corporations or organisations registered in South Africa and receive statutory details on directors or members. With our E-Properties System we furthermore have access to all credit bureau data on any debtor listed.
Because our secretaries receive continuous training and specialise solely in debt collection, we have developed a highly effective team.With a combination of this expertise and experience, allied to our performance-based salary packages, clients are assured of personnel who are totally focused on results. In addition, they have been trained to treat each debtor with the utmost respect.We have a very good relationship with local sheriffs of court and are very proud of the fast and effective service of our tracers – two former policemen – who often succeed in convincing debtors to sign an acknowledgement of debt, which expedites matters considerably. Their remuneration is also based on the “no success, no fee” principle.
Apart from traditional debt-collection methods used by attorneys to collect debt, namely summons, sales in execution, emolument attachment orders, garnishee orders and Section 65 financial enquiries, we have worked extremely hard to adapt our system to enable us to use alternative methods of collecting debt, normally associated with debt collectors, in appropriate cases.Apart from using letters of demand, sms’s and phone calls, we also have five collectors working in the field, who physically visit the work or home address of debtors in an effort to convince the debtor to pay the outstanding balance or alternatively to sign an acknowledgement of debt with a reasonable monthly installment. These collectors also report to us regarding the prospects of successful execution steps by giving us an idea of what assets the debtor owns that could be attached and sold.We believe that we have succeeded in effectively combining the methods of debt collectors and the methods of attorneys thereby offering our clients the best options available in terms of debt collection.
Information RequiredWe request you to supply us with the following information when any debts are handed over to us for collection.1. Personal details of the debtor
2. Last known residential address and telephone number
3. Last known work address and telephone number
4. Amount due
5. Interest rate and date
6. Any other relevant information that could assist us in tracing the debtor if he has left his last known addressKindly peruse the information carefully before the instructions are given to ensure that it is correct. We would like to offer to peruse your existing forms and contracts to suggest amendments if necessary. This will be done free of charge.
We furnish monthly collection reports. Should you, however, require any interim reports or have any questions on a specific matter, you are obviously welcome to contact us at any time. Kindly always have your file reference number at hand.We have purchased a report module from our software suppliers, which can be loaded onto our clients’ PCs. The updated data is then sent to the client by e-mail on a regular basis to enable the client to draw a wide range of reports and perform any enquiry (including enquiries with their own account numbers) on any matter via his/her own computer at any time.
We are prepared to carry out your collections on a contingency basis. You will therefore never have to pay any accounts and we will not charge any fees for unsuccessful collections. The cost of the sheriff serving court processes, and the stamp on the summons, are the only deductions in respect of unsuccessful matters that we shall recover from credits on other matters.Should we, however, succeed in collecting a debt, an apportionment with regard to the capital and interest will be made. The percentage is negotiable and depends on the profile of the debts. All payments made by the debtor will be divided 50/50 between covering our expenses and fees on the one hand and your claim for the capital and the interest on the other. Half of the debtor’s payments are therefore paid over to you from the first payment until our costs and expenses are dispensed with, after which all payments will go to the client.
To ensure that no unnecessary costs and expenses are incurred on matters that are not worthwhile pursuing, we shall have the discretion to close such a file should this be the case (in our professional opinion). Such a decision will, however, not be taken lightly. As mentioned before no fees will be debited on such matters.Kindly ensure that you refer debtors who intend making payments to our offices once a matter has been handed over, to ensure that we collect the full outstanding amount including interest, as well as costs and also to prevent any unnecessary legal steps being taken against a debtor.
Statistics and References
The most important question is whether this system of ours works. Our clients’ statistics prove that this is indeed the case and these will be supplied on request.
Our Criminal Law Department is headed by the experienced Johannes Mokotedi and Frikkie Pretorius, both of whom worked as prosecutors for about five years before they joined the firm and became directors soon thereafter.
Having been on the other side certainly gives them an edge to meticulously test the State’s case to ensure that none of our clients is found guilty without all the evidence required by our Law having been presented to the court and having been tested by proper cross-examination.
Johannes and Frikkie are assisted by Theriso Mokgwathleng, who used to work for SA Breweries before we headhunted him to join our firm, Obakeng Senne and Tshepo Lekokotla.
You are welcome to contact us for bail applications, also after hours.
Third party claims
Our Personal Injury or Third Party Department is headed by Martin Bezuidenhout, who has more than 28 years’ experience in the personal injuries field, 19 of which was with the RAF and its agents.
Our department, inter alia, attends to the recovery of accident related hospital and medical expenses from third parties, such as the Road Accident Fund, on behalf ofmedical schemes such as Platinum Health Medical Scheme and Impala Medical Services, since 2001. From 2003, the department has also been attending to the recovery of past hospital and medical expenses, temporary total disablement and permanent disablement incurred by the Rand Mutual Assurance Company Ltd in terms of the Compensation for Occupational and Injury Diseases Act (COIDA) and a Commuting Journeys Policy, as a result of motor vehicle accidents.
Martin is assisted by two attorneys, Obakeng Senne and Tshepo Lekokotla, who are also experienced in the recovery of hospital and medical expenses from the Road Accident Fund, andby an investigator, Colonel Heystek, whohas over 30 years of experience in the police service and who conducts our investigations and tracing, if necessary.
Our recoveries are done on a contingency fee basis: if a recovery should be unsuccessful, we will not be entitled to any fees and will also write off any disbursements incurred during the recovery process!
We certainly have the necessary expertise backed by the latest state of the art information technology, to guarantee results to our client’s without exposing them to any risk as far as fees or disbursements are concerned. Make sure you contact us should you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident for a free consultation!
Johannes Mokotedi is also in charge of our Labour Law Department, where he is assisted by Obakeng Senne and Theriso Mokgwatlheng. Apart from representing various employers, such as mining companies and state or semi-state institutions, they have also won numerous cases on behalf of employees for unfair labour practices, unjustified dismissals or retrenchments.
Francois van Wyk is in charge of our Commercial Law Department with almost 30 years’ experience. He is ably assisted by Volker Krüger and Rokshana Rahman. All three of them hold the LLB degree and are also admitted notaries and conveyancers. Francois also holds a Diploma in Tax Practice and a Postgraduate diploma in Corporate Law.
They are ready to assist with all matters pertaining to the drafting of agreements and Company Law, including registration of companies and other Commercial Law matters.
Our Property Law Department is headed by Rokshana Rahman and Volker Krüger, who are also assisted by Francois van Wyk, if need be. Al three of them are admitted notaries and conveyancers and are certainly experts in the field. Rokshana has, for example, regularly presented lectures at the University of North West on the Deeds Registry Act.
All the banks have in the last three years since the global financial crises reduced their panel of attorneys. We are, however, proud to say that we are still on all the panels, including, Standard Bank, Absa Bank, Nedbank, First National Bank, FNB Housing and Investec. Where we therefore receive an instruction to attend to the transfer of a property, we will in most cases also be attending to the bond registration, which certainly helps to expedite the transfer registration process.
We also have our own in-house bridging facility, called Randman, with which we are able to bridge the municipal clearance figures and the transfer duty and to pay advances to sellers and estate agents.
Rustenburg has been growing quite rapidly in the last 15 years and we have in that time period attended to the establishment and proclamation of various townships for our developer clients.
Estate agencies, that regularly refer sellers to us for their transfers, and banks, which keep statistics in this regard, will be able to confirm that we have in the last few years been one of the top performers, if not thé top performer, in the North West Province in terms of turnaround times and other criteria.