The Entreprenurial Edge

CNBC Africa

Entrepreneurs wil fokus op kliënte

Sake NUUS

En staat moet asseblief sy kant bring… Dis entrepreneurs wat die voetwerk doen vir ware werkskepping. Francois Williams het ’n paar entrepreneurs en sakelui met wie Die Burger die afgelope jaar of wat onderhoude gevoer het, uitgevra oor die lesse wat hulle in 2014 geleer het en hul verwagtinge vir...

Why SMES don’t use lawyers

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com

RATHER HAVE A FENCE AT THE TOP OF THE HILL THAN AN AMBULANCE AT THE BOTTOM: WHY SMES DON’T USE LAWYERS (AND WHY THEY SHOULD) Small and medium-sized businesses typically encounter similar commercial law dilemmas. Graeme Wilson, founder and CEO of boutique commercial law consultancy, Whipping the Cat, believes that there is an opportunity to demystify law and make legal services more accessible to a wider range of companies. Below he outlines the four most common legal obstacles encountered by SMEs when “dealing with lawyers”, and some real-life solutions, which the Whipping the Cat legal advisory team has developed over the last year for its clients. 1. Lawyers are expensive. There is a perception that lawyers are expensive. This may be true in several circumstances, but I am aware of several lawyers who offer really good value for money. I think that the reality is rather that companies do not know what costs to expect when they engage a lawyer. Most lawyers will tell you their hourly rate; some may even give an estimate of the time they will spend and give you a “ballpark” figure to budget for. But, almost without exception, traditional law firms reward their staff...

Innovative approach to taking on the old guard

Article in Business Law & Tax Review Supplement of Business Day

What is happening in the legal service world? Law firms with names like Bell, Dewar and Hall, John & Kernick and Findlay and Tait used to be everywhere. Now they don’t even exist. Instead we hear names like Caveat Legal, Cognia Law and even Whipping the Cat. Those in the know talk about LPO, ABS, Non-traditional lawyers and NewLaw. So what has changed and what changes are there likely to be in the legal service industry in 2014 and beyond? Let’s start at the top with the big players, the legal giants of the world and of South Africa. In the last few years Deneys Reitz merged with global firm Norton Rose (which merged again to create Norton Rose Fulbright), Webber Wentzel formed an alliance with powerhouse, Linklaters, Baker McKenzie picked up the team from Dewey Leboeuf and launched in Johannesburg, Routlege-Modise first merged with Eversheds and more recently with Hogan Lovells. Eversheds then tied up with Mahons Attorneys. Perhaps it’s all a bit confusing, but the big picture is clear – the global legal firms have arrived in South Africa in a big way. This trend is set to continue in 2014 with more international law firms either...

NEWLAW is here

Article in BizNis Africa and Polity Online Publications

There has been much merger activity amongst the legal giants of the world and it is no exception in South Africa where the legal market has become increasingly competitive. With firms such as Bell, Dewar and Hall, John & Kernick and Findlay and Tait, who all used to be well-known in legal circles, no longer existing and Deneys Reitz merging with global firm Norton Rose, which then merged again to create Norton Rose Fulbright, Webber Wentzel forming an alliance with magic circle firm, Linklaters, Baker McKenzie taking over the team from Dewey Leboeuf and launching in Johannesburg, Routlege-Modise first merging with Eversheds and then more recently with Hogan Lovells and Eversheds tying up with Mahons Attorneys, it is fair to say that the large law firm market is becoming decidedly crowded. BigLaw has long established itself in South Africa and it is expected that this will continue in 2014 with more international law firms either setting up their own offices or merging with local firms. This is especially true for those firms wanting to access new markets in Africa but not having the local know-how and therefore needing to merge with established firms on the continent. The result is...

Innovative legal services for businesses

Article in Bizcommunity Online Publication

Being in business means that at some time or the other you are going to need legal assistance, if only from a governance and compliance point of view. However, having to consult with a lawyer can be somewhat stressful and intimidating, let alone daunting with the unknown expense it often brings. From individuals to large corporates, legal advice is often imperative and yet frequently simply impossible when considering budget. Lawyers are often seen as unaccommodating in their service offering, with their frightening billable hours and set legalistic ways of doing things that really mean the client has to adapt to their way of doing business rather than having legal assistance that fits neatly into how they do business and, importantly, stays within their budget. Fixed-fee services Graeme Wilson, CEO and founder of Whipping the Cat, says this is why they offer fixed-fee commercial legal services based on an innovative business model that focuses on accessibility and ease of use. “We are driven by customer satisfaction and not hours worked,” says Wilson. “Unlike other firms where you might have a relative idea of what your final invoice will be because they will tell you their hourly rate and estimate the...

Changing the way we consult with lawyers

Article in BizNis Africa and Polity Online Publications

Being in business, whether as a fortune 500 company or one-man-show, means that at some time or the other, you are going to need legal assistance, if only from a governance and compliance point of view.  However, having to consult with a lawyer can be somewhat stressful and intimidating, let alone daunting with the unknown expense it often brings.  From individuals to large corporates, legal advice is often imperative and yet frequently simply impossible when considering budget. Lawyers are often seen as unaccommodating in their service offering, with their frightening billable hours and set legalistic ways of doing things that really mean the client has to adapt to their way of doing business rather than having legal assistance that fits neatly into how they do business and, importantly, stays within their budget. Which is why CEO and founder of Whipping the Cat, Graeme Wilson, says they offer fixed-fee commercial legal services based on an innovative business model that focuses on accessibility and ease of use. “We are driven by customer satisfaction and not hours worked”, says Wilson. “Unlike other firms where you might have a relative idea of what your final invoice will be because they will tell you...

34 win gold Midas award for Whipping The Cat B2B direct mail concept

Midas Awards

MIDAS AWARDS WORLD’S BEST FINANCIAL ADVERTISING ANNOUNCES 2013 SHORTLIST USA leads with 61 Shortlisted entries, followed by South Africa, Turkey, and Australia New York, NY – December 3, 2013 The Midas Awards World’s Best Financial Advertising™ announced the Shortlist for the 2013 competition. The Midas Grand Jury of 30 international client and agency leaders from financial creative and marketing disciplines, including 9 judges participating in a live session in New York selected the Shortlist from entries submitted from 21 countries. “This year marked the Midas Awards first live, collaborative judging session—which, combined with online judging sessions, allowed entries to be reviewed by prominent client and agency leaders around the globe, the people who set the standard for financial marketing excellence,” said Alisun Armstrong, executive director, Midas Awards. “The choices of a jury of this caliber provide a true worldview of the best of advertising and corporate communications in the international financial community and reveal the creativity and innovation demonstrated in this very specific market.” Social media campaigns were at the forefront this year with multiple entries achieving Shortlist status for the following brands: Absa, Akbank, Banamex, Capital One, Carvalho Hosken, Deloitte, MasterCard, Prudential, and Visa. Direct Mail and Interactive...

African legal awards 2013 – Finalist in the innovation category

Excerpt from Legal Week Article

Legal Week’s inaugural African Legal Awards paid tribute to the best and brightest law firms and in-house teams on the continent. Two hundred lawyers gathered at the African Legal Awards in October to celebrate the achievements of the continent’s leading business lawyers. The ceremony was hosted by Legal Week in association with the Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa (CLASA) and featured leading South African investigative journalist Derek Watts in the role of master of ceremonies. There were 16 categories at the event, which was held at La Toscana Montecasino in Johannesburg. The awards recognised outstanding performances by individuals, teams, legal departments and law firms. Innovation Award Winner LIPCO Finalists Anglo American • Fairbridges • Growthpoint Properties • International Lawyers for Africa • Webber Wentzel • Whipping the...

Whipping the Cat wil goedkoper, “pasgemaakte” regsdienste lewer

Beeld

Kaapstad. – Aan die einde van DreamWorks Animation se Bee Movie vra ’n koei die by of sy kollega, die muskiet, ook ’n prokureur is. Die muskiet antwoord geesdriftig: “Mevrou, ek was nog altyd ’n bloedsuiende parasiet – ek het nog net die tas gekort!” Regskoste is die soort uitgawes waaraan ondernemings langtand betaal. Daarom het Graeme Wilson, ’n prokureur van Mowbray, Whipping the Cat begin om bekostigbare korporatiewe regsdienste aan ondernemings te lewer. “Whipping the Cat” verwys na die gebruik van kleremakers in die 1800’s in Engeland om van dorp na dorp te gaan en pasgemaakte klere vir mense te maak. Die gevestigde kleremakers in Saville Row, Londen, het met dié woorde verwys na die klomp wat weggebreek het om hul eie ding op die platteland te gaan doen. Wilson sê Whipping the Cat wil ’n goedkoop alternatief vir gevestigde regsfirmas wees deur ’n vaste tarief te hef pleks van ’n uurlikse tarief. Die onderneming gebruik tegnologie en die internet om doeltreffend, toegankliker en verbruikersvriendelik te wees. Die onderneming fokus op sake-tot-sake-regsake soos handelsreg, advies, kontrakte en werknemerverwante sake. Volgens Wilson het hul navorsing getoon baie kleinsakeondernemings gebruik nie regsdienste nie weens die hoë koste. “Hulle vat eerder...

Fixed fee legal advice for your business

Article in Your Business Magazine

The sound of a traditional law firm’s fee clock notching up billable hours can be daunting. Every business requires high quality legal advice from time to time, but few can justify having an open-ended legal budget. New commercial law consultancy, Whipping the Cat, is poised to disrupt the status quo of the traditional, high cost legal industry by becoming a fixed costs legal partner for businesses of any size. The boutique consultancy has this week announced the launch of its fixed-fee commercial legal services, aimed primarily at modern small- to medium-sized businesses. Through the use of technology and the employment of an outsourced legal consulting model, Whipping the Cat promises to minimise overheads and slash costs for clients, while providing high quality, skills-based legal services. All services will be quoted for upfront and billed on a fixed fee basis; enabling clients to budget for their annual legal spend. This is a first for the South African commercial law sector, where legal advisory outsourcing and a fixed fee business model are virtually unheard...