May 2015


The World in April International May 2015

So the Easter Bunny really does exist. Alderholt villagers all woke to find a foil-wrapped chocolate egg on each and every doorstep. The population of the Dorset village is 3 113, the report does not indicate how many doorsteps there are.

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Tales from the US of A... International May 2015

A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered lawyers from two large firms to file new pleadings that are short and plain in keeping with the rules. He labelled the existing pleadings "behemoth". He warned that a failure to comply with the rule could result in sanctions. The judge spoke of a "troubling trend towards prolixity in pleading". The plaintiff launched a relatively straightforward claim with a sprawling 175 paragraph complaint larded with more than 14 000 pages of exhibits. The lawyers for a former franchisee responded with a 210 page answer and voluminous exhibits later amended to a "breathtaking" 303 pages brimming with irrelevant and redundant allegations. Debra Cassens Weiss March 26

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Waste the new gold? Environmental Law May 2015

The National Waste Summit and the Johannesburg Waste Summit were held in March; the theme of both was tackling waste generation and promoting recycling. They focused on collaboration between government, industry and individuals to establish a paradigm shift that would allow waste to be seen as a resource and to grow the recycling economy in South Africa in order to deal with the crisis of limited landfill capacity.

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Getting rid of corruption and inefficiency Public Private Partnerships May 2015

A large chunk of government's delivery of services to citizens is facilitated through its involvement with the private sector which provides skills that the government does not necessarily have. Public sector procurement is, therefore, an integral and particularly important component of government's service delivery plan that, handled efficiently, can assist government in transforming the lives.

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Accurate calculations Financial Law May 2015

It is customary for a creditor to levy interest on amounts due by a debtor. At common law, interest is calculated only on the unrepaid principal and not on any interest which is payable in terms of the loan (Central Africa Building Society v Pierce 1968 3 SA 541 (R)). This is commonly referred to as "simple interest". However, there may be circumstances where a party is directed to pay compound interest, as opposed to simple interest, on the relevant amount. Where compound interest is provided for, the interest will be calculated for the agreed period of time, for example a month, quarter or a year, and will then be added to the capital so that the interest for the succeeding period will be calculated on the combined sum (LAWSA, Second Edition, Volume 15 (2), p185).

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Invented words, why the fuss? Intellectual Property May 2015

In the recent Gauteng High Court case of TPN Group (Pty) Ltd v EBay Inc (16 March) Judge Louw held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks EBay and Rentbay for more or less the same services. No complaints there.

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Whose rights are they anyway? Intellectual Property May 2015

It is said that information, which I believe includes innovation and creativity, is the new money. This statement nearly came through in the case of Makate who stood to earn between R700m and R 6.5bn for a claim against Vodacom, based on Intellectual Property rights, for creating the innovative and revolutionary "Please call me" service. But his case came crashing down on technicalities.

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Diamonds are forever... Intellectual Property May 2015

Section 34 (1) (a) of the Trade Marks Act provides that rights acquired by registration of a trade mark shall be infringed by the unauthorised use in the course of trade in relation to goods or services in respect of which the trade mark is registered, of an identical mark or of a mark so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion.

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CPA and franchise agreements Consumer Law May 2015

There has been an increase in the number of international franchises investing in South Africa in recent years. The investment made by multinationals is, for the most part, a welcome boost for our economy. A key policy consideration is how best to regulate franchised businesses in order to encourage investment and, at the same time, protect the rights of franchisees who typically have weaker bargaining power than franchisors, particularly well-established multinationals.

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Putting a ring on the dotted line Contract Law May 2015

Whether you are presented with the diamond of your dreams or are simply given a lucky packet plastic ring, if you are asked that all important question of "Will you marry me?" and accept, you and your partner need to be aware that you have now entered into a formal contract.

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How important is that signature? Contract Law May 2015

Aside from various types of legal documents where signature of the parties is required by law (such as an agreement to dispose of a real right in land as contemplated in the Alienation of Land Act, 1981) there is a misconception in commerce that an ordinary agreement that is documented in writing must always be signed by the contracting parties to create binding obligations.

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M&A overview Deal Selection May 2015

Listed Company Deals

Brait has made its first acquisition since selling off its Pepkor stake last year. It announced that it had entered a conditional agreement to acquire an 80% stake in Active Topco (Virgin Active) for ₤682m. Founded in the UK in 1999, Virgin Active operates in nine countries across the world, with its largest presence being in the UK and South Africa.

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Death knell Lifestyle - Books May 2015

The Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction is a controversial animal. Originally the "Orange" prize, it was started as a reaction to the fact that – despite writing prolifically and well – women were simply not winning fiction prizes. Perceiving this (I would argue correctly) as a function of patriarchy, a group of literary women founded a prize that would showcase the literary fiction of women writers.

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aftertaste - Some things get better with age Lifestyle - Wine May 2015

Unlike most of its consumers, wine is one of the few things in life that gets better with age. Wine snobs often venture into an unscientific speculation about the lifespan of a wine but the reality is that most decent wines become even better after spending some time in the bottle.

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Hot hatch motoring, then and now Lifestyle - Motoring May 2015

The turn of the century seems just like yesterday but let's go back to 2001 and have a look at what transpired to make it a very memorable year. September 11th changed the world and the way terrorism was viewed by many. The events of 9/11 will forever be etched on our brains, but not in a good way. Wikipedia went online in June 2001 and the Apple iPod was released. Windows XP landed in stores for the first time and Harry Potter became famous.

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