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Kramer Villion Norris - KVN June 2019
 
 
 
You Signed a Property Sale Agreement, Can You Still Accept a Better Offer?
 
Selling property, particularly your own home, is one of the more stressful events in life. Will you get the right buyer? The best price? What if it all goes wrong?

Then an offer comes in that is acceptable, but not perfect. If for example there is a bond clause and the buyer’s bond application fails a month down the line you’ve lost all that valuable marketing time. You’ll never know whether you just missed the “perfect offer” while your buyer filled out bank forms and got FICA’d for the tenth time.

Relax; there is an answer – the “72-hour clause” often found in standard sale agreements. We’ll cover what the clause means, how it works, when you need it, and what should always be covered in it, with a note also for property buyers.
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Directors at War and the Liquidation Option – A Tale of Sibling Rivalry  
 
 
Equal Pay for Equal Work – Can You Differentiate Without Unfairly Discriminating?  
 
 
Business Rescue: Are Your Suretyships Enforceable? A R5.5m Lesson for Directors and Creditors  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What happens when a company’s board is deadlocked to the extent that directors can no longer agree on the decisions vital to the proper running of the company and its business?

If all else fails (and this is usually a last-prize option), liquidating the company and placing it into the hands of independent liquidators may be your only choice.

A sad tale (which played out recently in the High Court) of sibling in-fighting that reduced a successful and profitable property development company to dispute and deadlock provides a perfect example. We’ll discuss the Court’s decision, its reasoning, and the three grounds on which a court may liquidate a solvent company.
 
 
 
“Unfair discrimination” in the workplace is both unlawful and severely penalised by our courts, so it’s vital to distinguish it from lawful “differentiation”.

Most employers and employees will have heard of the “equal pay for equal work” principle in our labour laws, but there is still a lot of uncertainty over its reach, and over when an employer may fairly and lawfully differentiate between employees carrying out the same duties and/or work of equal value.

Let’s clarify with reference to a recent Labour Court decision concerning two “surveillance auditors” in a casino, whose unequal pay packages sparked allegations of unfair discrimination on the basis of both race and gender.
 
 
 
When a company goes into business rescue, creditors are often in for a beating. So as a creditor, if you had the foresight to cover your position upfront with personal suretyships from individuals with assets (normally the directors of the debtor company), you will no doubt be keen to recoup your losses by calling in those suretyships asap.

What happens though if you assent to a business rescue plan whereby the debtor company’s debt to you is extinguished? Does that also extinguish the surety’s personal liability to you?

Let’s have a look at the lessons for both creditors and directors in a recent case where two sureties tried to dodge a R5.5m claim in the High Court with that very argument …
 
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Tax Freedom Day 2019 Has Arrived!
 
“Untold Wealth: That which does not appear on income tax returns” (Anonymous)


“Tax Freedom Day” is the first day of the year that we South Africans (as a whole) have earned enough to pay off the Tax Man and to finally start working for ourselves.

It arrived this year on 18 May. That’s five days later than in 2018, and a whole 37 days later than in 1994 when we first started measuring this – not a happy trend, nor unfortunately one likely to be reversed in future.

But it could be worse. Taxpayers in a lot of other countries are still working for government - Norwegians for example only celebrate on 29 July!
 
 
 
 
Your Website of the Month: Coming Soon - More Courts Offering Mediation Options
 
“Agree, for the law is costly” (wise old proverb)


The cost, delay and risk of contested litigation sometimes makes it sensible to rather try to resolve a dispute with mediation. Ask your lawyer for advice on whether your dispute is a suitable one, and if so be aware that in addition to the option of existing “private” mediation, you can refer a dispute to “court-annexed” mediation at selected magistrate’s courts around the country, either before or during a trial. 

The list of courts offering mediation options expands greatly on 1 July 2019 – see the full list here
 
 
 
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The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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