Protection of Access to Information Act Manual

1. Introduction to LWFH

Lawyers Working From Home (“LWFH”) is a virtual platform and online lawyer directory which connect Subscriber lawyers and the public, and lawyers with each other, with the view to make legal services more accessible in South Africa.

LWFH operates from its website and various social media pages on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter under the name “Lawyers Working From Home”.

LWFH recognises the importance of privacy and protection of personal information and makes best efforts to comply with all relevant laws and safeguard such information.

The purpose of this Manual is to comply with Section 51 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA).

2. Particulars in terms of Section 51 of PAIA

  • Name of private body: LawyerFirst Coaching & Consulting (Pty) Ltd t/a Lawyers Working From Home
  • Registration no: 2018/255792/07
  • Information Officer: Ms Emmie de Kock
  • Postal Address: N/a
  • Physical Address: Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa
  • WhatsApp number: 067 426 7141
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Website: www.lawyersworkingfromhome.co.za.
  • Subscriber lawyers, Advertisers and Trainers pay to reflect their details on the LWFH website.

3. PAIA Guide, fees and forms

  • Section 10 makes provision for a Guide on how to use PAIA. The Guide is available from The South African Human Rights Commission, PAIA Unit, The Research and Documentation Department with contact details: Postal address: Private Bag 2700, Houghton, 2041; telephone: 011 484 8300; e-mail address: [email protected] or website: www.sahrc.org.za
  • The prescribed forms and fees for requests to private bodies, are available on the website of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development at www.justice.gov.za

4. Access to records held by LWFH in terms of PAIA

4.1. Categories of documents kept by LWFH available without requesting access

  • Pages published on the LWFH website
  • Content published on the LWFH social media pages
  • Details of Subscriber lawyers published on the LWFH website and social media pages
  • Details of Advertisers published on the LWFH website and social media pages
  • Proof of company registration  
  • LWFH trade mark details

4.2. Records that may be requested in terms of prescribed procedure:

  • Copies of contracts with third party service providers
  • Accounting records
  • Financial statements
  • Creditor and debtors records
  • Domain name registration details
  • Details of emails sent via the LWFH website
  • Cell phone records
  • WhatsApp records
  • Email correspondence with LWFH

4.3 Records available in terms of other legislation

  • Legal Practitioners Act 28 of 2014
  • Companies Act 71 of 2008
  • Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008
  • Income Tax Act 95 of 1967
  • Trade Marks Act 194 of 1993
  • Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002

5. Procedure for requesting records from LWFH in terms of PAIA

  • Any request for records listed above must be made to the Information Officer on an email to [email protected]
  • The requester must provide sufficient detail on the request email to identify the record, the requester, which form of access is required, if any other manner (eg verbal) is to be used to inform the requester and the necessary particulars to be so informed .
  • The requester must identify the right that is sought to be exercised or to be protected and provide an explanation of why the requested record is required for the exercise or protection of that right.
  • If a request is made on behalf of another person, the requester must then submit proof of the capacity in which the requester is making the request to the satisfaction of the Information Officer of LWFH.
  • LWFH will process the request within 15 working days, unless the requester has stated special reasons which would satisfy the Information Officer, that the circumstances dictate that the request is more urgent.
  • The requester must pay a fee of R50,00 to LWFH.
  • After the Information Officer has made a decision on the request, the requester will be notified in reply email.
  • If the request is granted, then a further access fee must be paid for the search, reproduction, preparation and for any time that has exceeded the prescribed hours (maximum 6 hours) to search and prepare the record for disclosure.

6. Grounds for refusal of access to LWFH records

In terms of Sections 62-70 of PAIA, some of the grounds for LWFH to refuse access to its record may include the following:

  • Any records which contain trade secrets of a third party or LWFH.
  • Any records which contain financial, commercial, scientific or technical information (other than trade secrets) of a third party or LWFH.
  • Any records which contain information supplied by a third party in confidence, the disclosure of which could disadvantage the third party in any negotiations or which could be detrimental to the third party in commercial competition.
  • Any records which contain information, the disclosure of which may, endanger the personal safety and/or life of an individual.
  • Any records which may contain research information of a third party or LWFH.
  • Any records which contain information that if released, will prejudice the safety of a building, structure or system, (including computer systems), transport and other property.
  • Any records which contain information that if released may impair procedures, methods, systems and plans for the protection of an individual in witness protection, public safety and property.