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AI in the law firm – Predictive analytics

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is a critically important tool which empowers lawyers to work more effectively, and provide increased value to clients. One of the ways that lawyers and their clients can benefit from AI is through the use of predictive analytics. AI is better suited than its human counterparts to analyse and … Continue reading

New Prudential Authority CEO: FSB now Conduct Authority

The National Treasury has announced the appointment of Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, Kuben Naidoo, as the CEO of the Prudential Authority under the Financial Sector Regulation Act. The announcement also explains the process for appointing the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority. The FSB will ‘close down on 31 March … Continue reading

UK loss adjusters guilty of breach of data protection

A jury in England has found four individuals and the firm providing loss adjusting and claims management services guilty on charges of unlawfully disclosing personal data that was illegally obtained regarding the financial information of a number of individuals including details of their banking transactions. The firm used private investigators who obtained and disclosed the … Continue reading

General damages and contingency deductions in medical negligence cases

When a patient’s brain injuries diminishes their awareness and full appreciation of their pain and suffering, an award for general damages is appropriate if the patient experiences intermittent periods of heightened awareness. When determining the amount to be awarded for general damages, our courts prefer a flexible approach. The award should be determined by the … Continue reading

Consequences of shareholders’ loans in Mozambique

The Mozambican commercial code provides that a loan with a maturity of 1 year or more, made by a third party who later becomes a shareholder of the borrower via equity subscription, becomes a shareholder loan. This has enforcement consequences for the lender, subordinates the loan and affects set-off because of the connection between the … Continue reading

When are statutory requirements mandatory or directory?

The failure to comply strictly with formalities and other procedural requirements imposed by a statute does not necessarily lead to invalidity. Even where the formalities required by statute are peremptory it is not every deviation from the literal prescription in the statute that is fatal. The question remains whether, in spite of the defects, the … Continue reading

Tacit agreement to replace an agreement is not a variation

Our law recognises that an agreement can be concluded tacitly to replace a previous agreement and a non-variation clause does not preclude the parties from doing so. This principle was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeal. In Ocean Echo Properties v Old Mutual the parties were contracting under a lease. The landlord sued … Continue reading

Force majeure clauses – a ‘Day Zero’ respite

Property developers are not immune to the water restrictions being imposed by the City of Cape Town and, in terms of the recently published Level 6 water restrictions, have had to reduce their monthly consumption of municipal drinking water by 45% from 1 February 2018. With day zero looming, contractors need to be aware of … Continue reading

Court blocks access to blog website? (UK)

In a right-to-be-forgotten case, the anonymous claimant sought an order against Google Inc to block access to a blog website on which an old news story appeared about the applicant’s conviction and sentence years before. The case was dismissed because the claimant, who appeared for himself, had sued the wrong Google company and had not … Continue reading

Chinese court gets robot assistant

China’s Supreme People’s Court has employed Faxin, a legal-services robot, which assists judges in sifting through reports and identifying laws relevant to cases. Faxin is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform aimed at transforming China’s overburdened legal system. Faxin is not the only such product currently being used in China. FaXiaoTao, a chat bot, matches clients … Continue reading

Information Regulator makes first statement about unlawful processing

Although the Information Regulator is not yet fully operational, it has already received numerous complaints relating to the unlawful processing of personal information under the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (POPI). POPI itself is not yet fully in force. We are currently awaiting publication of a revised draft of the regulations following the closure … Continue reading

AI goes to law school (China)

Concerned with the influence of technology in practicing law, Peking University Law School is looking to bring artificial intelligence (AI) into curriculums by establishing a new AI research centre. Peking University Law School is partnering with a cloud-based analytical tool Gridsum to launch the research centre which will focus on the possibilities and opportunities of … Continue reading

Ontario AI legal challenge showcases latest AI legal developments

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Legal Innovation Zone launched an artificial intelligence (AI) legal challenge to encourage law firms to use technology companies that apply AI to legal applications. The six finalists each provide a unique approach using AI to solve legal problems in one way or another. Their work also … Continue reading

What are ‘reasonable endeavours’ to fulfil conditions ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ (UK)

The court was called upon to decide whether the defendant property developer had used ‘reasonable endeavours’ to achieve ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ the satisfaction of contractual conditions, upon the non-fulfilment of which the developer became obliged to make a payment of £1.4 million. The term ‘reasonable endeavours’ may require a party to take only one … Continue reading

Amazon not liable for online sale (US)

A US court found that Amazon is not liable for selling a defective lamp that started a house fire. Amazon’s only connection with the lamp was allowing it to be advertised on its website and stored in its warehouse and it processed the transaction. Amazon compared itself to a mall owner. Ownership of the lamp … Continue reading

Free movement of algorithms (EU)

Freedom of establishment, one of the four freedoms of the European Union single market, will allow artificial intelligence (AI) with legal personality to move freely and be recognised within the EU single market. In a research paper published in Switzerland, it is argued that AI that enjoys legal personality under a member state’s national law … Continue reading

Will your next lawyer be a machine?

As with any other professional, artificial intelligence (AI) has lawyers wondering how it will disrupt their profession. Unlike the lift operator, AI is not set to replace lawyers, but rather to increase performance and enhance service delivered to clients. In two separate experiments that took place in the EU and USA, researches applied AI technology … Continue reading

Revamped international arbitration legislation enacted by Parliament

In late December 2017, Parliament enacted the long-awaited International Arbitration Act which brings about an overhaul of the international arbitration framework. The Act commenced on 20 December 2017. The new Arbitration Act regulates international arbitration proceedings in South Africa and governs the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. The Act, which incorporates the Model Law on … Continue reading

‘Controversial provisions’ in Draft Taxation Laws to have far-reaching implications

In July 2017, the first draft of the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) was released by National Treasury for public comment. It will give effect to the majority of the proposed tax legislation changes which were announced by the Minister of Finance in his annual budget speech in February. The TLAB contains a number of … Continue reading

Robo-directors in the boardroom

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly developing and may in the future get a seat at the boardroom table. The ability of AI to fulfil certain tasks, such as data collection and processing, at a pace exponentially faster than its human counterparts means that businesses cannot function properly without the use of AI in some shape … Continue reading
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