Web Bytes – 822

01 April 2021 00:00

This week: Justice Accelerator to grant EUR 10,000 to technology-driven finalists to grow their business; law firms complacent about sharing technology; and survey shows billions lost in investment due to erratic heritage application process.

Justice Accelerator calls on innovative Southern African startups changing lives and creating social impact
South Africa - Tech4Law
EUR 10,000 grant for technology-driven finalists to grow their business

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) is calling on all game-changing justice startups that want to grow their social impact and business to participate in this year’s HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge.

Successful applicants will earn a place in the prestigious international HiiL Justice Accelerator programme, along with EUR 10,000 in funding and a package of tailored local support.

The programme is searching for promising startups and social enterprises who are solving a pressing justice problem in a way that is high impact and sustainable. Themba Mahleka, co-head of the HiiL Innovation Hub Southern Africa, says that the numerous social and economic challenges of the past year have made tackling inequality and injustice in all its forms more urgent than ever before. “Through the HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge, we are looking for the best social entrepreneurs from Southern Africa that aspire for everybody to have access to justice at work, at home, in the neighbourhood and in business,” he says..

Law firms complacent about sharing technology
UK - Legal Futures
Most law firms are “complacent” about sharing technology with clients, according to the partner who leads Shoosmiths new division offering a range of legal and non-legal products.

Tony Randle said clients would “far rather” use technology from law firms than a tech firm they knew “nothing about”.

He went on: “Law firms are often doing a lot internally with technology but can be quite selfish in sharing it with clients. Clients want to see more innovation from law firms and are hungry for technology and interested in it. The accountants and tech firms are offering them technology, but most law firms are not. They are generally complacent.

“We genuinely want to make our clients lives easier and help them work faster, better and quicker.”
Legal Futures

Survey shows billions lost in investment due to erratic heritage application process
South Africa - PropertyWheel
Investors and built environment professionals in the private and public sectors are extremely frustrated by the drawn-out and increasingly vague processes being encountered with Heritage applications.

This is according to the findings of a dipstick survey conducted by the Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) in response to numerous complaints received, specifically from developers.

“The diversity in respondents from other fields in the property development and construction industries was surprising” comments WCPDF chairperson, Deon van Zyl. “Of the thirty respondents to the survey, only 23% were developers. Architects accounted for 17%, town planners made up 13% and quantity surveyors 8%. But the biggest surprise was to see the numerous responses from heritage practitioners in private practice (7%), members of heritage trusts (3%) and government officials (13%)”.

Most of the respondents shared frustration around the time-consuming way in which heritage applications were being processed and what appeared to be a high level of subjectivity.

“The unintended result is the disintegration of valuable heritage assets with developers unwilling to take on the statutory application challenges and government unable to fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of heritage assets,” says Van Zyl.

The importance of property practitioners in the times to come
South Africa - Guthrie & Theron
Many industries are piecing things back together again this year, as they try to recover from the effects of the pandemic or recreate themselves to remain relevant in a changing world. One industry that has been left unaffected to a great extent, and yet has had to re-create itself almost entirely in the same breath, is the real estate industry.

As 2021 sets off, it’s important to understand just how the industry will shift gears in the months to come. The biggest factor that will influence the industry is the fact that the public is in need of more guidance and advice than before. The uncertainty that still surrounds the economic landscape and the future of the world as it battles COVID-19 means that people are more cautious when it comes making real estate and investment choices. The role of property practitioners is thus more vital than ever in supporting the public through this period of recovery.
Guthrie & Theron