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By Sharné Zimri

The effect of law and regulation on the day-to-day operations of businesses forms part of the current discussion on improving the business environment for small and medium enterprises. As the owner of a small law firm, I sometimes face the same issues experienced by other small and medium businesses and in turn have a practical understanding of those encountered by my clients. The purpose of this blog is to discuss legal issues which arise for my clients and/or me in running our businesses as well as any other issues which are interesting or relevant.

For example, I recently advised a client on the potential success of legal action against a service provider whose late delivery caused her to miss a deadline imposed by a government department. In other words, she was asking me whether she had a damages claim against her service provider for the missed opportunity. I will summarize my advice to her and identify key factors to consider in similar scenarios in an upcoming post.

Another issue I recently advised on, but also encountered in my own career, is the effect and enforceability of a restraint of trade. The legal principles around this issue is important for both businesses and individuals. A restraint of trade contained in a signed agreement is not enforceable simply because the parties have agreed to its terms. There are considerations of public policy and reasonableness which affect its enforceability. These have a bearing when drafting a restraint of trade clause and trying to enforce it.

A topic clients commonly request advice on is how to cancel an agreement and the effect of the cancellation. The contents of the applicable agreement, its termination and cancellation provisions, and applicable legislation become relevant. For example, the National Credit Act contains provisions specific to the cancellation of credit agreements. I will cover all these topics in my upcoming posts.

Other topics include the difference between registering a personal liability company and a private company, estate agent’s commission, the obligations of business rescue practitioners and more. You may also email me if you have a topic of interest.

I hope that the information on this blog will be beneficial to you.

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