SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Fundamentals of legal costs 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
116087  Fundamentals of legal costs 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Legal Education and Training 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Justice in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is aimed at understanding general principles relating to legal costs. The learner will be able to:
  • Apply the general principles relating to costs.
  • Apply the ethics relating to legal costs.
  • Draft accounts by taking into account the different costs orders. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The learner is assumed to have acquired the ability to:
  • Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national issues
  • Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems
  • Measure, estimate and calculate physical quantities and explore, critique and prove geometrical relationships in two and three-dimensional space in the life and workplace of the adult with increasing responsibilities

    Learners registering for this unit standard will have demonstrated competence in legal knowledge at NQF level 7 as contained in a recognised law degree like B Proc or LLB or any other qualification recognised as equivalent to such a law degree in terms of legislation as indicated in the notes to the qualification. This assumed learning is listed in paragraph 4 of the qualification "Post graduate certificate in Attorneys Practice". 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Apply the general principles relating to costs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Explain the concept of legal costs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Distinguish between litigious and non-litigious matters. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Explain the importance of balancing the economics of an Attorney's practice and the client's financial position. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Indicate why a deposit should be taken. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Explain the legal principles that are applicable to contingency and retainer fees. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Indicate the legally prescribed requirements for final accounting to a client. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Explain when a warrant of execution may be issued in order to recover costs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    List the various forms of record keeping that are important to ensure proper office administration. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Obtain appropriate deposits from clients. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    Enter into appropriate fee arrangements with clients. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 11 
    Advise clients on contingency and retainer fees where required. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 12 
    Keep records for accounting purposes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 13 
    Indicate the basis for remunerating attorneys in respect of legal aid matters. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 14 
    Explain whether an attorney who acts in a legal aid matter may receive additional fees directly or indirectly from the client 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 15 
    Explain the principles applicable to civil litigations matters where legal aid applies. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 16 
    Explain whether VAT can be levied in respect of fees and disbursements respectively 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Apply the ethics relating to legal costs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Charge clients fair and reasonable fees. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Recover only capital, interest and fees that are legitimately due and payable. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Account to clients and judgment debtors on a regular basis. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Pay accounts promptly 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Explain the implication of:
  • Overcharging.
  • Undercharging.
  • Recovery/attempted recovery of costs for work not strictly necessary.
  • Manufacturing (fabricating) costs.
  • Fee sharing.
  • The failure to keep proper accounting records.
  • Failure to render accounts and pay accounts.
  • Excessive recovery of collection commission and fees in respect of legal aid matters. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Draft accounts by taking into account the different costs orders. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Draft accounts in accordance with the agreements reached with clients regarding fees. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Distinguish between party and party costs, attorney and client costs, attorney and own client costs, costs de bonis propriis; wasted costs, reserved costs, costs in the cause, costs of the day and no order as to costs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Argue appropriate costs orders. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA.
  • The relevant ETQA will oversee assessment and moderation of assessment according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant competency and the agreed procedures of the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessment at exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards, exit level outcomes as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this competency may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Demonstrated knowledge and understanding:
  • The nature and functioning of legal organizations and the legal system.
  • Ethical and professional conduct.
  • Problem solving techniques.
  • Values such as fairness, justice, accountability, ethics, etc. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    Personal development. 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identifying and solving problems. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contributing to the personal development of learners and the society and economy, by being culturally sensitive and by participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    N/A 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  48920   National Certificate: Attorneys Practice  Level 7  NQF Level 07  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Elective  49598   National Diploma: Paralegal Practice  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.