LegalWise dates back to the late 1970’s. It was then that the founder Zak Crafford, a Legal Aid employee at the time, was paid a visit by a humble South African thanking him for his assistance on a case. He thanked him by handing him an envelope carrying R10. The man offered to continue paying the founder R10 every month if he agreed to provide him with legal assistance for the rest of his life. Although the innocent gesture could not be accepted, it certainly highlighted a significant need in society to provide legal protection. Legal protection insurance has existed since the early 1900’s in Europe and arose due to various long and complicated legal disputes experienced by the public.
Access to Justice
Today, LegalWise aims to grant South Africans equal, fair and affordable access to justice and legal assistance. It gives people the opportunity to have access to a lawyer and enjoy even the most basic rights they have according to the law.
Our Service Driver
Our Members form the core of our business. We provide Members with the power to enforce and defend their rights through professional legal representation. Should you become involved in a dispute, we offer appropriate legal counselling and cover Benefits specific to your needs at affordable rates. Our professional Legal Counsellors provide a wide range of legal services delivered face-to-face, across our Branches countrywide. Our experienced panel of attorneys also provide professional legal representation to LegalWise Members.
A 24 hour LegalLine offers constant access – 24/7, 365. This means Members have legal protection and accessibility to the law at any given moment.
Putting the Power Back in Your Hands
Where there is inequality and disregard for a person’s individual rights, there is an imbalance of power between parties. LegalWise aims to remedy this and bring back the balance of power to the dispute. Our professional Legal Councilors will review and assess your situation and refer you appropriately to our experienced panel of attorneys, should your matter require court proceedings.
LegalWise is a proud and the only African member of the international association of legal protection insurers – RIAD. RIAD was founded in Rome in 1960 and represents more than 60 organisations worldwide. Its Members extend their specialised legal services by providing access to law and justice - thereby maintaining the welfare of their respective clients.
The LegalWise Idea (‘L’)
We stand for justice, fairness and honesty in a democratic society. We protect the legal rights of our Members, whoever the transgressor. We cherish our independence and our power to act without interference. We give our Members legal power to enforce and defend their rights through professional legal representation. We are essentially for our Members.
To make the idea (‘L’) of LegalWise a reality for the greatest number of appropriate people possible.
“The Courts of Law are the guardians of Justice. That means people must have access to lawyers. Justice is a pillar of a stable society. To allow it to become a luxury commodity that only the wealthy can afford would be a disaster. If it is to be at a cost, it must be affordable to the vast majority.” – Godfrey Pitje
Godfrey Pitje was the founder of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) and a Member of the LegalWise board of directors at its inception in 1984.
In a pursuit to address access to the law and legal challenges that exist in our society, LegalWise seeks to provide its Members with the right to justice within a democratic society, that does not discriminate based on gender, class, skills nor race. This is represented in our LegalWise quest to provide Members with:
- Affordable Legal Power.
- Courage to fight injustices.
- Fast and effective solutions.
- Fairness to all people.
- Equality before the law.
- Comprehensive cover.
- User friendly and effective legal services.
- Our Members are our lifeblood.
- Integrity is not negotiable.
- We deliver on our promises.
- Relationships drive our service.
- We are loyal to each other and the ideals of our company.
- Innovation and imagination creates our future.