Our Journey

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.

Why LegalWise?

Since our founding in 1984 a number of companies (for example banks, insurance companies, clothing retailers and mobile networks), have launched products that offer everything from free legal advice to legal cover. With so many choices available, from so many different companies, it’s often confusing to know whether or not you are getting the best value for your hard-earned money. So, what makes LegalWise different?

Firstly, we’re a specialist.

Protecting the legal rights of our Members is not a small part of what we do, it’s all that we do. We don’t offer clothes or airtime and data or cheque and savings accounts. We don’t offer other forms of insurance, like motor and household insurance.  We have a single-minded purpose, enabling you to enforce and defend your rights. 

We’re fiercely independent.

We cherish our independence and our power to act without interference, protecting your legal rights, whoever the transgressor (even if it’s us).

Think about it, what if you had legal cover with the same company that you had your household contents insurance with, and you had a dispute about a claims payment. Who would you turn to? Do you think the company would be fair and objective in resolving your dispute? Would they allow you to use your legal cover to sue them?

We’re so fiercely committed to fairness, we will even let you use your Membership against us.

You can trust us.

We have a 37 year track record, and we are the pioneers of legal cover in South Africa. We remain committed to our founding purpose, enabling you to enforce and defend your rights. 

To give you peace of mind and to meet our obligations we’re a registered financial services provider, a voluntary member of the Ombud for Short Term Insurance (OSTI), we work at ensuring that we comply with all the regulation governing the financial services and insurance industries, as regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the Short-Term Insurance Act and the Legal Practices Act.

Legal Expenses Insurance South Africa Limited who underwrites the LegalWise Membership Agreement was granted the very first specialist insurance license and they remain the largest insurer of legal expenses insurance in South Africa.

Plus, we’ve been a member of Legal Protection International (LPI) for over 30 years. Membership requires that we remain a specialist provider. Membership allows us to tap into international trends in our industry to ensure that we continually evolve our offering to meet international best practice.

Purpose 

Empowering affordable & timeous access to justice through which individuals can enforce and defend their legal rights.

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 luxry 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, founder of the Black Lawyers Association and member of the LegalWise Board of Directors at its inception in 1984.

Vision 

To be the choice for people who want to break the barriers and see justice realised in our democratic society.

LegalWise Idea(L) 

  • We stand for justice, fairness & honesty in a democratic society.
  • We protect the rights of our Members whoever the transgressor.
  • We cherish our independence & power to act without interference.
  • We give our Members legal power to enforce & defend their legal rights through professional legal representation.
  • We are essentially just for our Members
  • We believe in loyalty to each other & the ideals of our Company.

Values 

  • Our Members are our lifeblood.
  • We are loyal to each other and the ideals of our company.
  • Integrity is non-negotiable.
  • Relationships drive or service.
  • Innovation and imagination create our future.
  • We deliver on our promises.