LLM Cum Laude for Tax Specialist
John Hardie earned a cum laude pass for a Master of Laws, which involved both a dissertation and course work in advanced tax law, company law and contract law.
The dissertation was titled: “A critical and comparative analysis of the expression ‘ordinarily resident’ as a criterion for determining the place of residence of an individual in the context of Income Tax legislation in South Africa and certain other jurisdictions”.
The dissertation dealt with the income tax consequences of the termination of an individual’s tax residence, particularly on emigration, through an analysis of the legislation, case law and guidelines, primarily in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The dissertation was written under the guidance of his supervisor and UKZN Tax Specialist, Professor Rob Williams.
He says juggling a busy tax practice, family and studies was more difficult than expected but ‘studying is good for the soul, it stretches the boundaries of your knowledge, it keeps you mentally stimulated, it helps you to network, it makes you aware of opportunities and risks within your field of expertise, and generally helps you deal with an ever changing world.’
Hardie maintains that initial concerns about meeting the academic standards, whilst dealing with a busy schedule and tackling the course late in life, were eased through the excellent support from the School of Law. ‘It was really daunting attending the first LLM lecture where I was not only twice the age of the oldest person in the class, but I was out of my depth enrolling in a Master in Laws course when I had a finance background’.
‘In my opinion, the heart of the success of the School of Law in Pietermaritzburg stems from its academic staff, which includes some of the finest academics in the country such as Professor Williams and Professor Robert Sharrock both of whom have not only published extensively but are recognised as authorities in their field. Also on the staff is one of South Africa’s foremost Law Librarians, Rosemary Kuhn.
‘Then there’s a stable and efficient academic IT platform, Moodle and dependable support from Robynne Louw.’