Mrs Jane O’Connor
1980: Civil Service (working back bursary): I was Commissioner of (Black) Child Welfare and presided over the Children’s' Court and supervised the entire Welfare Division of that particular Court. I had only one decision reviewed (a contested adoption) and fortunately it was upheld on review.
1981 - 1982: I served my Articles of Clerkship, and later worked for Webber Wentzel attorneys, being one of their first female clerks. I
1983: Admitted as attorney
1986 - 2006 I joined the Public Accountants & Auditors' Board, a client of Webbers, as head of Legal. I modernized and updated their processes, rewriting the Act, the Disciplinary Rules and the Rules of Professional Conduct. Some years later I was privileged to work alongside Judge Michael Corbett writing the new Accounting Professions Act which made provision for a tiered profession and multiple entry points. It was a revolutionary piece of legislation but unfortunately stalled in cabinet, as a result of the Enron debacle, and an entirely different Act was produced. However, affairs have gone full circle and the principles proposed by Judge Corbett and me are once again being considered with the envisaged Comprehensive Regulator for the accounting professions.
1988: Admitted as Notary,– the only candidate to write the exam while not in practice, and one of only 14% who passed that year.
2006 – 2018: - In 2006 the PAAB was reborn as the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors. This required a rework again of processes and documentation, a substantial task.
During my long stint with the regulator I have been fortunate to meet and work with many fascinating people. Although I was responsible for a variety of functions over the years, my main responsibility being handling all complaints against and enquiries regarding RAs on a national basis, from beginning to end. This entailed informally resolving disputes which were capable of this, and prosecuting more serious complaints through the Investigation and Disciplinary Committees. In the latter years these have become increasingly complex. I also handled all litigation to which the Regulator was a party.
I encourage life long learning and during my period at the Regulator I coached and mentored many staff members in the Legal Department through their legal studies at both undergraduate and post graduate level, and was a guest lecturer and presenter at various institutions on matters of ethics and regulation.
2018 – date: I consult on specialist matters which are of interest to me and where I believe I can add value
2019 – date: part time lecturer in law, St Augustine’s College, Johannesburg
1974: Matriculated: St Dominic's Academy, Newcastle - prefect
1977: Completed BA: University of Natal, Durban
1979: Completed LLB: University of Natal, Durban - served two terms as SRC secretary, and was active in NUSAS, the Law Students’ Council and the Catholic Students’ Society.