Austen Smith Attorneys, Conveyancers and Notaries in Pietermaritzburg

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Austen Smith offers a wide-range of expert legal advice in various fields, including High Court, Regional Court and Magistrate’s Court litigation, Collections, Conveyancing and Agency Conveyancing, as well as Commercial Law. We also have a Specialist Fiduciary Services Department and are perfectly positioned to offer you superior Estate Planning and Trust advice.

Situated in the Provincial Capital, Pietermaritzburg, and at the seat of the High Court, the Master’s Office and the provincial Deeds Office, we are proud to serve both our local community and our agents in other provinces.

Maintaining consistently high standards of work in our Bond Departments, we have served on the panels of the 4 major South African banks for decades. Our relationship with Standard Bank goes back over 100 years.

We are an authorised financial services provider, duly registered with the Financial Services Board and we have a dedicated investment administrator who ensures that your valuable investment is invested optimally and at favourable rates with the major banking institutions.

Legal Services

Fiduciary services

Fiduciary Services The Fiduciary Services department of Austen Smith handles the drafting of wills and estate planning, the administration of estates, trusts and personal affairs and generally looking after and caring for clients.  We also draft and execute Antenuptial contracts and attest other notarial documentation. We attend on the Masters office daily. The department is…

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Litigation

Litigation Constitutional Court Litigation relating to constitutional issues and rights High Court Motion Court appearances Civil litigation Commercial litigation Matrimonial and family law litigation Motor vehicle accident claims Personal injury claims Liquidations and Insolvencies Criminal law cases Magistrate’s Court Civil litigation Criminal cases in both district and regional courts Arbitrations and Mediation – in civil…

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Labour Law

Labour Law Employment contracts, including conditions of employment Negotiation of collective agreements Wage negotiations Dispute resolution Representation in CCMA and Labour Courts Nicci joined Austen Smith in 2016 as a Consultant in South African Labour Law. Nicci’s academic qualifications include BA(UNP), LLB(UNP), LLM(UKZN). With regard to her professional qualifications, Nicci is an Admitted Attorney and…

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Debt Collections

Debt Collections David Poole davidpoole@austensmith.co.za David Poole heads up the firm’s debt collections department which has over 20 years’ experience. All staff are actively involved with all of the collection matters on behalf of clients.  We adopt a hands-on approach and are also pragmatic about assessing the chances of the recovery of the debt. Our…

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Conveyancing

Conveyancing Services The firm has specialised Local and Agency Conveyancing Departments. The Services provided are: Drafting of Agreements and Contracts Transfers of conventional properties Opening of Sectional Title registers Registrations of Mortgage Bonds Sectional Title transfers Opening of Township Registers Township Developments Registration of Notarial Deeds including Servitudes and Bonds Arranging short term bridging finance…

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News & Events

OU SUIPIE SE HOEK

1st Aug 2019

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water again… yes, Suipie is back, vampire-like, returned to his old haunts (he uses that word advisably), but as the saying goes, after changes upon changes, for good or ill he is more or less the same (!). So, if there are any…

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UNLAWFUL OCCUPIERS: EVICTION IS POSSIBLE, BUT NEITHER QUICK NOR EASY

1st Aug 2019

“It is only once the court concludes that there is no defence to the claim for eviction and that it would be just and equitable to grant an eviction order that it is obliged to grant that order” (Extract from judgment below) “Buy land” said Mark Twain, “they’re not making it anymore.” With the first…

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CAN YOUR BANK TAKE YOUR MONEY WITHOUT PERMISSION?

1st Aug 2019

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it” (Bob Hope) A recent High Court decision has settled the knotty question of whether your bank can take money it holds for you in one account to cover your debt to it in another, without your…

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WARNING: PROPERTY EMAIL SCAMS SURGING

1st Aug 2019

“Forewarned is Forearmed!” (Wise old saying) Why yet another warning about cyber-scams in the property industry? It’s because the hard fact is that the criminals are winning this war. In fact we are now reportedly the “second most targeted country in the world with regard to cyber-attacks” (Law Society of South Africa). Hence, no doubt,…

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BUSINESS EMAIL DOS AND DON’TS

1st Jul 2019

“The email of the species is deadlier than the mail” (Stephen Fry) Do your business emails enhance your brand or tarnish it? It’s a critical question, particularly for businesses with high email volumes (that’s most of us these days) and it’s entirely up to you what the answer is.   On the one hand it’s…

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AIRBNB OWNERS AND BUYERS – SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT THE NEW REGULATIONS?

1st Jul 2019

“While travel on our platform accounts for less than 1 in 8 visitors to South Africa, those guests boosted the economy by R8.7 billion and helped create 22,000 jobs last year alone” and “Regulation is a useful and necessary tool of good policy, but policy comes first. Sadly, the current wording of the draft Bill…

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