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 Fiduciary Services Administration of deceased estates Formation and administration of inter vivos trusts Administration of trusts mortis causa Asset management and personal affairs administration Investment of clients funds in the money market, unit trusts, stock market and in mortgage bonds Drawing of wills and estate planning Income tax advice Tax and Estate planning…

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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 heads up the firm’s collections department and is actively involved with all of the collections matters on behalf of clients. He adopts a hands-on approach and is also pragmatic about assessing the chances of recovery of debts. Dave was admitted in 1992 and has more than ten years’ experience…

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Conveyancing

Conveyancing Services Transfers of conventional properties Opening sectional title registers Registrations of mortgage bonds Registration of Notarial bonds and deeds eg Servitudes Negotiation of Mortgage bonds Opening of Township registers Sectional title transfers Township development Colin Boyes beanboy@austensmith.co.za Colin is the current head of the conveyancing department and is a specialist conveyancer who has a…

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News & Events

Are Uber drivers employees or independent contractors?

9th April 2018

Are Uber drivers employees or independent contractors?: A discussion of Uber South Africa Technology Services (Pty) Ltd v National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) and others [2018] ZALCCT 1 (12 January 2018).   The respondents were drivers/partner drivers of Uber BV (which is based in The Netherlands). Uber SA, a local subsidiary company of…

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From the Horse’s Mouth: House Sales and the VAT Increase

6th April 2018

“If you hear something (straight) from the horse’s mouth, you hear it from the person who has direct personal knowledge of it” (Cambridge Dictionary) We all know by now that the VAT rate increased from 14% to 15% on 1 April. How does that affect your residential property sale/purchase? We are talking big money here…

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POPI: An Existing Risk, a Right Royal Ruckus, and the EU Deadline

6th April 2018

When will the enforcement provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (“POPI” or “POPIA”) come into effect? Latest indications are that the Information Regulator will announce final Regulations and a commencement date shortly, but there have been so many delays already that we perhaps shouldn’t be holding our breath on that one. Three important…

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Do You Read Online Terms and Conditions? You Should and Here’s Why

6th April 2018

“The Internet is a Real Place with Real Consequences” (Rebecca MacKinnon, Internet policy expert) We live in an age of online commerce. We buy and sell pretty much anything you can think of on the Internet, whilst contracting online for everything from an Uber ride to a plumber’s call out has become second nature. So…

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How to Avoid Disputes over Jointly Owned Property

6th April 2018

 “Co-ownership is the mother of disputes” (Roman law maxim)   Buying property can be an excellent investment, but it can also be expensive. So sometimes it makes a lot of sense to share the financial burden with someone else. Perhaps for example you are spouses or life partners buying your first home. Perhaps you are…

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OUR 2018 CHARITY: MAMA NTOMBI’S COMMUNITY PROJECTS (MNCP)

16th March 2018

Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects was founded in 2007 and is caring for about 450 children at the Jika Joe and Ezinketheni Informal Settlements. Their main focus areas are: Caring for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Educational support o Career guidance o Home visits to identified vulnerable children at risk o Visits to the schools they attend…

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