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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

3rd Feb 2020

As most of you will have realised, Suipie never left the 60’s. In fact, as Douglas Adams, author of the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so accurately observed:  “the 60’s happened while I was listening to the The Beatles”. That’s exactly how it was for Suipie too.  Suipie could not have put it better. …

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REPORT YOUR TRAFFIC ACCIDENT WITH AN ONLINE REPORTING SERVICE

3rd Feb 2020

Traffic accidents, your fault or not, are traumatic affairs. Even minor dings come with their hassles – panel beaters, tow trucks, shock and recriminations, reams of paperwork, having to get a Crash Report Number for the insurers… That last bit has always been a major added stress factor, requiring a trip to the local police…

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EMPLOYEES: YOUR NEW RIGHTS TO PATERNITY AND PARENTAL LEAVE

3rd Feb 2020

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one” (Psychologist Leo J Burke) It has taken over a year of confusion and delay around when new changes will be implemented, but finally your extended rights to parental leave and to an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) claim have fully commenced. Here’s an update/refresher…

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DOES AN EXPIRED LEASE AUTOMATICALLY CONTINUE MONTH-TO-MONTH? AT WHAT RENTAL?

3rd Feb 2020

“Close your eyes –  Landlord knocking On the back door” (Jack Kerouac; Northport Haiku) Your residential fixed-term lease expires but for whatever reason you don’t sign a new one. Nor does the lease say anything about what will happen on expiry. Is there still any form of valid lease in place and if so what…

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OU SUIPIE SE HOEK

10th Jan 2020

Ou Suipie is Confused.  Maybe a better word might be Bewildered. Some of you might remember the following dialog, from the film A Fish Called Wanda:           Wanda (to Otto):  But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?           Otto (superior smile): Apes don’t read philosophy           Wanda Yes they do, Otto, They just…

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BE (CYBER) SAFE IN 2020!

10th Jan 2020

“The email of the species is deadlier than the mail” (Stephen Fry) Cyber-attacks in South Africa increased by 22% in 2019, and our exposure to serious online security breaches increases exponentially in line with our increasing use of email. The fact is that we are all of us under attack by cybercriminals who become cleverer…

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