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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

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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JANUARY IS “DIVORCE MONTH”: BEWARE THE DANGERS OF DIY

10th Jan 2020

“What’s the only thing divorce proves? Whose mother was right in the first place” (Anon) The festivities are over, the bills are coming in and everyone is returning to reality. Couples who for most of the year only have to live with each other after work hours, have suddenly spent a whole lot more 24/7…

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MUST YOU PAY TAX ON YOUR RENTAL INCOME?

10th Jan 2020

“Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form” (Laurence J. Peter of The Peter Principle) Letting out property can give you an excellent “annuity” income, and if that concept appeals to you and a buy-to-let property comes your way at the right price put an offer…

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OU SUIPIE SE HOEK

3rd Dec 2019

Suipie had thought he just about knew all that there was to know about South African varietals.  Oh dear. Pontac.  Pontac? Yes, well, it was French in origin, but none exists there anymore.  It can still be found here, however, in Swartland (850 vines), Robertson (700) and Stellenbosch (500). Here’s the thing though:  back in…

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PROPERTY OWNERS, BUYERS AND AGENTS: LOST TITLE DEEDS AND BONDS – DON’T DELAY!

3rd Dec 2019

“He who hesitates is lost” (Wise old proverb) In January 2019 new amendments to Regulations for the replacement of lost title deeds (and similar documents like mortgage bonds and notarial bonds – see below) were published. They were very onerous and slated to come into effect at short notice, but after criticism they were suspended…

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