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

2nd Sep 2019

Suipie mentioned Ridgeback last month. They have always been very special to Suipie.  Not quite sure why, exactly.  obviously the wine itself has always been great (it for sure still is), but maybe there was something unpretentious and unassuming about the product, perhaps the label with the dog on it?  Never underestimate the power of…

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HOME BUILDERS – YOUR CONTRACTOR MUST REGISTER WITH THE NHBRC

2nd Sep 2019

“…the Act is consumer-protection legislation designed to offer protection against incompetent builders and the construction of homes having structural defects” (extract from judgment below) In order to promote housing consumer rights, home builders (including residential property developers and builder/contractors – an “owner builder” may apply for exemption) must, in terms of the Housing Consumers Protection…

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PROPERTY: ARE VERBAL AGREEMENTS VALID?

2nd Sep 2019

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” (Samuel Goldwyn) Verbal agreements in South Africa are generally as binding and valid as written ones. Of course not recording your agreements in writing is a bad idea – oral agreements are a recipe for doubt and dispute, and proving the exact terms agreed on…

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YOUR WILL: WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T DO

2nd Sep 2019

“Where there’s a will, I want to be in it” (Anon) Your will (“Last Will and Testament”) is quite possibly the most important document you will ever sign. Without a properly-executed will you put your loved ones at risk of financial and emotional hardship, you forfeit your right to nominate who administers your deceased estate,…

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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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