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

CULTIVATING, CONSUMING AND POSSESSING DAGGA IN PRIVATE IS LEGAL IN SOUTH AFRICA. DEALING IS STILL ILLEGAL SAYS THE CON COURT.

7th November 2018

Recently the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in the application for the confirmation of an order of constitutional invalidity made by the High Court of South Africa, Western Cape Division, Cape Town (High Court) which declared legislation criminalising the use, possession, purchase and cultivation of cannabis unconstitutional. The matter arose from three different court proceedings…

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6 WAYS FOR YOUR SME TO SURVIVE THE RECESSION

1st November 2018

No doubt we are in for at least a year or two of difficult economic conditions, but small businesses have one important advantage over larger competitors – their size keeps them agile. That means they can adapt more quickly to changing conditions, which in turn puts them in pole position to grasp the many opportunities…

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TRAVELLING ABROAD? KNOW LOCAL LAWS OR RISK JAIL

1st November 2018

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse” (old Roman law principle applied in many legal systems worldwide) Whether you travel abroad on business or on holiday, ignorance of local laws can easily land you in a situation where your protestations of “But I had no idea that that is illegal here, it’s totally legal in…

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WHEN IS A DEBTOR “INSOLVENT”? A CASE OF ARREAR MAINTENANCE ILLUSTRATES

1st November 2018

“To my mind the best proof of solvency is that a man should pay his debts” (quoted in the judgment below) If you are owed maintenance you have a variety of enforcement options open to you and should ask your lawyer for advice on which is the best for your particular claim and circumstances. A…

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CAN I HAVE PETS IN A RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX?

1st November 2018

“I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon, and a cat that comes home late at night” (Marie Corelli, English novelist) Residential complexes and estates are becoming…

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TROUBLING TREND OF RACISM IN THE WORKPLACE

9th October 2018

This article is a discussion of the case in which the constitutional court held that the word ‘boer’ was not in itself racist but that the context in which it was used could be, inappropriate and offensive. Employee’s dismissed for singing struggle songs about celebrating ‘hitting’ boers was found to be inappropriate but not dismissable. The…

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