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

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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WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES

1st October 2018

The inevitability of death doesn’t detract from the shock and distress that it brings to the grieving survivors, and much as we don’t like to plan for these things it will help at least a little to know what to do in practice after a death.   The formalities   There is unfortunately a lot…

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AGING EMPLOYEES: WHEN MUST THEY RETIRE?

1st October 2018

“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples” (Comedian George Burns) Record numbers of Baby Boomers are now reaching their 60s, and if you are an employer in any size of business (from the smallest family-owned enterprise to the largest corporate), make sure now that you have a policy in…

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DAGGA – JUST HOW LEGAL IS IT NOW?

1st October 2018

The media has been awash with reports (sometimes conflicting, often vague) of what the recent Constitutional Court ruling actually means in practice. Whether you agree with the ruling or not, and whether or not you personally have ever had (or intend to have) anything to do with cannabis/marijuana/weed/dagga, we all need to be aware of…

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SELLING YOUR HOUSE: DISCLOSING DEFECTS

1st October 2018

“Honesty is the best policy” (Benjamin Franklin) A recent High Court decision again confirms that when it comes to selling your house, honesty is indeed the best policy. Specifically, disclose all defects you know of to potential buyers, or risk expensive litigation and damages claims. Defects and Defences The buyers of a house, who had…

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DEPRESSION IN THE WORKPLACE

4th September 2018

INTRODUCTION Depression in the South African workplace is increasing at an astronomical rate in every sector of the labour market.[1] This trend is not unique to South Africa. Studies in the USA, UK, the EU and elsewhere reveal the same upward trajectory in the number of employees suffering from depression.[2] Work related stress is the…

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