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

BEFORE YOU ENTER AN UBER…

9th May 2019

Ridesharing services like Uber are convenient and popular, but you will have read of the “fake Uber” attacks and other safety concerns so on the principle of “safety first” always take a few common sense precautions when using them. Before you get into your next Uber have a good read of their “Driving safety forward”…

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PROPERTY BUYERS: THERE’S A NEW DEDUCTION FROM INTEREST EARNED ON YOUR DEPOSIT

9th May 2019

When you buy property, the sale agreement often provides for you to pay a deposit (normally 10% of the sale price) to the conveyancer (the attorney transferring the property into your name), to be kept in trust until transfer. Don’t lose out on earning interest on your deposit money – check that the sale agreement’s…

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ESTATE AGENTS: SECURING YOUR TRADE SECRETS (AND YOUR COMMISSION)

9th May 2019

“In short, it [a Fidelity Fund Certificate] is a licence to practice without which you cannot practice.” (Extract from judgment below) As an estate agent you will know that without a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) you are not entitled to any commission for the successful sales or leases you put together. All your hard…

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ACCIDENTALLY PAID THE WRONG PERSON? LESSONS FROM A R862K BANKING APP ERROR

9th May 2019

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” (Economist Milton Friedman) In these days of online banking and electronic payment, it’s not uncommon to find out to your horror that you have made a payment to someone in error, either to the wrong recipient or in an incorrect amount. If that happens to you and…

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SECURITY ESTATES: CAN YOU FINE SPEEDSTERS?

9th May 2019

“When the [property owners] chose to purchase property within the estate and become members of the Association, they agreed to be bound by its rules” (extract from judgment below) There are many advantages to buying in a security estate or other community scheme, including quality of life and increased potential for growth in your property’s…

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A TRIBUTE TO KATH REES

7th May 2019

Born in Salisbury, Rhodesia, (now Harare, Zimbabwe), at 03H50 on the morning of the 17th November, 1974, Kath was christened “ Kathryn Elisabeth Lorelei Rees “. Later she preferred to just be known as Kath Rees. She was a beautiful, happy baby and was her parents pride and joy. Growing up she was an obedient,…

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