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

SOLE EMPLOYER INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 198A (3)(B) OF LRA CONFIRMED BY CON COURT IN THE ASSIGN CASE

7th August 2018

On 26 July 2018, the Constitutional Court gave its judgement in the Assign Services Pty Ltd v NUMSA and others [2018] ZACC 22 case. The majority of the court confirmed the CCMA’s ruling on the sole employer interpretation of section 198A (3) of the LRA. There was a dissenting judgement. The case concerned the interpretation…

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Mandela Day with Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects

1st August 2018

Mandela Day celebrations with Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects. The Partners and staff at Austen Smith were privileged to visit the Ezinketheni Informal Settlement where our adopted Charity Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects have a large container (used as a base and a classroom) where volunteers who are working with the younger children two mornings a week teach basic skills.  Austen…

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WHAT’S YOUR NEW TAX RETURN DEADLINE?

31st July 2018

SARS has announced new deadlines for the 2018 Tax Season. But do you even need to file an income tax return? If you do, what’s your deadline? Are you a provisional tax payer? Are you struggling to register on eFiling?   Find the answers to all these questions and more on SARS’ “Tax Season 2018…

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LENDING MONEY REPAYABLE “ON DEMAND”: BEWARE PRESCRIPTION!

31st July 2018

Making a loan repayable “on demand” is common amongst family members; think for example of parents making a loan to their student daughter, or of her lending money to a parent in need. It’s also used for loans between related businesses. But what does “on demand” really mean? Does it mean that the loan is…

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PROPERTY SCAMS – BEWARE (CYBER) WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING!

31st July 2018

“Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing” (Aesop’s Fables) “Wolves in sheep’s clothing” have been around since the dawn of civilization and in today’s world they lurk in every corner of the Internet, lying in wait for the unwary. You become a prime target when you buy or sell property – the rich pickings on offer…

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YOUR BODY CORPORATE AND ARREAR LEVIES: TO SEQUESTRATE OR NOT TO SEQUESTRATE?

31st July 2018

As a Body Corporate trustee you will understand how important it is to collect arrear levies from defaulting owners. And of course as a section owner you have a personal stake in the process. When normal debt collection processes fail, what do you do? Sometimes it makes sense to apply for the debtor’s sequestration (just…

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