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

NEW LABOUR LAW IN 2019

6th Feb 2019

2019 sees the introduction of a whole raft of new labour laws. There are significant amendments to the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act; and the National Minimum Wage Act has come into effect. Regulations regarding picketing and ballots in strikes have been introduced, as well as a Code of Good…

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BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME WITH A GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY

4th Feb 2019

Note: If you earn over R22k p.m. (the subsidy threshold) or aren’t personally in the market for a house in the “affordable housing” bracket, please think of forwarding this article to someone who might be – perhaps a relative, friend, colleague or employee. You could be helping them take that important first step onto the…

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PROVING YOUR CLAIM IN A LIQUIDATION OR SEQUESTRATION – WHEN YOU SHOULD, AND WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T

4th Feb 2019

“A small debt produces a debtor; a large one, an enemy” (Publilius Syrus, Roman writer) You are owed money by a debtor, whose “insolvent estate” is “sequestrated” (in the case of an individual or trust) or “liquidated” (in the case of a company or other corporate). The Master of the High Court appoints a “trustee”…

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PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND PARENTS BEHAVING BADLY – THE EXPULSION OPTION

4th Feb 2019

“…it can hardly be in the best interests of all concerned for this family to remain at the School” (Extract from judgment below) With the new School Year now well under way, let’s have a look at a recent court decision of interest to all schools, parents and learners. Importantly, this case involves not a…

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PROPERTY OWNERS, BUYERS AND AGENTS: CHECK FOR THE TITLE DEEDS BEFORE 25 FEBRUARY!

1st Feb 2019

“Time is of the essence” (legal phrase meaning ‘speed is essential, there’s a deadline, this is an emergency, hurry up, do it now’ – The Phrase Finder) You sell your house/apartment/office/factory/plot of land. You instruct your conveyancer to pass transfer to the buyer, and start dreaming of what you will do with the proceeds. But…

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“READY, STEADY, LOADSHED!”

9th Jan 2019

Media reports suggest that loadshedding is likely to be with us for some time yet, and whether you happen to be at work or at home when one of the dreaded blackouts strikes, there’s nothing worse than being caught off guard. Avoid unpleasant surprises by knowing exactly when your area will go down. At least…

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