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

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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HOW TO SLEEP LIKE A BOSS

4th September 2018

Insomnia is serious, impairing your logical reasoning, executive function, attention, and mood, with a risk in serious cases of depression, anxiety, and symptoms of paranoia. In the long run, sleep deprivation is a main contributor to the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic insomnia has even been linked to a shorter life span –…

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“YOU’RE FIRED FOR MISCONDUCT” V “NO, I RESIGN” – WHO WINS?

4th September 2018

You want to charge one of your employees with serious misconduct so you institute disciplinary proceedings. To avoid a possible dismissal the employee resigns “with immediate effect”. Can you go ahead with disciplining the employee? Until recently the answer was no, the Labour Court having decided in such a matter that immediate resignation brings an…

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BUYING YOUR FIRST HOUSE – AN ACTION PLAN

3rd September 2018

“Buy land – they’ve stopped making it” (Mark Twain) So you’ve decided to buy your first house – exciting! There’s nothing like owning and living in your very own dream house, and if you choose wisely your home could well be one of your most important investments ever. Get started with these tips – First,…

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DO YOU NEED A WILL?

3rd September 2018

“A man who dies without a will has lawyers for his heirs” (Anon) It’s natural not to want to make plans for our own mortality, but we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to do exactly that, and to do it without delay. Why? Sooner or later we all die. No one knows…

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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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