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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News & Events

BUSINESS RESCUE: ARE YOUR SURETYSHIPS ENFORCEABLE? A R5.5M LESSON FOR DIRECTORS AND CREDITORS

30th May 2019

“Some people use one-half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it” (George Prentice, newspaper editor and author) You are owed a lot of money by a company that goes into business rescue. The business rescue plan provides for creditors like you to accept a dividend of only a…

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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK – CAN YOU DIFFERENTIATE WITHOUT UNFAIRLY DISCRIMINATING?

30th May 2019

“Prohibition of unfair discrimination: No person may unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against an employee, in any employment policy or practice, on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, birth or…

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DIRECTORS AT WAR AND THE LIQUIDATION OPTION – A TALE OF SIBLING RIVALRY

30th May 2019

“Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules” (F. Scott Fitzgerald) A company’s directors have both the power and the duty to manage the company’s affairs for its benefit. When two or more directors are in place, it’s perhaps natural for the occasional disagreement to arise between them. Indeed, regular expression…

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YOU SIGNED A PROPERTY SALE AGREEMENT, CAN YOU STILL ACCEPT A BETTER OFFER?

30th May 2019

You put your property on the market and an acceptable but not-perfect offer comes in. On the “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” principle you want to accept the offer even though it’s not ideal. Perhaps it’s not perfect because it’s subject to a suspensive condition – common ones give…

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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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