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 Fiduciary Services Administration of deceased estates Formation and administration of inter vivos trusts Administration of trusts mortis causa Asset management and personal affairs administration Investment of clients funds in the money market, unit trusts, stock market and in mortgage bonds Drawing of wills and estate planning Income tax advice Tax and Estate planning…

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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

Labour Outlines Plan To Enforce Minimum Wage Compliance

5th June 2018

The National Assembly has passed the National Minimum Wage Bill which aims to better the lives of those South African workers in low-income brackets. The proposed minimum wage was set at R20 per hour, which equates to R3,500 per month based on a 40-hour week, and R3,900 for a 45-hour week.   Many unions have…

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Boosting Health, Happiness and Productivity in Your Office

31st May 2018

Whether your offices are big or small, their layout is critical to promoting (or harming) your employees’ mental and physical health. Boost your team’s happiness and productivity by casting a fresh eye over your current office layout with “5 Office Design Hacks That Will Increase Employee’s Productivity” on the Dumb Little Man website. And don’t…

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Life Partners: Beware the “Common Law Marriage” Myth!

31st May 2018

“The general rule of our law is that cohabitation does not give rise to special legal consequences, no matter how long the relationship has endured” (From a 2010 High Court judgment and still applicable)   One of the more pervasive myths in South Africa is that, if you live together for long enough as “life…

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Road Rage – Sue, and Report It!

31st May 2018

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” (Comedian George Carlin) We live in stressful times, and as our roads become busier and the pressures of modern life mount, expect more and more road rage incidents. YouTube clips of drivers brawling,…

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What Happens If You Cancel Your Lease Early?

31st May 2018

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (Wise old adage)  You sign a two year lease for a nice little apartment (or a large family house if you have a spouse, 3 kids and a dog) but after 6 months your employer transfers you and you have to cancel early. “Fine” says your…

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The failure of an employer to follow the provisions of its own disciplinary code and procedures

8th May 2018

Employers have certain prerogatives relating to discipline, including the right to set rules and standards and to develop their own disciplinary procedures. These rules, standards and procedures are often set out in a disciplinary code. A disciplinary code usually comprises two parts. The first part is where disciplinary offences are described and a progressive series…

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