services

Here's What We Do Better

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NOTARIAL SERVICES
The execution of notarial documents is reserved for notaries public who are attorneys that are specifically qualified to authenticate documents, draft, execute specialist legal documents, and perform wide-ranging administrative functions.
 
IMMIGRATION LAW
Smith Attorneys offers its clients a range of immigration-related services around the broad issue of foreign nationals who wish to live, retire, transfer to or otherwise work in South Africa.

 
LIQUOR LAW – WESTERN CAPE
The Liquor Laws are governed by the Liquor Act, 1989 (Act 27 of 1989) and any person who micro-manufactures or sells liquor for retail purposes in the Western Cape, requires a liquor licence issued by the Western Cape Liquor Board to do so.
LITIGATION
South Africa is a constitutional democracy that adheres to the Rule of Law, meaning that all people are subject to the same laws of justice. Litigation involves the legal process for settling those disputes or claims between and amongst natural persons, juristic persons and the State that requires objective determination.
ESTATES AND TRUSTS
When a person dies, it is the duty of his or her executor to determine the financial position of the estate as soon as possible.
Is there enough cash in the estate to cover all the costs of administration as well as all the debts in the estate?
 

OUR SERVICES

Notarial Services

The execution of notarial documents is reserved for notaries public who are attorneys that are specifically qualified to authenticate documents, draft, execute specialist legal documents, and perform wide-ranging administrative functions.

Smith Attorneys offer a full range of notarial services assisting commercial entities and individuals with their notarial requirements.

If you are domiciled in South Africa, your matrimonial regime will be either in community of property or out of community of property. If you do not conclude an ANC prior to your marriage, your marriage will automatically be one in community of property. If you conclude an ANC prior to your marriage you will be married out of community of property. In your ANC you can choose whether the principle of accrual will apply to your marriage or not.

If you would like to be married out of community of property (with or without accrual), then it is essential that you conclude your ANC prior to the commencement of your marriage. If you have any questions regarding the above or would like to engage our services with regard to your ANC, please contact us and we shall assist you.

When certain documents are signed in the Republic of South Africa, but are to be used in another country, often they are required to be authenticated. As notaries we are able to provide this service. Whether you require authentication of documents signed in the Republic of South Africa or notarial certification of documents, please contact us for assistance.

Services include:

  • Servitudes
  • Notarial Deeds of Cession
  • Notarial Lease Agreements
  • Notarial Bonds
  • Postnuptial Contracts (including applications to change your matrimonial regime)
IMMIGRATION

Smith Attorneys offers its clients a range of immigration-related services around the broad issue of foreign nationals who wish to live, retire, transfer to or otherwise work in South Africa.

Services include:

  • Identifying the correct permit/s to be applied for;
  • Identifying the relevant requirements; and
  • Assisting with the assembly of such application, submitting same (or assisting with its submission) and obtaining the outcome, again where this is permissible.

This will include assisting companies that are not yet operating in South Africa to comply with South Africa’s immigration legislation.

We also assist our clients with all immigration-related inquiries they or their employees might have whilst they are in South Africa, which can include changing or extending their permits.

We also assist clients with applications for permanent residence, where this is appropriate.

LIQUOR LAW – WESTERN CAPE

The Liquor Laws are governed by the Liquor Act, 1989 (Act 27 of 1989) and any person who micro-manufactures or sells liquor for retail purposes in the Western Cape, requires a liquor licence issued by the Western Cape Liquor Board to do so.

The Liquor Laws are governed by the Liquor Act, 1989 (Act 27 of 1989) and any person who micro-manufactures or sells liquor for retail purposes in the Western In the Western Cape, a “micro-manufacturer” is a person who has a liquor licence issued by the Western Cape Liquor Board to manufacture liquor at or below the prescribed threshold volumes set out below:

For manufacturers of beer: 100 million litres per year

For manufacturers of traditional African beer: 50 million litres per year

For manufacturers of wine: 4 million liters per year

For manufacturers of spirits and/or other liquor: 2 million litres per year

In the Western Cape, a “retail seller” is a person who is licensed in terms of the Liquor Act, 1989 to sell liquor for the purpose of consumption (including consumption on the licensed premises and consumption off the licensed premises).

It is a criminal offence to sell liquor without a licence and the SA Police Service can take steps against such person, including closing the business and confiscating the liquor.

Smith Attorneys can assist and advise you on an application for a liquor licence (and other liquor related issues) and to inform you about all the requirements and conditions pertaining to each licence in the Western Cape.

LITIGATION

South Africa is a constitutional democracy that adheres to the Rule of Law, meaning that all people are subject to the same laws of justice. Litigation involves the legal process for settling those disputes or claims between and amongst natural persons, juristic persons and the State that requires objective determination. No person is immune against getting embroiled in legal disputes.

It can be a simple buying and selling matter or collecting what is owed to you, but more often than expected a dispute can evolve in a complex civil matter where you need an experienced and skillful lawyer to persuade an impartial adjudicator to balance competing and conflicting rights in order to arrive at a just and equitable outcome.

Notwithstanding one’s best efforts, once a dispute cannot be resolved amicably, you will need a litigation attorney to assist and represent you in resolving the dispute, either through skilled negotiations and a settlement or bringing your case before a court of law or other form of dispute resolution.

Courts and adjudicators depend on attorneys to advise their clients of their rights and to represent them in an honest and skillful manner that advances the interest of the client at all times.

Smith Attorneys offer the following specialized services in our litigation departments:

  • Litigation relating to constitutional matters and rights in both the High Court and Constitutional Court
  • Administrative and Judicial Appeals and Reviews in the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal
  • All civil matters that require litigation in the High Court, Regional Court or Magistrate’s Court
  • Commercial litigation, including contractual, engineering and building disputes in specialized forums
  • Liquidations, Insolvencies and Business Rescue matters
ESTATES & TRUSTS

When a person dies, it is the duty of his or her executor to determine the financial position of the estate as soon as possible.

Is there enough cash in the estate to cover all the costs of administration as well as all the debts in the estate? If there is not enough cash, are there sufficient assets so that one or more of the assets can be sold (with the consent of the heirs) to cover the expenses?

It is important to note the difference between an insolvent deceased estate and an estate with a cash shortfall.

An insolvent estate is when the total debt of the estate is larger than the total value of the assets in the estate, the estate is insolvent and thus administered under Section 34 of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965.The executor is obliged to sell all assets in the estate (including assets in the name of the surviving spouse, if the spouses were married in community of property). The proceeds from the sale is then distributed among the creditors in the order of their respective claims, as determined by the Insolvency Act 24 of 1936.

Whereas, there are estates where a cash shortfall exists. In all estates, there are certain administrative costs that must be paid, including advertising costs, bank charges and executors fees, and there may also outstanding debts (erg overdrawn credit cards or doctor’s bills).

If the deceased had not done proper estate planning during his lifetime, and left only non-cash assets in his estate at the time of his death, there are two possible consequences –

the heirs will have to pay the cash shortfall to the estate so that the assets can be retained instead of being sold; or the executor must, in collaboration with the heirs, decided to sell certain assets (e.g. shares or motor vehicles) so that the cash proceeds from this can be used to pay the estate’s debts and administration charges.

A testator must do proper estate planning and provide for some cash in his estate, to prevent non-cash assets having to be sold at his death to pay the estate’s debts.

Likewise, it is also important for heirs to realize that, if the testator did not provide for sufficient cash in the estate, they will either have to pay in the cash to the estate themselves; or give their cooperation to the executor to decide which assets could be sold to generate sufficient cash to settle all the expenses. otherwise the executor must continue (with the permission of the Master of the High Court) to sell assets of the deceased without the cooperation and consent of the heirs.

CONVEYANCING

Conveyancing is the process by which legal ownership of immovable property is transferred from one juristic entity (the seller) to another juristic entity (the buyer). It often includes the registration of a mortgage bond or the granting of a servitude over the property. The transfer process is concluded by way of the registration of the property and any bond thereon in the relevant Deeds Office.

Our field of conveyancing expertise reaches from basic residential and commercial transfers to the transferring of agricultural land. We are further well experienced with the registration of subdivisions, consolidations and servitudes.

With conveyancing our focus falls on comprehensive communication, keeping our clients abreast of all aspects relating to the conveyancing process. The proper and speedy registration of transfer is our main priority.

COMMERCIAL LAW

As the largest body of law, commercial law pertains to all aspects of business relationships and commerce. It applies to matters such as contracts, labour relations, tax and various other facets of the business world. Commercial law defines the rights and legal principals of individuals and juristic entities such as companies and partnerships and therefore plays a definitive and crucial role in business and the economy in general.

Current global economic changes have created the right conditions for businesses to capitalise on the unique and exciting opportunities available within South Africa (SA), Mauritius and Malta.

Our clients can rest assure that our team of experienced attorneys will assist them with the drafting of integrated business contracts and resolve any matter with the utmost professionalism and proficiency, always prioritising their business needs.

Smith Attorneys services include:

  • Negotiation and drafting of all commercial contracts
  • Purchase and supply agreements
  • Company MOI’s and shareholders’ agreements
  • Franchise Agreements
  • Partnerships
  • Commercial Leases
  • Registration of Trust
  • Registration of Companies and Trust in Mauritius and Malta.
INSOLVENCY

Smith Attorneys has extensive experience in advising clients on utilising the liquidation or sequestration process as an effective tool in debt and asset recovery. We represent medium and small businesses in applications to liquidate companies or close corporations and to sequestrate the estates of insolvent individuals or trusts.

Often this winding-up procedure is quicker and more cost-effective than instituting legal action against defaulting debtors, but requires careful consideration of the circumstances of each matter. We have also conducted numerous insolvency interrogations and investigations on behalf of both liquidators and creditors.

We have been successful in assisting clients to recover substantial “hidden” assets and in setting aside undue preferences and impeachable transactions. We often advise on and assist clients in the submission of claims against insolvent entities and regularly advise liquidators and creditors on the validity and security ranking (preference) of claims submitted by creditors.

TAX LAW

The South African tax system grows more and more complicated with the ever-changing tax environment together with the regular enactment of new laws. Individuals are faced with the daunting task of staying up to date and complying with these laws, while simultaneously hoping to achieve the most tax efficient solutions to suit their evolving needs. We provide our clients with deliberated transactional tax advice that is legally sound and given with due consideration of the relevant local and international tax laws. We aim to combine our commercial and tax law expertise to provide efficient tax solutions for our individual as well as corporate clients.

Our skills have been accumulated over a number of years and allow us to supply our clients with all the necessary information and services to ensure the most sound and beneficial advice.

We specialise in providing comprehensive tax advice, focusing on income and value added tax as well as the various international tax systems.

Often this winding-up procedure is quicker and more cost-effective than instituting legal action against defaulting debtors, but requires careful consideration of the circumstances of each matter. We have also conducted numerous insolvency interrogations and investigations on behalf of both liquidators and creditors.

We have been successful in assisting clients to recover substantial “hidden” assets and in setting aside undue preferences and impeachable transactions. We often advise on and assist clients in the submission of claims against insolvent entities and regularly advise liquidators and creditors on the validity and security ranking (preference) of claims submitted by creditors.