Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes

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Property Law

When you plan to buy or sell your most important investment, you need legal assistance of the highest quality to ensure the accurate and speedy processing of your transfer.

Our dedication in offering our clients a professional service of the highest standard has grown our firm into arguably the largest property law practice in South Africa, providing personalised service to our valued clients, whether buyer or seller.

We know that regular feedback on the progress of your transaction is important to you, and offer instant notification of updates via sms and email, as well as “real time” tracking of your transfer via our state of the art online tracking facility on our website. These are just some of the reasons STBB is preferred by real estate professionals as a leading conveyancing and property law firm.

You are welcome to access our wide range of brochures on Property Law and Conveyancing and related aspects, by browsing here


Whatever your trade, manoeuvring in the world of commerce requires, amongst other elements, skill, tenacity and certainly some business insight. Nonetheless, and so armed with these weapons, there exists some opposed forces in the marketplace to frustrate even the most judicious.

Our commercial litigation department prides itself as being a force to be reckoned within the legal fraternity, and a guiding hand through the legal systems and forums that dictates the conclusion of commercial disputes.

From the enforcement of rights and duties of a contractual nature, to the recovery of or compensation of damages from a business perspective, as well as lending sound legal advice throughout the litigation process, the STBB litigation team stands by their clients. Our field of expertise includes, inter alia: –

  • Advice on commercial contracts;
  • Formulation of contractual claims;
  • Actions and applications for evictions;
  • Interdicts of various kinds;
  • Landlord and Tenant disputes;
  • Construction and Building disputes;
  • Arbitrations;
  • Insolvencies and liquidations;
  • Disputes of shareholding or membership of business entities;
  • Sale and purchase disputes;
  • Enforcement of monetary claims and specific performance;
  • Legal proceedings in both the Magistrates and High Court.

Our array of local and international clientele continues to receive sound legal assistance throughout the pre and post litigation phases. In the tentative world of commerce, what is indeed certain is that, with the guidance of our experienced commercial litigators, your business will be afforded its due protection and enforcement of its legal rights.

Estates and Trusts

To ensure that your estate devolves efficiently, cost effectively and with a minimum of delay upon your chosen beneficiaries, it is important that you draw up a valid will assisted by a suitably qualified professional. Apart from the nomination of heirs and the appointment of an executor to administer your estate, consideration should be given to any of the following topics which have relevance for you:

  • Is there sufficient liquidity in your estate to settle your debts, taxes and estate administration costs and to provide for the financial security of your family? If insufficient how can this be remedied?
  • Can any estate duty for which you may be liable be minimised?
  • How should you provide for your maintenance obligations in terms of your divorce order?
  • The formation of a testamentary trust to manage any assets being awarded to a minor beneficiary and the appointment of trustees to manage same.
  • The appointment of a guardian for minor children.
  • How best to provide for your offshore assets.
  • Could the formation of an intervivos trust be beneficial to you?
  • Will your business interests be adequately protected on your death?

By seeking the best possible professional assistance you will be able to identify problem areas, investigate solutions and achieve the peace of mind of knowing that you have done everything possible to streamline your financial affairs and to ensure that your will is a sound legal document.

Our succession law experts are able to offer you this service.

Family Law

Family Law encompasses a wide range of legal matters that require the assistance of a skilled attorney. Our experienced Family and Divorce Law team is able to deal with any family law issues that arise, including:

  • Divorce, spousal maintenance, maintenance applications, parental responsibilities and rights, prenuptial and antenuptial contracts;
  • Protection orders, spousal abuse, domestic violence;
  • Advice on separation of parties involved in cohabitation relationships;
  • Adoption, surrogacy, surrogacy law and surrogacy agreements, parenting plans and child abduction; and
  • The consequences of religious marriage agreements, including marriages in terms of Muslim rites.

At STBB we believe that it is vital – to ensure a smooth, quick and uncomplicated resolution of family law issues – to ensure that you have a skilled attorney to represent you in matters concerning your divorce, as there are many consequences of divorce that you may not be aware of or may underestimate. Areas that are often problematic include obtaining immediate payment from pension funds, ongoing contact and access arrangements in respect of minors, and updating of maintenance agreements.

Furthermore, other areas where assistance may be required include spousal abuse and domestic violence. We are able to assist with protective orders and advise on the process involved.

We are also able to provide advice and assistance with contracts for adoption and surrogacy and assist with parenting plans.

We can assist and provide valuable information and efficient assistance with all of the above.

Personal Injury and Insurance

Personal Injury Facts

Road traffic accidents are generally thought of as incidents that happen to people other than ourselves, but they can and do happen to anyone.

I’ve been in a road traffic accident, can I claim compensation?

Your rights are prescribed by the Road accident Fund act and by our Common Law. You can claim compensation if:

  • You’re the driver of a vehicle and the accident was not entirely your fault.
  • If you were a passenger in a vehicle.
  • In certain circumstances, if you get hit by a vehicle whilst you are a pedestrian.
  • Problem areas – You may, depending on the circumstances of the case, be able to claim compensation successfully if you are the victim of a hit and run accident.  You may even be able to claim compensation if you are a passenger in a vehicle where the driver of your vehicle is wholly to blame for the accident.

Legal Advice

If you have any doubts at all about who was to blame for the accident or whether you have the right to claim compensation, you should seek legal advice. If you are badly injured your attorney will visit you in hospital or come to your home.

If you are the driver of a vehicle and involved in a road traffic accident it is incumbent on you to complete certain forms which have to be submitted to the Road accident Fund within a prescribed period of time. Your attorney will advise you in this regard. Just a word of warning… timing is very important!

The time limits

It is essential that you pursue your claim as quickly as possible. If a claim is not submitted to the Road accident Fund or, in certain circumstances, court proceedings initiated within 2 or 3 years of your accident, your claim may prescribe. Then you will not be able to claim compensation at all. If you were under the age of 18 when the accident happened and the person or vehicle responsible for the accident is known to you, your claim will only prescribe 3 years after you have attained the age of 18. However, you should pursue your claim as soon as possible when witnesses are more likely to be available and to remember what happened. Generally, more and better evidence will be available immediately after the accident. If you have any doubt seek legal advice immediately.

It is essential that you select the right attorney being one who has considerable experience in road traffic accident claims and personal injury claims, particularly in view of the 2008 amendments to the law.

Before choosing an attorney establish:

  • How many road traffic accident claims and personal injury claims has he/she handled in the past 2 months?
  • What is the biggest claim he/she has ever settled?
  • What is his/her success rate?

The attorneys at STBB specialising in road accident and personal injury claims will explain to you in detail what your rights are and what course of action you should take.

Legal costs no success no fee

If our firm does not succeed in our claim for damages on your behalf we will not charge a fee. We are prepared to act on a contingency basis, i.e. if we do not succeed with the claim we do not get paid.

Do not decide against instituting a claim on the grounds of costs without first seeking advice in this regard. The attorney at STBB Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes specialising in road accident claims will explain in detail to you what the costs, relating to your claim will amount to.

Will the case go to court?

Most cases are settled prior to going to court. To finalise a claim satisfactorily may take a long time. The period to finalise a claim will depend on many factors, particularly the nature and extent of your injuries, and the experience and ability of your attorney.

How much compensation will I receive?

You may, depending on the circumstances, be entitled to claim the following:

  • Damages for pain, suffering, loss of amenities of life, disfigurement and loss of income or earning capacity;
  • Past hospital and medical expenses;
  • Future hospital and medical expenses;
  • Past loss of earnings;
  • Future loss of earnings.

If your claim is successful you will be able to recover a percentage of your legal costs as well.

Compensation in the form of loss of support may be available to family members of a person killed in a road accident. Funeral expenses can also be claimed in certain circumstances.

Corporate and Commercial Law

Our Corporate and Commercial team provides proactive and commercially focused advice to a diverse range of clients, ranging from start-up businesses to listed companies and institutions. With our expertise and commercial awareness, we specialise in advising on commercial negotiations and transactions spanning a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Business Law
  • Commercial Property
  • Competition Law
  • Franchising and Licensing
  • Legal Due Diligence
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Tax

We recognise the need to project-manage transactions and, whenever there is a deadline to meet, we provide the drive and resources to ensure it is achieved. We assist our clients in realising their objectives by adding value in the most practical and cost-effective way and, above all, by our commitment to the success of the deal.

Employment Law

Employment and the laws relating thereto have become increasingly complex. Our specialist Labour Law Department offers expert advice on all labour and employment related issues, including:

  • Strategic advice on all employment law issues
  • Drafting employment policies and codes of conduct including contracts for SA employees operating in Africa and elsewhere
  • Drafting restraint of trade and confidentiality agreements
  • Advising on and interpreting labour statutes, codes of practice and regulations
  • Conducting employment law due diligence investigations
  • Advising on Section 197 transfers
  • Advising on disciplinary and performance issues and disciplinary and performance enquiries
  • Employment equity compliance
  • Conducting occupational health and safety investigations into workplace accidents and preparation of reports for the Department of Labour
  • Managing executive disputes
  • Restructuring exercises and retrenchments
  • Training on managing discipline, performance and ill health in the workplace
  • Litigation in the CCMA, Bargaining Councils, Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court and High Court in respect of all employment law disputes, including:
    • CCMA and Bargaining Council reviews
    • Recruitment and selection disputes and litigation
    • Sexual harassment disputes
    • Urgent strike interdicts
    • Restraints of trade

Non-Resident Services

So many of us, when involved with transactions where one or more party is a non-resident of South Africa, experience disquiet when questions relating to repatriation of funds, obtaining tax clearances and the like arise as there are so many permutations and intricacies that may apply.  It is undeniably not worth the risk advising a client, potentially to his detriment (and ultimately your own), if you are not 100% sure about the relevant requirements and allowances.

Johan Greyling heads our Non-Resident Services Department and together with Melanie Coetzee assists with queries and management of the processes on behalf of the non-resident, be it obtaining tax directives, repatriating funds, paying monies abroad, advising on exchange control regulations, and more.

Construction Law

Our Construction Law department is headed by STBB director Stoffel Ackermann and concentrates on the specific disputes that arise within the construction industry.

The department’s areas of expertise include providing advice on insurance requirements and exposure of specific projects, as well as standard form contract management, such as FIDIC Agreements, NEC Agreements, JBCC Agreements, recommended for use by the Construction Industry Development Board and the Built Environment professions.

Furthermore, our Construction Lawyers are able to draft project specific contracts in line with the Construction Regulations 2003, the Built Environment Professions legislation and other applicable laws. The department is further strengthened by the skills and expertise of STBB’s Development Law Unit.

Stoffel is the co-founder of the Society for Construction Law of South Africa (SCLA), an inclusive, non-profit organisation for the development and furtherance of the knowledge of construction law and related issues in Africa. The SCLA enjoys full affiliation with the Society of Construction Law in the United Kingdom and by virtue thereof forms part of a worldwide network of associate societies in Asia, the UAE, Australia and New Zealand, thus benefiting from international support and resources.


THE STBB CONSTRUCTION LAW DEPARTMENT specialises in construction and engineering disputes. With collective experience of over 20 years in the department, our team is well placed to advise on all aspects of construction law which would include:

  • Advice on all aspects of claim procedures as well as claim preparation and enforcement (or defence) strategies;
  • Advice on assessment and formulation of delay and disruption claims;
  • Advice on standard form contracts, including FIDIC Agreements, NEC Agreements, JBCC Agreements.
  • Advice on local and international infrastructure disputes, arbitrations and mediations.
  • Advice on all aspects of Mining Law.

STBB Construction Law Department works closely with other specialist departments within the firm to advise clients on other subjects closely related to construction projects.

OUR OBJECTIVE is to develop a close working relationship with our clients. Cultivating a better understanding of our clients’ needs to enable us to provide innovative, cost-effective and tailor-made construction law solutions to our clients.

Dispute Resolution, Insolvency, Property Litigation

Daily commerce and business transactions often involve complex relationships between individuals, companies and other organisations and it has become increasingly vital to consult professional dispute resolution attorneys to avoid costly disagreements.Whether in the realm of dispute resolution, litigation, or insolvency litigation, the team assists clients to find the most beneficial resolution of disputes, effectively and efficiently.

The department also specializes in sectional title property disputes. Sectional title ownership is quite distinct from freehold ownership of land which poses unique challenges between owners and occupiers and the governing body corporate. The team is well versed in the potential pitfalls and the most ideal ways to resolve disputes that arise.

Development Law Unit

In April this year STBB, as one of the largest property law firms in South Africa, launched the STBB Development Law Unit. The ground-breaking initiative was timed to coincide with changing legislation and processes to be implemented from 1 July 2015, such as the coming into effect of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (on national level) and the Land Use Management Act (Western Cape Province) on 1 July 2015.

STBB’s Development Law Unit has nine specialists addressing development requirements in the fields of planning law, environmental law, construction law, renewable energy law and, very importantly, local government law.

The unit was warmly received by developers and welcomed by the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The department’s role is to function as a vital watchdog and one-stop-shop for developers, both strengthening the developer’s position and reducing time taken for approvals.
Read more about the unit here

Contact Andre Swart ( and Annetjie van Rooyen ( or visit for assistance with development planning, ideally before land is purchased for development purposes.

Mergers & Acquisitions

STBB’s M & A Team has established a highly regarded footprint in the realm of mergers and acquisitions due to refined skills in tailor-making the legal and compliance management plan in such transactions, whether clients look to grow through acquisition or seek to maximise the value of business on sale.


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