STBB The Big Small Firm

1st Floor Titanium House 19 Gardner Williams Avenue Paardevlei, Somerset West, 7137 ,South Africa
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The Big Small Firm

Our national footprint, reputation and skills set gives us the reach and professionalism to take up the biggest challenges for our clients. Our approachable nature and individual approach make us the personal choice attorneys of our clients.

Established in 1900, STBB is a firm of approximately 90 business-minded lawyers practicing from 11 offices throughout South Africa. By understanding our clients’ needs and objectives, we strive to deliver cost-effective legal solutions for all business and personal matters. We are committed to developing close working relationships with our clients, enabling us to succeed consistently on their behalf. Big represents our reach and professionalism. Small is our personal approach to our work and our clients.


With the right attorney and legal information, you make informed decisions. Practicing from 11 branches throughout South Africa, STBB offers clients access to a powerful team of more than 90 independent-minded attorneys who are dedicated to client service. Our list of services include: (Click on blue headings to redirect to our website)

Property law and conveyancing

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 STBB Direct, our mobile application. STBB Direct is also available via our website. These are just some of the reasons STBB is preferred by real estate professionals as a leading conveyancing and property law firm.

Our Property Law and Conveyancing department will take care of the following for you:

  • All aspects of conveyancing
  • Deeds office searches
  • Drafting of property agreements, deeds of sale, building agreements and leases
  • Foreclosures
  • Group housing developments
  • Opening of sectional title registers
  • Property development
  • Registration and cancellation of mortgage and notarial bonds
  • Registration of land consolidations and subdivisions
  • Servitudes
  • Share block transactions
  • Township registrations
  • 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:

  • Advertising law
  • Black economic empowerment (BEE)
  • Business law
  • Close corporations
  • Competition law
  • Cross-border transactional work
  • Due diligence investigations
  • Formation and registration of companies
  • Formation of charitable organisations
  • Hospitality and leisure
  • Internet and e-commerce law
  • Liquor licence applications
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Pension law

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.

Commercial Property Law

Our commercial property attorneys provide a single source of commercial property advice and assistance so that we can attend to the management of property acquisition, development and finance and successfully safeguarding the interests of all industry roles players, including the developers, landlords, lenders, property funds or tenants.

We take a very proactive approach in this area by properly understanding and advising on clients’ business requirements, and tailoring our service to suit their individual needs.

Our service offering includes:

  • Commercial property developments
  • Lease agreements
  • Property sale agreements
  • Residential property developments
  • Sales of shares in property-owning companies
  • Structuring and planning of a property acquisition for development purposes
  • The property development process
  • Assistance with financing options by assisting in negotiations with lenders
  • Investigating leasing options to realise the financial potential of the property acquired.

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.

Litigation Correspondent Services

STBB is a firm of solution-driven attorneys that provides its clients with national access to affordable legal services throughout South Africa.

Why use STBB?

We have established an excellent reputation for providing litigation correspondent services to law firms nationwide.

Our dedication to offering our clients a professional service of the highest standard has grown our firm into a recognised and preferred name for litigation correspondent services.

We run a substantial litigation correspondent practice from our Cape Town head office. Due to our branch structure, it is possible for us to attend to matters in most magisterial jurisdictions in the greater Cape Town area. We have branches in Cape Town, Blouberg, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Tyger Valley, Fish Hoek and Claremont.

Divorce, Child and 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:

  • Antenuptial contracts
  • Applications for interim support and/or contact arrangements pending a divorce
  • Applications for the change of spouses’ matrimonial property regime
  • Applications for the recognition of foreign divorce orders
  • Applications regarding parental rights and responsibilities
  • Child abduction
  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Contested and uncontested divorces
  • Divorce mediation
  • Domestic violence and harassment applications (Protection Orders)
  • Enforcement of maintenance order and recovery of arrear maintenance
  • Maintenance application
  • Parenting plans
  • Surrogacy agreements
  • Variations of maintenance Agreements

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.

Labour 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:

  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Collective and recognition agreements
  • Contracts of employment
  • Employment policies and practices
  • Labour and industrial disputes
  • Labour law training
  • Retrenchments

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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: –

  • Arbitration and mediation
  • Attachment of property and sales in execution
  • Building and construction disputes
  • Civil litigation
  • Criminal matters (including bail applications)
  • Debt recovery
  • Levy collections
  • Liquidation and sequestration applications
  • Maritime law
  • Rehabilitation applications

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.

Local Government, Planning, Development and Environmental Law

In April 2015, STBB, as one of the largest property law firms in South Africa, we 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.

Motor Vehicle Accident, Personal Injury Claims and Insurance Law

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!

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.

Our service offering includes:

  • Capital gains tax
  • Dividends tax
  • Double taxation
  • Estate duty
  • Exchange control regulations
  • Obtaining tax clearances
  • Obtaining tax directives
  • Paying monies abroad
  • Repatriation of funds

Tax Law

  • Advising on the formation of local trusts
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Drafting notices of objection and lodging of appeals
  • Exchange control
  • Formation of employee incentive schemes
  • General tax advice
  • In-country legal and operating structures
  • Independent tax reviews and tax due diligence
  • Indirect tax consulting
  • Managing tax litigation and dispute resolution
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Risk mitigation
  • Tax rulings
  • Transfer pricing adjustments
  • VAT compliance, litigation and dispute resolution
  • Voluntary disclosure programmes

Wills, Trusts and Deceased Estates

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 service offering includes:

  • Curatorship appointments
  • Drafting of wills
  • Estate planning
  • The administration of deceased estates
  • The registration and administration of trusts

Conveyancing Correspondent Services

We offer one of the biggest correspondent conveyancing departments in Cape Town, within walking distance of the deeds office, Master’s Office, Western Cape Surveyor General Office, Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and the Land Claims Department for the Western Cape. Our correspondent conveyancing department in East London is supported and strengthened by the teams in the Cape Town office.

With over 40 years’ experience in correspondent conveyancing, we have managed to transform and perfect our service to our correspondents. We offer not only the lodgment and registration of deeds in the deeds office but also ancillary services as set out in more detail hereunder.

We are a preferred panel attorney to all major banks, including Standard Bank, Absa Bank, Nedbank, First National Bank, Investec and RMB.


  • Access to an extensive database of property and commercial agreements
  • Double prepping of your deeds before lodgment in the deeds office and rectification of any errors within reason
  • For our correspondents outside of the Western Cape, we ensure that your deeds comply with the rules and regulations of the Cape Town Deeds Office
  • Arrangement of lodgment with linked conveyancing firms and notification thereof
  • Removal of notes where possible, once the deeds come up for preparation
  • Delivery of registered deeds via tracked docex to you or to linked attorneys
  • Conducting of searches at the deeds office
  • Arrangement for the signature of transfer and mortgage bond documents with your clients based in and around Cape Town


Registration of deeds

  • The status of your deeds in the deeds office via Lawdeed


  • The deeds office on your behalf to obtain rulings from the Registrar of Deeds when required
  • The Surveyor General’s office for queries or to obtain copies of diagrams
  • The Master’s Office to attend to your estate queries, and the submission and collection of your endorsed power of attorney



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