Marriages can either be in or out of community of property. When a marriage is in community of property, all the assets and debts are shared by the spouses while an out of community of property marriage keeps each spouse’s assets and debts separate.
It is a legal requirement that all marriages out of community of property have an Antenuptial Contract that is signed by both spouses prior to the consummation of the marriage.
The Antenuptial Contract allows each spouse to retain their own separate estate during the marriage and keep all assets acquired before and during the marriage as part of their respective estates.
Antenuptial Contracts are registered with the Registrar of Deeds.
There are three matrimonial property regimes that exist in South Africa and can be briefly described as follows:
- Marriage in community of property – all assets and liabilities of the spouses married in community of property fall within one joint estate. If no Antenuptial contract is entered into between prospective spouses prior to the marriage, the marriage will automatically be “in community of property”;
- Marriage out of community of property with accrual – upon termination of the marriage, the estate which makes the greatest accrual (profit) must share half of its net accrual with the other (however there are many variations to this, which will largely depend on the financial positions of the individual estates prior to the marriage as well as the parties’ intentions); and
- Marriage out of community of property without accrual – there is no sharing of accrual. Each estate remains entirely separate from the other.
Our offices are able to assist couples in an advisory role initially, and later on by drafting the Antenuptial Contract once they have come to an agreement as to the marital property regime they require. Our offices further assist notarising and registering the Antenuptial Contract at the Deeds Office.
Commercial & Residential Real Estate and Conveyancing
Our Real Estate and Conveyancing practice is headed by two dynamic and talented legal practitioners: Taryn Harris and Kagiso Mahlangu. At the core of their practice is their commitment to providing professional and hands-on service to their clients.
The corporate training and experience received at big law firms and in the listed property space has provided our team with the essential skills to ensure that all services that are offered to our clients are of a superior quality and provided within the quickest turnaround time. Harris Marcus Mahlangu strives to combine the sophistication and quality of a major law firm with the cost-effectiveness and collegial environment of a small partnership. Our passion in real estate and conveyancing is evident in the quality of our work and satisfied returning clients.
Our range of services includes the following:
- Registration of commercial and real estate transfers;
- Registration of mortgage bonds and notarial bonds;
- Drafting, vetting and negotiation of property-related agreements such as leases, sale agreements, co-ownership and co-habitation agreements, Special and General Powers of Attorney, sale of leasing enterprise agreements, complex annexures/special conditions, warranties and all notarial deeds;
- Advice on commercial, industrial, residential and retail projects;
- Preparation of last wills and testaments;
- Attending to real estate due diligence investigations;
- Drafting and registration of servitudes and leases and all sectional title documents;
- Opening of townships, developments and obtaining Regulation 38 Certificates;
- Registration of subdivisions and consolidations; and
- Providing advice on Capital Gains Tax legislation and VAT/transfer duty issues in relation to property-related transactions
Our clients range from well-known private and listed companies, lenders, investors, trusts, brokers, estate agents and many high profile and high net worth individuals. We also have a wide range of contacts in the property industry, including valuers, town planners, surveyors and specialist agents, with whom we work closely to ensure that our clients receive comprehensive and effective advice.
Consumer & Advertising Law
Consumer protection and privacy in the private and public spheres has become significantly pronounced in the South African context. The Consumer Protection Act has had a major impact across all business sectors and at all levels of the supply chain in South Africa. At Harris Marcus Mahlangu we are able to advise you on all aspects of compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act to ensure optimal risk management for your business.
Effective advertising is key to the success of any business. We provide practical advice on a broad range of advertising issues and we have extensive expertise in furnishing advice on all legal matters regarding compliance with the rules of the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA). The ASA is an independent body set up by the marketing and communications industry in order to self regulate advertising in the public interest. The aim of the ASA is to ensure that the content of advertising complies with the provisions of the Code of Advertising Practice to provide protection to both consumers and the industry. We are able to provide you with the full spectrum of legal advice and support in both instituting complaints and defending complaints lodged with the ASA.
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Law
Healthcare and pharmaceutical practice are under constant regulatory scrutiny, particularly in South Africa, which has seen the introduction of extensive legislative regulation. At Harris Marcus Mahlangu, we pride ourselves on keeping abreast of all legislative developments in order to furnish our clients with cutting-edge advice on regulation and compliance strategies within these sectors.
We act for funders and providers to the industry and have a detailed understanding of the operation of medical schemes, the business of healthcare providers, the pharmaceutical industry and various administration and managed care services. We also provide ongoing regulatory and dispute resolution support services to both medical schemes and healthcare service providers alike.
Our range of services includes:
- Advising on matters dealing with the provision of access to healthcare in general and administrative law matters;
- Advising and assisting both medical schemes and members on compliance with all relevant legislation within the medical scheme regulatory framework;
- Advising healthcare practitioners on all aspects governing their registration and practice pursuant to the regulation of the Health Professions Council of South Africa;
- Reviewing contracts concluded between various players in the industry and advising clients on these contracts to ensure regulatory compliance;
- Advising on the advertising of health products and medicines; and
- Advising both local and international clients on all the applicable legislation and National Guidelines that need to be complied with when conducting clinical trials in South Africa.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
In a highly competitive global market, effective litigation and alternative dispute resolution expertise is key. Our litigation practice area is headed up by Chareen Marcus. At Harris Marcus Mahlangu, we are proactive in resolving disputes in the best interests of our clients in order to obtain optimal results. The services offered by our litigation and dispute resolution department, include:
- Representing clients in High Court and Magistrates Court litigation, arbitration proceedings and regulatory tribunal hearings;
- Furnishing opinions to clients with regard to all aspects of dispute resolution;
- Reviewing commercial contracts in order to advise clients on optimal risk management strategies and assisting clients in resolving all litigious contractual disputes;
- Advising on and representing clients in settlement negotiations;
- Advising clients on alternate dispute resolution processes;
- Advising and assisting on administrative reviews and appeals regarding decisions adopted by both private institutions and regulatory bodies; and
- Representing clients before the statutory ombudsmen of various industries.
The functions of a Notary Public and the importance of the services which they offer are key to many transactions.
A Notary Public is an attorney who has passed a specialised exam in order to perform the functions of a notary public, which specifically includes the preparation and witnessing of certain types of specialised documents for use internationally, deeds for registration in various public offices, antenuptial contracts and powers of attorney, the administering of oaths, witnessing signatures on affidavits, statutory declarations, the certification of copied documents, and the preparation of Apostille’s which are required for the authentication of documents in terms of the Hague Convention.
We offer notarial services for various transactions such as:
- Powers of attorney
- Notarial bonds
- Notarial ties
- Antenuptial contracts
- Long and short term lease agreements
- Witnessing the execution of documents and verifying the authenticity of signatures
- Authenticating copies of documents
- Will and Trust Preparation
- Arranging Apostille certificates
- Legalizing documents for use abroad