Benaters | Boutique Law Firm in Johannesburg
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News & Insights

Incisive legal news and insights

It’s Wedding Season! Here’s Why You Need an ANC (Whether You Marry Here or Overseas)

Wedding Season is in full swing, and it is essential that you start off on the right foot by sorting out all the legalities beforehand. 

Upfront legal advice and assistance is essential here. We’ll look by way of example at the “international wedding” scenario - at which country’s “marital regime” will apply to you (that’s vital knowledge so don’t ignore this), the grey areas surrounding the “domicile” issue, and a very simple way to avoid any doubt or dispute down the line.

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Employers And Employees: How To Handle Sexual Harassment At Work

The “Harvey Weinstein” and other high-profile allegations, and the resultant #MeToo campaigns on Twitter, have brought a whole new focus onto the scourge of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Fortunately our laws to protect vulnerable employees are strong, and our courts enforce them rigorously.

With the slew of office parties once again upon us it’s a good time to discuss what constitutes sexual harassment in the context of employment, what victims can do about it, and what employers must do about it.

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Selling Property this Festive Season? 3 Tips for a Smooth Transfer

The Festive Season can be a great time to sell property, and to buy it. 

Regardless of whether you are a buyer or a seller, we are talking here about an important and valuable asset – perhaps the most important you will ever own.  So it’s critical to both parties that you do everything you can to make the whole process as professional, quick, smooth and hassle-free as you possibly can. 

We share three tips for achieving just that …

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Don’t Drink And Drive! The Legal Limits, The Risks, And Advice If Arrested

The authorities will no doubt once again turn the Festive Season into the Season of Roadblocks.

We all know we shouldn’t drink and drive, but perhaps it’s good to be reminded of what the blood and breath alcohol limits are, the penalties you face if you’re caught, and of just how easy it is to avoid all that angst and risk.

We’ll also refer you to some good advice on what to do if you find yourself living the nightmare of arrest and detention.

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Your Website Of The Month: 5 Simple Ways To Enjoy Your Break And Not Worry About Work

As we start winding down after a hectic 2017, now’s our chance to take a deep breath, relax and start re-charging our batteries in preparation for a whole new year - 2018.

Whether you’re an employee, entrepreneur or captain of industry, here’s a quick read for you - “5 simple ways to enjoy the holiday break and not worry about work” on the Robert Half blog. The Bonus Tip – “Go Bush” – is our favourite!  

P.S.  If your break plans include a festive feast or two, before tucking in watch this Times Magazine video “Eating Too Quickly May Be Bad for Your Health”.

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Closing Down the Guesthouse Next Door: Notes for Owners and Neighbours

Are you planning to open a guesthouse?  Or perhaps you live next door to an existing guesthouse and for some reason want to have it shut down?

Either way, you need to know what your rights are, and what you will have to prove if you end up in a court battle.  By way of illustration we discuss an attempt by residents of a quiet suburb to shut down a guesthouse amidst allegations of noise, wild parties and nuisance guests. 

The Court’s decision is as important for all would-be guesthouse owners as it is for their neighbours.

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Creditors and Debtors: Important New Prescription Judgment
Running into debt isn’t so bad. It’s running into creditors that hurts” (Unknown)

 

The fact that debts prescribe (become uncollectable after a period of time) presents as much of a threat to a creditor as it does an opportunity to a debtor so it’s important for both to understand the process.   

We’ll list the periods that apply to common types of debt and talk about prescription being “delayed” or “interrupted”.  We’ll focus in particular on a recent and very important Supreme Court of Appeal decision answering the question: “Can a debtor’s admission of liability interrupt prescription even if it is made without prejudice during settlement negotiations?”  

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Employer v Employee: Can You Use Evidence Obtained under Threat of Prosecution?

The recent case of a manager in a mine dump processing business, who was accused of stealing R6m worth of diamonds, addresses an issue of interest not only to all employers and employees, but to litigants generally.

The manager argued that his admissions of guilt, made when first confronted, couldn’t be used against him in court because they were obtained under duress.  Central to his case was that he only “spilled the beans” after being threatened with a “dirty dozen” option.

Which raised the question:  What is “legally recognised duress”?  The Supreme Court of Appeal’s answer may surprise you …   

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Child Maintenance in Arrears? The Contempt of Court Enforcement Option

Here’s a scenario which is regrettably all too common in South Africa.  Your child’s father (it could of course be either parent, but let’s keep it simple) is ordered to pay you maintenance.  He refuses, pleading poverty but taking no steps to have the order reduced.  The arrears keep piling up while you struggle to make ends meet on your own.  What can you do?

You have many options in enforcing payment, and in appropriate cases the route of asking the court to jail the defaulter for “contempt of court” can be a powerful one - nothing concentrates the mind on paying one’s dues quite like the threat of a stint behind bars.  Let’s look at a case in point of a husband who ran up R400k arrears …

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Your Website of the Month: 5 Ways to Stay Mentally Strong When You Think You’re About to Crack

Stress – it’s good for us up to a point, but an overload won’t just reduce our work performance and make our lives a misery, it’ll eventually kill us.  Where’s the balance?  Have a look at Uplift’s ‘Stress:Performance Curve’ in “The Difference between Good Stress and Bad Stress” here.

Then take 39 seconds to watch Time Magazine’s video “5 Ways to Stay Mentally Strong When You Think You’re About to Crack” here.

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