DTS Attorneys – Law Firm in Port Elizabeth

Siblings Feuding Over a Business: Can You Get a Domestic Violence Protection Order?

An order in terms of the Domestic Violence Act is a quick, simple and powerful protection for victims of domestic abuse of all kinds.

But is it available to victims who are not only in a domestic relationship with their abuser, but also in a business or commercial relationship with them? It’s an important question, with many South African businesses owned and run by close family members. When disputes arise, they can be particularly bitter, as witnessed by a recent High Court dispute involving siblings, with allegations of sexual, verbal and psychological abuse, threats of murder, and stalking via drone surveillance.

Cannabis Policies in the Workplace: A Delicate Balancing Act

The continuously evolving legal landscape surrounding cannabis use both at home and in the workplace presents significant challenges to employers.

On the one hand, you have your duty to ensure safe working conditions for all employees and others in the workplace, on the other you have the very strong employee rights to individual privacy and dignity enshrined in our Constitution. Navigating your way through these unsettled waters requires a delicate balancing act, as a recent Labour Appeal Court award of over R1m to a wrongfully dismissed employee shows…

Contracting with Trusts – Is a Majority Resolution Valid?

Many of us will either be involved in trusts as trustees or will contract with them as outsiders at one time or another – often in the context of a property transaction.

Beware! As a recent Supreme Court of Appeal decision starkly reminds us, trusts are strange creatures, and you need to tread carefully in dealing with them. We’ll look at questions of whether trustees must always act jointly and unanimously or whether it is enough for a majority of them to sign resolutions and documents. Our punchline is a strong warning note on what to look for when contracting with any trust.

Why an Oral Estate Agency Mandate Isn’t Worth the Paper It’s Written On

As Samuel Goldwyn humorously put it: “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

To illustrate, we analyse a recent High Court fight over an agent’s claim to have been given a verbal mandate to find a development property for a buyer. The agent was found to have fulfilled her mandate, and the Court awarded her commission even though the sale agreement had been cancelled before transfer. The developer is left with a R450k (plus costs) bill, and no property to show for it. How and why did the agent win her case?

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