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From the archives - March 2017

Ineligibility – an open and shut case?

What process requires to be carried out, and what resources deployed, before a complaint to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is judged ineligible? More than might be supposed, the SLCC reveals

Rent deposits – filling in the gaps

Cases seeking statutory payments for failure to follow the rules covering private tenancy deposits have thrown up some interesting and difficult issues, and variations in awards

EU at the crossroads

How is the EU likely to evolve without the UK? The Law Societies' Brussels Office reports on the Commission's white paper setting out various options, and initial reactions from member states

Brexit: the human rights dimension

Our report on the second of the Law Society of Scotland's seminars on the key issues arising from the Brexit process, featuring three speakers with a special interest in the human rights aspect

Reading for pleasure

This month's selection of leisure reading, chosen by the Journal's book review editor

Opinion: Andrew Lothian

The proposed introduction in Scotland of qualified one-way costs shifting is intended to benefit PI pursuers, but without proper checks and balances risks a significant rise in fraudulent claims

Book reviews

Review of Mental Health, Incapacity and the Law in Scotland (Patrick and Stavert)

Profile

Philip Yelland, executive director of regulation, is this month's profile subject from the Society's senior leadership team

President's column

As modern legal practice throws up new questions and challenges in relation to professional ethics, should we be more ready to discuss these among ourselves as a means of providing mutual support?

Digital consultation closes

Registers of Scotland page: thanks are due to all who took part in the digital transformation consultation – Registers will be reporting back

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Clear sky over summary courts

Summary criminal cases conducted mostly online, without solicitors spending hours at pre-trial diets waiting for their case to call? Plans to make it a reality are now open to your feedback

Defence submissions

Peter Lockhart, one of the working group that produced the summary procedure report, explains in a Journal interview how the new system is intended to work, and encourages solicitors to offer feedback

Bookmark the benchmark

Financial benchmarking is the new “cost of time”. This Society article explains how an online financial reporting system will enable you to generate a valuable health check on your practice

GDPR: Practical steps for Scottish law firms to prepare

In association with Amiqus: law firms, and their business clients, should be preparing to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation from May next year

Heads for business

In the month of International Women’s Day, Cathy Donald and Emma Reid, who set up their own practice a year ago, describe their experience and what they have learned

Spousal visas and the income rule

A Supreme Court ruling has confirmed that the UK Government can set a minimum income threshold for a UK national whose spouse seeks a visa to live in the UK, while requiring some changes in practice

Compete or get beat

In association with Wesleyan: can you risk delaying investment in new IT equipment and technology?

Platform party

How has Altis been developing since its initial launch last year? The Society-backed online conveyancing platform is alive and well and looking for new users, as its developers tell the Journal

The consequences of excluding consequential loss

A recent English commercial case interpreted an exclusion of loss provision contextually rather than by the pattern of authorities. What are the lessons for practitioners?

Understanding the other side's position

In association with Core: more perspectives on mediation, from an assistant mediator and a professional party

Family complexities

Latest civil cases, including family actions; reponing; specification; expert evidence; waiver; amendment; best evidence; actions for harassment; appeals and extracts; expenses; sequestration

Unitary patent: sunrise or sunset for UK holders?

Intellectual property briefing: with the UK likely to ratify the Unitary Patent Agreement this spring, patent holders need to consider to what extent they will participate in the new regime

Third option

Corporate briefing: the restatement of the law relating to the creation of third party rights under a contract, now in a Scottish Parliament bill, offers new possibilities in the commercial context

Land reform, step by step

Agriculture briefing: five orders have been made to date, bringing in various provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, and many more are expected. This note summarises what is known so far

Member against member?

Sport briefing: the failure of an action by a golf club member against the club's executive board indicates the lack of scope for avoiding the general rule against liability to fellow members

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports relating to Charles Thomas Norbert Brien; William E Renfrew; A & R Robertson & Black

Power of attorney update

The Office of the Public Guardian introduces measures to reduce the backlog of applications

The 2012 Act: a bold step forward?

Is the new land registration regime really a more coherent, workable system? This article argues that it is driven by motives unconnected with the primary purpose of the system, and is no improvement

Back to university

An intellectual property specialist who moved to a leading educational institution – where she once studied – tells of the challenges and attractions of her post, in this month’s in-house interview

Accreditation: calling regulatory lawyers

The Society invites views on a new category for specialist accreditation, "regulation for professional conduct"

Law reform roundup

Recent public policy work of the Society's committees, including driving offences and penalties; pensions; Commission on Parliamentary Reform; Competition & Markets Authority; high-cost credit

Street Law shows the way

Report on a success for a Society training initiative, with an invitation for your further support

Year of big news

Comment from the Law Society of Scotland on the main points in its annual report for 2015-16, now available online

De-risking email

Lockton’s six top tips on email security will see you a long way on the road to safer working

Paralegal pointers

Annual conference alert: this year's event offers a new approach to breakout events and a lineup of great speakers

Ask Ash

Advice column: I thought I was coming in as senior, but there's someone else

Top of the list

Report on the latest independent survey of members’ views of and priorities for the Law Society of Scotland, including its dual regulatory and representative functions

Just your luck?

The Word of Gold: we all need luck, but is it just a matter of chance?

Executries and pension overpayments

Scottish Public Pensions Agency appeals for closer co-operation