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From the archives - October 2013

Jewel in the crown, or just red tape?

The public sector equality duty has not been in force for long, but has already been subject to critical review. What can usefully be learned from the exercise?

In the public interest

Legal procedures following fatal road accidents need to be reformed in the same way as is proposed for FAIs, so that families are not left waiting indefinitely for compensation and closure

Sweeney: room for manoeuvre

A recent decision on financial provision develops the law on the treatment of future contingent tax liabilities as set out in Sweeney v Sweeney

Lost in translation?

The European order for payment, intended to provide straightforward cross-border debt recovery, is undermined in Scotland by doubts and inconsistent practice at key stages

EU Fundamental Rights Agency: the missing link?

Does the Fundamental Rights Agency cover the gap in monitoring compliance with human rights in the European Union? This article surveys its strengths and weaknesses

Reading for pleasure

This month's selection of leisure reading chosen by the Journal's Book Review Editor

Opinion column: Stephen Gold

There is a future for the high street solicitors' firm, but it will look very different from the present, and will require an entrepreneurial spirit combined with the best of new practice

Profile

This month's profile from the Society features Mark Thorley, convener of the Civil Legal Aid Team

Book reviews

Reviews of The Inside Job (Ambrose); Prison Law (Thomson)

President's column

The sep rep vote, the Law in Scotland and legal aid conferences all produced a lively response - and more on what makes the profession tick will be revealed with the survey results

FM officially opens new MBH

Registers of Scotland page: official opening of the upgraded Meadowbank House; new website dedicated to the 2012 Act

Feeling the squeeze

With the first of the planned court closures imminent, the Journal interviews Eric McQueen, SCS chief executive, on future service provision as budget constraints meet the court reforms

Litigation: a numbers game

The Taylor Review of Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation has been broadly welcomed, but there are those who challenge the fairness of some of its more radical proposals

Mythbusting! The in-house IT top ten

There is no excuse for in-house legal departments not keeping track of work, and costs, in these days of matter management software

Charities and the changing legal landscape

Advising charities is less of a niche area than many solicitors assume, due to issues now arising as the funding landscape changes

Heir finding: the sensitive side

Tracing missing heirs can be a sensitive business, and it is the personal touches that mark out the businesses that win the beneficiaries' trust

Sign up to boost charity giving

Remember A Charity's Campaign Supporter scheme aims to raise awareness of legacy potential - and to raise the drafting firm's profile

Law, but not as we know it

Don't be left behind in the evolutionary race, was the constant theme of this year's Law in Scotland conference. But there was plenty of good advice for those willing to face change

All the permutations

Latest criminal cases, including multiple charges; breach of the peace and statutory offences; deaf accused; dock identification

The truth, the whole truth...

There is a disturbing trend of unspecified "police intelligence" being cited in support of a premises licence review

Shale gas: a complex process

The Scottish legal framework for the extraction of shale gas requires a number of stages to obtain the necessary rights and consents

Expenses up to date?

The entire UK tax regime for employee expenses and benefits should be reviewed, according to an interim report from the Office for Tax Simplification

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports of cases relating to John Graham Lints; Douglas William Spence

Room at the top?

Is there a place for in-house lawyers on their employers' boards? How much are they valued by their employers? ILG members have been surveyed on these and other questions

Here comes the flood?

An attempt by the Keeper to mitigate the impact of the PMP Plus decision on property intended as common areas in developments has been rejected by the Lands Tribunal for Scotland

SGM decision kills "sep rep"

Report on the key debate, and the other business transacted, at the September special general meeting of the Society

Outsourcing: the straight and narrow

As possibilities increase in relation to outsourcing of different functions of legal firms, the Society has prepared advice and guidance for those considering the option

How not to win business: a guide for professionals

The ninth in our tongue-in-cheek series is "Freeze at the thought of cold calling"

Properly engaged?

Claims on the Master Policy have arisen where a more rigorous approach to terms of engagement could have prevented them. Here are some illustrative points to bear in mind

Ask Ash

Advice column: a colleague is poking fun because I'm overweight

Sep rep: what now?

The Society's Professional Practice team answers some questions following the vote against a rule change relating to separate representation in conveyancing transactions

From the Brussels office

Recent developments in the EU: proposed payment services directive, plus information on publications available from the Brussels office

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including criminal justice; Lobbying Bill; deregulation; common investment funds; European criminal opt-out