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From the archives - March 2013

Remember, remember?

Refreshing witness testimony prior to trial is now permitted on both sides of the border. Little is known of the practice in Scotland, but lessons can be learned from research in England & Wales

Equal justice for all?

A Scots lawyer tells how an internship working with North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act has brought home the need for actions to match words in a system that proclaims equal justice

Compatibility: devolution issues reborn

Joint Government guidance as the new compatibility rules for testing criminal procedure human rights compliance come in, with a Q&A section

Profiting from the past

Could legal firms learn anything in terms of customer experience from a five star visitor attraction?

RTI for PAYE - are you ready?

An HMRC blog on what employers need to do to be ready for 6 April

Reading for pleasure

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

A modest proposal – civil marriage ceremonies for all

Reforming the law of marriage should be the opportunity to remove the anomalies and complexities caused by making marriage available in both religious and civil ceremonies

Opinion column: Alistair Dean

The key to successful court reform lies not just in structures but in radical reform to the procedure rules, with particular attention to the needs of commercial actions

Book reviews

Reviews of Scottish Trusts: A Drafting Guide (Gabraith), Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnership in the Sheriff Court (Bennett), Scots Law Tales (eds Grant and Sutherland)

Profile

This month the Journal features Edinburgh Council member Eilidh Wiseman, a partner with Dundas & Wilson

President's column

The "sep rep" issue also raises questions of professional excellence and how to achieve the most efficient and failsafe conveyancing system

Fee review: as you were

The outcome of the latest biennial fees review, and a note on the effect of the recent Consequential Provisions Order

Time to draw a line?

What are the pros and cons of requiring separate representation of mortgage borrowers and lenders? We ask leading voices on both sides of the argument

The pay gap: seeking a cure

The Cost of Time Survey suggests that solicitors are lagging behind doctors and dentists in terms of financial rewards. This article analyses the income spread

Wealth management: Personal injury trusts - how to best invest

The roles and responsibilities of trustees and investment managers in relation to PITs, and a possible investment option to mitigate the tax liabilities

Wealth management: Discretion - the model of choice

A discretionary investment management arrangement can be the answer for solicitor advisers or trustees with responsibilities for investment performance but limited expertise in the field

Wealth management: Inheritance tax - discounts up front

The discounted trust as an inheritance tax planning tool explained

Wealth management: Pensions - time to look ahead

Advice to make sure you have a pension plan in place for your retirement

Whose privilege is it, anyway?

Commentaries on the UK Supreme Court's decision on legal professional privilege, including the implications for the construction sector

FLAGS unfurled

As the first Scottish family law cases to be taken to arbitration run their course, four solicitor advocates review the scheme's first two years

Percentage game

Latest civil cases, including interest; discount rate; competency; reponing; res judicata; time bar; hearsay; guardianship and divorce; expenses; liquidation

Rent, rent and rent again

The Rent Review Working Group's report, and the Land Court's guidance note in response

Sport, rights, and the internet

Entities established to run a regular sporting event held in successive locations have generally been successful in obtaining brand protection against opportunist competing registrations

An innocent mistake?

Discussion of the cancellation of the Community trade mark relating to "Innocent" smoothies

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Report relating to Eileen Coogans

The trouble with in-house lawyers

There are many skilled and dedicated in-house lawyers, but if they are not achieving their potential in business, they should look first at what they might be doing wrong

Lease of life for the High Street?

A simplified small business lease published by the RICS in Scotland could make life simpler in that sector of the market

PSG update

News of some recent fruits of the Property Standardisation Group's labours

Vacant and ready

The Crofting Commission has announced its advice that owner-occupier crofters are unable to apply for decrofting directions, but an examination of the legislation points to the opposite result

ABS in waiting

Legal business models can already encompass those who would in due course seek to be licensed alternative business structures, as the example of Vialex demonstrates

Better ways: where to start?

The Society's process improvement manager on where legal firms should start in looking for process efficiencies, and some recent changes made at Drumsheugh Gardens

Keeping errors in check

A former solicitor and claims manager reflects on the role of checklists in his own working life and how they are best used to reduce the error count

Ask Ash

Advice column: being the target of female comments is starting to get to me

How not to win business: a guide for professionals

A slightly tongue-in-cheek series, no 2: Be afraid to fail

What does a speculative fee allow?

Advice from the Society's Professional Practice team on what can and cannot be done under a speculative fee arrangement

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including partnership prosecutions; High Hedges Bill; parliamentary petitions; street trading