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From the archives - February 2014

Cold case examination of early childhood evidence

Is there a way to test the reliability of a child's witness statement years after it was taken? Maybe, as a child psychologist explains

Incentivising employee ownership

With the Chancellor's Autumn Statement having proposed generous tax breaks to encourage employee ownership, an “Expert Briefings” programme has been developed to help bring legal advisers up to speed

The diversity imperative

Argument that affirmative action is necessary to promote diversity in the legal system, and that it does not inhibit justice, or the merit principle, but instead enhances it

Towards a more inclusive democracy

The realisation of socio-economic rights to permit the exercise of civil and political rights requires a new approach to their recognition and implementation

Journal magazine Index 2013

Your reference guide to material published in the paper issues for 2013

Reading for pleasure

A special "Pick of the Month" this time, along with the usual selection of leisure reading chosen by the Journal's Book Review Editor

Opinion: Campbell Read

Legal awards winners may give quality service, but there was merit in the former rule of not presenting yourself as better than your competitors

Profile

This month's Council profile features Edinburgh member Catriona Munro, a partner in Maclay Murray & Spens

Book reviews

Reviews of Scottish Law of Leases (McAllister); Offensive Weapons (Shiels)

President's column

Promoting the interests of the profession, and the justice system, included a corroboration initiative, a plan for fair access to the profession – and an event with the Lord Mayor of the City of London

RoS's services for solicitors

Registers of Scotland page: a reminder of the facilities available to help smooth the progress of transactions in advance

Issues for the Union

What would be the constitutional future for Scotland in the event of a No vote to independence? A recent forum attempted to explore the issues that will be faced

Critical mass

When it comes to profitability, size matters, is the conclusion in the first article on the 2013 Cost of Time Survey. Could you improve your position by expanding?

Is this where it ends?

As the Scottish Parliament begins its consideration of a further bill to permit assisted suicide, this article highlights the legal issues other jurisdictions that have taken this step have had to face

Testing capacity

A sheriff principal has affirmed the competency of an application for authority to execute a will for an adult with impaired capacity – subject to conditions

Making plans for auto-enrolment

Answers to some of the most common questions asked by law firms and their staff about pensions auto-enrolment

Loosening the purse strings

Interview with Professor Russel Griggs, independent reviewer of the appeal service covering banking business loan decisions, who explains why the banks no longer call all the shots

Data: don't be caught out

The Information Commissioner's Office explains how a worrying level of data breaches in the legal sector highlights the need to keep personal information secure

Punished enough?

Latest criminal cases, including murder sentencing; trials; police statements; searches

Prior statements practice

Effect of the Lord Justice General's Practice Note No 1 of 2014

Family business musings

Issues relating to the valuation and division of family business assets on a divorce or civil partnership dissolution

TUPE: armour not gold-plated?

Effect of the changes to the TUPE rules that came into force on 31 January 2014

Pension policy - a vote winner?

Political issues currently arising in relation to pensions

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports of cases relating to Steven Angus Anderson; Elizabeth Anne Dingwall

In with the system

Interview by the Society with Rob Gitell, whose mission is to bring matter management systems to in-house legal teams

Check and double-check

As the house building market picks up, the conditions of the CML Handbook relating to new-build homes assume greater importance. When can a solicitor send the certificate of title?

Lender Exchange ahead

The full version of the article on the proposed Lender Exchange, also covering what might happen next in relation to “sep rep”

Have you the capital?

New guidance on financial stability of law practices is available from the Law Society of Scotland. This article looks at the reasons for the move and two of the key issues covered

How not to win business: a guide for professionals

Final article in the present series: simple language gives you a head start, and that's scientific

Reflections from the Complaints Commission

The first of a new series from the SLCC provides an update on trends in conveyancing complaints

Ask Ash

Advice column: how can I deal with a particularly manipulative member of our team?

Danger spots

What are the most significant claims risks for the profession at this time, and what should firms prioritise in risk management training and risk controls?

It's the name of the game

Professional Practice column: advice on how trainees should style themselves

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including Criminal Justice Bill; patent court; cameras in court; Housing Bill; bankruptcy and debt advice; defective buildings; community empowerment

Conference aspires to judicial diversity

Leading figures will address the question: "Merit and diversity – compatible aspirations in judicial appointments?"