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From the archives - April 2015

Keeping Government responsible

Robert Chote, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility, speaks to the Journal about the OBR's work, ahead of a meeting with the leaders of Scotland's big firms

Contempt, or good faith?

The Inner House has overturned the contempt finding against the social workers who acted against a sheriff's child contact order

Reform – 170 years on

Practitioners involved with compulsory purchase are encouraged to respond to the Scottish Law Commission's discussion paper. This article picks out some highlights

Employee ownership: adding trust

Ahead of a seminar in Glasgow by the architect of the employee ownership trust, this article considers how the trust option adds to the potential advantages of employee ownership

The gender gap: coming clean

Larger employers will soon have to publish pay comparisons to show whether they treat people equally irrespective of gender

Cyber risk - are you covered?

Many businesses have been found to have a false belief that they are insured against harmful behaviour online - what about yours?

Reading for pleasure

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

Opinion: Graham Sykes

Freedom of speech is essential to a modern democratic society, and to qualify it in the interests of certain groups is to undermine the values that we defended against the threat of Fascism

Book reviews

Review of The Civil Advocacy Skills Book (Conway and McCann)

Profile

This month's Council profile turns to Kilmarnock criminal defence lawyer Simon Brown, one of two members for the Kilmarnock, Greenock and Paisley sheriff court districts

President's column

Standing up for solicitor advocates; Scotland's future; access to justice; lawyers at new stages in their career: recent weeks have illustrated what a range of work the Society undertakes for its members

Land Register completion update

Registers of Scotland page: Land Register completion; information hub; 2012 Act guidance; Crofting Register

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Tools for today's titles

A solicitor from one of the main conveyancing firms offers a "toolkit" to help plot a course round the difficulties encountered in practice under the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012

Those elusive profits

Although the profits of law firms generally are reported as improving, the 2014 Cost of Time Survey shows that many still need to take action to improve their financial position

The Budget and the crystal ball

Not all the 2015 Budget announcements passed into law before Parliament dissolved but, this article predicts, some significant measures are likely to become law whoever forms the next Government

Child of our time?

Flexibility for working parents, or an administrative nightmare? We assess the Shared Parental Leave Regulations, which apply to children born or placed for adoption from this month

Elephant in very many rooms

Helping clients plan for care costs for elderly family members presents an opportunity for high street solicitors

Video: the best evidence?

Latest criminal cases, including stated cases; breach of the peace; DNA evidence; plus a note on the Evidence and Procedure Review report

Who would be a legislator?

Licensing briefing: the legislative draftsmen must have had a difficult job making sense of the responses to the Scottish Government's most recent licensing consultation

Sustainability: applying the presumption

Planning briefing: how the presumption in favour of sustainable development has been applied in some recent decisions on proposed housing developments

A woman’s work…

Family briefing: how will Scots law respond to recent developments in England regarding ongoing support for divorced wives?

Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal

Reports of cases relating to Massimo D'Alvito; James Anthony McCusker; Donald Stewart Murray; Thomas Williamson

Living the dram

This month the in-house interview breaks open a bottle with the man whose job revolves round protecting the good name of Scotland's national drink

Land information: a one-stop shop

A task force is to spearhead an all-embracing digital land and property information service that will give Scotland world-ranking status, following a conference on the potential for such a system

From the Brussels office

Recent developments in the EU, including protections for probationer employees; trade secrets

Registered paralegals: what trends?

Report of a survey on the working to date of the Registered Paralegal Scheme, and why people decide to join

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including Human Trafficking Bill; tax law; interception of communications; Scottish Parliament procedures; Scotland's constitutional future

MHO reports – please help with timing data

The Society's Mental Health & Disability Subcommittee is looking for help in gathering data on timescales for preparation of mental health officer reports

Plaque marks WW1 lawyer dead

The first national memorial to lawyers who died in combat in the First World War has been unveiled

Selling yourself from day one

Legally IT: as they embark on their degree, law students should already begin developing the marketing and commercial awareness they need for life in the new world of law: here's how

View from the grass roots

Law Society of Scotland members continue to place a high priority on the Society's regulatory work, the 2014 Ipsos MORI survey has found, and have provided further valuable feedback on member services

Keep it in the family

A review of the family law claims experience, and risk management controls to mitigate the risk of claims and complaints

Ask Ash

Advice column: my team has changed and I miss the personal bonds I had before

When cooling-off kicks in

The Professional Practice team explain the enhanced rights of clients where a solicitor is not instructed at a face-to-face meeting in the solicitor's office

Bottom line, the accountants are coming

The Word of Gold: the Big Four's growing presence in legal services adds up to a major threat to law firms

First day in the office

A warts-and-all account of what to expect when you start a legal traineeship