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From the archives - February 2016

A trainee perspective on leadership

A trainee solicitor explores how trainees should cultivate their leadership potential from the outset, learning from others and looking for opportunities to develop their skills

Beyond the Bribery Act

While much attention has focused on the new criminal law concerning bribery in the corporate sphere, civil law implications should not be overlooked, as a recent Outer House decision illustrates

Legal IT: the potential of blockchains

How the technology behind Bitcoin could be used to digitise transactions such as commercial contracts

Directors: the parent over your shoulder

How can parent companies and directors of subsidiaries avoid being held in breach of duty through improper influence? This article considers the implications of a recent decision

Ten for starters

A trainee solicitor hopes his “10 most important considerations” he has come to appreciate over his first six months will ring true for other trainees also

Reading for pleasure

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

Journal magazine index 2015

Your reference guide to material published in the paper issues for 2015

Opinion: Daniel Donaldson

Legislation and practice rules do not readily permit a legal practice to operate as a social enterprise, and change is needed to make it easier to work for the public benefit without grant dependency

Book reviews

Reviews of Leases (ed Rennie); Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories (Grant)


This month we profile Vice President-elect Graham Matthews, one of the two Council members for Aberdeen, Banff, Peterhead and Stonehaven

President's column

January saw a series of big events, but something of ongoing significance to look out for will be the launch of the Society’s new Legal Education Trust to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds

The big 4-0-0 approaches

Registers of Scotland page: plans to mark 400 years of property registers; application checking service; new Glasgow office; Sasine Register and standard securities

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Balance in redress

The SLCC is consulting on whether to seek radical changes to its complaint handling procedures. The Journal asked its chief executive Neil Stevenson how it aims to operate in future

Pension allowances: the last chance

Tilney Bestinvest highlight two changes in pension rules which could affect your clients, both now and in the future

E-conveyancing: the real deal

The Society is backing an online platform that should enable property transactions across Scotland to be carried out entirely digitally within a few months, as its developers explain

Deeds of conditions: not dead yet

This reply to last month’s feature argues that as the latest decision affecting deeds of conditions rejected most of the challenges to the condition in question, its impact is relatively limited

Anti-money laundering: a call to action

The Society's inspectors still regularly find firms that do not have the necessary AML policies and procedures in place. This article sets out what is needed, and the consequences of non-compliance

New challenges, new CEO

Revenue Scotland: a new CEO will shortly take up post, and among her first challenges will be collecting the LBTT supplement for second homes, also outlined here

Rape terms before the appeal court

Latest criminal cases, including sentencing in rape cases; time spent on remand; dangerous driving; reasonable excuse

Another year of change

Employment briefing: what does 2016 have in store in terms of changes to employment law? We highlight some promised and likely developments

Defending the abduction

Family briefing: three cases decided last year illustrate the successful invocation of the defences to a petition for the return of a child under the 1980 Hague Convention

The right to snoop?

Human rights briefing: the European Court of Human Rights has not recognised a right to snoop on employees' emails, but emphasised the restrictions on monitoring by employers

Fond farewell

Pensions briefing: the abolition of contracting-out on a salary-related basis is imminent. Is your scheme ready?

Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal

Reports of cases relating to David Richard Blair Lyons and Duncan Hugh Drummond; Martha Anne Rafferty; John Fraser Tait

Dilapidations: enforcing the bargain

Property briefing: the pendulum has swung back towards landlords as the Inner House upholds the clear terms of a lease, even where it appears to be a bad bargain

Title out of nothing

Property briefing: the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012 still permits some a non domino deeds, though the terminology and procedure are very different. This article explores the process

Charged and ready

In-house interview: the Crown Agent, whose role includes developing prosecution specialisms to match crime demographics, and enabling Crown Office to use modern technology to best advantage

Updates from the OPG

Roundup of developments at the Public Guardian, who is now also on Twitter

The family way

Maternity or paternity leave poses particular issues for a client-focused business, but new help is at hand in a Society series of best practice guides, based on solicitors' personal experiences

Conflict of interest: the questions still come

Professional Practice: the team continues to deal with questions regarding the conflict of interest rules, and offers a guide to when they apply, and the situations where they may not

Seeking growth

Scottish Paralegal Association column: how can paralegals continue to grow and promote their profession?

Fraud: a battle of wits

The implications of recent payment instruction frauds, essential lessons to be learned from them, and steps that need to be taken to reduce the risk and impact of a fraud of this type

Light to a Safe Harbour

One solicitor's account of how, despite a busy professional life, she benefited from finding the time to advise a small charity through acting as a Pilotlight volunteer

Through the client's eyes

The Word of Gold: how to engage with clients in order to develop your understanding of what great legal service looks like

Ask Ash

Advice column: I don't like blowing my own trumpet, but do I have to?

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform department, including LBTT; Abusive Behaviour Bill; Apologies (Scotland) Bill; Immigration Bill; legal aid contributions; letting agents; Third Party Rights Bill