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From the archives - October 2017

Form that misses the mark

The prescribed court form for disclosure of assets in divorce proceedings is fundamentally flawed and illustrates a lack of enticement towards full and early disclosure in Scots divorce procedure

The dual role: before and after

Will the legal services review see the end of the Society's dual role? Would this be serious for the profession? The author describes the equivalent experience of patent and trade mark attorneys

Don't just write – plan

Content marketing is an excellent way of positioning your business and driving growth, but for it to be effective you need a strategic plan for colleagues to follow

CMS enforcement: little help when needed?

A report by the Gingerbread charity highlights the difficulties faced by “receiving” parents in enforcing payment of child maintenance via the Child Maintenance Service

Flight or fight

With flight cancellations much in the news recently, this briefing outlines the remedies available for cancellations within the airline's responsibility, and for delays

Reading for pleasure

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

Opinion: Campbell Deane

The SLC’s proposal to adopt the English “serious harm” test for defamation attempts to tackle a problem not found in Scotland, would add to costs and probably result in litigation moving to England

Book reviews

Review of Criminal Sentencing as Practical Wisdom (Brown)


Ian Forsyth works in the External Relations team and is the Law Society of Scotland’s public communications executive

President's column

This month we can celebrate a successful annual conference, but my interest also centres on the financial benchmarking survey and what it tells us about many members who work “for the greater good”

Knowledge base becomes smarter

Registers’ knowledge-base microsite with its support for customers has developed in the year since its launch; however, we want to hear how to improve it further

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Brexit: planning for "What if?"

As the Brexit clock ticks, to what extent are clients needing advice – and what can legal firms do to help, amid the continuing uncertainty? The Journal put these questions to some larger practices

Report card

When the review of legal services looks at the Society, what will it find? We met the convener of the body which has achieved a quiet revolution in the Society's regulatory operations in its six years

Greater good and greatest need

While session topics at the Society’s annual conference ranged far and wide, one in particular focused on the challenges of supporting the most vulnerable and needy

Finances: big not always better

Bigger law firms are not always the best performing, whether in generating income or in profitability. That is just one of the interesting findings from the Society's new financial benchmarking survey

Doulas: living and dying well in Scotland

Providing support for the dying has become a skill with its own title: the end-of-life doula. A private client solicitor explains how she has added the role to her professional work

Lobbying: the new regime

The Scottish Parliament’s new Lobbying Register is approaching its introduction, scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. What forms of lobbying are covered, and how to comply with the law?

Protect yourselves, Society warns

Solicitors who engage in lobbying for clients should be careful to protect themselves against complaints of breach of confidentiality, the Society’s Professional Practice team advises

Ending short sentences: impact on the courts

Latest criminal cases, including defective representation; desertion for prejudice; breach of the peace; plus a comment on what extending the presumption against short sentences might mean for courts

Board policy: do not shake

Licensing briefing: will we see much change in board policies as a result of new membership? Let us hope that hard pressed officials do not bring about poorly prepared reforms

Brexit and professional sport

Sport briefing: EU free movement benefits not only professional sportspersons but also in some cases their ability to transport the tools of their trade. A “hard” Brexit would have significant effects

Rely on HMRC's guidance at your peril

Tax briefing: the Court of Appeal has held HMRC entitled to correct its guidance and apply it to any taxpayer with “open” affairs, unless a very high threshold of unfairness is met

Standard missives: an unachievable dream?

Property briefing: as debate continues on the house sale and purchase process, a Glasgow solicitor questions the value of the Scottish Standard Clauses and comments on how they are regularly qualified

Let in-house keep you right

The former vice chair of the In-house Lawyers' Committee has moved back to private practice – to an internal role as her firm’s regulation and compliance manager

Accredited specialists: five years can qualify

The Society has revised its rules for applying for specialist accreditation

What's Daisy done?: Society's new campaign

A new consumer-focused advertising campaign promotes the work of Scottish solicitors as trusted, regulated legal professionals

Law reform roundup

Recent public policy work of the Society's committees, including EU Withdrawal Bill; gender representation; Islands (Scotland) Bill; Brexit and health matters; Brexit and competition policy

Wartime honour

Ian R Kirkwood has been made a Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur

Paralegal pointers

SPA focuses on Glasgow 2018 after Aberdeen conference cancellation

Society sets up secure channel

The Law Society of Scotland has a new means of sending confidential information securely

All fee earners now

The final of three articles on the digital office discusses the staff requirements and changing roles that follow a programme of change

Stand up to your stammer

Do you suffer from a stammer? Do you see it as a barrier to your choice of legal career? One solicitor tells how even criminal court practice is not beyond someone with an incurable stammer

The data imperative

With the arrival next May of the General Data Protection Regulation, protecting your clients’ data is more important than ever. Advice from Lockton on some basic duties, and how to prepare

Ask Ash

Advice column: my travel requirements are proving much more onerous than I thought on taking the job

In-house: my client, my job?

New guidance for in-house lawyers helps them to deal with difficult questions over who they may properly advise in the course of their employment

Q&A corner

From the Professional Practice team: Confirmation – DON’T send HMRC the principal C1!

Giving cheques a new image

Advice from Professional Practice about changes that will mean faster clearing of cheques – and a need to make new arrangements to comply with the accounts rules regarding retention of cheques