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From the archives - April 2017

Pursuers' offers: proceed with care

The extended version of this month's article on the new court rules covering pursuers' offers in personal injury actions, including advice on tactical considerations

Article 50: today, tomorrow and the two-year myth

Now that article 50 has been triggered, what is the effect in law? This contribution considers its further provisions, including the inbuilt uncertainties over timing

Tackling bribery: follow the US?

An OECD report has recommended that Scotland introduce US-style deferred prosecution agreements, but are they right for our jurisdiction?

Small holdings, big complexities

As required by statute, Scottish ministers have carried out a review of the small landholdings legislation – a good piece of work, according to this review of the background and the options

Brexit: white paper, muddy waters

The white paper ahead of the “Great Repeal Bill” offers to bring “certainty” and “clarity” to the law, but commentators point to major doubts beneath the surface. We offer an overview

Reading for pleasure

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

Opinion: Caroline Kelly

The refusal of criminal injuries compensation to a rape victim for the extra costs of caring for a disabled child highlights a flaw in the scheme, which has other unfair features for special expenses

Book reviews

Review of Agricultural Tenancies (Gill)

Profile

Next up from the Society's senior leadership team is Liz Campbell, executive director of education, training and qualifications

President's column

Have you considered standing for Council? As your President can testify, it can lead on to many things

Land Register applications – the inside view

A reminder of the support available from Registers of Scotland around the application process, including work to prevent rejections, and help when they occur

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Help on our shores

Specialist advice for refugees and asylum seekers is emerging as a serious issue, as a Home Office dispersal programme takes shape. We report on a round table discussion over the practical problems

The importance of thinking differently

Do you feel the need for change in your business but find it much harder to adopt the necessary mindset to see it through? Try these seven steps to make the process manageable

A new crime scene

The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 is effecting substantial changes to Scots law and procedure. This article focuses on challenges that will arise in practice at the first stages after arrest

Embarking on the UK-EU negotiations

The latest briefing from the UK Law Societies' Brussels Office sets out the basis on which the EU is likely to approach the Brexit negotiations

Pursuers' offers: proceed with care

Rules bringing in a system of pursuers’ offers in personal injury cases have come into force, but an apparently simple scheme contains hidden difficulties

From discount to premium

Last month's announcement of a change in the discount rate for calculating future loss will have a significant effect on damages awards, but does it herald further change?

The law, standing accused

Has the legal profession failed working women? Though unsuccessful at the recent Women in Law Scotland debate, there are arguments to the contrary – but also action points for making a difference

Equality – the global agenda

A Scottish solicitor who took part as a delegate at the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women, explains the aims of the Commission and the impact of this year’s event

The Discount Rate – what next?

In association with Tilney: comment on the new rate to apply in calculating damages

It's not over until it's over!

Latest criminal cases, including time bar; delay; Moorov rule; corroboration; threatening or abusive behaviour

Sheriff and jury – the big changeover

Criminal procedure briefing: with the new sheriff and jury procedure coming into force over the summer months, the Society has provided this note on the transitional steps

Rates? Sorry, can’t help you there

Licensing briefing: as the rating revaluations take effect, it is worth knowing a few basics that may be of financial benefit to your clients

Looking beyond the U-turn

Tax briefing: new penalties for involvement in failed tax avoidance schemes are among the significant measures in the spring Budget of which solicitors should be aware

Planning gain all round?

Planning briefing: a community infrastructure levy to sit alongside s 75 agreements is under consideration by the Scottish Government, but experience south of the border is not all favourable

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports relating to Graeme Miller Cunningham; David Stuart McDonald; William Nugent and David Drain

Nil rate IHT and the family home

A pre-election promise of a £1 million nil rate band for inheritance tax has begun to be implemented, but only in stages and only if certain circumstances prevail, as this article explains

Voice of experience

This month's in-house interviewee is unusual in having held senior roles in each of private practice, in-house public sector, and now in-house private sector for a global investment management company

Quality Assurance Criteria amended

A new criterion has been added to the Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Criteria Guidance

Law reform roundup

Recent public policy work of the Society's committees, including Brexit; children's hearings; organ donation; contract: third party rights

All change in the PRS

With new rules set to come into force affecting solicitor letting agents and wider tenancy law, the minister responsible highlights the main features

I think you would like this

The Word of Gold: just giving may be the most powerful business strategy of all

Master Policy – what will be different?

Changes are afoot in the insurance market. Lockton explains the implications for the Master Policy on matters that include solicitors’ duty of disclosure

Scottish Arbitration Survey: please help

Whatever your discipline, please contribute to this important survey into use of, and attitudes to, arbitration, the organisers ask

Q & A corner: client due diligence at a distance

Professional Practice advice: acceptable documents when clients are elsewhere

Cybersecurity demystified

From the Professional Practice team: a forthcoming Law Society of Scotland guide will help solicitors to understand the risks associated with working digitally, and best practice in dealing with them

Confidentiality and third-party complaints

Advice from the Professional Practice team about responding to complaints by non-clients when information confidential to their client may be at stake

1,000 student associates!

Launched only in September 2016, the Society’s student associate membership scheme recently signed up its 1,000th member. What does it have to offer? We hear some student feedback