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From the archives - May 2018

Levelling the land: pro bono expenses orders

The now-passed Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill allows recovery of expenses where representation was pro bono. The author discusses the impact of this change

PSLs – an evolving role

Two professional support lawyers describe how their roles have changed, and explain why a new Scottish Association of Litigation Support Solicitors has been set up to discuss matters of common interest

Children's panel appeals and client expectations

The author believes that the form of words with which those attending children's panel hearings are often advised of their right of appeal is misleading and can create difficulties for their solicitor

APS and asps

Surviving Acts of the pre-1707 Scots Parliament are dwindling in number, more so since the arrival of the modern Parliament – which has however respected the old language if retaining but amending APS

Reading for pleasure

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

Opinion: Sarah Prentice

Ministers seek to reform adults with incapacity law to take account of human rights developments, but there are grounds for concern whether aspects of the proposals would be human rights-compliant

Book reviews

Review of Lord Hope's Diaries: Senior Counsel 1978-1986

Profile: Katie McKenna

Katie McKenna is the Society's head of High Street Member Engagement

President's column

My final President’s column must begin with some thanks, but I also want to repeat my confidence in the future of the profession, despite the many changes and challenges to be faced

Use DPA to cut rejections

Registers of Scotland page: Development Plan Approval service; ScotLIS; Digital Discharge Service

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Succession planning: five key steps

In association with Wesleyan: five steps legal firms should take to achieve successful succession planning

A broader view of practice

With a career ranging across most sizes of firm, and years of service at the Society, incoming President Alison Atack brings wide experience to the role. She tells the Journal of the challenges ahead

The Death of a Law Centre

Renfrewshire Law Centre closed in March, after 20 years of operation, the victim of funding cuts. Its principal solicitor reflects on his time there, and the void it leaves

Something rotten

The author, an English solicitor, was once in partnership with a man who turned out to be a fraudster. He describes the experience, which forms the basis of his novel, and the lessons to be learned

Taking the strain in difficult executries

In association with Eadie Corporate Solutions Ltd: how trained specialists can relieve you of the strain of time-consuming executry investigations

Gender pay: a common cause

Are there common problems to the gender pay gap in the legal profession that can be tackled by sharing solutions, and what can the Law Society of Scotland do to help firms close the gap?

Law, an emotional process

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), LawCare trails some new resources being developed to support stressed legal professionals

Brexit: the devolution factor

In association with Thomson Reuters: an update on what Brexit means for the devolved nations

The PI Court makes its mark

Latest civil cases, including appeals; judgments; locus delicti; Personal Injury Court; expenses, and caution; party litigants; summary decree; reduction; sanction for dishonesty; expenses; family actions

The house the Grants built

Family briefing: how do the matrimonial property rules apply to a family home built on land acquired by one party before the relationship began?

New questions over statements

Criminal law briefing: defence solicitors should note the effect of a change to the law on the admissibility of statements by the accused in reply to the police or other investigating officers

Gender pay gap reporting: how employers can action change

Employment briefing: if you have discovered a gender pay gap, don't just put it down to reasons such as differences in roles but ask why these occur and what can be done to change this

Human rights may not plug the gap

Human rights briefing: an English High Court decision illustrates that if a claim against an authority is unfounded at common law, the result under human rights law may well be no different

Deferred debt arrangements: a missed opportunity?

Pensions briefing: new regulations offer some relief to employers facing debts due to the rules applying to multi-employer pension schemes, but the conditions attached may limit their usefulness

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports relating to Vincent Cobb; Caroline McCallum; James Purvis

LBTT: beware the crackdown

Property briefing: Revenue Scotland is issuing penalty notices for late returns or payment of LBTT, and may withdraw the deferred payment concession from repeat offenders, or even altogether

Beating the career block

This month’s in-house interviewee proactively sought out a training and career opportunity, on the back of her previous work experience, when her route to qualifying looked in doubt

Public policy highlights

Recent work of the Society's policy committees, including prescription; management of offenders; protection of retail workers; LBTT

OPG update: new bond arrangement

Work with insurers has resulted in new bond of caution cover for guardians which has lower premiums and, for professional guardians, higher professional indemnity limits

Profile of the Profession runs again

As the Society launches its biggest census of the profession for five years, it appeals for an ever better response than was achieved in 2013

Q & A corner

Professional Practice advice: can a local authority in-house solicitor undertake work for another authority; and how to handle a large cash sum that turns up in an executry

GDPR: help is at hand

A new Society guide sets out the steps to compliance

Risk management – that ubiquitous topic

Lockton takes a fresh look at the risk management agenda and why it remains a priority

Ask Ash

Advice column: I'm being given even more work since handing in my notice

Time to take aim at targets

The Word of Gold: pursuing the wrong goals risks a heavy penalty

AML: don't miss the 26 June deadline

New anti-money laundering regulations require all Scottish law firms not able to claim exemption to go through a new registration process by 26 June, or risk sanctions including closure

Expert Witness Index 2018

A guide to the experts featured in the Law Society of Scotland's online expert witness directory

The right diagnosis

Expert evidence plays a critical role in law, especially in medical negligence cases. But there are various issues to consider in finding the right expert – or experts