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From the archives - April 2019

Time to promote shared care?

Scotland should consider following other jurisdictions by introducing a presumption of shared care, which on the research has numerous benefits for the children involved

Client medical records: a matter of right

From the Professional Practice team: difficulties have arisen in some cases in requesting medical records post-GDPR, but solicitors are entitled to these with the client's authority

Search for the route to healing

This month's contribution on wellbeing comes from a solicitor who offers a candid personal account of accepting the need for help, and searching until he found it

Rights after “same roof”

Despite the welcome decision by the UK Government to abolish the “same roof rule” precluding criminal injuries compensation, questions remain over the extent of the rights of those affected

Are you a qualified creditor?

Two recent sheriff court decisions have explored what is a “qualified creditor” for the purposes of petitioning for a debtor’s sequestration

Reading for pleasure

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

Opinion: Allan Jamieson

Why are the state forensic laboratory, and the Scottish Government, still holding out against disclosure of scientific data in which the defence has a legitimate interest?

Book reviews

Review of Lord Hope's Diaries: House of Lords 2006-2009

Profile: John Laughland

John Laughland became an honorary member in 2002, after 40 years in private practice and 20 with the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal, 10 as chairman

President's column

The Presidents Conference of European law societies revealed issues some still face without the rule of law; the four jurisdictions meeting from our islands also shows Scotland’s situation favourably

ScotLIS update

How Registers of Scotland is continuing to evolve for business users and members of the public

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Common law and artificial life

Artificial intelligence is going to impact on legal practice, but how far will the law itself have to adapt? We take up the subject with a leading practitioner as high-profile events explore the issue

FAIs: addressing the concerns

A solicitor from the Society’s Public Policy team writes on the need to promote understanding of fatal accident inquiries, of which some high profile hearings are in the pipeline

Challenging times

Comments from the Law Society of Scotland on the main issues covered in its annual report for 2017-18, now available online

Shared humanity

Can our judges “Preside with Kindness”? Some have tried; others’ eyes may have been opened by two visiting judges from the USA. The Journal went to hear them speak

Cases of the paperless will

Decisions from Queensland under a statute that recognises testamentary wishes recorded in any form, can point the way for Scots law, given modern attitudes to digital over paper communication

How to manage your legal practice for success

In association with Insight Legal Software: understanding the challenges will help you identify the most efficient systems for your needs

Fairness v Convenience

An Upper Tribunal decision setting standards of fairness in a social security appeal, in the context of information before the tribunal, has implications for administrative justice generally

Moorov then and now

Latest criminal cases, including Moorov rule; CCTV evidence; dockets; sentencing

Personal licences: the uncertainty continues

Licensing briefing: the Government has clarified some but far from all of the confusion surrounding the pending personal licence renewal deadline, and at least one vital issue remains unresolved

Is Airbnb use a planning matter?

Planning briefing: does the use of dwellinghouses for short term holiday lets require specific planning consent? The position is unclear in the absence of new legislation or other guidance

Insolvency Rules: a positive realignment

Insolvency briefing: the new Scottish rules, in force from 6 April 2019, should be a positive development for the sector as well as bringing the law more into line with that in England & Wales

IR35 compliance moves up the ladder

Tax briefing: HMRC is consulting on extending off-payroll working rules to the private sector, ahead of a shift in responsibility from the contractor to the paying business

“Best interests” in the balance

Immigration briefing: the Supreme Court has taken a firm line on the approach to a child's “best interests” where a parent faces deportation, but a caveat has left scope for conflicting decisions

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports relating to Andrew Forman; Aidan Vincent Gallagher; Jacqueline Johnston (s 42ZA appeal); John Gerard O'Donnell; Paul Kevin O'Donnell; John Kevin Quinn

PSG tackles index-linked rent reviews

The Property Standardisation Group’s latest model clauses for commercial leases cover the permutations of index-linked rent reviews

Finding the right seat

This month’s in-house round table focuses on winning trust as an adviser on more than just legal matters, and with that, influence at the strategic level of an organisation

Public policy highlights

Recent work of the Society's policy committees, including Planning Bill; rights of cohabitants; Mental Health Act review; registration of overseas entities

Accredited paralegal update

News for Law Society of Scotland accredited paralegals, plus practice area highlight: employment law

Events, and more, for members

Latest information on Scottish Paralegal Association conferences and events; and updates for paralegals working in property

Accredited Paralegal Committee profile

One of the newest committee members, Sharon Connolly, is employed at Macnabs Solicitors, working in several disciplines

Second thoughts on executor declarations

From the Professional Practice team: what is required in a declaration following the introduction of the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016?

Client communication – a continuous journey

Some challenges surrounding effective client communication, and how a lack of such communication can create unwelcome risks for practitioners

Reflections from the Commission

New Scottish Legal Complaints Commission guidance explains why many more clients ought to be considered vulnerable than might at first be expected

Love my tender

The Word of Gold: in the battle to win work, knowing human nature is more important than knowing the law

Ask Ash

Advice column: I feel guilty that my friend was made redundant and not me