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From the archives - May 2019

Claiming under the advance payment scheme

A solicitor accredited in child law explains the advance payment scheme, the first stage of the Scottish Government's financial redress scheme for survivors of historical child abuse in care

Time for a written constitution

The ongoing controversy since the Brexit referendum, and in Scotland over a new independence vote, has exposed the drawbacks of the unwritten British constitution and the need for clearly stated rules

New form F9: worth the wait?

Form F9, the much criticised court form for intimation to a child, is finally to be replaced, but the Scottish Child Law Centre supports further reform to ensure meaningful participation by the child

Wedded to a matrimonial property regime

Two lawyers also qualified in French or Spanish law explain the matrimonial property regimes that may apply where a couple, whether or not of mixed nationality, acquire property in one of these countries

Brexit divorce set to increase UK's “skype families”

Stringent Home Office criteria for spousal visas, and their “overzealous” application, will mean a big increase in the number of families split between the UK and another country after Brexit

Corporate personality: Justice v Doctrine

The author surveys the case law on piercing the corporate veil and finds it hard to discern when a court is likely to allow this, despite a conflict with the approach taken by the CJEU

Reading for pleasure

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

The Law Society of Scotland Expert Witness Index 2019

The list of experts accepted by the Society for inclusion in this year's index

Opinion: Judith Robertson

The Scottish Government’s planned Good Food Nation legislation should incorporate the right to food in law, with targets, guidelines, and duties on central and local public bodies

Book reviews

Review of Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law (Bharara)

Profile: Michael Clancy

Michael Clancy has worked at the Law Society of Scotland for the past 30 years and is its director of law reform

President's column

Final column from Alison Atack: this has been a year of many highlights, and I am grateful to everyone who helped to make it possible

Is your legal data being held to ransom?

In association with Insight Legal Software: beware software suppliers who charge to give your data back at the end of a contract

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Sign up – log in – action!

Simple procedure claims can now be litigated entirely digitally under the Civil Online system. We hear some user reactions, and how Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service sees the next stages unfolding

Frozen out?

As the process of egg freezing improves, and its popularity among professional women increases, attention is turning towards an apparently unjust restriction on storing the eggs, now under challenge

Taxing times for litigators

New rules have made the law and procedure on taxation of civil judicial accounts more accessible, but also contain some significant changes that court lawyers need to be alert to

DNA analysis: when research just isn’t enough

In association with Eadie Corporate Solutions: Finding potential beneficiaries can involve forensic laboratory tests on top of the skilled detective work to trace people

Brexit focus: EU citizen settlement remedies

The process laid down for applicants under the EU Settlement Scheme relating to residence rights post-Brexit, and some potential issues

Why employers should report on wellbeing

An article to mark Mental Health Awareness Week: embedding wellbeing into an organisation’s culture will help reduce employee stress and make them more productive, to the benefit of all

3% – and then what?

Reflections on a significant day for legal aid lawyers – that of the 3% general increase – and on what the future might hold, following a proper review

1,000 days of mediation

In association with Core Solutions: its founder and senior mediator reflects on 1,000 days of mediations for Core

Barred from acting

Latest civil cases, including interdict of solicitors; abuse of process; recovery of documents; expert evidence; judicial intervention; actions ad factum praestandum; expenses; which procedure?

To name or not to name?

Employment briefing: requests for anonymity are becoming more common in employment tribunal cases, and the relevant provisions can create a complex picture

Enter the “What I Think”

Family briefing: the much criticised forms intimated to seek a child's views where a parent wishes to obtain orders relating to the child are changing, and the court will be given greater control

Fixed penalties and fair trials

Human rights briefing: the court has upheld the ECHR compatibility of the fixed penalty provisions of the Antisocial Behaviour Act, administrative necessity justifying the short time limit for action

Auto-enrolment: keeping employers on their toes

Pensions briefing: as auto-enrolment reaches the maximum planned contribution levels, the Pensions Regulator is monitoring compliance – and imposing substantial penalties for serious defaults

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports relating to Patrick Baxter (s 42ZA appeal); Thomas Barclay Duff

Vulnerable accused: a need for knowledge

Criminal law briefing: a round table organised by the Law Society of Scotland has led to a report proposing a strategy to improve the position of vulnerable accused in the Scottish justice system

Burdens and who can enforce them

Property briefing: the Scottish Law Commission has published its Report on Section 53 of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003, recommending a new statement of the law on pre-2004 real burdens

Convener’s final bow

Stepping down soon, after 31 years in-house, the convener of the In-house Lawyers’ Committee reflects on his career and the in-house profession today

Public policy highlights

Recent work of the Society's policy committees, including redundancy; defamation; charity law; post-mortems

TCSP review update

Firms working in trust or company services provision have been selected to take part in a review of anti-money laundering compliance

Westminster: answering the call

An Inverness legal firm was invited to contribute to a parliamentary guide to industry best practice. Two of its directors describe its approach to GDPR and AML compliance

Accredited paralegal practice area highlight: family law

The competences needed for accreditation in this practice area

Accredited Paralegal Committee profile

Laura Mack, a new committee member, qualified as a family law paralegal in 2014, receiving accredited paralegal status in 2015 which she retained until moving to an in-house paralegal role

Nyona named star paralegal

Another successful Scottish Paralegal Association annual conference saw Nyona Nicol named Paralegal of the Year

Ask Ash

Advice column: my new colleague shuns any social encounters with colleagues

Moving nightmares part 2

Some further risk management issues for property lawyers, this time focusing on issues that arise in relation to practice after a transaction settles

Complaints: seeking consistent practice

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission explains why it would like amendments to the practice rules on recording complaints to go further than proposed

Morally bankrupt?

The Word of Gold: the leaders of failed law firms have made serious mistakes, but suggesting they are also immoral is unreasonable

For the elderly: how SFE works

Introducing the work of Solicitors For the Elderly, a UK organisation with a distinct Scottish presence and an ethos of building relationships with trust and respect

Standing up to challenge

Three recent Scottish commercial actions have seen the court rule on challenges to an expert witness, providing useful guidance on what the court will find acceptable