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Scottish Legal News: Friday 7th June 2019

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British citizen wins appeal against extradition to Taiwan

Lady Paton
Lady Paton

A British citizen wanted by authorities in Taiwan to serve a prison sentence after he was found guilty of negligent manslaughter following a drink-driving accident has successfully appealed against an order for his extradition.

Zain Dean was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after being convicted of causing the death of a local newspaper delivery man when driving under the influence of drink in a hit-and-run collision in 2010, while he was living and working in the Republic of China.

When the Scottish Ministers granted the extradition order, they were not aware that the appellant was also facing a live criminal prosecution for allegedly absconding from Taiwan and using another person’s passport to do so.

The appellant, who absconded to Scotland in 2012 but was detained a year later after becoming the subject of Taiwan’s first-ever extradition case, argued that his removal would not comply with with the mandatory conditions of “speciality” set out in section 95 of the Extradition Act 2003, which aim to ensure that British citizens facing extradition for certain crimes “must not” be extradited where on their arrival in another territory they would find themselves being dealt with for other offences.

But by a majority of two-to-one, judges in the High Court of Justiciary Appeal Court ruled that the appellant’s extradition would be a “breach” of the mandatory requirement of speciality and therefore “illegal and ultra vires”.

‘Memorandum of Understanding’

Lady Paton, Lord Drummond Young and Lady Clark of Calton heard that the businessman had lived and worked in Taiwan for 19 years before coming to Scotland in August 2012.

He was detained in Edinburgh a year later following a “one-off” extradition agreement in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UK Government and Taiwan.

The appellant, who had been in custody at Saughton Prison since 2013, challenged his proposed extradition, arguing that it would breach article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The case was originally heard at the Extradition Court in Edinburgh where a sheriff ruled that the appellant should be extradited to Taiwan.

However, he lodged an appeal under section 103 of the Extradition Act 2003, arguing that there was evidence available that was not available at the extradition hearing which would have resulted in the sheriff deciding the question differently.

He argued that his removal would contravene article 3 because prison conditions in Taiwan were poor and that he was under threat of attack

By a majority of two-to-one, the appeal judges ruled that there were “substantial grounds” for believing that there was a “real risk” of treatment of the appellant which would be incompatible with article 3 of the ECHR.

Following that decision and a failed appeal to the UK Supreme Court, further correspondence took place between Scottish Ministers and the Lord Advocate with the Taiwanese authorities, during which assurances and clarifications were sought.

‘Speciality’

The court was told that in the context of extradition, the Taiwanese authorities always had five criminal offences in mind, but the MOU specified only three, namely the conviction offences relating to the road traffic incident in 2010 comprising drink driving, negligent manslaughter, and leaving the scene of the accident. 

The MOU did not specifically include two outstanding charges awaiting trial in Taipei District Court, namely accusation offences of alleged absconding from Taiwan in 2012 and alleged use of another’s passport in so doing.

The extradition request in 2013 sought extradition of the appellant in order to serve his prison sentence for the three conviction offences, and did not mention that a separate prosecution had already been raised for the other two offences, for which he faced a further nine years in prison.

When matters were passed to Scotland in 2014 to be dealt with by the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Ministers, they were “wholly unaware” of the live criminal prosecution.

Furthermore, the letters of assurance appeared to suggest that it was a requirement in Taiwanese law for the appellant to pay compensation of £280,000 in respect of the road traffic accident and to issue a public apology in order to enable the Taiwanese prosecutor to withdraw an existing prosecution for absconding using another’s passport.

Dean – who was released on bail in 2016 and changed his name by deed poll to Callum Rafael Scott – lodged an appeal under section 108 of the Extradition Act 2003, arguing that when the Scottish Ministers ordered his extradition on 1 August 2014 to serve the four-year sentence for the road traffic offences, there were “no speciality arrangements” in place satisfying the mandatory terms of section 95 of the 2003 Act. 

As a result, it was submitted that the Scottish Ministers should have “decided differently” and not ordered his extradition in terms of section 109(3) and (4).

‘Extradition illegal’

Again by a majority of two-to-one, the judges ruled in the appellant’s favour.

Lady Paton, with whom Lady Clark of Calton agreed, observed that the letters of assurance were “too ambiguous” and that an undertaking to withdraw the prosecution for absconding using another’s passport – which was apparently conditional on a payment and a public apology – “did not provide the necessary comfort”.

In a written opinion, Lady Paton said: “In relation to section 95(4)(b), it is my opinion that no alleged absconding or passport offence was ‘disclosed by the same facts’ as the road traffic offences, all of which occurred on 25 March 2010. 

“On the contrary, the absconding and passport allegations relate to an entirely different and independent set of circumstances which are said to have occurred two years later in August 2012 when the appellant left Taiwan and came to Scotland. 

“Any purported reliance upon the different wording of paragraph 11(1)(b) of the MOU would, in my opinion, constitute a breach by Scottish Ministers of the mandatory section 95 of the Extradition Act 2003, and would, in my opinion, be illegal and ultra vires.”

She added: “Thus as soon as the appellant arrived in Taiwan, he would be vulnerable to that prosecution with a possible sentence of nine years in addition to the four-year sentence for which he was extradited. That is precisely the result which speciality arrangements should prevent.

“Accordingly, on the basis of the circumstances known to Scottish Ministers on 1 August 2014, it is my opinion that, in order to comply with the mandatory provisions of section 95 of the Extradition Act 2003, Scottish Ministers ought to have decided the question before them differently and not ordered the appellant’s extradition.

“For the reasons given in this opinion, I am persuaded that the provisions of sections 109(3) and 109(4) are satisfied. I propose therefore that the appeal be allowed, that the appellant be discharged, and that the order for his extradition be quashed.”

Dissenting, Lord Drummond Young considered that the appeal should be dismissed, having observed that the MOU between the UK and China formed the “legal basis” for the appellant’s extradition and the the courts must proceed on the basis that the requirements of an extradition agreement will be observed “in good faith”, adding that the subsequent assurances received should be treated as “validly given”.

Copyright © Scottish Legal News Ltd 2019

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New figures show Scotland’s prisons are ‘in a state of emergency’

Liam McArthur

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have today called for recognition of the "emergency" in Scotland’s prisons as new figures revealed the total number of assaults in prisons increased by 41 per cent last year.

Data acquired by the party through a freedom of Information request also showed that the total number of assaults in prisons increased from 2,511 to 3,550 last year and the number of minor assaults on staff by prisoners increased by 155 per cent between 2014/15 and 2018/19, and increased from 283 to 410 in the past year alone.

The number of serious assaults on prisoners by prisoners doubled over the 5-year period, and increased from 94 to 135 in the past year alone.

The number of minor assaults on prisoners by prisoners increased by 68 per cent, and increased from 2,210 to 2,995 in the last year alone (41 per cent).

Barlinnie saw prisoner-on-prisoner minor assaults increase 84 per cent in the past year alone.

The Prison Officers’ Union is already planning strike action to highlight the issue of overcrowding. This week, the chief executive of the SPS, Colin McConnell, told Holyrood’s Justice Committee that the prison system is designed and resourced for a population of 7,669, but that it is currently at 8,242 – the equivalent of a large prison beyond its’ means.

Commenting on the figures, justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP said: “These figures show that Scotland’s prisons are in a state of emergency. As the prison population surges, both they and staff are becoming less and less safe. The system can’t cope, as evidenced by the heightened levels of violence and self-harm.

“Imprisonment on this scale, which has been compared by experts to Texas, will inevitably have serious consequences in the long term.

“It isn’t the prison service’s fault. Huge numbers of people, many of whom have complex problems, are being sent to a place proven to worsen their likelihood of reoffending, in part because of the lack of more effective community-based options.

“Overworked prison staff have less time to work with individuals to help improve their prospects and are increasingly encountering unsafe situations.

“The current approach isn’t working for anyone. The seriousness of this situation and the need for an urgent step change needs to be recognised by the Justice Secretary.”

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Paul Harvey: Problems with the Strasbourg Court are practical, not philosophical

Paul Harvey

Advocate Paul Harvey reflects on the third of Lord Sumption's Reith Lectures, in which the former Supreme Court justice takes the ECHR to task.

These are unsatisfactory times for lawyers who wish to engage in public debate. The law, like so many other specialist disciplines, is not always fairly and accurately covered in the media, and social media, which promised to democratise debate, all too often impoverishes it.

For these reasons, the BBC’s decision to invite recently retired Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption to give the 2019 Reith Lectures on “Law and the Decline of Politics” is a good one. Unfortunately, but all too predictably, the lectures have attracted controversy, including of the BBC for giving such prominence to only one side of the debate on the proper place of law in democracy. Such criticisms are overblown. The first two lectures were thoughtful, simply and clearly argued, and an appropriate antidote to those who would reduce the complexities and nuances of legal debate to hastily written blogs or, still worse, 280-character tweets. Those lectures argued that as ever more matters are regulated through law and the courts, so the space once occupied by politics shrinks. For Lord Sumption, we should lament that because representative democracy can often mediate conflict and command legitimacy for its decisions in a way the courts cannot.

It is in the third lecture – delivered in Parliament House, Edinburgh — that Lord Sumption’s thesis goes awry. In that lecture he turns from defending representative democracy to attacking human rights and, particularly, their development by the European Court of Human Rights. It has become an all-too-familiar but weary and unwarranted attack. There is nothing wrong with the European Convention on Human Rights per se; the difficulty, so the argument runs, is the Strasbourg Court’s dynamic interpretation of it.

The focus of Lord Sumption’s attack is on the ever-expanding scope of private life under Article 8 of the Convention. There is some force in this criticism: few doubt that ‘private life’ should evolve to keep pace with social and technological change and Lord Sumption correctly identifies the problem: the Strasbourg Court has expanded it in scope from private life into a more general right of personal autonomy without any apparent limiting principle.

Where Lord Sumption is wrong is failing to realise that the fault, however, lies only partly with the Strasbourg Court. Many of the cases Lord Sumption has in mind only reached Strasbourg because of an absence of effective remedies for ordinary legal problems in Contracting States, leaving the Strasbourg Court little choice but to consider them: cases which would have been decided at the national law on ordinary legal principles have become European human rights case when they should not have. That is less the philosophical problem that Lord Sumption suggests, and more of a practical one, calling for the development of better remedies in national legal systems to address procedural deficiencies and, on occasion, political failings in those countries.

In any event, Lord Sumption’s criticisms feel slightly dated. Indeed, much of the lecture appears recycled from earlier lectures such as his 2013 lecture The Limits of the Law. But the intervening six years have shown a marked shift in the Strasbourg Court. This has been very much from substituting its own views for those of national courts, towards setting the criteria that national courts should apply in human rights cases and, when national courts do so, respecting the conclusions they reach. That has gone some way to addressing the criticism that the Court impermissibly encroaches on national sovereignty and democracy.

Many, too, will query whether Lord Sumption places too much faith in democracy as a better means of protecting human rights than the courts. Experience has shown that, while Parliament and the devolved legislatures are able to strike fair balances between human rights and public interest in technical areas, it is much more difficult for them strike that balance when the rights involved concern unpopular minorities. At this point, Lord Sumption’s thesis simply runs into the counter-majoritarian justification for rights (and for their protection by independent judges). That counter-majoritarian justification for rights has served liberal democracies well since the time of Jefferson, and Lord Sumption has no new answer to it. And the point made by my colleague Catherine Smith during the lecture – that for the political process to resolve human rights issues rather the Courts, we would need a different type of discourse between our politicians – is surely a good one. It is quite reasonable to doubt whether, in a time of populism and democratic crisis, our politicians are prepared for that different type of discourse.

Finally, the lecture is indicative of the failing – unfortunately pervasive among UK lawyers in seeing our relationship with the Strasbourg Court in exclusively bilateral terms. For any UK lawyer involved in the Convention system, that is a matter of continuing dismay. The Court’s success in raising human rights standards across Europe as only been possible because of the continuing commitment of the UK and other leading democracies to it. Lawyers elsewhere in Europe see our efforts to reconcile the Court’s jurisprudence with our own legal traditions as exemplary rather than something to be deplored.

If that is true for the UK, it is particularly true for Scotland. (It took 10 years at the Court and countless lectures on the Convention across Europe to know that Scotland’s efforts to reconcile its own ancient traditions with was something lawyers in many European countries could only wish for.) These considerations made Parliament House an odd choice for the subject of Lord Sumption’s third lecture. That is a matter of regret, all the more so because there is a great deal in Lord Sumption’s lectures to commend. One hopes that, for the sake of the lectures, and for public debate on the law generally, he changes tack in the remaining lectures.

Paul Harvey is an advocate. Between 2005 and 2016 he worked as lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights.

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TLT secures provisional licence for proposed Ardgowan Distillery

Stephen McGowan

TLT has secured a provisional licence for the proposed Ardgowan Distillery & Estate in Inverkip, at a hearing of the Inverclyde Licensing Board on 6 June 2019.

The Ardgowan Distillery & Estate will be a multi-million pound project creating a brand new distillery and wider tourist destination featuring a microbrewery, restaurant facilities, accommodation and wider grounds for outdoor pursuits such as hillwalking and mountain biking.

The new visitor attraction expected to complete in early 2021.

Stephen McGowan, head of licensing (Scotland) at TLT, said: “It was a real pleasure to represent such a fantastic project. It really was an exceptional application and a joy to work with the team at Ardgowan Distillery. The Inverclyde Licensing Board was extremely supportive of the proposal and showed genuine interest in this."

Jessica Skelton, mission controller at Ardgowan Distillery, said: “Securing the licence is the next key step in our journey and we are grateful to Stephen and the team at TLT for their assistance. We are now focused on developing the site which we are confident will become a leading attraction in the West of Scotland."

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Solicitor John Fleming Hamilton struck off

A well-known Angus solicitor has been struck off after the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal found him guilty of professional misconduct.

John Fleming Hamilton, 62, known as Ian, was the sole partner in Maclean and Lowson, a Forfar-based firm.

The Law Society of Scotland submitted five complaints relating to financial compliance inspection.

His numerous offences included a failure to advise clients he was suspended and that his client account was frozen. He misled another by suggesting she was an executor in order to obtain payment of fees. In general, he failed to act in clients' best interests.

He had previously been suspended in 2013 and was sequestrated in 2014.

The tribunal stated that his behaviour was a “serious and reprehensible departure from the standards of competent and reputable solicitors”.

“A solicitor who has been guilty of dishonesty with clients’ money has forfeited the respect and the trust of colleagues and has disgraced the profession”, it said.

It added: “His conduct showed he was not a fit person to be a solicitor.

“Therefore, the tribunal ordered that the respondent’s name be struck off the roll of solicitors in Scotland.”

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Amended Fuel Poverty Bill set for Royal Assent this summer

The Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill 2019 is expected to receive Royal Assent this summer after the legislation passed stage 3 at Holyrood yesterday.

The bill introduces a new statutory target for reducing fuel poverty so that by 2040 no household is living in fuel poverty as far as practicably possible.

However, in recognition that it may not be possible to completely eradicate fuel poverty, the target allows for a maximum of five per cent of households to remain in fuel poverty, 1% in extreme fuel poverty and a fuel poverty gap of no more than £250 by the target date of 2040.

A proposed amendment to bring the target date forward to 2032 was defeated at the Stage 2 debate and again at Stage 3.

The bill also introduces a new definition of fuel poverty based on a minimum income standard and places a duty on ministers to introduce a Fuel Poverty Strategy setting out how the target will be achieved.

The bill has been strengthened through amendments which introduce a new definition and target for reducing extreme fuel poverty, recognise the increased cost of living in remote and rural areas and increase scrutiny of progress towards meeting the new targets.

The Scottish government has separately committed to introducing a suite of legislation to support Energy Efficient Scotland and cover minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented and owner occupied homes and low carbon heating.

Despite a previous target to eradicate fuel poverty as far as reasonably practicable by November 2016, 25% of households in Scotland are still living in fuel poverty.

Lori McElroy, chair of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, said: “While we had hoped for a more ambitious target date to tackle fuel poverty before 2040 we are pleased with the progress that has been achieved. We have been impressed with the breadth of support for our asks across the Parliament and are confident that the bill has been strengthened through the amendments passed.

“The focus now must be on developing the Fuel Poverty Strategy and securing increased investment in energy efficiency measures, advice and support services to ensure that everyone in Scotland can live in a warm home.”

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AFLA welcomes surrogacy law review

Ruth Innes QC

Plans to update and improve the law on surrogacy have been welcomed by the Advocates’ Family Law Association (AFLA).

Proposals for change were published in a joint consultation by the Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales.

Ruth Innes QC, acting chair of AFLA, said: “The discussion paper on reform of the law governing surrogacy is to be welcomed. Certainty as to legal parenthood from birth, and protection of the interests of all involved in a surrogacy arrangement, are essential.”

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Everyone to have legal right to decent and affordable broadband from March 2020

BroadbandEveryone in the UK will have the legal right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection from March next year, Ofcom has confirmed.

The communications regulator is implementing the UK government's "universal broadband service", a safety net that will give eligible homes and businesses a legal right to request a decent connection.

Under provisions of the Digital Economy Act 2017, households will be able to request better broadband, capable of delivering download speeds of at least 10 Mbit/s, and upload speeds of at least 1 Mbit/s. These speeds will be reviewed over time.

As of today, 620,000 homes and offices, or two per cent, would benefit from the new scheme, although this number is decreasing as broadband networks are upgraded.

These homes are among the most remote in the UK, or are far away from current broadband networks, which means they currently struggle to get a decent broadband service.

Ofcom has appointed BT and KCOM to provide universal service connections from 20 March 2020.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: "As more of our daily lives move online, bringing better broadband to people and businesses is crucial.

"From next year, this new broadband safety net will give everyone a legal right to request a decent connection – whether you live in a city or a hamlet. This will be vital for people who are struggling to get the broadband they need."

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Mystery picture baffles Aberdeen Society of Advocates

During recent renovation work at the historic library of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen, the picture of a mystery man was uncovered.

The large (approximately A0 size) photograph of an army officer mounted in a beautiful picture frame had been covered in grime and piled in storage for decades, before recent work brought it to light.

Society president Martin Ewan said: "The society dates back to the early sixteenth century, so many of the heritage artefacts housed in our archives are much older – but this picture is more recent and poses a real puzzle. We have no idea who the gentleman is, or what his connection to Aberdeen and the society might have been."

The society is tentatively dating the picture to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, but there does not appear to be any other evidence to explain its provenance.

The society is appealing to any military history experts for any information which may help identify him, such as his regiment and rank.

Mr Ewan added: "It may be that he was an advocate who went abroad to fight for some reason or that he served overseas in a foreign army and then came to Aberdeen to work as a lawyer afterwards.

"The insignia on his uniform has led to speculation that he was in either the German or Austro-Hungarian army. His neck collar may also suggest a religious role.

"He was clearly a gentleman of note, given the scale of the picture, and we would love to find the link to the Society and the City and uncover this piece of hidden history. It's a pictorial treasure hunt."

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Dallas McMillan – serving Scotland’s Polish community

Glasgow law firm Dallas McMillan has fostered close links with the Polish community in Scotland, whom it has served for more than 15 years. Speaking to SLN, the firm explained how this relationship began and why Polish workers are particularly vulnerable.

As a Glasgow-based firm, Dallas McMillan initially became a go-to firm for Polish people in Glasgow. However, it now serves the wider Polish community across Scotland, including Grampian, Inverness-shire, Morayshire as well as Edinburgh, Fife, Perthshire and Tayside.

While the firm provides a variety of different legal services to Poles, its core work for the community consists of pursuing no-win, no-fee compensation claims for personal injuries in all types of accident. The firm says that because Polish people are often employed in traditional industries – agricultural, timber, fishing, factory and construction work – they are often at a greater risk of injury than the average worker.

Partner Gordon Bell heads up the firm’s litigation department. He and his solicitors are assisted in their work by claims assistant Marta Matusiak, a key member of the team. Ms Matusiak is a bilingual Polish national who has been living in Scotland for over 15 years and is usually the first point of contact for the firm's clients. She ensures cases run smoothly by liaising with clients and translating paperwork and correspondence.

Moreover, she also attends meetings between the firm’s solicitors and Polish clients and, in the case of personal injury claims, often attends medical appointments the firm arranges for injured clients, to facilitate straightforward communication between medical experts and clients. With her help, Polish clients receive the clearest legal advice and most comprehensive legal service the firm can offer.

Ms Matusiak said: “From my dealings with Polish clients, they often greatly appreciate being able to communicate in Polish rather than in English. It greatly reduces the stress of dealing with their claims or legal transactions."

Mr Bell explained that the firm regards the Polish community in Scotland as a vulnerable one for a number of reasons, amongst them that “Polish workers can often receive little sympathy or support from managers and even some work colleagues. They can sometimes be seen as a hassle or even as a threat rather than as a highly valuable resource for employers”.

Furthermore, Polish workers are often not directly employed and commonly work for companies through employment agencies. They can also be given inconsistent shift work, restricted to part-time work and placed on temporary rather than permanent contracts.

Mr Bell said: “If Polish workers raise employment grievances or make a personal injury claim following an accident, they can often suffer from prejudicial treatment meted out by their employers, such as a reduction in hours, removal to less attractive work duties, or even early termination of placements or /employment contracts. The language barrier and a lack of full understanding of their employment rights often place Polish workers at a considerable disadvantage with their employers.”

He added that Polish workers “are often cut-off from their family members and close friends left back in Poland. This reduction in their personal support network can add to their difficulties, for example when they require day-to-day help with activities during their recovery period in the wake of a serious accident”.

The firm has, however, obtained justice for its clients in numerous serious cases.

Take the case of 20-year-old Mr G, a young general assistant employed in a timber-making factory in Morayshire. He was given insufficient training and instruction on working with large and complex timber machines in the factory.

In the course of his work, his dominant hand was inadvertently drawn into a machine, as he was unaware that the feeding mechanism was not working properly. As a result, he suffered serious hand injuries and psychiatric injury. His employment was terminated by the company soon after the accident – notwithstanding that their failures had led to his severe and permanent injuries – and Mr G was unable to work at all for years while he recovered.

At the time of settlement of his claim, Mr G was unfit for moderate to heavy manual work on a permanent basis and was re-training for his planned alternative career in office-based IT work. Thanks to Dallas McMillan, his claim was successfully settled for £420,000, a substantial part of which was for expected future loss of earnings and loss pension fund.

Mr Bell said: “We at Dallas McMillan are delighted to have been able to assist Polish nationals living in Scotland for so many years, not only in securing vital compensation for personal injuries suffered at work, in road accidents or in accidents in public places, but also with employment law advice and representation, with house purchase/sales and in other areas.

"We hope our close relationship with the Polish community will continue for many years to come.”

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Scottish Arbitration centre hosts Young ICCA workshop in Edinburgh

The Scottish Arbitration Centre welcomed Young ICCA to Scotland for the first time on 30 May for its Skills Training Workshop, organised together with the centre and the CIArb Scottish Branch Young Members Group.

The focus was the nuts and bolts of cross-examination in international arbitration.

Young ICCA is a worldwide arbitration knowledge and skills network for young practitioners established in 2010.

On the day, Fiona Menzies, business and development manager at the centre, and CIArb SB YMG committee member, welcomed delegates, before Gloria Alvarez, of Young ICCA and the University of Aberdeen, spoke to them about Young ICCA and Lise Bosman, executive director of ICCA, spoke about the history of ICCA and the Congresses.

There was a panel session with expert speakers, including Erica Stein, Dechert; Dipen Sabharwal QC, White & Case; and Alexis Martinez, Squire Patton Boggs.

Ms Alvarez said: "We had a lively discussion involving the participants, who are leading lights in arbitration practice. The dialogue touched upon the topics of the fundamental purpose of cross-examination, the audience raised and learnt many of the issues related to the importance of questioning whether cross-examining a certain witness would be truly useful in certain cases."

Ms Menzies said: “It was clear that the workshop, delivered by experienced international arbitration practitioners from across the globe, provided valuable guidance for the young lawyers and students attending. The centre and CIArb SB YMG will continue to work to bring similar events to Scotland as we look to engage further with young practitioners as part of our legacy strategy in respect of ICCA Edinburgh.”

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Trustbar Annual Aberdeen Seminar 2019

The Trusts, Fiduciaries and Executries Bar Group (TrustBar), in conjunction with the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen, are delighted to announce details of their annual Aberdeen seminar, which will be held on 27th June 2019, at the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen.

The event will feature two talks by members of Terra Firma Chambers: former Trustbar Chairman, Nick Holroyd will start with “Troublesome Trustees and how to deal with Them” which will be followed by “Settled Property – Getting Business Property Relief on it: Practical Considerations” by current Chairman, Derek Francis.

The seminar has been accredited by the Faculty of Advocates as contributing 1 hour CPD for its own members and is eligible for a similar award from the Law Society of Scotland for the solicitor branch of the profession. The seminar will be followed by drinks and canapés and the cost for attendance is £25 per delegate (£15 for members of the Society of Advocates).

Further information about the event can be found at www.terrafirmachambers.com/seminars. To reserve your place at this event, please email trustbar@advocates.org.uk.

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2019 In-house Rising Star award shortlist announced

Five newly qualified, in-house solicitors have been shortlisted for the 2019 Law Society of Scotland In-house Rising Star Award.

A total of 13 nominations were put forward for consideration, the highest number since the award was introduced in 2013 to celebrate emerging talent in the in-house legal community.

The five finalists are:

Sean Dorian (3-years PQE) – Cloudhelix Ltd
Caroline Douglas (1-year PQE) – Lloyds Banking Group
John Frame (2-years PQE) – Serco Ltd
Jennifer Livingston (2-years PQE) – East Dunbartonshire Council
Emma McBride (4-years PQE) – East Dunbartonshire Council

David Boag, from the Law Society's In-house Lawyers Committee and who lead the judging team, said: "The In-house Rising Star Award is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the up-and-coming talent we have within the in-house legal sector and, importantly, is a chance for organisations to acknowledge the talented individuals in their teams.

“The quality of candidates nominated for the award is always very impressive, but this year’s candidates were truly exceptional. All 13 of our nominees have achieved a remarkable success early in their careers and have proven themselves to be a real asset to their organisations and also within their local communities.

“It was extremely difficult for us to come up with our shortlist of five. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate their colleagues, in particular the in-house team at East Dunbartonshire Council who put forward four fantastic nominations.

"We’d also like to highlight the nomination by Marathon Oil for their trainee Martyn Ross, who sadly passed away in November 2018. Martyn made an enormous contribution during his traineeship with the organisation and clearly had an exceptional career in front of him. We know Martyn is very much missed by his colleagues and we’re very pleased they chose to recognise his achievements through their nomination.

"Everyone on the shortlist has demonstrated exceptional qualities and all of our five finalists would be very worthy winners – as judges we have a very hard task ahead of us in choosing our Rising Star for 2019."

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Our Legal Heritage: Helen Duncan, the wartime ‘witch’

Helen Duncan

In 1941, at a seancé in Portsmouth, the spirit of a sailor was said to have appeared to announce the sinking of HMS Barham.

But the battleship, which had been sunk in an attack by German forces off the Egyptian coast, was not officially declared lost until a number of months later, an effort by the Board of Admiralty to confuse the enemy and protect public morale.

It was this event that brought Helen Duncan, a Scottish woman and the convenor of the seancé, reputedly endowed with the 'gift' of medium, to the attention of the police.

They would raid another of her seancés, on January 19, 1944, where she would be arrested and remanded in custody.

Duncan was born in Callender on 25 November 1897, where her 'talent' was recognised early. As an adult, she conducted seancés throughout the land, invoking the spirits of the dead who, it was claimed, would talk to and touch their relatives.

HMS Barham's main magazines exploding, 25 November 1941. The sinking of the battleship was caught on film by a cameraman from Pathé News, aboard the Barham's sister ship, Valiant.

Duncan purported to have the ability to produce 'ectoplasm' in the midst of trances. This supernatural goo was the medium that gave form to the spirits of the dead. She could even swallow and regurgitate it. In 1931, however, the London Spiritualist Alliance revealed it to be no more than an amalgam of cheesecloth, paper, egg white – and toilet roll.

In 1933 she was prosecuted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for affray and for being a 'fraudulent medium'.

Following her arrest in Portsmouth in 1944, Duncan was charged under the Vagrancy Act 1824. She eventually appeared before a jury at the Old Bailey for contravening the Witchcraft Act of 1735, under which she could be imprisoned.

A media sensation ensued, with newspapers taking the opportunity to print cartoons of broomstick-riding witches. She was not, however, on trial accused of being a witch – the legislation was designed to eradicate belief in witches. It provided instead for punishing people purporting to have the powers of witches.

Photograph of a 1928 séance revealing Duncan with dolls (by Harvey Metcalfe).

She, along with three others, was accused of pretending "to exercise or use human conjuration that through the agency of Helen Duncan spirits of deceased persons should appear to be present". Duncan was also charged with offences under the Larceny Act for taking money "by falsely pretending that she was in a position to bring about the appearances of the spirits of deceased persons".

She was found guilty as charged under the Witchcraft Act and sentenced to nine months in Holloway Prison in London. Duncan became the last person in Britain to be jailed under the act, though not the last to be convicted – that honour would go to Jane Rebecca Yorke in 1944. It was eventually repealed in 1951 and replaced with the Fraudulent Mediums Act, which made

"express provision for the punishment of persons who fraudulently purport to act as spiritualistic mediums or to exercise powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers."

Some suggested she was imprisoned lest she reveal details of the D-Day landings, following the Barham incident, but Churchill wrote to the Home Secretary of the day, Herbert Morrison, describing the notion as "obsolete tomfoolery".

Helen Duncan, sometimes known as the 'last witch' died on 6 December 1956.

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And finally... thaw enforcement

Dozens of ice cream trucks have been seized by authorities in a major crackdown on traffic law violations.

A total of 46 trucks were seized as part of "Operation Meltdown" in New York City, CNN reports.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the ice cream truck operators had racked up 22,000 summonses and nearly $4.5 million in fines for traffic violations between 2009 and 2017.

The operators are believed to have evaded fines by setting up dozens of "shell" companies and systematically re-registering trucks.

Zachary W. Carter, the city's corporation counsel, said: "We all know from common experience that ice cream trucks are magnets for children.

"In order to protect this particularly vulnerable category of pedestrians, our traffic laws must be strictly enforced."

Mayor de Blasio added: "No New Yorker is above the law -- especially those who try to ignore public safety laws and create dangerous situations for pedestrians, bikers and drivers."

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Advertorial: Medical Protection Society

Since 1892 we have been supporting the professional interests of Doctors, Dentists and Healthcare professionals. We now work in a number of different countries, offering advice, support and indemnity from complaints, claims and regulatory issues. We have 3 offices in the UK - Edinburgh, Leeds and London and we are currently recruiting for experience Legal and Medical professionals in all three offices.              

Medical Protection Society is owned by its members, so we put them at the heart of everything we do, this means that rather than working towards commercial goals or billing targets we have the flexibility and time to ensure that we are doing what is best for the member.

We offer a fantastic working environment and brilliant benefits along with the opportunity to work in the complex and challenging world of clinical negligence and regulatory.

In Edinburgh I am currently recruiting for the following roles:

  • Claims Assistant: This is a legal assistant level role, support our lawyers and potentially handling your own small caseload of work. You would be working on clinical negligence claims from our overseas members so this is an exciting and rare opportunity to gain experience in a different jurisdiction without the travel!
  • Claims Manager: Managing a caseload of international clinical negligence claims. This is another role that gives rare experience of working in a different jurisdiction. You would oversee the conduct of a claim and work with overseas panel when needed.
  • Case Manager: Managing a caseload of files, including complaints, investigations, regulatory and disciplinary matters. You will provide invaluable support to our members during what can be a difficult and stressful time for them.
  • Support roles: We have a number of different support roles which require administrative and secretarial skills.

You can see details of these jobs on our website: https://careers.medicalprotection.org/

Alternatively if you wish to have a confidential, informal chat before submitting an application then you can contact me directly.

Sarah Speechly – Recruitment Adviser for Member Protection & Support at Medical Protection Society sarah.speechly@medicalprotection.org 0113 2196522

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Advertorial: Is your Legal Data being held to ransom?

Brian Welsh

By Brian Welsh, CEO of Insight Legal

In most industries, the process of transferring software suppliers will involve some degree of migrating data from your current system to a new system. Today’s legal sector is no different, and you would expect your new supplier to charge some sort of fee to complete the transfer.

When this occurs, some new suppliers may look at the lifetime value of you as a client and charge a set fee for the service rather than consider the actual daily rate and time taken to complete the task. Others offer an import solution, which allows the customer to import the data themselves if they wanted to. But what happens if your current supplier then also says it wants money in order to hand you back your data?

Smoke and mirrors

In the days before cloud, data lived on premise. There would be a good chance that a reputable chosen software supplier who has been in the market for some time would know how to access the databases of competitor products, pick it up and then migrate it without having to involve the incumbent supplier. However, as we increasingly operate in cloud-based software, data now typically sits in a multi-tenanted environment, making it impossible to merely pick up and provide a copy of an entire database.

It goes without saying that client retention is a very important metric for modern software companies, which can greatly impact the value of a business. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon for providers to try and find ways to keep customers in any way possible. For example, you may be offered your legal data back through reports, however this doesn’t provide you with a complete ‘data dump’ and may leave many pools of data locked up in the system. These pitfalls often leave firms stuck with suppliers even if the solution isn’t fully supporting their business.

It could even be that they aren't actually working to give you back your data, or it is a last ditch attempt to get some money from you before you leave. Either way, this can potentially leave unsuspecting firms out of pocket or with a cache of inaccessible data - or both.

Keep control of your data

The moral of the story is that many firms are being unknowingly held to ransom by software suppliers using their legal data and anyone seeking new legal software should make sure they can get their data back for free and in full before they even sign. But what exactly can you do to ensure this?

  • Check the fine print: To mitigate this risk before it’s too late, firms should check the fine print to ensure they only do business with suppliers which offer full control over their entire data set if they ever decide to leave. The clauses facilitating this data ransom effort are often buried within the detail, under the layers of information about the value that the software can deliver for the business. Read the terms for data retrieval with a fine tooth comb before signing a contract.
  • Come armed with questions: When tasked with finding a software supplier with no tricks for capturing your legal data, it is important to ask the right questions in the market research phase. Be direct and ask potential suppliers about their data supply and retention policies to understand exactly how your data will be unlocked from their system if you leave. Chances are, those able to answer these queries quickly and with clarity are your best bet for keeping full control over your data.

Some vital questions to ask your potential new supplier, or check in your current contract include:

  • Is there an exit clause in your contract?
  • How is my data supplied back to me?
  • Do I get access to all my data in a format that my new supplier can understand?
  • Do you charge to supply my data back to me? If so, how much?
  • If I leave, what happens to my data and how long is it left on your servers? (One particularly crucial area given the control that GDPR regulations now offer data owners)

  • Take your time: When faced with fast approaching contract expiry, or even looming regulatory changes, it is easy for firms to make fast and sometimes, rash decisions about their next software supplier. It may sound obvious, but this haste can ultimately lead to oversight when ensuring the status of a firm’s legal data once they choose to invest in a particular provider. Ensuring firm decision makers are abreast of upcoming changes and starting research well ahead of change can give firms the time they need to evaluate the options available and distinguish the suppliers who do not hold legal data to ransom from the rest.

Taking these necessary precautions can ultimately be the difference between a firm retaining full control of its data or having to stomach a sizeable bill when trying to take their information out of these systems quickly and effectively. They are also the essential steps for firms to cut out the market noise and hone in on reputable and transparent legal software suppliers, instead of falling victim to the efforts some providers take to retain their business through conditionally holding their rightful legal data to ransom.

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Advertorial: Managing a Practice for Success

Deborah Edwards

Deborah Edwards, Professional Services Director, Insight Legal

In an increasingly competitive legal sector, law firm decision makers must now work harder than ever to ensure that each area of their practice is functioning in the most effective way. However, that responsibility does not come without challenges. Deborah Edwards, Director & Head of Training and Support Services at Insight Legal explores the role of modern legal practice managers and offers a best practice guide to managing a productive and profitable law firm.

What do you think are the main challenges in managing a firm today?

Juggling the many aspects of managing a law firm can undoubtedly be a challenge! The term Practice Management can cover areas as varied as financial management, human resources, facilities and equipment, IT, marketing and business development, client relationships and compliance. Every practice manager gets pulled in different directions and will find themselves taking on many and varied tasks. There will often be the temptation to take on these tasks yourself. This can be anything from fixing a printer to recruiting a new member of staff, or from designing a new company logo to drafting office procedures. You may look at the cost of having a third party or an outside agency to complete this work for you and then decide that, instead, you will do the work yourself. What it is easy to forget is that cost doesn’t always equate to value. I am certainly not saying that you have to spend a lot of money, but it can certainly sometimes be the case that spending money and saving yourself time can be more cost effective.

When it comes to managing your staff, you will undoubtedly ensure that they are offering the best possible service to the firm’s Clients, but you must also make sure that they are providing the same level of service to the firm itself. What I mean by this is that you need to make sure your staff are doing enough – but not too much – work; working efficiently and effectively rather than spending hours of chargeable time that cannot be recovered. You don’t want to stand over them as they work and you won’t have time to review every file every day, but you do need to understand just how much work has gone in to recovering your professional fees. This is where firms need to look at the case and practice management tools available to them.

Compliance rules and regulations are constantly changing and firms need to be abreast of these changes in order to survive, let alone thrive. The accounts department of any law firm is crucial to ensuring compliance in many areas but, of course, the partners and managers within the firm must do their own checks too. This is where firms must look to their accounting software and the compliance reporting available to them.

What tips and advice would you give to someone when it comes to leading a firm effectively?

The first thing to remember is that Law is not just a profession; it is also a business. When it comes to driving the business forward, it is important to remember that there are many ways to generate new work. Examples can include creating an attractive website and building an engaging and trustworthy brand to make your Client want to spread the name of your business through word of mouth. Other cost effective ways to drive growth for your firm can be to establish a presence with active social media platforms, and to plan relevant advertising and publishing of thought leadership pieces where potential new Clients will see you as an expert.

Responsibility for meeting compliance requirements and for operating effective systems and processes lies with those leading the firm. It can be difficult to balance the pressures of practice management with the responsibilities of Client work, but that is something that every successful law firm manager must do.

How can decision makers execute this without taking away from fee earning time?

The most successful practices are those that learn and adapt quickly. If you haven’t already, it is vital to ensure that your financial staff are fully trained and up to date with the relevant accounts rules, especially when changes are brought in. In 2019, the SRA accounts rules undergo their first major overhaul in years and there are significant changes that all legal cashiers and practice managers will need to be prepared for.

In addition to changes by the SRA, there are other regulatory changes to be aware of too, such as HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative taking effect on 1st April 2019. Every law firm needs to make sure that their legal accounting software is up to date, compliant and fit for purpose. Having specialist software to prepare your management accounts and compliance reports will save many valuable hours.

Developing firm-wide case management processes to guide staff through the running of their cases can also be invaluable in reducing supervision time. Of course, you need to remember that you and your legal staff are the experts and not a computer system, so you shouldn’t rely on a prescriptive workflow that leaves your staff simply ‘painting by numbers’ or ‘joining the dots’. However, systems that allow you to streamline your chosen working practices can ensure the delivery of high quality, tailored, efficient service.

Can you share any direct experiences of dealing with these issues and what you learned from this?

In my work, I speak to law firms everyday about case and practice management systems. I always ask the question, “Do you time record?”. Some will say yes with no hesitation, however most will either say, “We don’t, but know we should” or even “No, because most of our work is either agreed or fixed fees.”

In my experience, if you are a firm that doesn’t time record due to fixed or agreed fees or charging agreements, then you really have no accurate way of telling how the work you and your staff do compares to what you are charging and in turn what you recover. Analysis of your billing success (cost v charge out rate v recovery) is invaluable for any practice and if you have a good practice management system then it is very easy to achieve.

I also find that many firms dismiss the idea of case management because they use very little in the way of standard letters and correspondence. I wholeheartedly agree that the management of legal matters is not just a process to be followed, but what I would encourage every firm to do is to look at how you want your matters to be run and to use the available software tools to optimise your efficiencies.

There are many resources, services and software tools available to practice managers. They offer varying levels of automation and assistance, with different offerings being suitable for different law firms of course. Use them to your advantage.

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Advertorial: Stewart Title Limited

With one hour of Risk Management Training now being required for CPD purposes, we can help. We have a range of presentations including: a general overview of what we can provide with case study examples, regulatory matters and policy wording, the UK Finance Handbook as well as The Insurance Act. Should you wish to discuss how these can be provided to suit your requirements, please call Elizabeth Birrell on 07940 513681.

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Latest Traineeships

Traineeship applications open – Balfour and Manson

Our application window for legal traineeships commencing in 2020 is now open.

Click here for more information and to download the application form, which must be submitted along with a covering letter by Friday 19 July 2019.

If you have any enquiries please contact alicia.dacre@balfour-manson.co.uk

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12 Traineeships – Thorntons

We are now accepting applications for 12 Trainee Solicitors to join the firm in September 2021.

Our traineeships are structured round four 6-month department rotations where you will gain hands-on experience with direct client contact. Much of your training will be delivered by our team of Accredited Specialists so you will be learning from the very best.

Interested? Visit our website for further information and to apply: https://lnkd.in/es7ibk6

Closing date for applications is Monday 17 June.

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Glasgow City Council - Trainee Solicitors (2 posts)

Glasgow City Council is seeking to appoint two Trainee Solicitors to start in September or October 2019. As the legal traineeships are part-funded by the Glasgow Guarantee graduate programme, applications are invited from candidates who are graduates in Scots Law and have or will have a Diploma in Legal Practice from a Scottish University before the start of their traineeship, and are eligible to register with the Glasgow Guarantee recruitment website:

https://www.glasgowguarantee.org/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2f

The advertisement will be published on the Glasgow Guarantee website on 3 May with a closing date of 30 June.

Any applicant must have obtained the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice within 12 months of his or her registration with the Glasgow Guarantee website. Applicants who obtained their Diploma in 2018 are advised to submit their applications as soon as practicable after registration rather than waiting until nearer the closing date. Training will include litigation, corporate, property and licensing work. Disclosure Scotland check applies. Interviews will take place around August 2019.

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Place a free traineeship advert here

Please contact Jeff Anderson on jeff@scottishnews.com or call him on 01292 479443 to place a free traineeship advert in SLN.

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Latest Jobs

Real Estate Lawyer 3+ PQE – Womble Bond Dickinson

It's an exciting time to be thinking about joining Womble Bond Dickinson in Edinburgh.  We've made no secret of the fact that we've made a number of high profile hires over the past year and we're keen to continue this trend with further investment, particularly into our Real Estate practice.

We opened in Edinburgh in May 2017, in a year that also saw us combine with Womble Carlyle to become Womble Bond Dickinson – a transatlantic law firm with over 400 partners and 1000 lawyers based across 27 key locations in the UK and US.

What kind of work will I be doing?

Our client base in Scotland is broad, covering a number of our key sectors including real estate, energy, and retail.  This new opportunity is focussed on supporting commercial property, energy and power renewables, and property finance transactions. 

You'll be working closely with the wider UK Real Estate team with transactions that are often high value and offer excellent opportunities to be involved with some of the best quality work in the regions.  There will be plenty of opportunities for client contact and you'll be expected to build and maintain strong relationships with these contacts. 

This is a challenging (but hopefully rewarding!) role where you'll be expected to develop a profile in the marketplace to help us convert opportunities with existing clients, as well as new ones.  You'll be ably supported by our network of regional offices and our dedicated Sector Support and Business Development teams.

What experience is needed?

We're interested in seeing applications from lawyers with a broad commercial property practice, or a more niche energy focused role.  Whatever your experience level or background, you'll need excellent drafting skills, a sense of commercial pragmatism, a bright mind and a strong team ethos to help further develop the team's client base.  You'll also be motivated to participate in business development that helps to raise the team's profile and network.

So what makes it so great to work here?

We know that it's not all about us.  You'll want to be assured that this is the right opportunity for you and we really believe that this is a fantastic place to work.  You'll be joining a supportive team where you can learn from true leaders in their field and build your experience with access to great quality work and great clients. Supported by a collegiate approach, and firm wide commitment to lawyer development there are fewer better places to develop your legal career.

How do I apply?

Please follow the link to apply. You'll also find contact details for myself, Sara Casey (Recruitment Team), please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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Trustees – Scottish Legal Action Group

Who we are?

The Scottish Legal Action Group is a registered independent charity that seeks to promote access to justice in Scotland. The Group was established in 1975 with the aim of providing better legal services and better access to justice in Scotland, to the benefit of the economically or socially disadvantaged. The Scottish Legal Action Group has sought to achieve its aims through campaigning, responding to Government consultations and via the publication of a monthly legal Journal which gives attention to areas of the law such as welfare, housing, employment and debt that are neglected elsewhere. The Group’s funding is primarily derived from its membership subscriptions. The Group has several exciting projects planned for the next 12 months including extending into academic publishing and a campaign of nationwide engagement with law students on the importance of human rights and access to justice.

The Roles

The Group is now looking to appoint up to four trustees who;

  • Are motivated to support access to justice in Scotland and contribute to the strategic development of the organisation;
  • Can bring insight, experience and a desire to make a difference to legal services in Scotland;
  • Can commit to attending in person four quarterly meetings per year in the central belt plus an annual strategy meeting and are available on an ad hoc basis monthly to discuss the Group’s business via phone and email; and
  • Can assist in raising the profile of the group and contribute to planned upcoming campaigns and projects.

The available positions are unremunerated but reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

The Scottish Legal Action Group wants its board to be properly representative of Scottish society, recognises it needs to increase its diversity and so applications from women, those with a disability, members of minority ethnic groups, and other groups who are currently under-represented on boards, are therefore especially welcome.

Applications and expressions of interest

In order to apply please send a copy of your CV and a short covering letter indicating why you wish to become involved to convenor@scolag.org by 23 June 2019.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Eamon Keane at convenor@scolag.org

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Solicitor – Ferguson MacSween & Stewart

Do you want to live and work in the most desirable place in Britain? * We are a long-standing, friendly and approachable firm with offices in the Isle of Skye, Kyle of Lochalsh and Benbecula. We think this is a great place to live and work.

An opportunity has arisen for a full time solicitor based at either our Portree or Kyle of Lochalsh offices. We are looking for an enthusiastic and hardworking solicitor who is looking for a work/life balance. All levels of experience are considered.

The successful candidate will be responsible for their own case load of residential conveyancing and private client work. Experience of crofting law would be beneficial but not essential. As we use a Case Management system, the ideal candidate must be computer literate and familiar with Microsoft Word and Outlook.   Salary will be commensurate with level of experience.

For further information, please contact Sarah Farr, Ferguson MacSween & Stewart, Solicitors, Bridge Road, Portree, Isle of Skye, IV51 9ER, by telephone 01478 612991 or email your CV and covering letter to admin@fmslaw.co.uk by 18 June 2019 at 5pm.

*As voted in a survey carried out by Rightmove in 2016.

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Family Law Solicitor – Livingstone Brown Solicitors

We have a vacancy at Livingstone Brown for a family law solicitor.

The Ideal candidate will have 1-3 years PQE, and be competent at conducting family cases in the Sheriff Court. Experience with Wills, Powers of Attorney and Guardianship would be an advantage. The position carries excellent prospects for career development for the right candidate.

Competitive salary.

Please apply by sending a CV to Kevin Pike, kevinp@livbrown.co.uk

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Solicitor (Dispute Resolution) – Jackson Boyd Lawyers

Jackson Boyd Lawyers are one of Scotland’s foremost litigation firms, dealing with thousands of claims each year involving personal injury, dispute resolution and employment. We pride ourselves on a first class, cost-effective legal service for our clients.

Primary Location:     

Glasgow City Centre

Reports To:               

Senior Associate and Partner Level

Hours of Work:         

Full/part time – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm with a one hour lunch break

Salary:                       

Competitive

Key Purpose:

To manage a diverse civil litigation caseload from initial instruction to successful conclusion.

Key Accountabilities:

  • to manage a diverse caseload in respect of personal and commercial contract disputes; property disputes, residential and commercial landlord and tenant cases; professional negligence claims and some criminal defence work (principally motoring offences) all run on our sophisticated case management system
  • raising and defending court actions as necessary in Sheriff Court and Court of Session, and also raising and defending alternative dispute resolution actions, including First Tier Tribunal and Arbitrations.
  • complying with our clients’ Service Level Standards.

Experience Required:

  • around 2 years' post qualifying experience
  • some experience of criminal work would be advantageous but not essential.

Knowledge and Skills Required:

  • communicates clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing
  • ability to analyse problems and information, evaluating options and risks in order to identify the most appropriate and commercial solution
  • demonstrates a conscientious and commercially focused approach
  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • well organised with strong administration and time management skills with the ability to work efficiently and methodically, adhere to service level standards and comply with tight deadlines
  • competent user of IT systems to maximise efficiency and effectiveness
  • demonstrates the willingness and ability to develop own knowledge and skills in line with business requirements
  • working as part of a team and assisting trainees and junior colleagues.

If you are interested in applying for this role, please visit our Careers Page at https://www.jacksonboyd.co.uk/about-us/work-for-us/ and upload your CV and covering letter.

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1st or 2nd year trainee solicitor/ NQ – Black & Markie Solicitors

We would consider a 1st or 2nd year trainee solicitor wishing to reassign their contract to move to these dynamic areas of law or a newly qualified solicitor.

Areas of law include Criminal Law, Children’s Proofs and Mental Health Law. This is an exciting challenging career for the right person.

Working from our Dunfermline office with extensive work throughout Scotland.

Tel 01383 610547 to arrange a fully confidential interview

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Solicitor – BLM

We are looking to attract a solicitor to join our criminal health and safety practice group in our Glasgow Office.

The role is based within our highly regarded team and will involve handling a mixed caseload of criminal regulatory matters including complex health and safety cases, environmental incidents and careless & dangerous driving.  Day to day will involve handling cases, carrying out extensive investigation and research into the cases carrying out court appearances.

We are keen to secure a candidate up to 3 years PQE that has previous experience of handling criminal matters ideally within a regulatory environment.  Knowledge of handling criminal RTA cases is a must alongside previous exposure to appearing in court and good investigation skills.  

We can offer a competitive salary, company benefits and a nurturing and collaborative environment. For a confidential conversation please contact Claire Jackson on 01618386300 or email claire.jackson@blmlaw.com . Please apply in order to be considered. The closing date for this position is Wednesday 12th June.

BLM is committed to promoting equality and diversity across all aspects of employment and is proud to be a Top 50 Inclusive Employer.

Please apply here

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Senior Solicitor/Associate (2-4 years PQE) - Corporate & Commercial Department / Commercial Services Team – Brodies LLP

Based in Edinburgh

REPORTING TO

Grant Campbell, Roger Cotton and Martin Sloan, Partners

JOB PURPOSE

We currently have a vacancy at senior solicitor/junior associate level to join the commercial contracts team within our Commercial Services team based within the firm's Corporate & Commercial Department. The role will be based in Edinburgh although working at our offices in Aberdeen and Glasgow will be expected as the need arises, as will meeting client requirements for meetings elsewhere.

The team houses leading commercial contract experts with particular specialisms in intellectual property, licensing, technology, outsourcing, transport, procurement and data protection.

In this role, the successful applicant will be involved in advising clients on a wide range of commercial transactional and advisory matters. We act for clients in all sectors and for both customers and suppliers.

This is a demanding role which requires strong commercial contract drafting skills and an ability to think creatively. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the ability to manage a complex, busy and challenging workload whilst striving to exceed the service requirements and expectations of our diverse client base.

CORE TASKS

  • Advising clients generally on day to day commercial contracts and more significant commercial project work, technology, intellectual property and data protection matters.
  • Working within a team environment to support the delivery of major projects undertaken by the Division.
  • Drafting and revising a wide variety of contractual documents.
  • Managing and supervising the work of more junior members of the team
  • Liaising with clients and managing client relationships.
  • Thinking creatively when looking at issues and proposing solutions.
  • Managing a complex, busy and challenging workload whilst striving to exceed the service requirements and expectations of our diverse client base.
  • Identifying legal issues for referral to other specialists within the firm, and identifying opportunities for work for the Division from other clients of the firm.
  • Being aware of Brodies’ information security policies, and protect information assets from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, destruction or interference at all times.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Minimum 3 years' PQE
  • Has a keen interest and enthusiasm for commercial contracts and a proven track record in that area.
  • Experience in advising on data protection and IP matters would be an advantage but is not essential, as is experience in drafting contracts under English law.
  • Takes personal responsibility to learn on the job and keep knowledge up to date.
  • Takes responsibility for own transactions and advice, subject to supervision.
  • Works effectively with other team members, and is able to supervise the work of less senior team members.
  • Enthusiasm and aptitude for supporting the different areas covered by the team.
  • Understands the team’s key clients, the industries and sectors in in which they operate and the challenges they face.
  • Shows understanding of clients’ needs and tailors advice appropriately.
  • Adapts style of communication appropriately when dealing with colleagues and clients.
  • Maintains regular contact with clients and shows an understanding of client’s priorities.
  • Participates in business development activities of the team and is a self-starter in attracting and developing new streams of work.
  • Ability to deal with competing priorities and meet deadlines.

SKILLS

  • Has strong commercial contract drafting skills
  • Demonstrates strong research skills
  • Works in a logical manner
  • Self-motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise
  • Commercial and profit focus

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR718. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Samantha Mudie on 0131 526 4040.

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Paralegal in Real Estate Litigation – Eversheds Sutherland

Litigation & Dispute Mgmt

Type of Vacancy:

Permanent

Full time/Part time:

Full-Time

Location:

Edinburgh 

About Eversheds Sutherland: 

Recognised by The Lawyer magazine as part of the “Litigation Elite”, Eversheds’ team of experts acts for major clients throughout the world. Our people regularly deal with large-scale matters involving multiple jurisdictions for multi-nationals through our award winning and ground-breaking approach to project management. We are lawyers who think strategically as well as legally, and provide our dispute managers with the resources they need to use their skills to the fullest.

Our dispute resolution team in Edinburgh has been growing year on year and advises some of the world’s biggest names, with an unrivalled client base of national and global clients. We are part of the UK’s largest Real Estate Litigation team, comprising 13 Partners and over 60 solicitors and also work closely with both the Commercial Dispute Resolution and Financial Services Dispute and Investigations teams. We work cross office as a collegiate single national team.

The team advises upon all core areas of real estate litigation work as well as acting in a wide range of commercial disputes including contractual claims, insurance litigation and financial services disputes. The team also advises on certain niche areas, tapping into the expertise of the wider firm and differentiating the team from our competitors. In all cases we are supported by the resources of an international firm that allows us to deliver better results for clients. 


We are looking for a Paralegal to provide support to the Real Estate Dispute Resolution team.

Key responsibilities:

The role involves working on a broad range of commercial disputes. These include property related problems for occupiers, investors and developers as well as non-property related commercial disputes acting for financial services clients, insurers and others. Upon joining, you will be involved in a mixture of advisory work, and all and any types of commercial dispute.

Skills and experience:

The ideal candidate will have experience within a legal environment. Property or Litigation experience would be an advantage, however, we are happy to hear from those who feel their skill-set meets our requirements.

Key competencies: 

The successful candidate will have a positive outlook, be confident and adaptable and be used to working as part of a team. They will require excellent IT, administration and organisational skills, together with excellent written communication skills.

We're a modern, progressive law firm. We think differently and we've built a culture where individual skills and personalities can shine through. At Eversheds Sutherland, we believe that innovation comes from a culture of genuine equality and diversity and we are happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments individuals may require in the recruitment process, or once in post.

Eversheds Sutherland endeavours to recruit and fill vacancies directly. However, when we do need to engage with agencies, Eversheds Sutherland operates within a preferred supplier list. 

Salary range: 

Competitive

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Associate - Real Estate Litigation – Eversheds Sutherland

Practice group/Global Operations team:

Litigation & Dispute Mgmt

Type of Vacancy:

Permanent

Full time/Part time:

Full-Time

Location:
Edinburgh 

About Eversheds Sutherland: 

Recognised by The Lawyer magazine as part of the “Litigation Elite”, Eversheds’ team of experts acts for major clients throughout the world. Our people regularly deal with large-scale matters involving multiple jurisdictions for multi-nationals through our award winning and ground-breaking approach to project management. We are lawyers who think strategically as well as legally, and provide our dispute managers with the resources they need to use their skills to the fullest.

Our dispute resolution team in Edinburgh has been growing year on year and advises some of the world’s biggest names, with an unrivalled client base of national and global clients. We are part of the UK’s largest Real Estate Litigation team, comprising 13 Partners and over 60 solicitors and also work closely with both the Commercial Dispute Resolution and Financial Services Dispute and Investigations teams. We work cross office as a collegiate single national team.

The team advises upon all core areas of real estate litigation work as well as acting in a wide range of commercial disputes including contractual claims, insurance litigation and financial services disputes. The team also advises on certain niche areas, tapping into the expertise of the wider firm and differentiating the team from our competitors. In all cases we are supported by the resources of an international firm that allows us to deliver better results for clients.

We are looking for an Associate to join the Edinburgh Dispute Resolution team and form an integral part of an energetic team of litigators.

Whilst a supportive and structured approach will be taken to supervision, knowledge management and personal development, all team members possess a ‘can do’ approach, a commitment to delivering excellent client service and a desire to play their part in growing our business. You will be expected to take on a client facing role from the outset; whether assisting on large complex cases for top 100 FTSE clients or running your own busy caseload for smaller yet equally demanding businesses. 

Key responsibilities:

The role involves working on a broad range of commercial disputes. These include property related problems for occupiers, investors and developers as well as non-property related commercial disputes acting for financial services clients, insurers and others. Upon joining, you will be involved in a mixture of advisory work, and all and any types of commercial dispute. A key part of your role will be client relationship management, business development, marketing and selling.

Skills and experience:

You should have strong technical skills, enjoy black letter law and must also have good team, communication and organisational skills. You will be able to provide a first rate client service both internally and externally. 

Key competencies:

A commitment to delivering quality service is essential, as is the ability to juggle the demands of a heavy workload.

We're a modern, progressive law firm. We think differently and we've built a culture where individual skills and personalities can shine through. At Eversheds, we believe that innovation comes from a culture of genuine equality and diversity and we are happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments individuals may require in the recruitment process, or once in post.

Eversheds endeavours to recruit and fill vacancies directly. However, when we do need to engage with agencies, Eversheds operates within a preferred supplier list.

Salary range:

Competitive

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Private Client Solicitors (NQ – 2 Yrs) – Thorntons

3 positions – Dundee, St Andrews & Arbroath

As part of Thorntons’ continued growth we are now looking to appoint 3 new Solicitors to our busy Private Client teams in Dundee, St Andrews and Arbroath.

Where every day is different

We advise individuals and families on all aspects of planning for their future including Wills, Executries, Powers of Attorney, Trusts as well as Tax and Estate planning and Asset protection. The strength and breadth of experience across the team and our locations means there is a strong support network behind you as your career develops.

About you

You will ideally have experience in Wills, Trusts, Executries and general private client advice, with some property experience an added advantage. You will be passionate about client service and committed to building and sustaining good client relationships. You will be comfortable working in a fast paced environment, have excellent attention to detail, and strong communication skills necessary to work in a multi location team. You will also be keen to play a role in business development and networking activities and participate in the strategic growth of the firm.

About us

Thorntons has grown significantly in recent years following a number of strategic mergers and investments into one of Scotland’s top 5 independent law firms.

Throughout its successful expansion, our focus has remained the same, to provide the highest quality legal advice and service, when and where clients need it.

We are progressive and ambitious. While we expect high standards from our people, we recognise and value the contribution they make to our business – and our success. We see the whole person, not just the person in the workplace – and we’re aware that everyone has busy

lives outside work. Our advanced technology allows many of our people to benefit from agile working. It’s simple common sense: do our best for our people and they’ll do their best for us.

At Thorntons we pride ourselves on doing what is right, and as two time winners of the Scottish Business Insider Employer of the Year Awards you can see why solicitors choose, and enjoy a career with Thorntons.

Hours

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, 35 hours per week.

Included in a typical Thorntons package

  • Competitive Salary
  • Investment in Training, Development and Career Advancement Opportunities
  • 25 days holiday (rising with length of service) plus 7 public holiday
  • Contributory Pension Scheme
  • Healthcare Cash Plan
  • Corporate Discounts
  • Cycle to Work

The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 17 June

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Governing Board Member – Abbeyfield Scotland

Abbeyfield Scotland Ltd is a non-profit making registered social landlord operating across Scotland. Our key aim is to support people to live as independently as possible and to be an exemplar in the field of housing and services for vulnerable adults.

We are seeking to further strengthen the existing mix of skills and experience on our present Board, and would particularly welcome applications from individuals with business acumen and care expertise.

As a Board Member you will have the opportunity to assist in:

  • setting strategy, policy and objectives
  • making, implementing and communicating decisions
  • overseeing the financial controls and risk management of the organisation

We will provide the necessary support, training and development required to carry out your role.

Our Board Members volunteer their time to prepare for and attend regular meetings, training and information events. Travel and other reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

If you are interested, please contact Karen Barr, Interim Chief Executive (Group) on 07921 687720 or email kbarr@abbeyfield-scotland.com.

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Claims Assistant – Medical Protection Society

Claims Assistant

£22,800 - £25,000

Edinburgh. Permanent, full time

Medical Protection Society (MPS) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world, in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, South Africa and Hong Kong.
We strive to be much more than a last line of defence by being at our members’ side at every step, offering support, advice and world-class defence. Membership provides access to expert advice and support together with the right to request indemnity for complaints or claims arising from professional practice.
We continue to invest in our team to ensure that we are delivering the best possible service for members. This was recognised in 2016 when we were awarded an Investors in People Silver award.

Job Introduction

This Claims Assistant role sits within one of our International pathways that handles legal claims on behalf of our members in an overseas jurisdiction. In this role you will provide day to day professional support to the Claims Managers whilst also managing a partial claims case load.

Main Responsibilities

The responsibilities of this role are:

  • To triage incoming post on handler dashboards to proactively identify cases that need immediate attention or a prioritised response (e.g. proceedings, other case types etc.) and escalate these to the appropriate team member for action.
  • Liaise with members, external panel and other third parties to obtain information at the outset of a new matter; carry out conflict checks with panel firms; and prepare standard letters for the instruction of panel, confirming assistance to members and to comply with applicable protocols/statutory requirements.
  • Prepare attendance notes following meetings and video conferences with members and stakeholders.
  • Review medical records to ensure full disclosure and prepare chronologies of records, case summaries, case reviews in accordance with applicable process/guidance/terms and conditions.
  • Manage a partial case load of claims and pre-claims under supervision.  
  • Working closely with Solicitors and external panel, reviewing advice and providing instructions for the investigation of, and strategy for, each case and keeping members advised/up to date
  • Carrying out clinical and legal reviews with internal clinical colleagues
  • Providing authority to settle or defend claims and costs

 The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have experience of working within a claims or legal environment, ideally dealing with clinical negligence, personal injury or regulatory matters. We are looking for candidates with strong accuracy and attention to detail, and the role also requires the ability to investigate and analyse information containing both legal and medical/dental terminology. You will be working to strict deadlines and juggling varying tasks so good time management is a must.

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Case Manager – Medical Protection Society

£25,500 - £32,000

Edinburgh. Permanent, Full time.

Closing date 30th June

Medical Protection Society (MPS) is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world, in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, South Africa and Hong Kong.

We strive to be much more than a last line of defence by being at our members’ side at every step, offering support, advice and world-class defence. Membership provides access to expert advice and support together with the right to request indemnity for complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

We continue to invest in our team to ensure that we are delivering the best possible service for members. This was recognised in 2016 when we were awarded an Investors in People Silver award.

Job Introduction

Our Professional Services Division have a requirement for a Medical Case Manager (CM) to join our Case handling team.

As a CM you will work manage a caseload of files, providing assistance to our members on all case types for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland including complaints and regulatory/disciplinary matters. You will have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the department to provide a world class service to our members at all times.

Main Responsibilities

The responsibilities in this role are:

  • Advising members by telephone, in correspondence and face to face, about a wide variety of Medico-Legal and ethical issues.
  • Investigating and evaluating cases affecting members where there may be a wide spectrum of potential risks to members’ professional standing in order to achieve the best outcome for the member. This can include, but is not limited to: advice, complaints, inquests, disciplinary, criminal and regulatory hearings.
  • Making case-handling decisions, such as when to escalate to a Medico-Legal Consultant or instruct a Legal Advisor, a barrister, or an expert in individual cases.
  • Attending meetings, both remotely and in person, as part of the handling of individual cases, supporting and counselling members.
  • Representing members’ interests both in writing and in person, in a wide variety of circumstances, including as part of a disciplinary process, whether involving an employer or a contracting body, a Regulator, Coroner at Inquest or as part of a Criminal investigation.
  • To develop and maintain working knowledge of expected professional standards and relevant legislation to advise members
  • To proactively manage a caseload of files and ensuring case management in a timely and effective manner.

The Ideal Candidate

To be considered for this role you should be able to demonstrate investigation and analysis skills. You will have the ability to manage a wide range of complex and challenging situations whilst working autonomously, making case-related decisions, escalating where necessary to more senior members of the team.

The role requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills, high quality oral and written skills and a high attention to detail. Patience, tact and discretion are required when dealing with confidential and sensitive information.

Knowledge of professional regulatory frameworks, medical or dental terminology and previous experience of assisting with file/case handling is an advantage but not essential.

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Paralegal – Digby Brown

Full-time, Fixed term for approximately 12 months

Edinburgh/Glasgow

Digby Brown Solicitors are one of Scotland’s largest, specialist personal injury practices. We have enjoyed a sustained period of success in recent years and this has been reflected in our top Chambers, and Legal 500 rankings. 

Digby Brown is committed to being an employer of choice, and were the first Law Firm in the UK to achieve Investors in People accreditation at Platinum level.

A vacancy has arisen for an enthusiastic individual to join our Non-accidental injury team in Edinburgh. Our Non-accidental team deal with cases of a sensitive nature, working with victims of violent crime and survivors of non-recent and recent abuse, both familial and institutional. 

Key elements of the role include:

- Handling of own case holding

- Liaising with clients on a daily basis by phone, email and face-to-face

- Pre-litigation investigation of cases

- Collection of evidence

- Assisting principle fee earners with preparation of cases

- Any other duties required by the team


This post will suit a client-focused individual, seeking to pursue a career in a dynamic, award winning law firm. Candidates should be team players, empathetic communicators and resilient. Experience dealing with this type of cases would be very beneficial. 

If you would like to apply for this post, please send your CV and covering letter to Jan Laidler, by e-mail at recruit@digbybrown.co.uk by Friday 7 June. 

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Employment Lawyer (NQ – 3yrs' PQE) – Law At Work

Glasgow/Edinburgh/Aberdeen

Do you want to be part of a leading employment law team and work within a progressive and dynamic environment? Law at Work is for you.

As a leading legal services provider specialising in employment law, human resources and health & safety, Law at Work is looking for Employment Solicitors to join our Employment Law Team. The position will be based in one of our Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen offices, with occasional inter-office travel being a requirement of the role. At LAW you will have the chance to shine, we provide real opportunities for growth and career development in a supportive and collegiate environment.

Working with a diverse range of clients of all shapes and sizes throughout the UK, your role as Employment Solicitor will be to advise and represent our clients dealing with anything from straightforward queries to very complex, high-value employment law issues. The role involves a high degree of autonomy and client contact. You will also represent clients at employment tribunal hearings throughout the UK.

Every member of our team loves the refreshingly different approach we take to the delivery of legal services. We’re proud that our innovative and collegiate working environment breaks the traditional law firm mould and we’re confident we offer the highest quality of service to our clients.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in advising clients on various aspects of employment law and will have some experience of employment tribunal representation. Consideration will however be given to candidates without employment law experience who can demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to absorb information and keep up to date with legal developments
  • Ability to impart information to clients in a clear and concise manner avoiding legal jargon
  • Focused on quality and attention to detail in all areas of responsibility
  • Excellent judgement and problem solving qualities
  • Well-developed relationship management skills
  • Ability to work as part of a close-knit team
  • Excellent work planning, organising and management skills

Application letters including a current CV should be sent to recruitment@lawatwork.co.uk by Friday 14th June 2019.

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Associate (5+ years PQE) - Real Estate, Land & Rural Business – Brodies LLP

Based in Edinburgh / Glasgow

REPORTING TO

Odell Milne, Partner

JOB PURPOSE

We have an opportunity for an Associate to join the Real Estate practice as part of a team that works for some of the largest commercial estates in rural Scotland; a wide range of rural businesses including agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; renewable sector clients; utilities; commercial investors and developers; industry stakeholders; public sector bodies and funders.

The Land & Rural Business sector is a vibrant and exciting part of the Scottish economy that is constantly changing and requires solicitors that can adapt to clients’ needs and expectations.

As part of our busy team, the role holder will be client facing involved in building and maintaining client relationships on an ongoing basis and taking full responsibility for transactional work going forward.  

An interest in business development, networking and having an eager, pro-active and ambitious attitude is encouraged.

The land and rural business team and the wider real estate practice at Brodies are top ranked by the independent legal directories Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

CORE TASKS

The role holder will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of work as follows:

  • Drafting, negotiating and implementing acquisition/sale missives for a variety of transaction types
  • Assisting with negotiation and implementation of development/option agreements
  • General property management for various types of client/properties
  • Agricultural and Commercial Lease work (previous agricultural holdings experience not required)
  • Commercial and non-commercial development relating to large estates (including small and large scale renewables projects and residential developments)
  • Be aware of Brodies’ information security policies, and protect information assets from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, destruction or interference at all times

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Previous experience (minimum 4 years) of working in property is essential
  • Experience in commercial property and development work welcomed
  • Takes a pragmatic, pro-active and commercial approach to transactions
  • Interest and enthusiasm for property industry and rural sector
  • Excellent attention to detail with strong written and oral communication skills
  • Takes responsibility for their own transactions and advice
  • Ability to deal with competing priorities and meet deadlines
  • Works to understand the department’s key clients, the industry they operate in and the challenges they face
  • Provides client advice that is well presented and tailored to client needs
  • Committed to highest level of client care and service – always go the extra mile for clients
  • Enthusiasm for developing and bringing on others and able to delegate appropriately
  • Keen to actively participate in business development and development of client relationships

SKILLS

  • Self-motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise
  • Commercial and Profit Focus
  • Conduct and communication skills
  • Leading and developing self and others

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR810. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Suzanne Ross on 0131 656 0156

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Senior Solicitor / Associate (4-8 years PQE) – Corporate & Commercial / Corporate (2 positions) – Brodies LLP

Based in Edinburgh / Glasgow

REPORTING TO

Corporate Partners

JOB PURPOSE

We currently have an opportunity for a Senior Solicitor or Associate to join our award winning and top tier ranked Corporate team. The work is always interesting, seldom straightforward and you will need to be able to understand and articulate the commercial reasons behind the legal work you will be doing. You will work closely with existing clients and also be part of the continuing efforts of the team to win new clients and business.

As part of the team, you will be exposed to a wide range of high quality corporate and commercial matters including mergers and acquisitions, investments and complex private equity deals. Our clients come from a broad range of industry sectors and we handle all types of corporate transactions for UK and international clients, often co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional teams. Our experienced team acts for buyers and sellers, equity providers, management teams and targets. Our full service offering ensures that all aspects of the transaction are covered from investment to exit including finance, funding arrangements, tax and employment. There will also be opportunities to work on AIM and capital markets deals.

You will take the lead in drafting main transaction documents and project managing deals, as well as supervision of others within the team, in order to deliver exceptional service and results for clients.

In addition to general mergers and acquisitions, private equity and corporate work, you will have a strong interest in, and some understanding of, corporate structures and partnerships, cross border joint ventures and corporate reorganisations relative to groups of companies.

CORE TASKS

Our transactions vary and work assignments will depend upon the specific instructions we have at any one time. The following are illustrative but you can expect to be involved in advising clients and project-managing deals involving:

  • A wide range of corporate law matters, including start-ups, M&A transactions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, investments, reorganisations, shareholder/investment agreements and some AIM work
  • Partnerships, LLPs and Scottish Limited Partnerships
  • Advising clients on corporate governance issues such as director's conflict of interest, board composition, trading issues and shareholder relations
  • Advising clients on commercial contracts on occasion
  • Providing corporate support to other teams within the firm

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Experience of dealing with complex and challenging issues
  • Takes responsibility for managing own workload
  • Works effectively with other team members and is able to supervise the work of those less qualified but can also work autonomously
  • Committed to keeping up to date on changes in law and developments in practice area
  • Works to understand the department’s key clients, the industry they operate in and the challenges they face
  • Has excellent drafting skills and provides client advice that is well presented and tailored to their needs
  • Maintains regular contact with the clients and shows understanding of the priorities for the client
  • Active involvement in building the business through proactive business development activities linked to the department’s strategic plan
  • Can work efficiently and to tight deadlines
  • Communicates in a confident, clear commercially astute and relaxed way
  • Takes pride in quality of work
  • Takes responsibility for delivering quality client service
  • Tailors approach according to client need/style

SKILLS

  • Good communicator
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent written skills
  • Great legal knowledge
  • Sound commercial awareness
  • Proven track record in business development
  • Excellent client relationship management skills
  • Able to work efficiently and deliver to deadlines
  • Strong commitment to first class service delivery

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR809. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Sarah Marshall on 0141 428 3356.

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Private Client Solicitor (Min 2 Years' PQE) – Morgans Solicitors

Excellent opportunity for a Private Client Solicitor to join this full-service law firm, based in Dunfermline. 

Applicants will ideally have a minimum of 2 years' PQE dealing with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Executries, administration of Trusts and Guardianships and able to handle their own workload as part of our expanding Private Client Team. 

Please send Applications together with CV to mairidawson@morganlaw.co.uk.

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Solicitor Advocate / Advocate – Litigation / Insurance and Risk – Brodies LLP

Based in Edinburgh

REPORTING TO

Laura McMillan, Partner

JOB PURPOSE

We are looking for a solicitor advocate or advocate with a solid background in insurance litigation to join our litigation practice area in Edinburgh. The applicant should be at least 5 years PQE and professional negligence experience would be welcomed.

In this role, you will sit principally within our insurance & risk unit and will be responsible for advocacy in a variety of interesting and challenging disputes. Our client base includes organisations in a wide range of sectors such as finance, food and drink, retail, utilities, land & rural, insurance, sport, life sciences, oil and gas, charities and the public sector.

In addition to advisory and written work, you will be expected to appear in the Sheriff courts and Court of Session, with the opportunity to appear in the Supreme Court in appropriate cases. You will also be a member of our solicitor advocate panel and assist in enhancing our advocacy service.

The role will offer a great opportunity to progress your career within a litigation team with more specialists named as leading practitioners in the independent legal directories than any other law firm in Scotland.

CORE TASKS

  • Advocacy before Courts and other tribunals
  • Drafting pleadings and related legal documents
  • Producing thorough and accurate written opinion work for clients and colleagues
  • Effective communication skills in discussing legal issues with clients and colleagues
  • Attending consultations with clients and colleagues
  • Delivering exceptional client service at all times
  • Exercising excellent negotiation skills, where appropriate, in communications with other parties, regulators and other authorities
  • Actively contribute to our in house solicitor advocacy panel
  • Be able to work with a degree of autonomy
  • Support the development of the team’s internal and external profile
  • Be aware of Brodies’ information security policies, and protect information assets from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, destruction or interference at all times.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Strong insurance background as a solicitor advocate or advocate
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Takes personal responsibility to keep legal knowledge up to date
  • Shows understanding of clients’ needs and tailors advice appropriately
  • Demonstrates strong written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrates strong research skills
  • Ability to manage own case load

SKILLS

  • Self-motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise
  • Ability to apply knowledge
  • Commercial and profit focused
  • Excellent conduct and communication skills

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR798. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Samantha Mudie on 0131 526 4040.

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Senior Solicitor / Associate (3+ years PQE) – Litigation / Insurance & Risk (Casualty) – Brodies LLP

Based in Edinburgh / Glasgow

REPORTING TO

Elena Fry & Laura McMillan, Partners

JOB PURPOSE

We currently have an opportunity for an English qualified Senior Solicitor / Associate to join our growing Insurance and Risk (Casualty) Division. The team handles the defence of a wide range of liability claims from low value motor to technically complex multi-million pound cases. We are looking for an ambitious litigator with at least 3 years’ PQE in handling English personal injury cases to join our team.

In this role, you will have a varied and exciting workload. You will have your own caseload and assist senior members of the team in more complex cases. You will deal with the full range of defender liability claims for insurers and self-insured clients including personal injury, motor, employers and public liability, disease, property damage, product liability and fatal accidents.

CORE TASKS

  • Conduct the defence of personal injury cases in the English courts
  • Sound working knowledge of the MOJ portal and CPR
  • Handle own caseload of defender personal injury cases
  • Provide assistance to Partners and associates dealing with large and complex liability claims
  • Property damage claims and advisory work
  • Actively participate in the business development of the unit and liaise with current and prospective clients
  • Operate within the firm’s case management system
  • Be aware of Brodies’ information security policies, and protect information assets from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, destruction or interference at all times.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Experience of defending English personal injury litigation
  • Works effectively with other team members, and able to work as part of a team on larger cases
  • Takes responsibility for their own caseload subject to supervision
  • Works to understand the department’s key clients, the industry they operate in and the challenges they face
  • Has strong technical drafting skills and works in a logical manner
  • Provides client advice that is of the highest quality, well presented and tailored to their needs
  • Maintains regular contact with the clients and shows understanding of the priorities for the client
  • Communicates in a confident, clear and relaxed way
  • A flexible approach to tasks as may be working for a number of people at one time

SKILLS

  • Self-motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise
  • Applied knowledge
  • Commercial and profit focus
  • Conduct and communications skills

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR767. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Samantha Mudie on 0131 526 4040.

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Associate – Corporate Tax & Incentives – Brodies LLP

Based in Glasgow

REPORTING TO

Karen Davidson, Partner, Corporate Tax & Incentives

JOB PURPOSE

We have an exciting opportunity for an Associate to join our Corporate Tax & Incentives team. Our team of solicitors, chartered accountants and chartered tax advisors has the experience and specialist skills to provide clients with pragmatic and technically astute advice on UK and Scottish taxes.

The team advise on the tax aspects of company acquisitions, disposals and reconstructions, and complex commercial property transactions, together with tax optimisation of insolvency-related transactions and restructurings. We provide standalone tax planning and compliance advice as well as comprehensive transactional support. The team also provide tax consultancy services to accountancy and other legal firms, particularly in relation to property tax issues.

The key focus of the role will be to advise on the tax implications of corporate, commercial and property transactions. Working as part of a team with a varied client base, you will also have the opportunity to get involved in a broad range of tax advisory work including employment taxes and structuring employee incentives.

Brodies’ Corporate Tax team are highly ranked in Chambers (Band 1) and work closely with other market leading departments within the firm. Team leader Isobel d’Inverno is noted as a leading individual in taxation in Scotland.

CORE TASKS

  • Advising on tax structuring of corporate transactions
  • Drafting and negotiating transactional tax documentation for corporate acquisitions and disposals
  • Advising clients and colleagues on SDLT/LBTT and VAT implications as well as general tax structuring of property transactions
  • Advising on the availability of entrepreneur’s relief Advising on the implications of Scottish income tax
  • Advising on the design and implementation of employee share incentives including implications on corporate transactions
  • Presenting or assisting with property tax updates, e-updates, client seminars and training
  • Be aware of Brodies’ information security policies, and protect information assets from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, destruction or interference at all times

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Some experience in tax, gained as a result of previous work experience, study or qualification (please note that a legal or accountancy qualification is not essential for this role)
  • Genuine interest and enthusiasm for tax
  • Takes a pragmatic and commercial approach to transactions
  • Participating in and contributing to the business development activities of the unit, department and firm
  • Shows understanding of clients’ needs, and tailors advice appropriately
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Communicates in a confident, clear and relaxed way
  • Adapts style of communication appropriately when dealing with colleagues and clients
  • Takes responsibility for their own workload, subject to supervision
  • Ability to deal with competing priorities and meet deadlines
  • Works to understand the department’s key clients, the industry they operate in and the challenges they face
  • Keeping appraised of changes in the law and developments in the practice area.

SKILLS

  • Self motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise
  • Commercial and Profit Focus
  • Conduct and communication skills

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR775. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Samantha Mudie on 0131 526 4040.

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Professional Support Lawyer – Corporate & Commercial / Corporate – Brodies LLP

REPORTING TO

Brenda Scott, Head of Legal Practice and Shuna Stirling Corporate and Commercial Practice Area Leader

JOB PURPOSE

To provide professional support to the Corporate unit of the Corporate and Commercial practice areas.

CORE TASKS

  • Monitoring legislative change and case law in respect of material issues associated with corporate matters
  • Providing ad hoc briefings to Corporate and, where required, wider practice areas, in an appropriate format on matters of interest including legal updates, deal issues, sharing answers to technical queries, update on government consultations, etc.
  • Developing client updates on corporate related matters in the appropriate style
  • Participating in firm-wide knowledge management and training group and collaborate, where appropriate, with other PSLs and senior team members from other practice areas. Participating in knowledge-sharing meetings with PSLs and KMs from other firms and organisations. Collating and co-ordinating styles/standard documents and practice;. monitoring updates on standard documents, and new negotiation points
  • Supporting the implementation of automated styles/standard documents (using Contract Express), reviewing automated styles/standard documents (Contract Express) and occasionally providing support to lawyers.
  • Supporting the Corporate Business and Practice Development effort:
    • Working with and supporting Corporate team members on their business and practice development efforts including preparation of relevant collateral/materials
    • Participating in the Corporate PR team and developing ideas for/writing online content to promote the Corporate team
    • Disseminating market statistics and market intelligence from external sources such as Mergermarket
    • Identifying opportunities to improve process and ways of working to deliver increased efficiencies and improved client service delivery
  • Providing practical support to junior lawyers and trainees as they carry out client work and firm development work.
  • Client training – in collaboration with team members, prepare seminars for clients and support Corporate team members on specific external conference presentations, and support any customised client-facing training  
  • Research/Technical Queries – carry out research for Corporate team members, allocate specific tasks to NQ /trainees resource and draft in specialist support from wider team when needed
  • Updating and managing the corporate knowledge bank
  • Team Training - organise and oversee the team training programme. You will develop and deliver some training yourself, but also identify topics to be delivered by other team members and support them in developing that training.   Develop links with other teams and pursue opportunities for reciprocal training where appropriate
  • External training – co-ordinate the approval process for external training requests from the Corporate & Commercial practice area
  • External Links – The PSL will have opportunities to interact with other firms' PSLs through various networks.
  • Be aware of Brodies’ information security policies, and protect information assets from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, destruction or interference at all times.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Excellent attention to detail with ability to communicate clearly and confidently
  • Ability to develop strong and trusted working relationships at all levels
  • Strong research skills
  • Ability to manage own case load
  • Good IT skills
  • Able to adapt style of communication appropriately when dealing with clients
  • Has strong drafting skills and works in a logical manner
  • Works effectively in a team
  • Enthusiasm and aptitude for supporting the different areas covered by the team
  • Understands the team’s key clients, the industry in which they operate and the challenges they face.

SKILLS

  • Self motivated and driven
  • Prepared, organised and able to prioritise
  • Applied knowledge
  • Commercial and profit focus
  • Conduct and communication skills
  • Leading and developing others 

To apply for this position please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to legalrecruitment@brodies.com quoting reference number BR769. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact Samantha Mudie on 0131 526 4040.

Brodies is committed to equality, diversity & the creation of an inclusive work environment where no partner, employee, potential employee or job applicant receives less favourable treatment. We value the skills, experience and perspective that a diverse and representative workforce offers us in terms of our ability to deliver top class legal services to our clients.

Please go to brodies.com/privacy-notice/if-you-are-a-job-applicant to understand in greater detail how we may use your personal information.

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Legal Advisor – OSCR

Dundee

£36,328 - £43,923

We are currently seeking applications for a Legal Advisor within the Professional Advice and Intelligence Team and will be based in Dundee. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and the new entrant will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria will be invited to interview.

The matters on which legal advice is requested can vary widely, from a specific technical interpretation of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 to advice on complex constitutional arrangements of charities, alleged misconduct and enforcement action.

Advice will not only be required on matters immediately related to charity law, but also to other areas of law, including trust, company, equality and public law. Advice may also require to be provided on FOI and data protection.

For further information and to apply, simply visit our website www.work-for-scotland.org.

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Events

Law Society of Scotland: Residential and commercial property joint conference

Tuesday 18 June | Edinburgh

Attend joint sessions relevant to both residential and commercial then pick and choose from sessions focussing on your area.

The conference has a line-up of leading experts and a specialised programme to provoke, stimulate, challenge and educate you on the latest key issues in conveyancing practice across Scotland.

Speakers include:

  • Austin Lafferty, Austin Lafferty Ltd
  • Deborah Lovell, Commercial Property Specialist, Anderson Strathern
  • Isobel d'Inverno, Head of Corporate Tax & Incentives, Brodies LLP
  • Dave Kerr, Client Relationship Director, Moore Legal Technology
  • Alan Barr, Partner, Brodies LLP
  • Jonathan Eshkeri, Director, E&G Solicitors in Spain
  • Debra Clapham, Claphams Solicitors
  • Andrew Todd, Group Director and General Counsel, Springfield Properties PLC
  • David Bell, Commercial Partner, Harper Macleod
  • Frances Rooney, Founder, Lexares LLP
  • Dr Andrew Steven, Commissioner, Scottish Law Commission
  • Morna Grandison, Director, Interventions, Law Society of Scotland
  • Gillian Alexander, Senior Solicitor, Professional Practice, Law Society of Scotland

5.5 hours' verifiable CPD

To book, get more information or view the full schedule please visit www.lawscot.org.uk/jointpropertyconference

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Scots Law 2019 returns to BT Murrayfield

CLT Scotland, in association with the University of Strathclyde, has launched the next event in the Scots Law 2019 Convention Series. Taking place at BT Murrayfield on 28 and 29 October, delegates will be able to choose from 10 individual conferences, each providing 6 hours of CPD.

Roy Spiers, CLT Scotland’s Director of Programmes, said: “Our Scots Law Conventions Series is now firmly established in the legal calendar and we are delighted to return to Murrayfield in October after another successful event at the Glasgow Hilton.”

The 10 individual conferences at the event will cover the subject areas of Conveyancing, Private Client, Contract Law, Personal Injury, Family Law, Licensing, Commercial Property, Employment Law, Intellectual Property and Rural Law. All bookings received on or before 2nd August will attract an advanced offer price starting from £140 plus VAT.

Delegates can register by booking at www.clt.scot/scots-law, emailing enquiries@clt.scot or calling 0141 225 6700.

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Compass Chambers Glasgow Conference 2019

Compass Chambers is delighted to invite you to attend our annual Glasgow Conference which will take place on Friday 28 June at The Hilton, Glasgow, from 1pm until 5pm.

Under the Law Society of Scotland's Guidelines, delegates may claim 3 hours of CPD time. The conference is open to all solicitors, in-house lawyers, trainees and paralegals.

Compass prides itself on being innovative and, with this in mind, we will be using the CrowdCompass event app at the Conference this year. The app aims to give delegates a more integrated and interactive experience. On the app you will be able to view the Conference schedule and see details of all the speakers and sessions. You will be able to access handouts from the talks, make notes, leave feedback, as well as interacting on social media.

To ensure we can continue to improve the conference year on year we have decided to introduce an admission fee of £35 per delegate.

We believe this to be a reasonable charge that will not only help to continue the improvements to the Conference in the years ahead, but will also substantially raise the contribution to our annual charity, as £12 from each admission fee will be donated to charity. Our nominated charity for this year is the Edinburgh Food Project.

We will be running a Civil and a Regulatory Conference side-by-side. The topics and speakers for each are as follows:

CONFERENCE PROGRAMMES

13:00   Combined Registration for both programmes

Civil Programme

 

FAI Update: Two Years on from the New Act - Emma Toner

Sun, Sea and San Miguel - Foreign Travel Claims - Calum Wilson

Industrial Disease Update - Geoff Clarke QC

The Limitation (Childhood Abuse)(Scotland) Act 2017 - David Sheldon QC

Regulatory Programme

-

Breach of Trust in Embezzlement: Sentencing Consequences - Clare Connelly

Health & Safety Sentencing Update - Peter Gray QC

FAI Update: Two Years on from the New Act - Emma Toner

Regulatory Crime Prosecutions & Analysis of Preliminary Pleas & other Pre-Trial Issues - Mark Stewart QC

The event will continue with a drinks reception and canapés from 5pm, to which all conference attendees are invited.

BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT! Places at the Conference can be booked through Eventbrite by clicking here.

If you need any further information about the Conference, please contact Erica Marmo on 0131 260 5696 or erica.marmo@compasschambers.com

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Faculty of Advocates Employment Law Group Conference 2019

Date: Monday 24 June 2019

Venue: Mackenzie Building, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

CPD TBC

Time: 9.00am – 3.30pm

Speakers/events include: 

9.00 am           Registration and coffee

9.15 am           Introductory Remarks: Chair Maurice O’Carroll

9.30 am          The Honourable Lord Summers, Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal: “Fired because of Facebook: Recent case law on the Use of Social Media and Unfair Dismissal”

10.15 am         Brian Napier QC: “Workers’ Rights post Brexit”

11.00 am         Coffee

11.30 am         Susan Walker ET Vice President “Privacy and Restrictions on Disclosure in the Employment Tribunal – the scope of Rule 50

12.15 am         Questions and Answers for the Panel Members

12.30 pm         Lunch

1.30 pm           Break Out Sessions involving participants:

Alice Stobart – “Advocacy Skills in First Instance Court”

David Hay – “Written and Oral Advocacy Skills in Appellate Court

3.00 pm           General Discussion and Questions

Please click on the following link to register for the event and choose the break out session of choice (4 groups of 10-20 delegates). The cost will be £50 plus VAT to include lunch and coffee.

To register please click here

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-faculty-of-advocates-employment-law-group-conference-2019-tickets-58786568208.

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Employee share incentives seminar in Edinburgh next month

The Edinburgh Tax Network, in conjunction with Terra Firma Chambers, will present a seminar entitled “Practical aspects of Employee Share Incentives for Private Companies?” on Thursday 27th June 2019 at the Mackenzie Building, Old Assembly Close, Edinburgh.

The speaker will be Karen Davidson of Brodies LLP. Ms Davidson has over 20 years’ experience (in legal practice as well as at a senior level in a Big Four consulting practice) of advising on the structuring and implementation employee/management equity incentive arrangements as well as advising on the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, investments and corporate re-organisations. She is ideally placed to speak on this subject.

Registration will commence at 12.30pm with the seminar starting at 1pm. It has been accredited by the Faculty of Advocates as contributing 1 hour's CPD for its own members and is eligible for a similar award from the Law Society for the solicitor branch of the profession. For full details, please visit www.terrafirmachambers.com/seminars.html.

There is no charge for attendance, however, booking is necessary - to reserve a space at this event please email seminars@terrafirmachambers.com.

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Ampersand Advocates Summer Clinical Negligence Seminar 2019 (limited places remaining)

Ampersand Advocates Summer Clinical Negligence Seminar 2019 (waiting list in operation)

Registration is open for the Ampersand Advocates annual Clinical Negligence seminar. The seminar is now full but we are operating a waiting list.

Chaired by Vinit Khurana QC, confirmed speakers are:

  • Dr Alex Stirling, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, from the CMOS’ department, speaking on Realistic Medicine.
  • Dr Neil Grubb, Consultant cardiologist, speaking on “Consenting practice changes in Cardiology since Montgomery“.
  • Jamie Dawson, advocate on Procedural issues in clinical negligence litigation.
  • Isla Davie, advocate with a Case law update.
  • Dr John Miller, Consultant radiologist on “In the dark? – The philosophy of error”.
  • Dr Sarah Cooper, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, “Is my baby normal?”.
  • Archie Macsporran, advocate on periodical payment agreements.

As part of our commitment to this area of practice there is no charge to attend this event.

Numbers are strictly limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Register via our events site here. If a place becomes available we will let you know as soon as possible.

 

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