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Scottish Legal News: Monday 27th October 2014

Police Scotland - Good Or Bad For Scottish Justice?

Latest News
Convicted murderer’s application for leave to appeal to UK Supreme Court refused
Law Society says ‘undue burden’ to be put on charities if OSCR proposals go ahead
Bus driver who ran ahead of schedule wins unfair dismissal case
Business unites to voice disquiet over 5 per cent leap in Scottish planning fees
Banking partner Alex Innes joins HBJ Gateley
England: solicitors’ watchdog to relax rules on ‘Tesco law’
Barrister jailed for tax fraud of £274,000
America: nurse held in quarantine despite testing negative for ebola to file lawsuit
And finally…obiter quiptum

Advertorial: A bridge too far for bridging finance?

Latest Jobs
Solicitor/Senior Solicitor – Gillespie Macandrew
Senior Solicitor (Commercial Property Department) – Davidson Chalmers 
Compliance Officer – Ashurst
Solicitor (IPTC) – MacRoberts
Solicitor (Claims Validation Team) – DAC Beachcroft
Paralegal (Claims Validation Team) – DAC Beachcroft
Residential Conveyancing Paralegal/Solicitor – Pagan Osborne
Conveyancing Solicitor (Maternity cover) – Ledingham Chalmers
Senior Solicitor (Litigation and Regulatory Services) – Renfrewshire Council
Paralegal – Burness Paull
Employment Solicitor (1-4 Years PQE) – Burness Paull
IP/IT Solicitor (0-2 Years PQE) – Burness Paull
Property Solicitor – SSE
Solicitor (temporary maternity cover) – Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
 

 


 




Police Scotland - Good Or Bad For Scottish Justice?


 

Latest News 

Convicted murderer’s application for leave to appeal to UK Supreme Court refused

A murderer who claimed the Crown’s failure to disclose evidence breached his right to a fair trial has had an application for leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court dismissed.
 
Patrick Docherty, who along with a co-accused was found guilty of the murder of Margaret Irvine at her home in Galston in March 2005, claimed that a “miscarriage of justice” had occurred.
However, his two appeals against conviction – the second of which followed a reference by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission – were refused by the Criminal Appeal Court.
 
Mr Docherty sought leave to appeal against the refusal of his second appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Crown’s admitted failure to disclose certain police statements, the reliance on evidence from one of his police interviews which took place without him having had access to legal advice, and a misdirection by the trial judge in relation to dock identification, amounted to “convertible devolution issues”.
 
However, the Lord Justice General, Lord Gill, sitting with Lady Smith and Lady Clark of Calton, ruled that the application was incompetent.
 
The first three grounds of appeal – two instances of non-disclosure of police statements and the reliance of evidence of one of the applicant’s police interviews – were presented as being convertible devolution issues.
 
The fourth ground was not a convertible devolution issue at the time of the appeal, but it was submitted that by the time the appeal court was determining the matter in the second appeal, it was “de facto determining a compatibility issue” because it was deciding whether or not a public authority had acted contrary to article 6 of the convention.
 
However, the judges refused that application because the court did not determine any compatibility issues in the second appeal and there can be no competent appeal to the Supreme Court in the absence of the determination by the court of a compatibility issue. 

Delivering the opinion of the court, Lady Smith (pictured) said: “None of the grounds argued in the appeals became devolution issues or compatibility issues by virtue of their subject matter also happening to have been apt for consideration as article 6 matters. 

“Insofar as the matters raised in the grounds of appeal might have become convertible devolution issues, they were determined when the court refused to entertain them at the start of the first appeal hearing.”

She added: “In fairness to counsel, since the application relies on what are referred to as de facto breaches of art 6 and de facto determination of compatibility issues, it appears to be accepted that there were no compatibility issues actually before this court in either appeal. 

“That demonstrates, however, that nothing in the application can properly be viewed as a submission that this court erred in law on a compatibility issue.  

“The application, accordingly, fails to meet one of the essential requirements for the grant of leave. In these circumstances, the second requirement – that the application raises an issue of general public importance – does not arise but we would, in any event, have concluded that it does not do so.”

Law Society says ‘undue burden’ to be put on charities if OSCR proposals go ahead

Small charities face the prospect of greater administrative burdens if proposals put forward by the charity regulator go ahead, the Law Society of Scotland warned today.
 
Changes being proposed by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) will see a number of new questions being asked of charities via their annual return which all charities are obliged to complete. 
 
Charities will have to answer a number of sections depending on their income level, with the lowest income threshold being set at £25,000.
 
Stephen Phillips, convener of the Society’s charity law committee, said: “We are supportive of any measures which aim to improve public trust and confidence in charities, however there is a risk that these new measures will place an undue burden on charities, smaller ones in particular.
 
“We believe that the proposed threshold of £25,000 is too low if the number of questions being proposed in the annual return is to remain as is.  It would place far too great a reporting burden on smaller charities.  We believe that the threshold should broadly reflect the level of income a typical charity would be likely to have with at least one full time paid member of staff.
 
“We would also call for further guidance from OSCR on the reasoning behind some of the proposed questions – as the way in which some of the questions are posed could give a misleading impression that certain approaches are considered best practice for every charity, which is not necessarily the case.”
 
The proposals also consider the introduction of a Serious Incident Reporting obligation on charities, meaning that charities would be obliged to report every instance of fraud or theft, amongst other matters, to the regulator, no matter how small.
 
Mr Phillips added: “Issues such as fraud and theft are matters for the police. If a serious incident occurs then self-evidently the charity should take steps to try and ensure it does not happen again, but we would question whether reporting such incidents to OSCR is always appropriate.
 
“We would certainly suggest that if a serious incident reporting regime is to be introduced, then some further consideration should be given to the question of what constitutes a serious incident, taking into account the diverse nature of charities, their activities and scale.
 
“There also needs to be a strong commitment by OSCR to respond to what could be a significant number of notifications.  If OSCR is unable to provide the necessary support, the process of gathering statistics on serious incidents may have the effect of decreasing public confidence in Scottish charities - contrary to the strategic aim behind these new proposals.”

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Bus driver who ran ahead of schedule wins unfair dismissal case

A bus driver who was sacked for running ahead of schedule has been reinstated and has won over £13,000 at an employment tribunal after a judge ruled mitigating circumstances outweighed her error.
 
Lynda Marley was fired by First Glasgow for being 12 minutes ahead of schedule but successfully sued the company for unfair dismissal.
 
The company argued Ms Marley’s actions amounted to gross misconduct and justified her dismissal.
 
However, employment judge Reginald Christie ruled the firm’s decision was disproportionate and inappropriate.
 
In his written judgment he said: “A reasonable employer would have considered dismissal to be outside the range of reasonable sanctions, thus the circumstances in which Mr Marley’s conduct took place rendered it not ‘sufficient for dismissal’.

“Accordingly the dismissal was unfair.”
 
The tribunal heard that on the day of the incident Ms Marley was both ill and anxious about a relative who was to undergo serious surgery that day.
 
In addition, it heard that her company watch was broken and her own watch was running at the wrong time.
 
When she arrived 14 minutes early at East Kilbride Bus Station an on-street inspector reported her to manager David Cameron, who looked at the CCTV footage of Ms Marley’s route.
 
The judgment added: “Mr Cameron noted that according to the running board her departure time from Calderwood was supposed to have been 11.27 and she had arrived at that terminus at 11.03.
 
“Mr Cameron noted that the exact time when she departed the terminus was 11.15 – i.e. some 12 minutes early.
 
“The first timing point along the route was East Kilbride Bus Station at which she was due to arrive at 11.37.
 
“Mr Cameron noted however that she arrived in fact at 11.23 – some 14 minutes early.”
 
The tribunal also heard that staff were issued with a notice in 2010 entitled “Pride and Punctuality”.
 
The notice warned drivers that if they ran between one and four minutes early they would be given a first and final warning and that if they ran over five minutes early they would be dismissed.
 
Judge Christie provided that Ms Marley’s mitigating circumstances, combined with her “exemplary” employment record, family situation and a lack of evidence that she had acted deliberately all outweighed the seriousness of the incident.
 
The company was ordered to pay Ms Marley just over £13,000 and to reinstate her by November 5.
 
The judgment added: “As with all orders for reinstatement, it is to be hoped that the parties will enter into the renewed relationship in the spirit for which the order is intended and further that the claimant is able to return and carry out her function to the standard of which she had been capable previously – something which should not be difficult for her as long as she keeps an eye on a proper clock.”
 
A spokeswoman for First Glasgow said punctual services were a “key priority” and added that that drivers are aware of the disciplinary sanctions that result from running ahead of schedule.
 
She added: “There is no justification for a bus to run early and action can and has been taken in the past against operators for failing to adhere to timetable.
 
“We note the outcome of the tribunal and are considering available options.” 

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Business unites to voice disquiet over 5 per cent leap in Scottish planning fees

Four of Scotland’s leading trade associations have combined to voice their disquiet at the Scottish Government’s decision to increase fees for planning applications by more than twice the rate of inflation.
 
The four trade associations – the British Aggregates Association, Homes for Scotland, Scottish Retail Consortium, and Scottish Tourism Alliance – have spoken out ahead of the 5 per cent increase which will come into effect this week, on 1 November. It follows a previous 20 per cent rise in fees introduced in 2013.
 
Richard Bird, secretary of the Stirlingshire-based British Aggregates Association, said: “We already have concerns about the lack of sufficiently experienced planners to deal with mineral planning applications, and this further bumper leap in fees will only exacerbate that.”
 
Homes for Scotland’s head of planning strategy, Blair Melville, said: “Homes for Scotland members have always stated that they would be willing to pay higher planning application fees in return for a quality service.

"However, the Scottish Government’s own Planning Performance Framework monitoring shows a system which falls far short of the standards of customer service, speed and efficiency that the country needs if new development is to stimulate economic growth.
 
“There are some bright spots and good authorities, but too many are still offering inadequate service, and the worst-performing Councils are undoubtedly acting as a drag on development.

"In addition, when public service spending cuts are continuing, we have no confidence that increased planning application fees will be used to improve staffing or service levels in planning departments.”
 
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers want to see an effective and well-resourced planning system, one that facilitates investment in new or existing retail premises.

"However it is far from clear that this further above-inflation rise in fees, coming on top of last year’s hefty 20 per cent increase, has been accompanied by a commensurate and demonstrable improvement in service to retail applicants.”
 
Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: "Scotland's tourism industry has enjoyed a strong 2014. However if we are to maximise the momentum of the past 12 months and achieve the growth ambition set out in the national tourism strategy, then investment into many existing businesses and new assets is essential."
 
Mr Crothall (pictured) added: “Managing costs remains a challenge and commitments to tourism investment need surety that the upfront costs are justified. The industry has yet to be convinced of the need for this further above inflation rise in planning fees. Tourism firms will expect to see improvement in the service provided and especially in the pace of processing applications."
 
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Banking partner joins HBJ Gateley


Senior lawyer Alex Innes has joined HBJ Gateley as a partner in its banking and finance team.
 
Mr Innes, who is dual-qualified in Scots and English law, brings 25 years of experience, and specialises in advising borrowers on acquisition of bank debt and restructuring deals, as well as senior level strategic business advice.
 
He joins from Anderson Strathern, where he was also a partner, and is joined by solicitor Euan Anderson.
 
Mr Innes said: “HBJ Gateley’s strong partnerships with growing entrepreneurial businesses sits very well with my experience of helping companies access growth finance, as well as advising them on the strategic elements of achieving their objectives.
 
“Scotland’s legal industry is a small place so I know the team well at HBJ Gateley. That made the decision to join much easier. There is a strong focus on clients with an extremely positive hands-on culture among partners which fits well with my own approach.”
 
Mr Innes has advised senior in-house teams in financial services and industry on all aspects of banking law, and is also experienced in commercial real estate finance and corporate law.
 
Malcolm McPherson, senior partner at HBJ Gateley, said: “Alex’s qualities and track record speak for themselves; first-class technical legal ability, and a strong eye for the bigger picture.
 
“Clients look to us for real value and we believe we can provide the kind of advice which makes a real difference.
 
“Alex adds to our already-strong team of quality lawyers and we’re looking forward to his contribution to the firm in the future.”

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England: solicitors’ watchdog to relax rules on ‘Tesco law’

Rules allowing non-law firms to enter the profession have been relaxed by the solicitors’ watchdog over two years after the “Tesco law” reforms failed to attract significant challengers to the industry.
 
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has relaxed the rules in a bid to make it easier for companies to operate under Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licenses.
 
The licenses, introduced in 2011, allow companies to offer legal services and let non-lawyers own or invest in law firms.
 
KPMG was awarded a multi-disciplinary license recently which means its solicitors can offer clients more services.
 
However, the rules have been prohibitive so far, with all but two of the 71 licenses granted in the first half of the year requiring some kind of waiver from the SRA.
 
BT was one of the first entrants, launching BT Law in March last year.
 
It uses its existing in-house lawyer team to service a small number of clients in employment law and motor claims cases.
 
In addition, Admiral, the AA and Stobart Group have all opened practices under the rules.
 
Despite the “Tesco law” moniker, no supermarkets have obtained licenses, with some solicitors saying the standard of advice would decline.
 
However, the SRA’s proposals to take a “flexible approach” to applications was approved by the Legal Services Board last week.
 
Paul Philip, SRA chief executive (pictured), said: "This is an important milestone in our reform programme, increasing competition and encouraging growth in the legal services market.”
 
Others have also been given licensing powers, with the accountancy trade body the ICAEW being authorised last year to license companies to undertake probate work.
 
It has so far received interest form 250 potential applicants.

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Barrister jailed for tax fraud of £274,000

A barrister has been sentenced to three years in prison for committing tax fraud to the value of £274,000.
 
Michael Roberts, 58, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday for failing to declare his earnings or pay tax after he declared bankruptcy in 2008.
 
Mr Roberts initially pleaded not guilty but altered his plea on the advice of his lawyers.
 
He also admitted a charge of perjury in light of evidence he had lied during his bankruptcy hearing.
 
The court heard that Mr Roberts attempted to dupe HM Revenue and Customs by not submitting tax returns, so it would think he was not working.
 
In addition, he charged his clients VAT without himself paying it. He was arrested in July 2012.
                                        
John Cooper, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “Roberts was a legal professional in a position of trust, well aware of his tax obligations and that he was breaking the law.
 
“He chose to overlook this to make what he assumed would be easy money at the expense of UK taxpayers and now he has to pay the price.”
 
Mr Roberts established his own legal practice in 2007, where he specialised in property law as well as commercial and insolvency cases.
 
He was declared bankrupt in 2008, with debts of £700,000 in unpaid taxes.
 
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America: nurse held in quarantine despite testing negative for ebola to file lawsuit

A quarantined nurse who tested negative for Ebola has hired a prominent lawyer to help get her out of isolation.
 
Kaci Hickox is being held at Newark University Hospital even though she tested negative for the disease.
 
Her attorney, Norman Siegel, told the New York Times yesterday that Ms Hickox’s quarantine brought up “substantial civil liberties issues”.
 
He told Reuters his client is due to file a federal lawsuit over her quarantine.
 
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey demanded details on a policy of the state’s governor Chris Christie requiring a mandatory 21-day quarantine of returning health workers who came into contact with Ebola patients while in West Africa.
 
Udi Ofer, executive director of New Jersey's ACLU, said in a statement: "Ebola is a public health issue and the government’s response should be driven by science and facts and not by fear."
 
Mr Ofer (pictured) added: “We must treat our medical workers who put their lives at risk, and are the only ones who can contain this epidemic, with compassion and not like criminals.”
 
He added that the organization had "serious constitutional concerns about the state abusing its powers".
 
Ms Hickox landed at Newark Liberty Airport on Friday a few hours after Mr Christie’s announcement on mandatory quarantine.
 
She described her ordeal in an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News on Saturday.
 
She said: "I was tired, hungry and confused, but I tried to remain calm.
 
"My temperature was taken using a forehead scanner and it read a temperature of 98."
 
Her temperature later rose, which she attributed to the stressfulness of the situation, and she was quarantined.
 
She told CNN yesterday that she has a portable toilet but no shower or television and weak phone reception.
 
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said aggressive quarantines such as this contradict science and could negatively impact the situation in West Africa.
 
Speaking to ABC, he said: "Let’s not forget the best way to stop this epidemic and protect America is to stop it in Africa, and you can really help stopping it in Africa if we have our people, our heroes, the health care workers, go there and help us to protect America.
 
"If you put everyone in one basket, even people who are clearly no threat, then we have the problem of the disincentive of people that we need."
 
Doctors Without Borders, whom Ms Hickox volunteered for, said: Doctors Without Borders is very concerned about the conditions and uncertainty she is facing,"
 
"While measures to protect public health are of paramount importance, they must be balanced against the rights of health workers."
 
Mr Christie defended his policy in an interview with Fox News yesterday.
 
He said: "The government's job is to protect safety and health of our citizens.
 
"I have no second thoughts about it."

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And finally... obiter quiptum

A man recently appeared in court after he allegedly pretended to be a solicitor over a three year period.
 
Kieran Healey, 36, was charged with being an unqualified person impersonating a solicitor between August 2011 and August of this year.
 
In addition, he was charged with making a false representation and possessing articles for fraudulent use.
 
The case was adjourned until November 20 but district judge, Barney McElholm, expressed mystification at Mr Healey’s alleged behaviour.
 
He said: “On occasion I have had cause to pretend not to be a solicitor. Why anyone would want to pretend to be one I don’t know.”
 
In 2012 the judge sent four men to the cells for two hours after they laughed when a phone rang in his court.
 
In another case that year he said he was minded to refuse bail to a man who had assaulted a police officer.
 
The man shouted “that’s a f***ing joke” and refused to apologise.
 
Judge McElholm sentenced him to two weeks for contempt – to which the defendant responded: "go f**k yourself; get a wig you baldy c**t"
 
The judge increased the sentence to 28 days.

In a still earlier case involving a man possessing a circular saw, the judge said that too many young men were fascinated by martial arts "and by Ninja Turles".
  • Contributions from SLN readers to our "And finally" section are welcome – they should be sent to: newsdesk@scottishnews.com
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Advertorial: A bridge too far for bridging finance?

Since combining with London & European towards the end of 2013, Titlesolv has enjoyed a very strong first year.

We are well ahead of our objective to triple in size by 2015 and, as a result of this growth, we recently relocated to expanded office space in Fenchurch Street.
 
This is a particularly exciting time, not just for Titlesolv but for the whole industry. As a result of increased understanding of the role of bridging finance, its use amongst brokers and investors is growing.
 
However, in recent speeches, the Financial Conduct Authority has expressed unease with the market's sudden growth.

f it follows up with an investigation - and as a result determines that bridging finance is being used inappropriately - then it could introduce regulation to restrict access to certain categories of borrowers.

A potential regulatory shift could therefore herald a sea-change for the industry: we look forward to being a part of it.
 
Click here to read more...

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Jobs

Solicitor/Senior Solicitor – Gillespie Macandrew


We are currently recruiting for a Solicitor/Senior Solicitor to join our established Land and Rural Business Division in our Edinburgh Office.   The successful candidate will carry out a full range of rural property and agricultural work including handling rural purchase and sale transactions, advising on crofting issues and advising on agricultural holdings legislation. 
 
The role requires a highly motivated, pro-active and commercially minded individual with excellent technical skills and a strong client focussed approach.  You will be ambitious and a confident team player with the ability to prioritise a varied workload.  The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 1-2 year relevant post‑qualification experience although application from more experienced candidates will be considered.
 
This is an excellent opportunity for the right candidate to develop their career in a professional and rewarding environment.  A competitive salary and benefits package is offered.  If you are interested in applying for this role, please send a full CV stating current remuneration to recruitment@gillespiemacandrew.co.uk

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Senior Solicitor (Commercial Property Department) – Davidson Chalmers 

The Davidson Chalmers Commercial Property department is growing rapidly and has a new opportunity for a Senior Solicitor with not less than 5 years PQE to fill a new and important role.
 
This new role will focus on property development opportunities across the commercial, house builder and retail sectors. 
 
Recent direct legal experience is required, along with the ability to build and maintain long lasting relationships with key clients in a confident and effective manner, and to work well with other members of the team.
 
The successful candidate, in addition to meeting client requirements, will thrive under pressure, be highly motivated, versatile and keen to make a significant contribution to developing this busy and growing department.
 
The role will involve supporting two commercial property partners and providing a wide range of legal advice in a commercial and business focused way. In addition, the role will also be responsible for supervising other junior team members, developing their technical knowledge and skills and encouraging efficient workload management.
 
Day-to-day duties will be varied but will include drafting, negotiating, concluding and implementing purchase/sale contracts and leases; drafting, negotiating and concluding options, Development Agreements and Forward Funding Agreements; examining title and reporting to clients, and other related tasks.
 
Davidson Chalmers is an award winning full service commercial legal practice based in Edinburgh.  The firm’s underlying business rationale is to provide clients with excellent quality service which combines first rate technical legal skills with practical commercial advice.
 
With all members of the team working in an open plan environment, the role offers a great opportunity for career progression in a positive and friendly environment.  A competitive salary and a range of benefits are offered.
 
If you are interested in this role, please submit your CV along with a covering letter or email indicating your current salary and why you believe you are the best applicant for the post to the HR Department, Davidson Chalmers LLP, 12 Hope Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4DB (Email: Pamela.easton@davidsonchalmers.com).

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Family Solicitor – Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie

Family Solicitor, Glasgow
 
WJM is a medium sized Scottish law firm with locations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.  We have been in business for over 150 years and have a strong focus on client service.  Our Family Law team is highly regarded in the industry with an excellent roster of clients including family business clients.
 
We are seeking a Glasgow based family solicitor, 2 years + PQE.  The role will consist of the need to manage a portfolio of work and assist the partner on more complex work. 
 
WJM’s family law client base has expanded significantly over the past few years and continues to grow.  A willingness and ability to help build the business is essential. You will be expected to contribute to business development by bringing new ideas, attending networking groups, conferences and other events to help build both yours and the firm’s profile to that of a strong family law practice.
 
As well as having the necessary experience and technical expertise you must be committed to providing an excellent level of client service and to building a relationship with other members of our full service dispute resolution team. It is crucial that you can deliver that advice in a straightforward manner and with a level of confidence.
 
WJM offers good candidates the opportunity of a great career in a medium sized,  client focused environment.  We also offer competitive salary and benefit packages according to the experience you will bring to the Firm.  If you are interested in this great opportunity please send your CV or apply on our Application Form to Recruitment Team at recruitment@wjm.co.uk, quoting reference GLFL10/14.

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Compliance Officer – Ashurst

Glasgow – Compliance Officer

Ashurst is a leading global law firm. We have 28 offices in 16 countries and advise some of the world's leading financial institutions and corporates as well as governments.

We have established a new office in Glasgow to deliver innovative legal sourcing solutions and are now looking to recruit a team of Compliance Officers to this new legal centre of excellence. These are new roles to the market, which reflect the changing way in which legal services are being delivered.

By joining Ashurst and the Risk Assessment Team, you will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this change. You will provide high quality service to colleagues within the Ashurst global network of offices, covering a wide range of work to ensure that the firm is meeting its Know Your Client ("KYC") obligations, as well as conducting risk assessments for each new client and each new matter to ensure that the firm's clients and the firm's reputation are protected.

If you are a law or business graduate and you would like to be part of a global firm with market leading clients, high profile work and a high performance culture, then we want to hear from you. For more details on these opportunities, please contact Frida Moberg  E: frida.moberg@ashurst.com or visit www.ashurst.com/recruitment.
 
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Solicitor (IPTC) MacRoberts

Solicitor – IP Technology and Commercial (IPTC)
Edinburgh
 
We currently have a vacancy within the IPTC team for an Edinburgh-based candidate at NQ level or with 1 or 2 year post qualifying experience.
 
The IPTC team operates as a single unit across all our offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee and athough primarily based in Edinburgh, some time will require to be spent in other locations.

The successful candidate will be involved in a wide range of IPTC activities including commercial contracts, the Freedom of Information Act, outsourcing, data protection and compliance and the Bribery Act. 

Qualifications/Experience

Applicants must have experience in a corporate/commercial law environment and a keen interest in IPTC.

In addition to being able to demonstrate relevant legal experience, the successful candidate will require excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Applicants will have to be able to juggle a busy and varied workload, have an enthusiastic approach to work and enjoy working in a team environment.
  
To apply please send a full CV to hr@macroberts.com
 
For further information about the vacancy please contact the Human Resources Department at the above email address or telephone on 0141 303 1100. 

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Solicitor (Claims Validation Team) – DAC Beachcroft


Claims Validation Team - Solicitor
 
To handle a wide variety of pre-litigation and litigated cases where fraud is suspected.  The expectation is that the successful candidate will have experience of handling claims at all levels within the Scottish court system and will have a sound knowledge of Scottish legal procedure.  Experience of handling fraudulent claims would be advantageous but is not essential as fraud training will be provided.
 
The successful candidate will report into the team Supervisor and Partner as detailed above. 
 
Duties
 
Fee Earning
 
As part of the fee earning aspect of this role, candidates are expected to:
  • handle a varied caseload of pre-litigated but mainly litigated work covering the above types of claim with an appropriate level of supervision, across a variety of clients: 
  • assume responsibility for quality control and benchmark compliance on own caseload, including accuracy and timeliness of management reporting and information. 
  • ensure strict and ongoing adherence to benchmark standards in all work undertaken. 
  • To hit, maintain and apply a consistent approach to all individual targets of chargeable time, financial performance, realisation rates, success rates and average savings. 
  • Act as a point of contact for clients, demonstrating a level of knowledge and skill commensurate with experience. 
  • Exercise full compliance with DAC Beachcroft protocols on billing and credit control and demonstrate a high level of financial management in respect of own files. 
  • Achieve a minimum budgeted annual target of 1,440 chargeable hours per year. 
  • Support marketing and business development activity within the team e.g. attending marketing events and client training. 
  • Build an awareness of the Firm's other services. Build effective internal and external networks. 
  • Maintain an awareness of the firm's strategies and plans. 
  • Maintain and develop technical knowledge through attendance at training sessions, reading appropriate publications and comply with the Law Society of Scotland CPD requirements. 
  • Assist in designing and delivering in-house and external training and know how sessions on relevant issues and/or key developments in the Fraud field. 
  • Act as a role model for best practice in communication both within the team and with other areas of the department/firm. 
  • Complete ad hoc projects as delegated by the Team Manager/Partner. 
  • Promote the team's achievements. 
The Person
  
Technical Skills & Experience 
  • Qualified Solicitor with experience of litigating in the Scottish courts
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Excellent legal drafting skills
  • Confident negotiating skills
  • IT literate with good knowledge of Outlook, Word and Excel.  Knowledge/previous experience of a case management system is also essential as are good keyboard skills
  • Ability to work autonomously on high volumes of work
  • An ability to adopt a commercial perspective to legal issues but is also able to see the commercial impact beyond one individual claim.
  • From a fee earning perspective, the ability to work to and consistently achieve targets, an organised, measured and systematic way of working and an ability to work under pressure.
Personal Skills
  • Client focused with an ability to manage build strong relationships with client and third party contacts at all levels
  • Able to work to deadlines, prioritise own workload effectively under pressure and manage conflicting priorities
  • Proactive and energetic with a tenacious approach to identifying issues and solving problems
  • Quality and customer service oriented with a concern for accuracy and an eye for detail
  • Team oriented.  A collegiate approach to sharing knowledge and working with colleagues across locations is essential
  • Able to progress tasks using own initiative, seeking guidance and input from Partner/Supervisor where appropriate
  • Confident oral and written communication skills
  • Confident negotiator and communicator
  • A drop everything for the team attitude. 
  • Flexible with a positive attitude to change, both internally and in the context of clients' business.
An ability to work closely with the Team Manager and team partner.  
 
USPs
 
This is an ideal opportunity for someone to develop their reputation and that of the DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP brand in a developing specialist area within Scotland.
 
Contact us
 
For further information please contact Chris Watling at DAC Beachcroft on 0117 918 2503 or simply make an application on our website.  

For more information click here.

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Paralegal (Claims Validation Team) – DAC Beachcroft


Claims Validation Team - Paralegal 
  • To provide a timely professional and high quality service to clients 
  • To handle a varied case load of pre-litigated and litigated potentially fraudulent claims, with an emphasis on minimal impact cases but with exposure to claims involving other fraud types across a number of clients. 
  • To demonstrate sound file management – to include compliance with DAC Beachcroft protocols and client protocols as required; consistent and accurate billing and credit control; management of WIP and file closures; updating Management Information. 
  • Aim to achieve a minimum budgeted annual target of 1440 chargeable hours per year. 
  • To hit, maintain and apply a consistent approach to all individual targets of financial performance, realisation rates, settlement rate and average claim spend. 
  • Maintain an awareness of firm procedures and strategies. 
  • Assume responsibility for quality control and benchmark compliance on own caseload, including accuracy and timeliness of management reporting and information. 
  • Act as a point of contact for clients, demonstrating a level of knowledge and skill commensurate with experience. 
  • Maintain and develop technical knowledge through attendance at training sessions, reading appropriate publications. 
  • Support marketing and business development activity within the team e.g. attending marketing events and client training.
Handle confidential information in line with the firm's data security protocols
 
The Person
 
The Glasgow Claims Solutions team are looking to recruit a Paralegal who has experience of dealing with litigated motor claims in the Scottish Courts.  An understanding of court procedures is essential.  Handling fraud cases in Scotland on the instruction of an insurance company/client is beneficial but not essential as full fraud training will be provided.   A law degree or equivalent is preferable but not essential.  Experience of working in a target driven commercial environment would also be an advantage.
 
The successful candidate will also be expected to meet the following criteria: 
  • Be a confident communicator, who can communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in written form. 
  • Able to demonstrate strong team working skills and that they are a flexible and self motivated team player. 
  • Have excellent organisational skills and able to effectively prioritise and organise workload/tasks. 
  • Have an ability to adopt a commercial perspective to legal issues where required but also able to see the commercial impact beyond one individual claim. 
  • Able to produce work to a high standard, with excellent attention to detail. 
  • Have a concern for quality of service. 
  • Must be able to work under pressure to meet required deadlines; and 
  • Must be able to work on own initiative.
Contact us

For further information please contact Chris Watling at DAC Beachcroft on 0117 918 2503 or simply make an application on our website.  

For more information click here.

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Residential Conveyancing Paralegal/Solicitor – Pagan Osborne

Residential Conveyancing Paralegal/Solicitor – St Andrews
(Associate Level will be considered)
Full-time / 35 hours per week
Salary depending upon experience, plus competitive benefits package
 
We currently have a vacancy for a paralegal or solicitor to join our highly driven Conveyancing team in our St Andrews office.

Main duties & responsibilities:
  • Responsible for managing and progressing all aspects of domestic conveyancing including sales purchases, discharge title transfers and re-mortgages
  • Able to develop and maintain your own client base with minimum supervision
  • Able to deal with a transaction from taking instructions at the outset right through to settling the transaction and registering the deeds
  • Draft standard offers, examine titles, prepare dispositions and relevant forms
  • Prepare security documentation, instruct appropriate searches, report on title to the clients and deal with any title issues
Role Specific Requirements:
  • Recognised paralegal or qualified solicitor in residential conveyancing
  • Familiar with solcase or case management system would be beneficial
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Highly motivated; optimistic, can do and up-beat attitude
  • Innovative and able to deal with a fast paced working life
  • Commercially aware of business development and referral work and able to achieve targets
  • A strong track record of developing solid working relationships with both clients and colleagues
  • Able to produce accurate and well-presented documentation
  • IT literate using Microsoft office (Word, Excel and Outlook)
  • Strong organisational skills and good time management
If you are interested in applying for this position please visit our website and complete an application form. 

Once completed please email back to Michelle Hardie (mhardie@pagan.co.uk)

Please note that an application form must be submitted as we will not accept CVs alone.
Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 7th November 2014

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Conveyancing Solicitor (Maternity cover) – Ledingham Chalmers

 
Conveyancing Solicitor –
Aberdeen. (Maternity cover)


Selecting and developing the right people helps us make a difference for our clients. We are looking for a full-time temporary (maternity cover) Conveyancing Solicitor (around 3-6 PQE) within our Private Client Team in Aberdeen.

This post will commence from 10 November and  will be for an initial period of 9 months which may be extended.

The candidate should specialise in conveyancing and residential property work, have the ability to manage a large work load and to work on one’s own initiative, as well as being an excellent team player, are essential attributes for this post.

A good remuneration, holiday package is on offer to the right candidate, together with an excellent working environment.

Please write enclosing your CV to:
Nan McPherson, Human Resources
Ledingham Chalmers LLP
Johnstone House, 52-54 Rose Street, Aberdeen AB10 1HA

Email to: nan.mcpherson@ledinghamchalmers.com

The closing date for applications is Friday 24 October 2014.
 
Reparation/Personal
Injury Solicitor –
Edinburgh (Maternity cover)
Our Edinburgh office, which has recently moved to larger premises in George Street handles Litigation and Dispute Resolution across Scotland. 

As a result of forthcoming maternity leave  we have an opportunity for an experienced Solicitor with a minimum of three years’ post qualifying experience. 

We act principally  for insurers, Public Authorities and claims handlers dealing mainly with Personal Injury and Property damage claims (including subrogated recovery actions), Public Sector work and  Commercial Litigation.

The successful candidate will have significant experience of Reparation and Personal Injury work (including advocacy in the Sheriff Court) as well as familiarity with Court of Session and Sheriff Court procedure in both Ordinary and Personal Injury actions. 

He/she will require to show initiative, will have excellent communication skills at all levels and the ability to manage his/her workload with limited supervision. Experience in Motor related claims and Public Law issues will be an advantage.

The post will initially be a temporary one initially for 12 months  but with the possibility of the successful candidate being retained for a longer period.

A good remuneration and holiday package is on offer to the right candidate, together with an excellent working environment.

Please write, enclosing your CV to: 

Wendy Anderson, Head of HR, Ledingham Chalmers llp,
Johnstone House, 52-54 Rose Street, Aberdeen AB10 1HA

Or, please email to: wendy.anderson@ledinghamchalmers.com

www.ledinghamchalmers.com
Johnstone House  52-54 Rose Street 
Aberdeen  AB10 1HA. Tel: 01224 408408

Ledingham Chalmers is committed to providing equality of opportunity.

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Senior Solicitor (Litigation and Regulatory Services) – Renfrewshire Council

FINANCE & CORPORATE SERVICES
SENIOR SOLICITOR (LITIGATION AND REGULATORY SERVICES)
GRADE:  GRK (£35095 - £38380)
RENFREWSHIRE HOUSE, COTTON STREET, PAISLEY
 
Working within Legal and Democratic Services, you will be expected to carry a varied caseload, undertaking litigation, advocacy and advisory work in connection with all the Council’s functions. You will also support and advise the Council and the Licensing Board in relation to all stages of licensing processes. You will require to advise the Council and its Local Review Body in relation to planning matters.

You will act as legal adviser to the Council’s Regulatory Functions Board and Depute Clerk to the Licensing Board. You will determine licensing applications as delegated by the Council and the Licensing Board.

You must hold a current Practising Certificate, be able to carry out a range of tasks within a broad litigation and regulatory services based remit and manage a demanding workload with minimum supervision. It is essential that you have experience of representing clients in courts and/or tribunals. It is also essential that you have experience of licensing law and planning law and experience of Licensing Boards or other Council Boards. You should also have effective interpersonal, communication and report writing skills, together with the ability to work as part of a team.

For an informal discussion about the role contact Mark Conaghan on 0141 618 7177 or email mark.conaghan@renfrewshire.gcsx.gov.uk.

For further information and to apply please visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk

It is anticipated interviews will be held on 13th and 14th November 2014.

Closing Date: Monday 3 November 2014.

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Paralegal – Burness Paull

Paralegal
Dispute Resolution/Intellectual Property
Glasgow
Reports to Colin Hulme, Partner
Competitive salary and benefits package
 
Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s premier law firms with offices of equal size and strength across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, serving clients in Scotland, the UK and globally.  We are looking to add to the high-profile contentious IP/IT practice, working for a Band 1 ranked IP partner. 
 
We are currently recruiting a paralegal for our contentious IP/IT team in Glasgow.  You will work for a high profile and approachable partner and associate in a supportive environment with exceptionally high quality work for leading brands and other IP rights holders in Scotland and around the Globe.  A significant part of this role will be co-ordinating and managing claims issued on behalf of leading brand clients and music rights collection societies.
 
You need not have any intellectual property law experience or knowledge, although there will be an opportunity to develop this in the role.  Essential is an ability to organise and manage the team’s IP enforcement programme.  You would be responsible for fielding calls from individuals and companies in receipt of claims letters and have authority to negotiate the resolution of claims within pre-defined parameters.  We are looking for candidates with a positive attitude, a focus on quality and a determination to provide a first-class service.  You would have an opportunity to be involved in and support business development initiatives.
 
This is a great opportunity to join a leading team in a successful, growing firm.  At Burness Paull we look for style, ambition, innovation, passion and focus. 
 
Please email kerry.davis@burnesspaull.com to apply. 

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Employment Solicitor (1-4 Years PQE) – Burness Paull

Solicitor, 1-4 Years PQE
Employment
Glasgow
Reports to Partners
Competitive salary and benefits package
 
Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s premier law firms with offices of equal size and strength across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, serving clients in Scotland, the UK and globally.  We are looking to add to the outstanding employment law team, which is already one of the largest in the country, ranked as Tier 1 in the legal directories. 
 
We are currently recruiting a Solicitor for our employment team in Glasgow.  You will work with high profile and approachable partners and other team members in a supportive environment with exceptionally high quality work for a diverse group of clients.
 
You must have a passion for employment law, be pragmatic and results-focussed and be able to work under pressure and to tight timescales.  We are looking for candidates with a positive attitude, a focus on quality and a determination to provide a first-class service.
 
This is a great opportunity to join a leading team in a successful, growing firm.  At Burness Paull we look for style, ambition, innovation, passion and focus. 
 
Please email kerry.davis@burnesspaull.com to apply.

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IP/IT Solicitor (0-2 Years PQE) – Burness Paull

Solicitor, 0 - 2 Years PQE
Contentious IP/IT
Glasgow
Reports to Colin Hulme, Partner
Competitive salary and benefits package
 
Burness Paull is one of Scotland’s premier law firms with offices of equal size and strength across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, serving clients in Scotland, the UK and globally.  We are looking to add to the high-profile contentious IP/IT practice, working for a Band 1 ranked IP partner. 
 
We are currently recruiting a Solicitor for our contentious IP/IT team in Glasgow.  You will work for a high profile and approachable partner and associate in a supportive environment with exceptionally high quality work for leading brands and other IP rights holders in Scotland and around the Globe.  Although based in Glasgow, the team runs all of its work through the Court of Session. A significant part of this role will be managing litigation in foreign jurisdictions.
 
You must have a passion for intellectual property law, be pragmatic and results-focussed and be able to work under pressure and to tight timescales.  We are looking for candidates with a positive attitude, a focus on quality and a determination to provide a first-class service.  You will also be expected to embark on and lead (with appropriate support where required) business development initiatives with a view to growing your own network, and the practice as a whole.
 
This is a great opportunity to join a leading team in a successful, growing firm.  At Burness Paull we look for style, ambition, innovation, passion and focus. 

Please email kerry.davis@burnesspaull.com to apply. 

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Property Solicitor – SSE

PROPERTY SOLICITOR
PERTH
SALARY £30,000 TO £35,000 (DEPENDING ON SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE)

SSE is one of the largest and most diverse energy companies in the UK and Ireland with around 9 million customers and over 19,000 staff. An exciting opportunity has arisen for an enthusiastic and self motivated Property Solicitor based in Perth.

You will draft, negotiate and review documentation in respect acquisitions, disposals, option agreements, leases and servitudes. You will advise on all aspects of site assembly in order to support the internal clients in fulfilling their project requirements.

Your responsibilities will extend to undertaking diligence including examining title documents for Sasine and Land Registered land and instructing appropriate searches. You will present appropriate, pragmatic advice to internal clients on a regular basis throughout each transaction/project and work with members of both the SSE legal team and other internal teams to support business requirements and manage instruction to external counsel and external legal costs.

To be successful in this role, you should be a qualified solicitor holding a practising certificate with a minimum of 2 to 4 years post qualification experience that includes experience gained in a property department either in private practice or in-house.

You should have experience in managing a large workload and varied client base. You should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be enthusiastic, self motivated with the ability to work in a team. A high level of IT competency and knowledge of the energy industry along with an interest in planning and environmental law would be advantageous.

Closing date for applications is 29 October 2014.

For more details and to apply please visit www.ssejobs.co.uk/cw/en/job/503004/property-solicitor

Successful candidates will be subject to the Company's verification and vetting process. This includes a basic criminal record check.

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Solicitor (temporary maternity cover) – Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

Solicitor (temporary maternity cover)
 
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is a chartered professional body responsible for the education, professional support and regulation of its 24,000 members based in the UK and across the world.
 
The IFoA is now looking to recruit a solicitor on a temporary basis to cover a period of maternity leave in its General Counsel Directorate which is based in Edinburgh.
 
The successful candidate will be responsible for providing general legal/regulatory advice to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and, in particular, for providing advice to the Regulation Board and its committees on matters of regulatory policy.
 
The role will also involve drafting and revising reports to other Boards and others interested parties on regulatory policy to support the IFoA’s regulatory framework.
 
Occasional travel to sites in London and Oxford and to other conference/ meeting locations may be required.
 
Knowledge and experience
 
Essential
  • Qualified lawyer in English/ Scots Law or other comparable jurisdiction with at least 1 year  PQE.
  • Experience of regulatory law and policy obtained either in private practice and/ or in-house.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong commercial and strategic awareness.
  • Good team worker.
  • Experience of giving presentations to committees/ conferences.
Desirable 
  • Experience of working in a financial services regulatory environment.
  • Experience of working for/ with a professional regulatory body.
  • Experience of policy development and drafting.
  • Experience of investigation and prosecution of professional disciplinary cases.
  • Experience of project management.
Values and Behaviours

The role holder will require to demonstrate each of the values of Community, Integrity and Progress in accordance with the IFoA‘s Values and Behaviours framework.
 
For more information on the role, or to apply, please contact Christine McConnell, Head of Regulatory Compliance at christine.mcconnell@actuaries.org.uk
 
The closing date for applications is Friday 31 October 2014.  

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CPD, Courses & Events

Lord Hope to deliver inaugural Dundee University Student Bar Society lecture

Lord Hope to give lecture at Dundee Law School
Friday 7th November 2014
 
Lord Hope of Craighead will be delivering the inaugural lecture of the Dundee University Student Bar Society on Friday 7 November 2014 at Dundee Law School.
 
Lord Hope, who retired in June 2013 as the first Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, will address an audience of students, staff and local practitioners on his career at the Scottish Bar. The lecture takes place in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building of Dundee University and starts at 4pm.
 
The event is open to the public and those wishing to attend are asked to register at http://lordhopetalk.eventbrite.co.uk.
 
Please contact Andrew Agnew at dundeebarsoc@yahoo.co.uk for further information.

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Scottish Young Lawyers' Association November Social: A Night with YSL

In conjunction with House of Fraser, the SYLA are delighted to welcome members to a night with Yves Saint Laurent, taking place in Hugh's Champagne Bar, House of Fraser, Glasgow on Thursday 6 November.
 
The event will feature champagne on arrival from 5.30pm, with demonstrations starting at 6pm.
 
Members will be taken through the latest Black Opium look, designed by Frederic Letailleur, international make up artist. 
 
The night will consist of a full couture make up demonstration, complimentary travel size products to take home and a future bespoke make up lesson for each member. 
 
Attendance is free - places are expected to be popular, so early booking is advised.

Click here to book your place.
 
We look forward to welcoming you on the night!
 
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ETN Seminar - Accounting Standards & Business Valuations

ETN Seminar - Accounting Standards & Business Valuations
Thursday 30th October 2014
 
Could this event please be advertised in the events section of the SLN daily bulletin up to the day of the event?  I have added the following to our website:
 
ETN Seminar - Accounting Standards & Business Valuations
 
The Edinburgh Tax Network, in conjunction with Terra Firma Chambers, will present a seminar on Thursday 30th October 2014 at the head office of ICAS in Edinburgh.

At this event, Caroline Muir and David McBain of Johnston Carmichael will give a presentation on Accounting Standards.
 
Bob Crawford of Jeffrey Crawford & Co will present a paper entitled Business Valuations: How You Do Them? – I Don’t Know Either!

Registration, tea & coffee will commence at 4.30pm with the seminar running from 5pm to 7pm.  It has been accredited by the Faculty of Advocates as contributing 2 hours CPD for its own members and is eligible for a similar award from the Law Society for the solicitor branch of the profession.

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

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Beyond the Basics – SYLA

The Beyond the Basics series is back this month with two new events - the first on the early release of prisoners on 23 October, and the second on adults with incapacity, taking place on 4 November.
 
Beyond the Basics: Early Release of Prisoners, 23 October 2014, Edinburgh
In the latest installment of the Beyond the Basics series, Douglas Thomson, Solicitor Advocate, of McArthur Stanton Solicitors, will speak on the topic of the Early Release of Prisoners: Past, Present & Future, touching upon the recent proposed reforms in this area.  Douglas will also give a round-up of recent developments in legal aid.

This session may count for 1 hour CPD.  It is kindly hosted in the SSC Library, Parliament Hall, Edinburgh.  Spaces for this seminar can be booked here.

We look forward to welcoming you then. 

Beyond the Basics: Adults with Incapacity, 4 November 2014, Edinburgh
The latest installment in the SYLA "Beyond the Basics" series is our Adults with Incapacity Update.  Our seminar on Tuesday, 4 November 2014 will provide a case law update on guardianships, intervention orders and powers of attorney, and is kindly hosted by Morton Fraser LLP.

Speakers are Robin Morton, Partner in Morton Fraser LLP and Julianna Cartwright, advocate with Westwater Advocates.  Robin is the head of Morton Fraser's Later Life Team with over 30 years' experience of asset protection work and has a particular interest in issues around capacity, guardianship and powers of attorney.  Julianna worked as a solicitor in private practice for 12 years prior to calling at the Bar in 2011.  She has a breadth of experience in most areas of Scots’ private law including adults with incapacity and mental health law.

The seminar will be held at 6pm on Tuesday, 4 November at Morton Fraser LLP, Quartermile Two, 2 Lister Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9GL. The seminar will close with a Q&A session, followed by networking and refreshments.  Spaces at the seminar can be booked here.

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