Scotland | 09 September 2016

In this article we examine the key differences between the self-reporting initiative operated by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services (COPFS) in Scotland and the deferred prosecution regime now operating in the rest of the UK. Any business that uncovers corruption within the organisation should make sure it understands the differences between the two regimes before deciding which authority to approach.

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Scotland | 02 August 2016

The UK’s vote on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union raises a wide variety of legal issues and questions. With the UK Government unlikely to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union until early 2017, and then at least a further two-year negotiation window to determine the future relationship between the UK and the EU, it will be some time before the structure of the future UK/EU relationship is agreed or even much clearer. The flip side of the coin is that, until Brexit happens, it is very much business as usual. [Continue Reading]

Projects, energy and natural resources | 13 June 2016

Unsurprisingly, one of the hot topics of the moment is energy storage. As anyone connected with the energy industry is aware, the prospects for decarbonising our electricity system at the same time as ensuring secure and affordable energy seem to be reaching further into the future.

Addressing the so-called ‘trilemma’ of decarbonisation, security of supply and affordability has been at the heart of government policy for years. Meeting two of the objectives is easy enough but achieving all three is proving more of a challenge. [Continue Reading]

Scotland | 10 June 2016

It has been a busy time for Scotland’s constitution. No sooner was the 2014 independence referendum out of the way than the debates and arguments began on new powers for the Scottish parliament. That debate resulted in the Scotland Act 2016, passed shortly before May’s Scottish parliament election. [Continue Reading]

Scotland | 05 May 2016

The Energy Act 2011 (the Act) called for the introduction of regulations affecting the leasing of properties with poor energy performance in Scotland, England and Wales. The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 implements the Act in Scotland, and the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 implements the Act in England and Wales. Whilst the same basic concept of reduction of energy consumption flows from the Act, there are significant differences between the jurisdictions in the manner of implementation of the Act and content of the relevant regulations. Ultimately, the potential practical consequences for property owners now diverge between the jurisdictions and need to be adequately assessed and taken into account. [Continue Reading]

Scotland | 31 March 2016

For those dealing with transactions and businesses in Scotland it is important to remember that Scots Law differs from English Law in a number of respects, and one of area of difference which has, in the past, caused much gnashing of teeth (particularly during late night closing processes) is the law around the requirements for the execution of documents. [Continue Reading]

Corporate and commercial | 15 March 2016

When a business has a dispute, it is important for it to properly evaluate its options in terms in how best to resolve the matter on a commercial basis. This should involve a review of any relevant contract(s) giving rise to the issues in dispute for any applicable choice of law and jurisdiction provisions, as well as provision for any alternative methods of dispute resolution. Some examples of the latter can be formal negotiation, formal or informal mediation or arbitration, as well as expert referral. The existence and the content of provisions like this in any such contract(s) will clearly affect the appropriate mechanics and procedure to adopt, as well as possibly (if proceedings are needed) constrain, the ability to forum shop between different courts and different jurisdictions. [Continue Reading]

Public Sector | 09 December 2015

On 1 September this year, as part 
of her ‘Programme for Scotland’ speech outlining proposed legislation in the Scottish parliament, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined a number of measures that the Scottish Government hopes will ‘place a strong – and growing – emphasis on fair work’. Principally among these was a commitment to abolish employment tribunal fees as soon as the powers become available. Unsurprisingly, the announcement made headlines within the HR community and further afield.
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Public Sector | 13 November 2015

The latest figures concerning the use of our Scottish court system have been published. While they may appear unremarkable at first glance – in that the number of cases initiated in Scottish courts is almost identical to last year’s – the figures do represent a minor triumph for the court system in that the seemingly inexorable decline appears to have halted. In 2013/14, there were 77,345 cases initiated in all courts in Scotland. The figure for 2012/13 was 77,453. During the same period, the number of Sheriff Court actions has increased by just one case, from 72,510 to 72,511.
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Public Sector | 09 October 2015

In last month’s edition of The In-House Lawyer, Alan Eccles mentioned impending changes to Scottish succession law in his article that considered a number of ‘private client’ legal matters for those working in financial institutions and private or family businesses. The Scottish Government recently introduced the Succession (Scotland) Bill (the Bill) into the Scottish Parliament in an attempt to make the law of succession ‘up to date, fairer, clearer and more consistent’. 
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