Post-adoption loss of society claims refused

Loss of society claims by family members following the death of a loved one are nothing new. This year, however, the Scottish courts have been presented with a very unusual case; the claims in question raised by half-siblings of a man who had been adopted into another family at the age of five, prior to the births of the half-siblings. In early July, it was decided by Lord Reid that the two claimants did not have title to sue, and their claims were dismissed accordingly.

An introduction to the Peatland Code

Peatlands cover approximately 10% of the land mass in the UK (and 20% of the land mass in Scotland). They are a natural carbon store and, in addition to providing a habitat for wildlife, they are considered to have the potential to play an important role in tackling climate change. As climate change continues to feature highly on worldwide government agendas, including those of Scotland and the UK, the focus on peatland management and its potential to assist has come to the fore.

Implications of Owning a Listed Building

Most people are aware of the existence of listed buildings but unfamiliar with the implications of owning one. Here we look at what listing really means and what the implications are if unauthorised works are carried out.

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997, as amended.

There are three categories of listed buildings:

What’s in a Name? Enhanced profits for one thing …

Many rural land owners look increasingly to diversify their business models and offer a variety of products and services in addition to the more traditional fare of fishing and shooting. Often these will be branded using the name of the farm or estate. A brand as an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) is an important asset of any business and if chosen and protected properly can add huge value to the farm or estate as a business.

Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 – The Facts

Since the passing of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 (“the Act”) earlier this year, there has been a certain level of confusion about the new regime, what it will do and when. Here we cover some of the inaccuracies we have heard mentioned and let you know the facts.

Community rights to buy in Scotland – which is which, and what are they for?

One of the key features of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (“2016 Act”) is a new “right to buy for sustainable development”. Keen followers of land reform in Scotland may be aware that this is an entirely new community right to buy land, rather than a development or amendment of existing rules. However, those of you who did not follow the passage of the Act closely, or are suffering from Land Reform fatigue, may be forgiven for finding it hard to work out where this new right fits into the bigger picture.

Compulsory Pre-Action Protocol

A new compulsory pre-action protocol is being introduced for accidents occurring on or after 28 November 2016 with a value of up to £25,000. There has been a voluntary pre-action protocol since 2006 in personal injury cases, but the new rules mean that the protocol will be an integral, mandatory part of personal injury procedure in the Sheriff Court, Scotland’s County Court.

Error in break notice and its effect on validity

As the uncertainty around Brexit continues, we can expect to see an increase in disputes about the validity of notices, particularly those intended to terminate leases early.

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The Insurance Act 2015: the duty of fair presentation of risk

The Insurance Act 2015 comes into force on 12 August 2016 and will apply to all contracts of insurance (and any variations of existing contracts) entered into from that date. Reform was driven by the Law Commissions north and south of the border and significant amendments will be made to key aspects of insurance contract law. In this update, Douglas McGregor looks at the duty of fair presentation of risk.

Pre-contractual disclosure and the duty of fair presentation of risk