October marked the opening of a new Scottish arbitration centre in Edinburgh, aimed at promoting the benefits of this form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It comes at a time when it appears that parties to disputes in Scotland are relying on methods of ADR more than ever. According to recent Civil Law Statistics published by the Scottish Government, over the past four years civil cases initiated in both the Court of Session and the Sheriff Courts across Scotland have dropped by 41%.
This update looks at the payback for front loading responses to claims, the benefits of effective investigation and the importance of how the results of investigations are presented.
Thorough investigations can pay off
The cases of Linda Smith v Scottish Water, Charles McInally v Arcus FM Limited and Kennedy v Cordia demonstrate the need to investigate the causes of
Linda Smith v Scottish Water September  CSOH – Did a slip lead to death?
The recent decision of the Inner House in T. Clarke (Scotland) Limited v MMAXX Underfloor Heating Limited suggests a party will only be able to protect themselves from an abuse of the adjudication process in the most extreme and restricted of circumstances.
Employers are increasingly looking for greater cost certainty under design and construct contracts. This is where the contractor takes all the risk of design, construction and price in return for relative design autonomy over how he delivers the contract, provided of course he meets the employer’s requirements.
First a warning - this update relates to the taxation of litigation claims under capital gain tax provisions and in keeping with many aspects of the tax law, there will be very little common sense in what follows.
The current law
The Scottish Law Commission’s (SLC) ‘Report on Succession’ of April 2009 made a number of recommendations to reform the law of succession in Scotland
The Scottish Government is now consulting on these recommendations, and the first ‘Consultation on Technical Issues Relating to Succession’ was published by the Scottish Government on 14 August 2014. This consultation focuses predominantly on technical recommendations in the SLC Report, in the main relating to:
The Scottish Law Commission (SLC) recently published its Report on Trust Law. The report builds on the publication of several discussion papers and consultation papers on specific areas of trust law as part of their long term project on trusts, and provides a comprehensive review of the law of trusts in Scotland, together with detailed recommendations for reform and a draft bill. The report and bill come in at a stonking near 400 pages.
Life changing events such as marriage, entering into a civil partnership, or getting divorced, should always precipitate a review of a person’s will, and if there is no will, one should be put in place. Under Scots law, neither marriage nor the registration of a civil partnership has the effect of revoking a previously made will as you might expect. Equally, following the end of a relationship (divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership), an ex-spouse or civil partner is not automatically written out of a will. This contrasts with the position in England, Wales an
A new acronym has entered the language recently: ‘FATCA’. FATCA, or the US Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act to give it its full name, is US legislation requiring certain non-US Financial Institutions to report details of accounts held by and payments to US persons (‘US Reportable Accounts’), to the US IRS. The idea is that, in this way, the IRS will find out about undeclared income on which US tax is due.
The proposed rates and bands for Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT) as announced by the Scottish Government are as follows:-
Up to 135,000 0
135,001 - 250,000 2