Discussion Paper: Delivery of housing land

The Scottish Government has delivered a clear message:

“In the coming years, we want to see a significant increase in house building to ensure housing requirements are met across the country”

But what changes does this require to the planning system?

This discussion paper by Neil Collar, one of Scotland's best known planning lawyers, highlights some of the key barriers to achieving targets for new builds, and offers practical solutions as to how these might be overcome.

New voluntary pilot scheme in solicitor negligence claims in england & wales

From 1 February 2015 a Voluntary Pilot Scheme for Adjudication of Solicitors’ Professional Negligence claims (the Scheme) has been launched in England and Wales. The Scheme’s purpose is to determine whether and to what extent there should be adjudication of claims against professionals.

Round-up on the time limits for making claims in Scotland

The law on time limits in Scotland applies to all claims where the underlying obligations are governed by Scots law, such as Scottish contracts or the negligent breach of Scottish obligations, irrespective of where the claim is litigated. However each case turns on its own facts and so case-specific advice should always be obtained.

Pensions flexibility and trusts

Unless you have been hibernating during this prolonged cold snap, you will know that the pensions landscape is changing – and quite dramatically at that. With these changes comes the opportunity (and, indeed, the requirement) for professional advisers to review their approach to estate planning exercises for clients, particularly those with substantial pension pots.

Submission to the Land Reform Consultation

Brodies’ land & rural business team, with assistance from our colleagues in personal & family, charities, tax, real estate and planning, has submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on the Future of Land Reform in Scotland.

Alex Buchan, one of our land & rural business partners, has prepared our response, concentrating on those questions where we have expert knowledge and something constructive to offer.

Odell Milne, head of Brodies’ land and rural business team, said:

Conservative party pledges to cut taxes and aims to cut inheritance tax

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that a future Conservative government would cut taxes – and there were suggestions from Grant Shapps, party chairman, and George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the party also wants to cut inheritance tax.

In a recent speech, Mr Cameron pledged to increase the income tax personal allowance to £12,500 and the 40% income tax threshold to £50,000 by 2020.

Major Scottish Court Reforms To Commence September 2015

The Lord President- Scotland’s most senior civil judge and the architect of the proposed reforms- has announced the proposed timetable for bringing into force the most significant changes to civil justice in Scotland for over a century; and they are due to commence more quickly than many have anticipated.

From September 2015 the reforms will implement:

The ability to pay damages and costs: where the winner can lose

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal highlights the difficulties of identifying a party’s ability to pay damages or costs and raises the question: just how deep are your opponent’s pockets? For insurers it does give some comfort as to the limited range of circumstances where policy details need to be disclosed to third parties.

Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group publishes long-awaited final report

The Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group established by the Scottish Government published its long-awaited final report yesterday. It contains a range of recommendations many of which would, if implemented, have a significant impact on landlords and tenants in rural Scotland. There are 49 recommendations covering, amongst others, rent, succession, transfer of tenancies, waygoing compensation and diversification. They include the following:

Right to buy

CREDO - Banking and finance update

We enter the New Year in a positive mood, with continuing evidence of economic recovery despite the oil price slump. The renewable energy sector remains vigorous, and the capital investment pipeline is being extended. Counterparts are on their way in, and letters of obligation on their way out.