Payment mechanisms- it's more than just about timing

The administration of payment mechanisms in the construction industry has always been an area ripe for dispute. The likelihood of dispute has perhaps increased following the payment process introduced by the Construction Act, as there is always a risk of a notice or counter-notice being issued at the wrong time. The spate of ‘smash and grab’ adjudications, where a failure by the payer to issue notices on time means that the sums claimed by the payee become due, are testament to that.

Scottish Loss of Society Awards Edging Upwards?

Section 4(3) (‘loss of society’) damages of £80,000 awarded to the parent of an adult child. 

The Scottish appeal court has issued its decision in the case of Young v MacVean. It was determined that the deceased’s mother was not a ‘secondary victim’ of the accident in which her son died and that the circumstances of the case merited an award of £80,000 for her section 4(3) loss of society claim.

Greater pricing freedom for online hotel bookings, as major travel sites give up on parity clauses

The hotel and online travel agent sectors have recently been in the regulatory spotlight, with competition authorities across Europe and beyond investigating whether parity agreements between hotels and online travel agents (OTAs) should be outlawed as anti-competitive. Rate parity agreements prevent hotels offering lower rates to customers than are available to the OTA, and the concern is that these clauses have had the effect of restricting price competition for hotel rooms.

Time is of the essence: insurers beware the possible influx of court of session summonses and the risk of decrees

Towards the end of the Court of Session summer vacation in 2015, the offices of court were chock- full of pursuers’ agents queuing up to have Summonses signeted. This great rush was all due to a change in the rules, effective from 22 September 2015, whereby all actions for payment of the sum(s) of £100,000 or less now require to be raised in the Sheriff Court.

Scottish civil jury trials to be allowed at the Sheriff Court level- a run through of recent Scottish jury awards

The All Scotland Personal Injury Court opened its doors in Edinburgh on 22 September 2015, dealing with cases with a value of up to £100,000 which would previously have been dealt with in the Court of Session. It brings with it the right to a Civil Jury Trial for the first time in a Sheriff Court and this article provides a quick run through of recent jury awards in Scotland.  

Financing a business

You are considering the funding of a new business opportunity or looking at expanding your existing business but how are you planning to finance it? Based on our wealth of experience in helping clients through the process, we know that there are several important aspects to bear in mind.

10 key points to consider:

OGA Levy update

Are you aware that UKCS licence holders will soon have to pay a levy to fund the industry’s new independent regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (“OGA”)?

Advice Note- Planning Decisions: Changes to Judicial Review Procedure

From 22 September 2015 there are changes to judicial review procedure in the Court of Session:

  • Introduction of a 3 month time limit to apply for judicial review
  • A new requirement for the Court to give permission for the application to proceed

Which planning decisions are affected?

Judicial review can be used to challenge any planning decision where there is no statutory right of appeal, for example an objector challenging the decision by a council to grant planning permission.

Energy Bill Update And Next Steps

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) came into being on 1 April 2015 as an executive agency of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Contract change and termination

The Scottish Government recently published its analysis of the responses to its consultation on procurement law reform.   The reforms have already been made in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are due to take effect in Scotland in the coming months.  

One key change which is coming for Scotland, which was not subject to consultation, is how the new rules required by the EU Directive on variations to contract will be written.

Safe harbours