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

Good things come in small packages - disclosure of insurance cover and liability of incoming partners in Scotland

In just four pages, a recent Outer House decision by Lord Woolman in Heather Capital Ltd (In Liquidation) v Levy & McRae & others gave definite advice on two areas of great interest to professionals and their insurers:

  • the existence of a duty to disclose details of professional indemnity insurance; and
  • the liability of new partners for the existing liabilities of the partnership.   


HIStory- the life, death and legacy of Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson (AKA the King of Pop), singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor was a global figure in popular culture. During a career that spanned over four decades, Michael Jackson was rarely out of the press, with his often colourful and at times troubled personal life and changing appearance being of interest to the press, public and adoring fans.

Sekhemka: thoughts for public art managers and donors

The background to the situation 

The sale of the 4,000 year old statue of Egyptian high official Sekhema to a private collector caused much controversy.  We blogged on this in August 2014 and we now revisit it as the matter has developed and continues to highlight a number of issues for holders of public art as well as current and prospective donors.

EU approval for UK film tax credits extension

The Treasury move (announced in March) to extend film industry tax credits has been approved by the EU.

What are they?

With the credits, film and TV production companies can claim tax relief towards the cost of production.

In the March Budget, the government announced that it would increase the rate of film tax relief to 25% for all expenditure on qualifying productions.

An art inheritance tax update: where I hang my art... I call my home?

The recent First Tax Tribunal decision in Scott v HMRC considered an appeal against HMRC's determination that some paintings had not been validly gifted by a mother (the late Dr Olive Scott) and a great aunt (Dr Janet Steele) to the appellant, Malcom Scott, (son and great nephew) and were therefore liable to inheritance tax.

Stand and deliver! Was there a gift?

This was the crucial question.

Specialist Sheriffs Announced for Scotland's New Personal Injury Court

The creation of a personal injury court within Edinburgh Sheriff Court, with jurisdiction across Scotland, is one of a number of significant reforms that will come into effect on 22 September 2015.

Six Sheriffs, Paul Arthurson QC, Peter Braid, Gordon Liddle, Kathrine Mackie, Kenneth McGowan and Fiona Reith QC have been appointed as specialists who will sit in the new court.

Food & Drink Update - Summer 2015

Borrowing from the theme of each of our annual Food & Drink conferences, "Rich Pickings", there are plenty of issues concerning our sector at present. Inevitably, many of them are of a political or economic flavour. Economics is of course a key component for all of us in business but we have elected to leave political matters to others. Nonetheless, we welcome the Scottish Government’s challenge to Scotland Food & Drink to explore the options for deeper collaboration within the sector and to oversee the process.

Caveats in the Scottish courts: Are your clients adequately protected?

Update: New court jurisdiction rules from 22 September 2015

Legal practitioners in England and Wales are sometimes surprised to learn that it is possible to file a document (a caveat) at any Scottish court, which will oblige that court to give advance notice to the solicitor acting for the entity named (the caveator) of any application made by a third party for most types of interim order (including interim interdict, the Scottish equivalent of an interim injunction).

Occupiers' liability - the impossible, the improbable and the truth

Whilst the basic concept of occupiers’ liability is well-known, Pollock v Cahill is a striking reminder that occupiers must factor a visitor’s specific vulnerabilities into their risk assessment. It also demonstrates once again that courts are rarely able to base their decisions on clear and accurate factual evidence. A claimant must prove his or her case on the balance of probabilities, and expert evidence is not always the answer.