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The word ‘radical’ has been used by both supporters and critics alike when commenting on the various proposals set out by the Scottish Government in the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. This gives a flavour of the tone of the debate. Both sides have also been particularly vocal on the previously little discussed topic of succession and assignation of secure agricultural tenancies. The implications of the proposals are discussed in this briefing ...

A company that obtains information from a number of competitors (for example, to create industry statistics or to provide price comparisons) should be careful not to facilitate the flow of confidential information between those competitors.  Two recent cases highlight the potential competition law issues.  We will then look at some practical considerations to keep in mind ...

In the short term, the vote to leave the European Union doesn’t signal an immediate change. It’s business as usual for the UK and the EU. The EU Treaties and laws continue to apply without exception in the UK – as does the obligation to comply. The process of the UK exiting from the EU will, however, be the focus over the next few months ...

The effect of Brexit on EU nationals living and working in the United Kingdom will undoubtedly be of interest to many employers as things develop over the coming months. The provisions for leaving the EU are outlined in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which states that "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2016

Farms run as a family business tend to follow a partnership structure. However there is often a reluctance to commit the terms of the partnership to paper or else to keep the terms of an existing agreement up to date. However ensuring that your Partnership Agreement is up to date and reflects your wishes is essential for succession and tax planning purposes.Partnership Agreements Farming businesses can use different business structures ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | February 2017

Political uncertainty dominates the headlines, with the fallout from Brexit continuing, leadership changes in the USA and further elections soon to take place across Europe. The legal landscape in Scotland also continues to change ...

In a judgment handed down by the UK High Court on 28 February 2017, Mr Justice Marcus Smith stayed claims against one defendant and set aside permission to serve the proceedings outside the jurisdiction against the remaining defendants in a competition damages claim relating to the lithium ion (Li-ion) battery cartel.  Competition damages claims are used when a party claims damages for losses allegedly caused by anti-competitive conduct ...

On 22 September, the Presidency released its amended version of the much debated ECC. The new text revealed once again that regulatory holidays and deregulation in telecoms markets are back in vogue. That text suggested that those who argue for regulatory holidays as the driver of investment in telecoms markets had won the favour of one key branch of Brussel’s policy makers ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | November 2017

 Understandably, representatives for the oil & gas sector were keen to input into the strategy. Stakeholders believe that a purposeful collaboration between the industry and Government and a commitment to a combined effort will ensure that the infrastructure already in place can be used to benefit the UK in the future. Green Paper The green paper set out proposals for discussion and consideration and was an invitation to others to contribute ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | December 2017

At the end of the day, budgets always reflect the political climate of the country. The Chancellor is a member of a government unable to command a majority without the support of the DUP, which has lost two cabinet ministers in the last month, is subject to various manifesto commitments regarding not raising taxes, and that is facing the monumental economic uncertainty of leaving the EU in the next 18 months ...

2017 has seen immense changes to employment law throughout Europe, and the coming year looks to bring more of the same. The 2018 edition of our annual Employment Law Update aims to assist organisations with a pan-European presence in keeping up to date withchanges to legislation and best practice ...

Parties to a contract can give the right to enforce an obligation in the contract to a third party. For example, they are very often used where a large business enters into a contract with a supplier and wants its group companies to be able to enforce the contract. In England, this is governed by the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. In Scotland, the legal recognition for this has been a common law principle, jus quaesitum tertio ...

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May said the government wanted to, “secure broad energy cooperation with the EU”, including by, “exploring options for the UK’s continued participation in the EU’s internal energy market” ...

In 1527, two inhabitants of the Royal Burgh of Haddington lent 1800 merks to the Abbey of Melrose, to be repaid by the Abbey to their bankers, in what is understood to be the first recorded reference to bankers in Scotland. Fast-forward almost 500 years to the present day and modern banking would be unrecognisable to the burgesses of Haddington ...

One of the most pressing issues for employers in relation to Brexit is immigration and the rights of EU citizens following the UK’s exit from the EU. Many UK businesses hire EU workers, with some sectors such as agriculture being particularly dependent on seasonal EU workers; still more will employ individuals who have family members who are EU nationals ...

In North Midland Building Ltd v Cyden Homes Ltd, the Court of Appeal held that an express contractual term allowing an employer to levy liquidated damages for periods of concurrent delay took precedence over a common law principle known as the prevention principle. Background Cyden Homes Limited (CH) employed a contractor, North Midland Building Limited (NMB), to design and build a large house in the Midlands, under a JCT Design and Build construction contract ...

Two significant events this week raised eyebrows in the lucrative world of live sports broadcasting. Firstly, Facebook agreed an exclusive deal to show La Liga to users in Asian territories including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It will live stream all 380 matches this season for free to its 348 million users in the region. The move fits with Facebook's ambition to grow use of its social networking platform outside markets that have reached saturation ...

All employers who were required to publish a Gender Pay Gap Report1 for the financial year 2017-2018 have now done so. A report published by the UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee2 has confirmed that 78% of organisations have gender pay gaps that favour men, and that the national gender pay gap median is around 18%. The picture is worse in certain sectors, where it was found that gender pay gaps of over 40% were “not uncommon” ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2018

Restrictive covenants seek to limit the ability of employees, typically senior ones, to work or carry out certain actions for a specific period after their employment is terminated. They are notoriously difficult to enforce because a court’s starting point is that they are an unenforceable restraint of trade, unless they are shown to be necessary to protect the employer’s business ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2018

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today published its report1 on immigration reform. As the MAC itself acknowledges, there will be “winners” and “losers” in any policy for immigration reform.On an initial reading of the report, it would appear the reforms proposed, while impacting all sectors, would be most challenging for those sectors employing a low-skilled workforce ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2018

Lawyers are often criticised for using overly complex legal and technical wording in contracts. The purpose of a contract is, amongst other things, to clearly set out the rights and obligations of the contracting parties, and to limit uncertainty during the particular project. To this end, it is important to use plain English in contract drafting and as a general rule, to use short sentences, defined terms and a clear and logical structure ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2018

In its green paper on corporate governance reform, the Government sought views on measures designed to address "a widespread perception that executive pay has become increasingly disconnected from both the pay of ordinary working people and the underlying long-term performance of companies" ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2018

Not-for-profit Reforesting Scotland’s "Thousand Huts" campaign has spearheaded the regrowth of the hutting community, previously almost entirely eradicated by increasingly strict building regulations. The new Building (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 sets out the framework for ecologically sustainable hut development. What is a Hut? A hut must be a single storey building used as recreational accommodation ...

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP | September 2018

Scotland is currently home to one of the largest life science clusters in Europe, with more than 700 organisations based here employing some 37,000 people. With 15 universities producing highly skilled graduates; the NHS as a massive single source of patient data; and world leading research centres in life sciences, Scotland attracts some of the brightest international scientists and life science businesses ...

In Scots law, it is possible to acquire certain rights to land – access, for instance – simply by the passage of time. This process is known as “prescription” and is outlined in the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. There are two forms of prescription: positive and negative. Negative prescription extinguishes certain rights after a period of time ...

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