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How Taking Early Advice Can Help Resolve Family Disputes
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

When disputes arise between family members, there is often much more at stake than money. Common grounds for family disputes We regularly deal with disputes between family members in relation to Wills, Powers of Attorney, and the administration of the estates of deceased individuals. Often these include challenges to the validity and terms of a Will, either because it is alleged that the signature has been forged or that undue pressure was placed on a person to change the terms of a Will...

Scottish Inquiry Into the COVID-19 Pandemic
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

In a statement to Parliament on 14 December 2021, John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, confirmed the appointment of Court of Session judge Lady Poole as the chair of the Scottish inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government also announced the terms of reference for the public inquiry on the same date, with the inquiry investigating the period between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2022. You can read the full ministerial statement here...

Returning to the Workplace: Ventilation Advice
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

Due to emergence of the Omicrom variant, the new year brought with it some now familiar guidance: the government asked workers to avoid the office and to work from home where possible. In anticipation of returning to the office in early 2022, the Health and Safety Executive (the HSE) and the Scottish Government have issued guidance emphasising the importance of good ventilation and the role that plays,alongside other measures, in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19...

Changes to Right to Work Checks
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

From 6 April 2022, the way right to work checks are conducted is changing. Virtual or “adjusted” right to work checks will no longer be acceptable Virtual checks were only ever intended as a temporary concession because of the pandemic. While they have been repeatedly extended throughout the pandemic, the Home Office is adamant that they will end once and for all, with 5 April 2022 being the final date on which they can be validly conducted...

Interpreting five key recommendations of the Independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

  In May 2021, the UK Government commissioned an independent, fan-led review of football governance in England following three “crisis events”. The report has thus far received a varied reception. Some have welcomed its recommendations, and believe that they will bring about much needed reform of the current model of football governance...

Farmers caught out by GAEC requirements
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

 I have recently been advising a farmer in relation to an appeal against a department penalty imposed for an alleged breach of GAEC (Good Agricultural Environmental Conditions). These are the conditions farmers claiming agricultural support payments must comply with, and which are designed to safeguard soils, habitats and landscape features on agricultural land. A breach of GAEC can lead to financial penalties being imposed on the farmer...

Breaking a contractual hierarchy of dispute resolution processes
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

The Court of Session has considered whether court proceedings can be raised to interrupt time bar, despite a contractual provision requiring adjudication before litigation.   The issue Construction contracts often provide a hierarchy of dispute resolution processes. Before a party is permitted to litigate (or arbitrate), it is often required to attempt to resolve the dispute through another method (or methods) of dispute resolution...

The uneasy relationship between adjudication and insolvency
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

The recent case of John Doyle Construction (JDC) v Erith Contractors Limited provides two lessons for the construction sector concerning the enforcement of adjudicators’ decisions by companies in liquidation. First, “clear, evidenced, and unequivocal security” is necessary before enforcement is possible. Second, where a solvent and paying party asserts set-off and counter-claims, enforcement is prohibited in most circumstances...

How long do you have to make a claim in a contentious executry matter?
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

Certain claims in contentious executry matters, such as challenging a will, must be made within a specific time period. Where a dispute arises, seeking legal advice about the relevant time period at the earliest opportunity is of fundamental importance.  In Scots law, the loss of a claim due to the passage of time is known as prescription and is presently governed by the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973...

Changes to the director disqualification regime – what directors need to know
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

The Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 15 December 2021.  The Act implements changes to the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (the CDDA). Importantly, it will allow the Insolvency Service to investigate the conduct of directors of dissolved companies.  What is the current position? The CDDA allows the Insolvency Service to investigate the conduct of directors of insolvent companies...

Transition plans: key to businesses achieving net zero
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

 How will the UK become a Net Zero-aligned Financial Centre? Last month, the UK Government announced that the UK was to be the world’s first Net Zero-aligned Financial Centre. The Institute for Government defines “net zero” as “a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere”...

Hamilton, Verstappen and the rule of law
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, January 2022

It makes for great entertainment if a competition comes down to the last few minutes. So a dramatic final race in Abu Dhabi should have been the finishing flourish for a Formula One season that has been one of the closest in years, with Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fighting it out for the championship. Instead, the last lap generated huge controversy after a decision by the Race Director to allow some cars to unlap themselves, and order the safety car in immediately...

Notification of Collective Redundancies – Potential Personal Liability for Administrators
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, December 2021

  The decision in R. (on the application of Palmer) v Northern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court has confirmed that an administrator can be prosecuted and potentially incur personal liability for a failure to notify the Insolvency Service of proposed collective redundancies...

Enforcing Arbitral Awards in Light of Selevision Saudi Company v Bein Media Group LLC
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, December 2021

 This article reports on a judgment of the High Court in relation to a dispute between a Saudi-based company, Selevision Saudi Co (SSC), and a Qatari-based company, Bein Media Group LLC (BMG), both of which operate in the broadcasting sector. This judgment clarified the effect of Civil Procedure Rule (CPR) 62.18 and the extent to which it imported the provisions of CPR 8 into an action to enforce an arbitral award made in a foreign jurisdiction...

Mandatory Climate-Related Disclosures – What is Required by April 2022?
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

  The UK Government’s consultation on mandatory climate-related disclosures As the old saying goes – ‘knowledge is power’, and businesses caught in the net of proposed mandatory climate-related disclosures will need to empower themselves quickly in order to get up to speed by the proposed April 2022 rollout...

Consultation on Remote Hearings
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

  The issue of online court hearings, and many other types of dispute resolution processes, has been a hot topic over the last few months as restrictions have eased and court users try to figure out what the new normal is, or should be. The Scottish Civil Justice Council has just closed a consultation that seeks views on proposed new rules covering the most appropriate mode of attendance at civil court hearings in the Court of Session and in the Sheriff Courts in Scotland...

Why a sponsor licence can help your business combat labour shortages
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

  Between Brexit and the pandemic, the UK is experiencing its most severe labour shortage since the 1990s. Businesses can mitigate against these recruitment issues by obtaining a licence from the Home Office to sponsor foreign staff.  A sponsor licence may not magically generate willing workers, but it will ensure the holder remains agile when an international recruitment opportunity arises...

Clause and effect: “see to it” and “on demand” guarantees
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

  In the recent case of Shanghai Shipyard Co. Ltd. V. Reignwood International Investment (Group) Company Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 1147 the Court of Appeal (COA) unanimously overturned the first instance decision and found a parent company guarantee to be a guarantee “on demand”. Despite arbitration proceedings having commenced under the underlying contract, the COA found the guarantor liable to pay $170 million under the guarantee...

HSE prosecutes contractor due to health and safety breaches during COVID-19 “spot check”
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

  The HSE has prosecuted a contractor after it identified multiple health and safety issues during a COVID-19 ‘spot check’ at a site in Manchester. This is the first prosecution to arise from the HSE’s Spot Check programme. Background Throughout the pandemic, HSE inspectors performed a number of proactive COVID-19 spot checks (reportedly over 316,000) at construction sites across the UK...

Licensing Scotland: short-term letting updates for operators
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

 (Update following the Scottish Government announcement on 8 October 2021)    As discussed in our previous article, the Scottish Government is to provide powers for local authorities to address concerns surrounding the unregulated short-term let market. The Scottish Government proposes to do so by way of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-term Lets) Order 2021...

The slow march of good faith: Van Oord UK Ltd v Dragados UK Ltd
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

Facts This month, the Inner House (Scottish appeal court) handed down judgment in Van Oord UK Ltd v Dragados UK Ltd, an appeal from the commercial court concerning the interpretation of an NEC3 contract for the dredging of Nigg Bay, part of the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project. Dragados Ltd, the main contractor (and Defender and Respondent) was employed by Aberdeen Harbour Board and subcontracted all dredging works to Van Oord Ltd, the Pursuer/Reclaimer...

Beavers Remain in Firing Line Despite Decision to Revoke Killing Licences
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

Earlier this year I wrote about a court challenge being made by the rewilding charity Trees for Life against NatureScot, challenging the issue of licences to kill beavers. This followed the release of information by NatureScot reporting that, during 2019, 87 beavers were killed and 15 were live trapped under licences that it had issued to farmers and landowners...

Managing Speculative Claims Following a Data Breach
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

Increased public awareness of data protection regulations has sparked a rise in claims for damages associated with distress caused by data breaches. Many claims are made in response to serious breaches that have caused financial loss or significant distress, however organisations are increasingly receiving significant financial claims for relatively minor breaches...

Why Edinburgh’s Planning Policies Will Increase House Prices and What You Can Do About It
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, November 2021

If you have ever wondered why property prices in Edinburgh are so high then it is worth considering the relationship between the property market and planning policy. Like most commodities, the prices we pay for properties are heavily influenced by supply and demand. The number of new houses that developers are allowed to build is set by councils using a complicated methodology...

Menopause in the Workplace
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, October 2021

  Today, World Menopause Day, I got up at 5.30 am to get the train to the office. This early start brought into sharp focus the impact that menopause can have on the working lives of women. Three years ago I would have taken an early start in my stride, I rarely had a bad night’s sleep. However, although in my early 40s, treatment for breast cancer caused early menopause, and among the symptoms I experience is frequently disturbed sleep...

 

 

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