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Legal Matters Scotland
Wednesday, 15th September 2021

A free early morning round up of news for legal professionals across Scotland.
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Children exposed to crime to have Bairns' Hoose by 2025
All eligible children who are victims or witnesses to abuse or violence will give evidence and receive support via a "Bairns’ Hoose" by 2025, the Scottish Government pledge on Tuesday. Bairns’ Hoose – based on the Icelandic Barnahus model – will bring together child protection, health, justice and recovery services in a single location. Children below the age of criminal responsibility, whose behaviour has caused harm, will also have access to the services it will provide. Mary Glasgow, chief executive of Children 1st, which is among the organisations supporting the project, added: "This vision to create a Scottish Bairns’ Hoose is rooted in what children have told us they need to recover and move on and we look forward to continuing to work with all the partners, services and agencies involved to bring it to life."
The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland  

What the best High St Law Firms Do: Are you an Agent of Change?
Every great business has an agent of change driving it forward, is that you?
I’m a firm believer that in business you are only one smart decision away from completely changing your working life. I also believe that you can learn from those who have driven their business forward. Emma King, Director at Clarity Simplicity, did exactly that. She’s taken on the mantle of spearheading a change in her firm. She recognised that change was required to allow her business to grow, move forward and prosper. We asked Emma about the change process.
Read More


Sutherland Space Hub clears new legal hurdle
The Scottish Land Court has ruled in favour of Highlands and Islands Enterprise for a change of use for land owned by crofters at the site of the planned Sutherland Space Hub. The majority of crofters in the area - known as Melness Common Grazings - supported the scheme, the court noted, with the exception of three who were being funded by billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, who recently failed to stop the spaceport plans at the Court of Session. Lord Minginish, chair of the Scottish Land Court, said: "It seems clear to us, given the importance which both UK and Scottish governments attach to the development of space ports and the almost (but not quite) unique suitability of this site for that purpose, that this can be described as a reasonable purpose to which to put the land in the public interest." 
BBC News   Herald Scotland   John O'Groat Journal   Northern Times   The Press and Journal  

Record sales for major Scottish housebuilder
Springfield Properties says it was seeing “sustained demand” supported by low interest rates, a competitive mortgage market and a “prevailing shortage of homes across all tenures”. Results for the year to the end of May revealed revenues of £216.7m, up 51% from a year earlier. Profit before tax was up 81.4% to £18.5m. Total completions increased to 973 homes, from 727 the year before. On the private housing front, revenue increased 46.2% to £144.6m with 593 completions. Within affordable housing, revenue increased by 29.7% to £55.1m with 380 completions, up from 308.
The Times   The Scotsman  


New directors included in promotions round at Anderson Strathern
Anderson Strathern has made 25 promotions, including at director and senior associate level. The firm said three senior associates had been promoted to director level - Laura McCabe, Danielle Edgar and Ewan Regan. Anne Lawrie and Mandy Armstrong are promoted from associate to senior associate; Laura Bowen, Liam Smith, Lucy Thornton, and Jemma Forrest are promoted from senior solicitor to associate; and Stuart Orr, Kirsty Nicoll, Emily Fleet-Grant, Nick Dobbs, Ysabeau Middleton, Francesca Glendinning, Sarah Donnachie, Jamie Devlin, and Rory Knox are all promoted from solicitor to senior solicitor. Additionally, Arlene Hall, Kirsty Maitland, and Elaine Caricato move up from paralegal to senior paralegal, while Jackie Curran steps up from accredited paralegal to senior accredited paralegal.
The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland   The Scotsman   Edinburgh Evening News   Herald Scotland  

Balfour+Manson announces two senior associate hires
The Edinburgh office of legal firm Balfour+Manson has added two new associates: Russell Eadie as a senior associate in the Employment team, and Stephanie Nicol in Commercial Law, to cover for partner Stephanie Zak who is taking maternity leave. She will remain with the firm when Stephanie Zak returns. 
The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland  

Blackadders hires Glasgow employment partner
Employment law specialist Stephen Connolly has joined Blackadders as a partner based in its Glasgow office. Following the appointment of Mr Connolly, who was previously a partner with Miller Samuel Hill Brown’s employment team in Glasgow, who has specialised in employment law for more than 15 years, Blackadders has 29 partners and 231 staff.
The Herald   The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland  

CMS advises on £175M placing for Smart Metering Systems plc
CMS has advised energy infrastructure company Smart Metering Systems Plc (SMS) on its latest equity placing. The transaction involved an accelerated bookbuild process to raise around £175m investment through a share placing. The net proceeds of the placing will be used to fund its contracted smart meter order pipeline and its planned grid-scale battery projects. Graeme Bruce at CMS commented: “We’re delighted to provide our support and we wish them well in their impressive plans to assist in the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy economy.”
Press Release  


Scotland records 722 drug deaths in first half of 2021
There were 722 suspected drug deaths in Scotland in the first half of 2021, according to the government, down by nine on the same period in 2020. The latest figures show the deaths that the police suspect involve illicit drugs based on reports of attending officers' observations and initial inquiries at the scene of death; they are different to the the annual National Records of Scotland (NRS) statistics which use data from death registration records and forensic examination. "Once again these figures are appalling. We are taking a vast range of actions to tackle this public health emergency, and we recognise the hard work and challenges ahead", said Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance. "More regular reporting of data on drug death trends in Scotland will ensure everyone involved in our national mission remains focussed on the work we must do to get more people into the treatment".
BBC News  

Council commits to tackling gender based violence
The Executive of West Lothian Council has agreed to adopt a gender based violence strategy for the council workforce, and to consult on how to help ensure women's safety in the wider community. Head of corporate services Julie Whitelaw says the council "has a responsibility for the health, safety and welfare at work of employees", and that by "increasing awareness of the signs of gender based violence and providing a safe and supportive working environment, the council can help to support the welfare of an employee experiencing gender based violence."
Linlithgow Gazette  

The gender pension gap begins with the gender pay gap
Because the amount people save for a pension is usually a percentage of their salary, the 15.5% gender pay gap could immediately mean that, on average, women have less salary to put into their pension — and that’s before aspects like career breaks, caring responsibilities and part-time working are even brought into the equation.
Plus, the lower salary means that it takes women who started university after 2006/2007 an average of five years longer to pay back student debts.  This may mean that women often start saving for their pension later as their salary is going into paying off their student debts for a longer period.
Read the article in full


Starmer outlines 'new deal for workers'
Sir Keir Starmer has vowed to deliver a "new deal for workers", telling the TUC conference that Labour will grant a raft of new rights to employees. He said a Labour government would introduce: a minimum wage of £10 an hour; a ban on fire and re-hire; more flexible working; higher sick pay; and day one rights including holiday pay, parental leave and protection from unfair dismissal. Sir Keir also said Labour would bring an end to zero hours contracts. He insisted Labour would deliver “a new deal for working people based on security at work, quality jobs, a fairer economy, opportunity for all and work that pays”, adding that this “would transform working life in Britain and make it the best place to work."
Sky News   The Guardian  


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MSPs commence UK internal market inquiry
An inquiry into the UK’s internal market has been launched by the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs & Culture Committee, addressing how the new constitutional arrangements arising from the UK internal market will impact on how devolution works. A key question is the extent to which policy divergence both within the different parts of the UK and between the different parts of the UK and the EU is possible within the UK internal market. "The UK internal market has a significant impact on the UK’s constitutional arrangements. We want to examine the recent changes and, now that they have had some time to bed in, understand how they work for Scotland. Of course, arrangements need to work for businesses, consumers and other stakeholders. To do so, there needs to be transparency and effective democratic oversight", said committee convenor Clare Adamson MSP. The deadline for submissions is October 29th.
The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland  

UK delays customs checks on EU imports
The Government is to delay a number of customs checks on EU imports due to come into force in October and January, pushing the new red tape back until July 2022. These include new export health certificates, which were originally due to be required from October, and physical checks on food and other animal-related products that were set to start in January. Other security-focused checks will now also be delayed until July 2022. While the EU has imposed full checks since January 1, 2021, yesterday’s announcement marks the third time the UK has nudged back some of the post-Brexit checks.
Sky News   BBC News   Daily Mail   The Independent   The Guardian   The Times  


Council leader calls for strong freeport regulation
SNP members have backed a motion from South Ayrshire Council leader Cllr Peter Henderson calling for six key requirements to be considered before any freeports are established in Scotland. Cllr Henderson says that without "the correct controls or regulations", freeports could have a "detrimental impact on the economy and environment, public safety, local economies and Scotland's reputation". The conditions suggested include requirements around the Real Living Wage, support for local government services, trade union recognition, compensation for local communities, and controls on health and safety, pollution, security and law enforcement.
The Daily Record  

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