Summer 2008 Issue 15
The Member Magazine for Qualified Paralegal Practitioners
PLUS: Paralegal Registration – what will it mean for you?
Specialist Paralegal Training Programmes
developed, accredited and presented by:
Society of Specialist Paralegals
In this issue...
A badge of quality
Your letters and comment
The latest legal news from around the United Kingdom
10-11 The Lowdown
Latest news, Society information and contact details at your fingertips
13 Illegally Blonde COFFEE BREAK 18
Diary of the Specialist Paralegal’s girl about town!
16 The Big Interview
With paralegals from Glasgow firm Miller Samuel
17 Career Clinic
Emma MacArthur from Hudson Legal answers your burning career questions.
18-19 Coffee Break
Could the legal profession do better for working mothers?
20-23 Professional Update
Employment and Immigration II: Skilled Migrants
Bank charges: an unfair contract term?
Asbestos: the case law and legislative intervention
24 Forthcoming Courses
8-9 Law Society of Scotland COVER
Registered Paralegals GRADUATIONS 14
What will it mean for you?
SSP asks tough questions of the Law Society!
Licensing paralegals are up to the challenge!
14-15 Springtime Graduations COVER
Newly qualified paralegals speak
Thank you to Richard Draycott of The Firm magazine,
for supplying some of the photos used on our cover montage.
“ The Rolls Royce of Qualifications -
PROFESSIONAL UPDATE 22
the best not only in the UK but in Europe”
Published by the Society of Specialist Paralegals
CONTACT US: 5th Floor, 80 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5UB
Telephone: 0141 225 6700
EDITOR: Lisa-Marie Ferla
0141 225 6709
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THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS In Position Media Ltd,
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For details of advertising rates, please contact Lisa-Marie Ferla on 0141 225 6700 Telephone: 0141 810 9000
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 3
A badge of quality
As I’ve grown older (honestly, I hit I’ve long maintained that this dedication and sacrifice, as our
the ripe old age of 26 last month, and magazine is only as good as you, its newly-qualified paralegals would be
I’ve taken it hard!) I’ve grown to readership, make it. I’m always happy the first to admit.
appreciate constructive criticism. to listen to ideas for content and
And so it was great to hear from a features, and ways to make the Recognition too is the buzzword at
Member of the Society of Specialist magazine better – no matter how the Law Society of Scotland, whose
Paralegals not long before we went to trivial you think they may be. Give consultation on a new Registered
press. “The magazine is a good read,” me a call, or email me – let me know Paralegal scheme was ending just as
she said, “but you always seem to what you think of this issue! we went to press. Members of the
focus on the big city firms. You do Society of Specialist Paralegals in
realise that there are plenty of The importance of recognition Scotland have already had the
paralegals working in smaller firms cannot be underestimated. Nothing opportunity to comment on the
too?” gives you a greater sense of pride in proposals, and the verdict has been
your work than the feeling that it has an overwhelmingly positive one. The
Of course I do, and it’s an apparent not gone unnoticed. It’s something Society of Specialist Paralegals will
Lisa-Marie Ferla LLB (Hons) MSc omission for which I can only that really comes across at the continue to work with the Law
Editor, The Specialist Paralegal apologise. I’ve said before in this graduation ceremonies, in the delight Society to provide the highest
column that the biannual paralegal on the faces of our graduates and the quality training and ensure that
graduation ceremonies at the Barony pride of their friends and families. As specialisms are recognised – and we
Hall are one of my working Janet Teece, an HR consultant from will of course keep you up to date
highlights; because it’s fantastic Devon, says in our centre page: “it with the latest developments both in
getting the chance to chat to was a dream come true”. the magazine, and on our website at
paralegals from all walks of life, who www.specialistparalegals.co.uk.
work not only in the legal profession Recognition is ultimately what
but in related areas too. Focussing on Membership of the Society of As ever, keep in touch with your
the big city firms, as I explained to Specialist Paralegals is all about. The ideas and comments!
the caller, tends to be easy because four letters after the names of our
they employ dedicated marketing graduates act as a “quality marque”,
staff whose job it is to deal with the recognising subject specific
press on a daily basis – and as such, specialism and qualification gained
they actively court publicity. It’s a through a top-rated university. It is an
trap I will learn to avoid falling into! accolade that is hard-won, through
Write to us! Good career move As I am based in London, the of transferring property over so that
distance learning course was ideal if (god forbid) his mum does need to
Got something on your I have recently qualified as a for me and something I was able to go into care then her property
mind, or a comment on Specialist Paralegal in Employment work around my work and other would be safe. Apparently not so!
Law, and was one of the graduands commitments. Now I am hoping for
anything you have read in at the ceremony on 14th April. I
a successful future in self- Jennifer Davidson MSSP
this magazine? have read The Specialist Paralegal employment, so doing the Specialist
with interest, and just wanted to CCW LLP
Paralegal qualification has definitely
Please email the editor at comment that it is not just people turned into a good career move for
email@example.com. who work for solicitors who do the me rather than just a way of proving Mea culpa
Paralegal qualification. As a Human myself to my previous employers!
Letters may be edited Resources professional, I did the Apologies to Heather Etteridge,
Employment Law paralegal Kind regards, whose name was mis-spelled in The
before inclusion. Tara Daynes FCIPD, MSSP
qualification to give my employer Big Interview – UK Edition, Issue
added confidence in my knowledge www.taradayneshr.com 14. Heather, who you may
of employment law, as it is an area I remember as a keen family historian,
deal with on a day-to-day basis. But Transferring property at least took the error in good part:
then I did so well in the assignments “There have been several variations
and exam that it gave me enough Latest edition of the magazine of our family name over the past few
confidence in myself to leave my landed on my desk yesterday. The hundred years including Etherage,
employer and set up as a self- article re: transferring property into
Ethridge, Ettridge, Etridge,
employed HR consultant. Now the a relative’s name if there is a chance
Etheridge and even Utteridge!” she
fact that I’m a qualified Employment an elderly person may need to go
writes. Sorry, Heather.
Law paralegal as well as a into care [Residential Care and
professionally qualified HR Preservation of Assets by John Kerrigan, Our apologies also to Jennifer
generalist means my clients also Scotland Edition, Issue 14] was Anderson, who graduated with a
have full confidence in my ability to particularly interesting as my fiancé Specialist Paralegal Practitioner
advise them on their legal visited his lawyer with his mum and Qualification in Family Law at our
obligations as employers, to ensure sister only last Friday about the very April graduation ceremony, and
they have legally compliant staffing same matter. They (and I, to be whose name was omitted from the
policies and procedures etc. honest) thought it was simply a case list of graduates in our last edition.
4 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
civil litigation & pi
The latest legal
news from around
the United Kindom
Bill opens way for
The Scottish Government has unveiled a
new bill at Holyrood which will entitle
also given many Scots a legacy which still
impacts on their lives today through
sufferers of asbestos-related conditions to exposure to asbestos.
Jen makes tracks claim compensation.
The new law effectively overturns last
year’s House of Lords ruling which
“It is therefore right and proper that we
should not turn our back on these people.”
However, an insurance industry source
for Dogs Trust prevented sufferers from pleural plaques –
a scarring of the lungs – claiming against
negligent employers for the condition.
told the Scotland on Sunday: “Everyone
agrees that people with serious asbestos-
related illnesses like mesothelioma should
The ruling will help hundreds of be compensated as quickly as possible.
A Dunfermline-based paralegal has run good cause Scottish sufferers, many of whom are Insurers do this. But the medical
10k for charity - despite having “never makes it all former shipyard workers, who suffer from community, and the House of Lords,
done any running before”. worthwhile.” diseases such as mesothelioma, a agree that pleural plaques are
Jennifer Davidson, 36, who is a Jennifer has condition which people with pleural symptomless, cause no harm to those who
commercial property paralegal with sponsored a 10-year-old dog called plaques are prone to catch. have them and do not lead to the
CCW LLP, raised almost £250 for the Jacob through the Trust for a couple of Asbestos campaigners have welcomed development of any other asbestos-
Dogs Trust on last month’s BUPA Great years, but the race was the first time she the government’s move. related medical conditions.”
Edinburgh run. had done any active fundraising for the Insurers claim that, as pleural plaques The bill has the backing of the Labour
She said: “The term ‘run’ is used very cause. themselves do not cause any harm, there Party, and parliamentary progress is
loosely in my case – my friend and I She added: “My colleagues were should not be any compensation – levels expected to be straightforward. It is
both walked! amazingly supportive – I did emphasise of which could reach millions of pounds. proposed that the legislation will be
“We were pretty much near the back of to everyone that they shouldn’t feel Community Safety Minister Fergus retrospective to the date of the Lords
the race, but the crowds were so obliged to sponsor me, as I didn’t want Ewing said: “Industries such as ruling, in October 2007.
supportive. They would clap when you anyone to feel pressured into it plus I shipbuilding and construction contributed I For more on this
walked past and shout words of know a lot of people are not avid dog to our nation’s wealth in the past. developing area of law, turn to
encouragement, which really spurs you lovers like me. But I was really taken “Sadly however, these industries have Professional Update on P22.
on. aback by their generosity.
“After we crossed the line and “If anyone is interested in sponsoring a
collapsed on the grass, it really was a dog, which can be done from as little as licensing
fantastic feeling that is difficult to a few pounds per month, then you
describe. There’s no way I could have
run all the way as I’m really not the
athletic type, and I really admire all
more Calling time on
those who did.
“I got a real buzz from doing it, and am
looking forward to taking part next year.
I Have you taken part in any
fundraising activities lately? Write to
the editor at specialist_paralegal_
Scottish booze culture
I have a time to beat – plus running for a magazine @centlaw.com. Wide-ranging proposals to overhaul existing legislation tackling “rogue
alcohol laws, including setting minimum retailers” should be more strongly
prices per unit for drink and raising the enforced before “stigmatising those aged
employment minimum age at which alcohol can be between 18 and 21.”
bought in off-licences to 21, have been Tory justice spokesman Bill Aitken
Extension to flexible announced by the Scottish Government.
The consultation document also
proposes ending some cheap drink
MSP said: “Before we think of
introducing new legislation, the priority
is to apply existing laws on underage
work and training promotions, the introduction of alcohol-
only checkouts in supermarkets, and
making some retailers help pay for the
sales and underage drinking. Until now,
breaches by licensees have been paid lip
service rather than prosecuted. Too
All parents of children aged up to sixteen and Wales to request time off for consequences of alcohol abuse. many lawbreakers have kept their
will be able to request flexible working training and for such requests to be Both the Conservatives and Liberal licences.”
from their employer under an extension seriously considered by employers. New Democrats attacked the age rise for off- Fiona Moriarity, director of the
of the current legal right, the measures to strengthen and promote licence sales. Scottish Retail Consortium, added that
government has announced. apprenticeships are also expected. The plans, aimed at tackling the the proposals were an “ill-thought-out,
At present, the right applies to parents The proposal suggests that the right country’s “booze culture”, have been reflex reaction not based on evidence,”
of children under six, or under eighteen would mirror the right to flexible welcomed by the Association of Chief and would increase young people’s
if the child is disabled. working. Police Officers Scotland and health fascination with alcohol.
Employers are entitled to refuse a The government has also abandoned professionals – but could fall foul of The total cost of alcohol misuse in
request on certain business-related its longstanding opposition to greater competition legislation. Scotland is estimated at £2.25bn every
grounds, including additional costs, rights for agency workers, offering them The Office of Fair Trading said it was year, with alcohol-related deaths more
inability to reorganise work among equal treatment after working in the not yet clear if Holyrood would be free than doubling in the last decade.
existing staff and detrimental impact on same job for twelve weeks. to press ahead with the plans. Meanwhile, shops in England and
performance. This will cover the same basic working Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, Wales could similarly be forced to raise
Government statistics estimate that conditions, including pay and holiday launching his Changing Scotland’s the basic cost of alcoholic drinks by a
4.5m parents will benefit from this entitlement, but not the right to join a Relationship with Alcohol consultation third or more, under plans up for
extended right. pension scheme or to receive anything paper, said that he hoped the proposals consideration by ministers at
The date for implementation of this more than statutory sick pay. would “kick-start a long-term cultural Westminster.
change has still to be confirmed, but is Temporary staff will also have to work shift in our society.” Any legislation could see English
expected to be either April or October the same length of time as full-time He added: “Alcohol is part of Scottish supermarkets and corner shops ordered
2009. workers in order to enjoy paid maternity culture, and we value the contribution of to charge a minimum of between 35p
Business Secretary John Hutton said leave. the industry to our economy and and 40p per unit – effectively spelling
the move, which follows the This agreement will form the basis of national life, but we’ve got our drinking the end of cut-price drink deals in
recommendations of an independent the UK’s negotiations at European level out of kilter. supermarkets.
review, would give a “big boost” to busy for an Agency Workers Directive. “It’s not the drink, it’s how we’re The plans come in the wake of a new
parents. Domestic legislation will be introduced drinking it.” multi-million pound advertising
Meanwhile, a consultation has opened into Parliament next year, if agreement However, both Conservatives and campaign highlighting the dangers of
on a new right for employees in England can be reached at European level. Liberal Democrats suggested that underage binge drinking.
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 5
debt recovery news in brief
Changes to bankruptcy DUAL LLB COMPELLABILITY
law now in force The University of Dundee is to offer
law students the opportunity to
Husbands and wives will no longer
Debtors who wish to make themselves someone does not co-operate with their become qualified to practise in all
be able to refuse to give evidence
bankrupt no longer have to go to court, trustee or misbehaves whilst bankrupt. of the UK’s jurisdictions. From
against spouses charged with
following wholescale changes to the law The trustee, as under the previous rules, September, students on the Scots
of bankruptcy in Scotland. does not get their discharge until the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programme criminal offences, the Scottish
The changes, which will make it easier administration of the case is complete; will be able to pursue a course of Government has announced.
for those on lower incomes to declare • If a debtor does not cooperate with study that allows them to take all Currently a married person can only
themselves bankrupt, came into force as their trustee or misbehaves before and/or the professional subjects required be required to give evidence against
our last issue went to press. The basic during their bankruptcy, they may be by the Law Societies of Scotland, their spouse if they are the victim of
provisions are as follows: made subject to a Bankruptcy Restriction England & Wales and Northern an offence by their partner. The rule
• A debtor who wishes to make Order or a Bankruptcy Restriction Ireland as prerequisites for was extended to couples in civil
themselves bankrupt no longer has to go Undertaking (BRO/BRUs). These apply qualifying in each country. Dundee partnerships, and this is also to be
to court. All debtor applications must be restrictions to a debtor’s credit and work is already the only law school in the changed. A consultation on the
sent to and decided by the Accountant activities for between 2 and 15 years UK to offer degree programmes in proposal was begun by the former
in Bankruptcy; after granting. Details will be recorded both Scots and English law. Scottish Executive, and the Scottish
• A debtor must owe a minimum of on the Register of Insolvencies; Government intends to take an early
£1,500 before they can apply for their • The process for obtaining legislative opportunity to make the
own bankruptcy. If a creditor wishes to contributions from a debtor’s income LOCKERBIE APPEAL change.
make a debtor bankrupt they must show during their bankruptcy has been Prosecutors have launched a legal
to the court that the debtor owes a formalised with the introduction of new
minimum of £3,000; Income Payment Agreements and
bid to limit the scope of the SOLICITOR
Lockerbie bomber’s appeal against
• The Court of Session no longer Orders (IPA/IPOs). These will normally conviction. Lawyers for Abdelbaset STANDARDS
awards or recalls bankruptcies. All last for three years from signing. Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi have lodged
creditor petitions and recalls must be • Student loans will not be written off Members of the public are being
full grounds of appeal with the asked to help with a project to set
submitted to sheriff courts; through bankruptcy.
Appeal Court in Edinburgh – but the clear standards of service and
• A sheriff will be allowed to delay • A debtor will only be allowed to
Crown said it should be limited to the behaviour for solicitors. The Law
their decision on a creditor’s petition for appeal the amounts declared in the
issues raised by the Scottish Criminal
bankruptcy to give a debtor time to accounts of their trustee if they can Society is launching a
Cases Review Commission, which
agree a payment plan that will remove demonstrate they will gain financially questionnaire consultation on
referred Megrahi’s case back to the
the need for them to be made bankrupt; from the outcome of the appeal. professional standards to clarify
appeal court last year. Megrahi, 56,
• A new route into bankruptcy has • There are also changes to the what those using legal services can
is serving life for killing 270 people
been introduced for people on low responsibilities of the interim trustee and expect from their solicitor. It is
income who do not own property and trustee appointed to administer the on the 1988 bombing of Pan Am
available by contacting the Society
have very little in savings or other assets. debtor’s financial affairs before and flight 103.
on 0131 226 7411, or online at:
This is known as Low Income Low during bankruptcy. www.lawscot. org.uk/ surveys/
Assets (LILA); WOMEN JUDGES standards.htm.
• The period of a debtor’s bankruptcy I For more information, please visit
has been reduced from three years to the website of the Accountant in The body in charge of selecting
one. However, this can be extended if Bankruptcy at www.aib.gov.uk. judges and sheriffs is to carry out a SHORT SENTENCES
major investigation aimed at
ending the virtual monopoly that Court prosecutions are steadily
crime & justice white men have on the bench. The rising, with the number of custodial
Judicial Appointments Board for sentences imposed the highest in ten
Commons votes for 42 Scotland is to examine the
“barriers” it believes are
preventing women and people from
years, according to new figures from
the Scottish Government. And short
sentences still dominate, with 80%
days without charge ethnic minorities from progressing
into senior positions. Equality
campaigners fear the lack of women
for six months or less. Justice
Secretary Kenny MacAskill said too
many people were being sent to
House of Commons MPs have voted in days, the decision will have to be and non-white sheriffs and judges prison for minor offences, and called
favour of increasing the detention approved by both a judge and the House is damaging public confidence in for increasing emphasis on
without charge limit for terror suspects of Commons. Opponents of the measure the legal system and can be off- community penalties.
to 42 days. do not believe that the government has putting to some victims, for
The victory was a narrow one, with explained what would happen if the two example women who are raped. SUNBED BAN
thirty-six Labour MPs joining forces were to disagree, creating a potential
with Conservatives and Liberal clash between the judiciary and the New public health legislation will
Democrats to vote against the proposals. legislature.
ban the use of sunbeds by young
And ministers will now struggle to get Home Office minister Tony McNulty The Scottish Government has people under the age of eighteen.
their plans through the House of Lords, acknowledged the government still announced an increase in the level of The legislation also prohibits the
where Labour does not have a majority. faced a battle to get 42-day detention on civil legal aid payments. The unit sale or hire of sunbeds to anyone
The Conservative Party and the to the statute books. used for calculating payments is set under eighteen and bans coin-
Liberal Democrats are both strongly He said: “I accept fully that I continue to rise from £19 to £21, with operated unstaffed salons. Sunbed
opposed to the increase from the current to have a real job with some thirty or so corresponding increases in detailed operators will also have to provide
28 days limit, and legal peers such as of my colleagues to show that this is the fees. There will also be a new scale users with information about the
former attorney general Lord Goldsmith way to go, that this is proportionate and of payments for complex family law health risk of using sunbeds. Other
have already spoken out against the bill. accords with civil liberties and cases, which are underfunded under parts of the bill strengthen health
Former lord chancellors Lord Falconer democracy. the present scales. The Law Society board and local authority powers to
and Lord Irvine are also understood to “I don’t profess [the proposal] to be in said it welcomed the news – but that act when individuals, premises or
be opposed. a perfect state yet.” more needed to be done to safeguard any item pose a significant risk to
Under the plans, if police want to The House of Lords is expected to
the future of civil legal aid. public health.
detain a suspect in the event of a “grave vote on the issue after the summer
and exceptional threat” for more than 28 recess.
6 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
crime & justice legal profession
Scottish Parliament Law Awards
considers rape reform nominees
A definition of “consent” in sexual agencies to pursue and prosecute anyone The nominees for the fifth annual Law Firms of the Year (both over and under
offence cases could become enshrined in from Scotland who commits a sexual Awards of Scotland were announced just fifty fee earners), Corporate Social
statute for the first time, under new offence under Scots law against someone as we went to press. Responsibility Firm of the Year,
proposals currently before the Scottish under the age of 18 abroad, regardless of The independent awards, in Marketing Team of the Year, Solicitor of
Parliament. the laws applied in that country – association with Registers of Scotland, the Year, Law Lecturer of the Year and
The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill, including child pornography and child are now in their fifth year and have Mediator of the Year.
based on proposals from the Scottish prostitution offences. attracted a record number of Janet Hood of BII Scotland, Chair of
Law Commission, replaces the current Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill submissions. the judging panel, said:
common-law offence of rape with a said: “This is a once in a generation And the Society of Specialist “What came through in spades was
broader statutory offence – which opportunity for Parliament to review, Paralegals is pleased to once again that the Scottish legal profession is in
includes male rape. The Bill also reform and clarify the complex mix of sponsor Paralegal of the Year at the great shape. Scottish lawyers are
introduces new statutory offences common law and statute with a clear showcase event. competing way above their weight
dealing with sexual exposure, legal framework that more accurately Congratulations to the nominated across the world. From small niche
particularly in non-public places, the reflects the values of modern society. paralegals, as follows: practices operating in a high street near
“spiking” of drinks for sexual purposes “Of course, reform of rape law will not, Andrea Barbour, you, to multi-office expanding
and coercive sexual conduct, including on its own, improve low conviction Balfour & Manson; international firms, we are ready to drive
sexually offensive emails or texts. rates. Other ongoing work is vital – Sarah Chambers, forward the business of law both locally
The legislation includes “protective improving investigation and prosecution Archibald, Campbell & Harley; and globally.
offences” to guard against sexual activity of rape and sexual assault, reviewing law Eileen Irvine, “Scotland’s legal profession is a
with those whose capacity to consent is of evidence and challenging public Gillespie Gifford & Brown; profession of which we should be
either entirely absent or not fully formed attitudes to rape and sexual assault. Samantha Kennedy, extremely proud.”
either due to age or a mental disorder. “However this Bill will, together with Purdie & Co; The results will be revealed by Donald
The Bill is broadly in line with the this other work, contribute to improving Brendan Kelly, Findlay QC on Thursday 18th
main Commission proposals, as reported the criminal justice system’s response to Wright, Johnstone & Mackenzie; September, with a black tie dinner at the
in Issue 13, but for the recommendations crimes of rape and sexual assault.” Stephen McGowan, Hilton Hotel, Glasgow. Former Liberal
to decriminalise all consensual sexual As well as a broader definition of rape, R & JM Hill Brown & Co; Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell
activity between 13-15 year olds, and to the Bill creates a range of statutory Denise McKenzie, Ritchie Neill QC will speak at the event, and there
decriminalise consensual adult sexual sexual offences and a definition of Solicitors & Estate Agents; will be some light entertainment from
violence. consent based on “free agreement” – Marie Rafferty, the Casablanca Steps during dinner.
International provisions in the Bill will specifying a range of illustrative Wright, Johnstone & Mackenzie. I To secure your table, please
enable Scottish law enforcement scenarios where consent is not given. Other award categories include Law contact Carnyx on 0141 552 5858.
l ow e r in g th e b a r
The lighter side of the legal profession…
Online archives launched arm as he fell – hyperextending Kalant’s arm and classmates to his birthday party. The boy’s school
It’s been a good few months for history buffs, with rupturing his biceps muscle. Kalant is seeking says he has violated the children’s rights and has
the launch of not one, but two fascinating sets of unspecified damages for medical bills, physical complained to the European Parliament, arguing
online legal archives. Old Bailey Proceedings pain and lost earnings following surgery and an that if invitations are handed out on school
Online offers up a fully-searchable collection of estimated four months off work. premises it has a duty to ensure there is no
200,000 cases dating back to 1674 – including the discrimination. The two children were allegedly left
Paralegal sues over patented bra out because one did not invite the boy to his own
crimes of Dr Crippen, Oscan Wilde and the
A Long Island paralegal is taking on the might of
suffragettes. The project’s director say the site party, and he had fallen out with the other one. A
underwear giant Victoria’s Secret – whom she
conveys not only the drama of the trials, but also a verdict on the matter is likely to be reached in
alleges stole, then mass-produced, her specialised
wealth of details about ordinary life at the time. The September, in time for the next school year.
bra design. Katerina Plew, 38, alleges that the
site can be accessed at www.oldbaileyonline.org.
company’s “Very Sexy 100-Way Strapless Gonnae no’ say that?
The Times newspaper too has launched a
Convertible Bra” infringes her design, which she Leading Scottish lawyers have complained to
comprehensive online archive dating back 200
patented in 2004. Ms Plew says she had arranged Lord Advocate Eilish Angiolini about the number of
years, including the renowned Times Law Reports –
to meet with designers from the label in 2006, but mistakes made by English stenographers when
as they originally appeared in the paper, and again
the meeting was cancelled without warning on the transcribing legal proceedings north of the border.
fully searchable. The website recently ran a
day it was meant to occur. It is claimed that court cases “could be thrown into
fascinating series on the 100 cases that shaped
modern Britain – everything from cannibalism to chaos because of the errors, which have seen
Sweden keeps sexist advertising…
the bottled snail which, in Donoghue v Stevenson, Scottish names like Barlinne wrongly transcribed
Sweden has decided not to ban “sexist”
established the fundamental principle of duty of as “Barrel Annie” and “libelled” replaced with
advertising, putting the country at odds with
care (as well as guaranteeing my native Paisley a “liable”.
neighbours Norway and Denmark – both of which
place in legal history). This series, and the archives Donald Findlay QC told the BBC: “The
have strict controls on the use of such images for
themselves, can be accessed on the newspaper’s transcriptions are bloody awful. There are clearly
commercial gain. Banning images which are
website at www.timesonline.co.uk. problems [understanding] the accent. There are bits
“irrelevant to the product”, such as a woman in a
that are either missing or plainly wrong.
bikini draped over a car, would be “against freedom
Man sues bull… well, not exactly of speech – which is protected by the constitution”,
“They know nothing of the local topography,
A misplaced high-five has prompted a US dentist a spokesperson for Sweden’s Equality Minister which leads to some amazing phonetic translations
to sue the Chicago Bulls football team for the said. of places. I would have thought it’s not beyond the
actions of their mascot – Benny the Bull. Don Kalant wit of a man to check place names on the internet.”
alleges in his lawsuit that he raised his hand to get …but bans party prerogative? Legal workers said problems began when the
a high-five from Barry Anderson, who plays the An eight-year-old boy has sparked an unlikely Scottish Court Service awarded the work to Devon-
mascot, but Anderson slipped and grabbed Kalant’s outcry in Sweden after failing to invite two of his based Mendip Media Group in 2006.
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 7
Law Society of Scotland Registered
Paralegals – what will it mean for you?
SSP Asks Tough Questions of the Law Society!
This summer sees discussions begin on the next majority of members were keen to see the Society provide a basic guarantee of structure of
stage of the Law Society of Scotland’s proposals continue to represent a specialist “quality marque”, competency for paralegals. Society of Specialist
for a formal registration scheme for the thousands which is held in high regard throughout the legal Paralegals members, who have undertaken training
of professionals working in paralegal roles profession. far in excess of the baseline level outlined in the
throughout the country. The Society of Specialist The Law Society of Scotland Registered competency map provided as part of the
Paralegals has long championed the formal Paralegal scheme will assure professional arrangements, will be eligible for Registered
recognition of academic paralegal qualifications, a recognition for a vibrant, emerging profession, Paralegal status in the initial stages – providing
concept pioneered some fifteen years ago by the they meet the work-based experience criteria.
University of Strathclyde, and we are delighted to A standing committee comprised of members of
welcome this very positive step forward. “The Society of Specialist Paralegals has the Law Society, the Society of Specialist
The scheme, as outlined in the consultation long championed the formal recognition of Paralegals and the Scottish Paralegal Association
document which can be accessed at academic paralegal qualifications, a will oversee the scheme, appointing panels as
www.lawscot.org.uk/ paralegals, intends to create concept pioneered some fifteen years ago necessary to deal with individual admission and
a new “Law Society of Scotland Registered by the University of Strathclyde, and we disciplinary issues. SSP members have already put
Paralegal” status which will be awarded to those are delighted to welcome this very themselves forward for this role, and we will be
who have attained a recognised academic positive step forward.” contacting you with more information as the plans
paralegal qualification, together with a period of become finalised.
practical experience yet to be determined. SSP members have overwhelmingly welcomed
We recently canvassed our members to obtain and a Specialist Paralegal Practitioner the “very positive” development in their responses
their views on whether they wanted the SSP to Qualification from the University of Strathclyde – to our questionnaire. Neil Stevenson, Head of
reincorporate as a separate professional body, or combined with the relevant period of in-practice Strategic Change at the Law Society of Scotland,
for the Society to continue to represent the experience – is the fastest, most cost effective was keen to answer your outstanding questions,
highest level of paralegal qualification available route to attain Registered status. posed by Robert Wardropper, Fellow of the
today. We are pleased to say that an overwhelming The scheme will initially be voluntary, and will Society of Specialist Paralegals.
Neil Stevenson’s responses that the legal services market may look the Code would be dealt with by a Panel, Conduct, and pay an annual fee to
Having been a keen debater for most of very different in the future. England and which would examine evidence and reach remain registered.
my life, I was delighted to go head to Wales has had Legal Executives (a a conclusion, and that an appeal would
head with Robert and answer the ‘tough’ formally regulated group of people be possible to the full Standing What are the benefits of the scheme,
questions that I’m sure many of you will carrying out a paralegal type role) for Committee. for those who decide to register? Will
have wanted to pose. many years, and in alternative business there be discounts available on
Much of the future is still What requirements must a Update training, for example?
uncertain, with big changes “The solution seemed obvious, to create a paralegal meet to continue Those who register will receive a copy
happening across the legal with their registration (for of the Society’s multi-award winning
benchmark, alongside other sector stakeholders,
profession from the introduction example, CPD)? Will points be Journal, which will start to carry more
of alternative business structures which would set out the standards anyone transferrable to other content specifically aimed at paralegals as
for Scottish law firms and the registering had to meet, bringing greater clarity, memberships and well as updates on all key areas of law.
new Scottish Legal Complaints career structure, and defined responsibility.” accreditations, e.g. SSP There will be access to our Professional
Commission through to the membership? Practice Helpline, to Lawcare (a support
changing needs and expectations We all have an interest that network for those working within law),
of clients. All these changes will affect structures the Society and the new people within professions stay up to date. and to the other membership services of
paralegals, and the proposed registration Complaints Commission may end up We’ve invested in state of the art the Society. As for solicitors, CPD
scheme too, but we’ll try to give you the looking at a wider group of people technology which will allow an online linked to regulatory requirements will be
fullest picture we can… working within law than just solicitors. log of CPD to be kept, and to be provided free (recent examples include
We know the Scottish Government is monitored electronically (as well as with ones on the introduction of new money
What is the reasoning behind a supportive of the aims of the scheme, and human cross-checking). Members will be laundering rules and on ARTL) and
formal registration scheme? will monitor its implementation to see able to print out their log for the year paralegals will be able to pay to attend
From talking to solicitors, clients and how it works in practice. into hard-copy or electronic format and Update training. Firms and individuals
paralegals we believe there is confusion submit it to other bodies they may be a will benefit from the role of the paralegal
about what a paralegal really is that is What standards will paralegals starting to be professionally
detrimental to all. With no requirements have to meet, and how will “In the future, like with law, medicine, or recognised by both solicitors
in terms of qualifications or experience complaints and non-compliance and the public at large, and
accounting, we hope to see other badges of
anyone can call themselves a paralegal, be dealt with? everyone will benefit from
quality continue to develop and grow, be they a
leaving people unsure as to what Standards which applicants need paralegals coming within a
standards are met by the people they to meet will be laid out in a formal regulatory status (like ‘Solicitor- regulatory structure which may
recruit, transact with, or who are competence map setting out Advocate’ or ‘Chartered Accountant) or an one day see them become
providing a legal service. The solution exactly what a person seeking external quality marque (like ‘Signet managers and owners of law
seemed obvious, to create a benchmark, entry to the scheme must be able Accreditation’ or the ‘ISO 9002’ standard that firms or more easily converting
alongside other sector stakeholders, to demonstrate in practice. This many firms are now seeking to attain)” to becoming a solicitor.
which would set out the standards will cover generic skills (like client
anyone registering had to meet, bringing care) and the demonstration of Will SSP members
greater clarity, career structure, and these in a particular area of law (like member of as evidence of their ongoing automatically be eligible for the
defined responsibility. commercial property). The draft commitment to continuing professional scheme?
competence map is currently on the development. The log will capture The Society simply doesn’t have
Whilst the scheme will be voluntary website for discussion and feedback. details of self-directed development and enough data on the current membership
initially, when is it envisaged that it Once ‘registered’ a paralegal will need to courses attended, alongside details of the of SSP to answer definitively, but we
will become compulsory? comply with a Code of Conduct and time spent, learning outcomes, and imagine that many members will have
At the moment we are not sure if it will CPD requirements. It is proposed that a reflection on how the development already achieved the required standards
ever become compulsory, however, what breach of a regulatory requirement (like a improved their daily practice. They will that we must set if the scheme is to be
we do see is a range of drivers suggesting failure to complete CPD) or a breach of also need to comply with the Code of credible. These are detailed in the
8 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
discussion paper, and where another SSP will, therefore, remain status of paralegal is a vital part of a
organisation can verify these have been responsible for the further developing legal services market in
met (for example, by sharing data that development of paralegal Scotland.
shows people have more than one year’s specialisms?
in-office experience supervised and The Society hopes that the ‘Registered The next five years are going to be a
signed off by a practising Scottish
solicitor) then we hope to be able to
Paralegal’ status will bring clarity to
clients and the legal professions. We
time of great change and opportunity in
the legal services market, with so much
offer a fast-track registration process –
but that will depend on whether
know that many current solicitors are potential change we all need to stay
informed of the issues and
other organisations wish to
engage with us in that way. “Developments like Signet Accreditation
contribute to the debate. We’re
grateful for the opportunity to interviewer
demonstrate the demand for quality marques answer your key questions, and
How will different levels of outwith the regulatory structure.” would encourage you to read the Robert Wardropper FSSP, 40,
competency and experience information that comes out from became one of the first – and, at
be recognised? Are there them, and on the Society’s own that time, only – male secretaries
plans to recognise specialisms? also members of other bodies – from the website, on new developments. for a Department of the Scottish
At the moment we are looking at a WS Society and Scottish Law Agents But most of all, I’d encourage you to Office when he was just 20. He
‘trainee’ status, and the point of entry, or Society to the alumni associations of influence and embrace change, rather later went on to work for Balfour &
‘member’ status. In trying to establish a their old universities. We fully expect than see it as something ‘happening to Manson, and it was here that an
profession you tend to have to focus on that the professional development and you’. Your views could still help shape associate for whom he worked
the ‘point of entry’, the base-line criteria membership of paralegals will evolve in a the new scheme, with it taking as little suggested that he undertake one of
that all people need to reach. In the similar fashion and, for all of us, the as five-minutes to respond to the online the new Paralegal courses that
future, like with law, medicine, or challenge is to prove the value of questionnaire. So get involved! were being offered. After an
accounting, we hope to see other badges membership. Developments like Signet www.lawscot.org.uk/ paralegals unsuccessful attempt to obtain part
of quality continue to develop and grow, Accreditation demonstrate the demand financing from the firm, he
be they a formal regulatory status (like for quality marques outwith the I Neil Alan Stevenson is completed the Diploma in
‘Solicitor-Advocate’ or ‘Chartered regulatory structure. Head of Strategic Change with Conveyancing Practice through the
Accountant) or an external quality the Law Society of Scotland. University of Strathclyde in 1995,
marque (like ‘Signet Accreditation’ or the What will be involved of Standing and went on to complete an
‘ISO 9002’ standard that many firms are Committee representatives? Advanced Property Law
now seeking to attain). We hope that as The scheme will be managed on a day qualification in January of this year.
a definable profession starts to emerge, to day basis by a ‘Standing Committee’
we will see a thriving and diverse made up of representatives from across He currently works on a part-time
selection of approaches to improving the legal sector. When we start looking freelance consultancy basis for a
quality and continuing the development formally for members we’ll be looking sole practitioner in Stenhousemuir,
of individuals. for people with a wide range of on all aspects of conveyancing
experience, with the enthusiasm and practice – particularly problem
Does the Law Society envisage that skills to take forward a project within cases such as title defects and
paralegals who register will continue this type of regulatory environment, and resolution, and matters raised by
membership of the SSP, and that the who believe that a formal professional the Keeper.
Quantum Legal Recruitment
Contact Seonaid Robertson on 0131 220 6656,
or send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIALISTS IN LEGAL RECRUITMENT
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 9
LATEST NEWS, SOCIETY INFORMATION AND
CONTACT DETAILS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
In this section, we plan to bring you the latest news from
CLT and the Universities, as well as providing you with a Dual qualify with Specialist Fellowship Status and CPD
handy reference for all things Society of Specialist Paralegal Practitioner Some of you will be nearing the end of your
Paralegals and a peek at the latest happenings south of Qualifications in association CPD year which, for paralegals, runs
with the University of the West concurrently with your year of membership. We
the border. Got any ideas for this section? Let us know at of England have a great range of courses to fill out those
email@example.com CLT is delighted to announce the outstanding hours, and remember – Society of
launch of a new range of Specialist Specialist Paralegals members are entitled to
Paralegal Practitioner Qualifications substantial discounts across a wide range of legal
Book now! south of the border in association update conferences and seminars! For more
Bookings are now being taken for the Specialist with the University of the West of England, details, and a full timetable, visit our website at
Paralegal Practitioner Programme, providing the Bristol. The Law Faculty at UWE is one of the http://www.clt-scotland.co.uk.
legal secretary/paralegal or support staff with an UK's largest, and has been engaged in the In the ever-changing world of the legal
in-depth understanding of their chosen area of delivery of quality education since 1969. It profession, it is of vital importance that
law, together with a recognisable academic currently holds one of then highest research professionals keep up to date with the latest
qualification from the University of Strathclyde. ratings for Law in the “new” university sector and developments and continually add to their skills
The University was recently awarded 5A in the has been rated “excellent for its teaching” by the and knowledge. It is for this reason that we
recent UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Higher Education Funding Council for England. recommend that all Members of the Society of
This is the highest rating awarded to any Law Undertaking an additional Specialist Paralegal Specialist Paralegals undertake CPD amounting
School in Scotland and, in effect, means that Practitioner Qualification with UWE will enable to at least ten hours per annum.
Strathclyde Law School in rated ninth equal (out paralegals to “dual qualify”, giving them a unique All Members of the Society of Specialist
of 60) Law Schools in the UK. perspective into the distinctive legal system south Paralegals are issued with a CPD record card at
A Specialist Paralegal Practitioner Qualification of the border. With many Scottish firms merging the start of each membership year. We would
from the University of Strathclyde is the most with or expanding their operations into England urge members to fill these out accurately and
established, rigorous and cost-effective method and Wales, or developing a UK-wide client base, return them promptly at the end of each
to meet the academic element required under the dual qualification is an excellent way to develop membership year to the address shown on the
“competency map” which will form part of the your career. card.
new Law Society of Scotland Registered Paralegal In addition, two years of membership including
scheme. I For more information, or to book, please the completion of CPD entitles a member to
The next intake of face to face tutorial courses contact Karyn Stinson on 0141 225 6700 or via Fellowship Status and the use of the letters FSSP
will commence in October 2008. Please contact email at firstname.lastname@example.org. after their name. Fellowship Status is conferred
the Paralegal Training Co-ordinator for further automatically in the third year of membership
information. Graduations providing all outstanding CPD cards have been
Specialist Paralegal Practitioner Qualifications The next Specialist Paralegal Practitioner returned. Please contact The Membership
are also delivered by home study, enabling Graduation ceremony will take place at the Manager on 0141 225 6700 or via email at
delegates to combine the programme with other Barony Hall, the University of Strathclyde in email@example.com for further
commitments such as work or family. The home October 2008, date TBC. The last examination information.
study course runs continuously throughout the date for those wishing to graduate on this date
year, with a maximum of eighteen months given will be Monday, 18th August. Please contact the Intimations
to complete the course. Examination is by way of Paralegal Training Co-ordinator for further Please send us your announcements for our
continuous assessments, followed by a final information. intimations column! Births, marriages,
written examination. promotions, new projects – drop us a couple of
On successful completion of the course, Website lines, and a photograph if possible, to
students will be awarded a Specialist Paralegal Have you visited the Society of Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practitioner Award at a graduation ceremony held Paralegals' website recently? Remember The Specialist Paralegal is your
at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. http://www.specialistparalegals.co.uk magazine, and we are always interested to hear
Graduates of the programme will also be eligible The website is regularly updated with the latest about what our members are up to.
for full membership of the Society of Specialist vacancies from some of Scotland's biggest legal We are, of course, always looking for your
Paralegals, and will be entitled to use the recruiters, and new content is being added all the letters to the editor, whether on an issue you have
designation MSSP after their name in recognition time. Our members-only area contains links to read about in this publication or something of
of their professional status. breaking news stories and details on forthcoming wider legal interest, on working life or anything
courses, and you can even access back issues of that takes your fancy – get it off your chest! We're
I For more information, or to book, please The Specialist Paralegal magazine in electronic keen to receive the latest news from your firm or
contact Kelly Morgan, Paralegal Training Co- format! If you have misplaced your login details, employer as well – don't worry about journalistic
ordinator, on 0141 225 6700 or via email at please contact The Society of Specialist style, just get in touch with a few brief details and
email@example.com. Paralegals via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. we'll do the rest.
The general email addresses for enquiries regarding the In addition, delegates are reminded that the general email inbox
Paralegal Practitioner Programmes are: for enquiries relating to CLT courses is
Scottish Paralegal Practitioner/
University of Strathclyde Qualifications: For enquiries relating to your membership of the Society of
Kelly Morgan email@example.com Specialist Paralegals, please contact:
English Paralegal Practitioner/UWE Qualifications: Gary Anderson, Membership Manager
Karyn Stinson firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com or 0141 225 6700.
The Paralegal Training Co-ordinators can be The Society of Specialist Paralegals website is located at
contacted by telephone on 0141 225 6700. http://www.specialistparalegals.co.uk
10 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
Not yet a
The Society of Specialist Paralegals is the alumni association for
the over 4,000 graduates of the Specialist Paralegal Practitioner
Programme – the only UK qualification backed by a prestigious
university. It aims to create a UK-wide network of University of
Strathclyde/University of the West of England alumi while
promoting the status of qualified Paralegal Practitioners.
Members are entitled to use the letters MSSP after their
names, to distinguish themselves as holders of a prestigious
academic qualification from a leading law school.
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
Current membership benefits include:
• Professional recognition, with the right to use the letters MSSP (Member of the Society of Specialist Paralegals) after your name.
• Fellowship status, attainable after two years’ membership or more.
• Substantially reduced rates available to Society members across a wide range of CLT conferences and seminars.
• A dedicated website, currently undergoing expansion and which will contain a discussion forum, online bulletins and a recruitment section as
well as details of current CPD courses.
• Your quarterly glossy magazine – the only way to guarantee your copy is as a Society of Specialist Paralegals member.
• E-mail bulletins – coming soon!
Membership runs annually for one year from the date of joining, for an annual subscription fee of £50.
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
The Society of Specialist Paralegals complies with the Data Protection Act in collecting and
processing personal data held fairly and storing it securely. By signing this form, I agree to my
Home address: details being held by the Society and its founding organisation, Central Law Training, for the
purposes of organising and running the Society, of keeping its members informed of Society
and related activities and matters of professional interest, and of obtaining feedback from
members on relevant activities and interests.
J I am happy to receive information from organisations and companies which the
Society believes would be of legitimate interest to members of the Society.
J I enclose a cheque for £50 made out to the Society of Specialist Paralegals
for one year’s membership of the Society.
Work telephone: Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mailing preference: HOME/WORK
When did you qualify?
Please return forms to:
Area of specialisation The Membership Manager, The Society of Specialist Paralegals,
5th Floor, 80 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5UB
(e.g. civil court etc): The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 11
are up to the challenge!
Seven officers from Lothian and Borders Police were among the
latest University of Strathclyde graduate paralegals, after
successfully completing a face-to-face qualification in Licensing
Law Practice with new tutor Stephen McGowan.
The world of licensing law is which Lothian and Borders Police is couple have also been foster carers ensure the highest standard of public
undergoing a radical overhaul at the one. Staff within the section are for the last eleven years. “What safety is maintained.”
moment, as we commence the expected to have a detailed spare time?” he jokes in response to And change is far from over in this
transition period to the Licensing knowledge of licensing legislation our questions. area of the law. “As we move
(Scotland) Act 2005. Last year saw and provide expert knowledge and He says: “Over the last 29 years I through the transitional period into
an impressive relaunch of the guidance to the licensed trade, have been particularly lucky having the new licensing regime, each day
Specialist Paralegal Practitioner general public and legal agents. worked in a wide variety of posts. I is bringing fresh surprises!”
Qualification in Licensing Law to “Prior to the introduction of the can honestly say that I have never comments course tutor Stephen
take account of these changes, and paralegal course, there was no way had a dull day, and I still enjoy going McGowan. “On the positive side, a
the 38 delegates who completed the of recognising this expertise or to work. recent statutory instrument has
programme graduated in a ceremony indeed ensuring that staff were “Highlights of my career include allowed ‘provisional’ licence
at the Barony Hall in April. suitably qualified to provide that two visits to Pakistan to study the applications under the current
For course tutor Stephen guidance.” policing culture and more regime to be lodged without
McGowan, the occasion was Having been aware of the specifically the forced marriage certificates of suitability, bringing
particularly memorable. A former existence of the Specialist Paralegal issues. some relief for people looking to get
graduate of the University of Practitioner Qualification for several a licence for a new build, but where
Strathclyde programme himself, and years, the introduction of the new the works have not yet been
a Fellow of the Society of Specialist gambling, security industry and completed.
Paralegals, he said: “It was very licensing legislation provided the “Look out for a Scottish version of
strange to be on the podium in the ideal opportunity to ensure the the ‘Alcohol Disorder Zone’ in the
Barony Hall, having been on the department were properly trained. Scottish Government’s alcohol
other side myself to collect my LLB Although the course proved at times review, expected later this year.
a few months before. demanding, particularly when These were recently introduced in
“I think the revised version of the studied alongside busy work England and Wales, but have proven
course has been long overdue, and very controversial as they appear to
that certainly helped attract various be overly bureaucratic and amount
people to sign up.” to a further tax on the licensed trade
Among the delegates were seven
“Prior to the introduction to supplement the services required
officers from Lothian and Borders of the paralegal course, as a result of a thriving night time
Police. Inspector Gordon Hunter, there was no way of economy, e.g. more police on the
Head of the Licensing Section, took Inspector street or taxi marshals. Justice
time out to talk to The Specialist recognising this Secretary Kenny MacAskill is very
Paralegal about his experiences on expertise or indeed keen on the ‘polluter pays’ paradigm,
the course. and the ADZ is a form of that.”
ensuring that staff were “I can retire from the police service As revealed in our News section,
Detailed knowledge suitably qualified to next year, and using my paralegal Stephen has been nominated for
Having been with Lothian and provide that guidance.” qualification is a consideration. Paralegal of the Year at the Law
Borders Police since 1979, Gordon However, in five years time I hope Awards of Scotland 2008. He begins
has extensive experience in a wide to have retired to the South of his traineeship with Tods Murray in
variety of operation posts within the France – at least for part of the year. September; and is currently writing
city of Edinburgh. He was the lead schedules, the experience was a We own a property in a small village another book, which will be a
officer for Domestic Abuse, Forced useful one. just south of Perpignan; and I look practical guide to the Licensing
Marriage, Victim Support, Mental “It was useful to have so many of us forward to quieter times when I can (Scotland) Act 2005 and Gambling
Health and Vulnerable Adults within working and studying together – sit with my feet up, a good book and Act 2005.
the Diversity Unit at the force’s there was always someone to fall a glass of wine.”
Safer Communities Department. back on if you were unsure about a
He has held his current post, as specific area of work,” says Gordon. Professional expertise
head of the Licensing Section within “The course, whilst demanding, Superintendent Phil O’Kane, of I Bookings are now being taken
the Operational Support Branch at proved an excellent opportunity for Lothian and Borders Police, for the Specialist Paralegal
Police Headquarters, since 2006. both myself and my staff, and one commented: “This training provides Practitioner Qualification in a
This is his second stint in the that I would recommend to others. our liquor licensing staff with a high range of subjects, with face to face
department, and he was selected for “In reality my job has changed very level of professional expertise to tutorials commencing October
his specialist knowledge to prepare little since completing the course, allow them to apply the principles of 2008. These courses are fully
the Force for the implementation of but like all licensing practitioners the new licensing legislation. revised and updated, and meet the
the new licensing regime. throughout Scotland I am busier “The new laws are just one aspect learning outcomes which will be
The Licensing Section has than I have ever been. The course of current work to tackle alcohol required for registration under the
responsibility for all licensing did however provide me with all the abuse and will assist in the new Law Society of Scotland
matters in the force area, including necessary tools to carry out the role, prevention of crimes associated with Registered Paralegal scheme. For
liquor licensing and firearms and have a far greater understanding alcohol. more information, or to book,
legislation among others. of the legislation.” “Lothian and Borders Police please visit our website at
He explains: “The Scottish Police Gordon has been happily married considers the investment in this www.paralegaldistancelearning.co.
Service until recently had only two for 28 years, and describes his wife training will ensure we can continue uk, or call the Paralegal Training
specialist licensing sections – of as “a constant inspiration”. The to work with the licensed trade to Co-ordinator on 0141 225 6700.
12 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
Image by Lyndsay Meager
Diary of The Specialist Paralegal’s girl about town!
The last few months have been a time of tears On a brighter note, I have a fantastic new job really good though, let’s say Russell Watson is the
and joy, highs and lows. I lost my dog to the after parting company with my last employer. new, younger version of Tom Jones judging by
great kennel in the sky, got a new job and my son The journey to work is slightly longer, but seems what I saw being thrown onstage.
finally left school and went out into the grown- shorter if you know what I mean. Thanks to a I have also turned into a recycling fanatic in my
up world. well-known recruitment agency… you know own personal bid to save the planet.
The first flood of tears came following one of who you are! We now recycle all our newspapers, gardening
the saddest text messages I have ever received. There were more tears when my 16-year-old waste, food leftovers, bottles and tiny cans. The
My father said the love of my life for the past son left school after his exams. He is taking up an council sent us special boxes and containers for
fifteen years had passed away. apprenticeship as an electrician, and got his first each category, and everyone is under strict orders
I am not talking about my husband, but out pet ever wage of £100. to keep them filled up.
cocker spaniel Isla who is sadly no longer with us. It seems only yesterday I was taking him for his Our new cat Rocky is proving to be a real
Our local vet came up to the house during an first day at school, and there were plenty of tears handful. After showing a considerable reluctance
emergency visit while I was at work, and said we that day too. I cannot believe he is so grown up: to leave the house for any reason we now cannot
should put her down. last week he also had his first proper date and keep him in, and he often disappears for days at
She hadn’t been well for a while and was took a girl out for a meal – to Subway! He did say a time – to where I do not know.
literally on her last legs. He said it was for the they “sat in” and mentioned that he used a money Bad news for hubby – our cheap and regular
best to put her out of her misery, and we all saving voucher: his date cost him £1.38 for a gardener has decided to hang up his shears and
reluctantly agreed. meal. That’s my boy! How the years pass. become a taxi driver. That means my better half
We have had Isla since all my children were I also enjoyed a night out with the girls. First a has had to turn his hand to gardening for the first
babies, and they have grown up together with curry at our favourite Indian restaurant, then a time in three years. Nice to see someone else
her. She was always there to cheer me up when I taxi into town for a few drinks. having to hold back the tears.
felt sad, and always there when I came home at Hubby and I went out on a date to see Russell
night after a hard day. Watson in concert, but got caught up having a
We now have her ashes in a cask, and will scatter wee glass of wine in a local hotel. Needless to I Illegally Blonde is the pseudonym of a Wills,
them shortly on one of her favourite walks. say, we missed the first half… second half was Trusts and Executries-qualified paralegal.
60 second interview
…with Mr Illegally Blonde!
Bad news, readers: due to circumstances IB: Do you ever go to the movies together? IB: Where are you least likely to find your
beyond our control, we had to look for a Hubby: Yes, but once we get there we always wife?
replacement 60 Second Interview at short watch different films. Hubby: In a library – she could never stay
notice. Luckily my long-suffering hubby quiet long enough.
was able to step in! IB: What is your favourite movie?
Hubby: Psycho – the shower scene always IB: What expression best sums up your wife?
IB: What is your wife’s best quality? gives me ideas. Hubby: Be afraid – be very afraid…
IB: What is your ideal date?
IB: What is her most common saying? Hubby: Watching the football in the pub with
Hubby: What did your last slave die of? my pals. No, seriously – a romantic Italian meal
with my wife and a nice bottle of wine or two.
IB: What is her cooking like?
Hubby: Most wives cook, grill or fry their
husband a meal. My wife incinerates. It. She
only does one type of steak – not very well
IB: When was the last time you cried?
Hubby: See above.
IB: What are her favourite programmes?
Hubby: One Foot In the Grave. That’s
normally how I feel after one of her meals.
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 13
Barony Hall, 14th April 2008
The magnificent Barony Hall, the of the Law School at the University.
University of Strathclyde, was Afterwards Vice Principle Professor
packed to the rafters on Monday, Kenneth Miller delivered the
14th April as the converted church congratulatory address, before
played host to the graduations of special guest Neil Stevenson of the
almost one hundred newly qualified Law Society of Scotland gave a
paralegals. And there were some sneak preview of the Law Society’s
special guests on hand to plans for a Registered Paralegal
congratulate them on their scheme. He also spoke at length
achievements. about the value of the Specialist
The biannual paralegal graduation Paralegal Practitioner Qualification,
ceremony represents the and the increasingly important role
culmination of months of hard work which paralegals play within the
and intensive study on the part of legal profession.
our paralegals. Watched by family, After a vote of thanks from Central
friends, colleagues and tutors, newly Law Group chairman Steve Broome,
qualified paralegals receive their it was time to retire to the Winter
certificates from university Garden to socialise and for a
dignitaries. celebratory glass of bubbly.
After a welcoming address from In these pages we bring you some
Moira McFadyen. Managing photographs from the event, as well
Director of CLT Scotland, as chatting to some of the graduates
graduands were invited onto the who can now proudly call
stage to receive their certificates themselves Members of the Society
from Professor Mark Poustie, Head of Specialist Paralegals.
Elaine MacLeod, Midlothian Council
Qualified in: Employment Law Practice
Elaine’s HR experience goes back thirty years, who “is very basis when advising
incorporating time with Scottish & Newcastle supportive and managers or reviewing
Breweries as well as Scottish Borders Council. encouraged me to policies and procedures.”
She is now an HR Advisor with Midlothian sit down and get She enjoys her job,
Council, where she has been since January on with it when I particularly “meeting
2002; carrying out project work, advising on needed different people and
discipline, grievance and absence cases along motivation,” she building good working
with other HR-related tasks. says. “It can be relationships with colleagues
“With employment legislation becoming more difficult when you and managers. I dislike some
and more complex, I felt this was an area I work full time and of the more mundane
should concentrate on and during one of my have other admin-related tasks, but
Personal Development meetings with my line interests to fit then, doesn’t everyone?” She
manager I requested training,” she says. “She everything in. I cites leading employment
was very supportive. think it must be lawyer Toni McAlinden as
“I enjoyed the paralegal course – whilst especially difficult her role model in the
working through the assignments, it was for those with employment law field: “I
reassuring to discover that I knew more in some children. “It was reassuring to discover was lucky enough to be able
areas than I thought I did! It was also very “What I found that I knew more in some to contact Toni regularly for
useful to be able to put what I was learning into useful was to advice when we both
context by thinking about some of the cases I schedule regular areas than I thought I did!” worked for Scottish &
had dealt with at work. periods of study Newcastle, and I attend her
“I would recommend it to anyone who each week, and to update seminars at least on
requires a working knowledge of employment plan to get my assignments completed by a an annual basis as she has the ability to talk
law or who has a particular interest in this area.” certain time. I also found it motivating to about employment law in a way that makes it
Elaine brought her mum, who was a great reward myself with a glass of wine at the end of interesting and easier to understand,” she says.
support before her exam, along to the a study period – the more health-conscious “She has an enviable depth and breadth of
graduation ceremony, and the pair spent the might prefer a jog in the park!” knowledge on the subject.”
night in Glasgow before having a day’s Elaine has found that since completing the In her spare time, Elaine enjoys cooking and
shopping in the city. “We had a great time at course, she takes “more of an interest in baking, and “spoiling” her two dogs Rocky and
the graduation – I thought the event was very employment law – which was one of my aims Macy. She also likes to keep fit, playing
well organised, friendly and relaxed,” she says. prior to undertaking the course,” she says. “I can badminton once a week with partner Tony and
Also a great support was her partner, Tony, also apply what I have learned on a day to day attending Body Pump classes.
14 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
Janet Teece, HR Consultant There were some elements of the
course that gave me the reassurance
that I had been acting fully in
Qualified in: Employment Law Practice accordance with the law, and other
elements that were new areas to
“In August last year I took the legislation, and I really enjoy the learn about. I would thoroughly
plunge to set myself up as an HR research this can involve. recommend the course to others –
Consultant, having working in the “When I saw the opportunity to and have done so.”
private and latterly the public study via distance learning with Janet particularly enjoyed the
sectors for many years,” Janet Teece CLT and become a paralegal in graduation ceremony, saying, “it is
explains. “In my various roles in HR, employment law I made the very hard to put into words how
there has always been an element of decision to pay the fees myself, such much. It was a dream come true, as
employment law involved. I always was my interest and commitment. I left school at fifteen and have
feel that I make a difference when I “I thoroughly enjoyed the never attended a graduation before “I am extremely proud
am able to assist an organisation paralegal course, as it was well set – except as a proud mum at my
with the interpretation of out and followed a logical path. daughter’s two graduations. This to be a Paralegal.”
time, it was her turn to cheer from
She describes daughter Stephanie simply does not grasp basic
as her “role model”, saying, “She is a elements of employment law and
Caroline Roberts, Edinburgh Council great role model on how to keep how to apply it to staff,” she says.
going when things get really tough. For Janet, a particular benefit of
Qualified in: Civil Court Practice Her father died suddenly in 2005 completing a Specialist Paralegal
just before she finished her HND Practitioner Qualification is in the
Caroline has “always enjoyed the she says. studies, and not only did she way she can now market herself to
hustle of the legal world” and has “I’d definitely recommend the complete her studies and passed prospective clients. “I believe being
worked in a variety of secretarial course to anyone – it’s definitely a with distinction, she went on to a Fellow of the CIPD and a
roles since leaving school – she way for ‘us lowly secretaries’ to study for another year and obtained Specialist Paralegal in Employment
fondly remembers chasing 80s take that step up the ladder and a BA Hons. Law gives me a much wider range of
pop stars for their autographs to put our skills and knowledge to “It was her determination to skills to offer,” she says. “I am
while attending a secretarial good use. Go on girls and guys… succeed that made me take up my extremely proud to be a Paralegal.
course in the same building as you’re worth it!” paralegal studies again and complete “In five years time I hope that I
Radio Forth! “I’d been interested Caroline “loved” the graduation: them at a time when I wanted to will still have my own consultancy,
for a few years in doing a “I think I was actually more just give up.” but would like to think that my
paralegal course, but nervous on the day than the day Janet particularly enjoys more continued studies may change the
unfortunately none of my of my exam!” she says. “I felt so complex HR operational cases. “It emphasis of the business to being
employers at that time either grand in my gown and my family makes one realise how much you more law-orientated. I am very
needed or wanted a paralegal. It and friends were so proud of me. actually know when you find interested in becoming a part-time
was my previous employer, My partner and mum who came yourself involved with a very senior mediator and am looking to study
Semple Fraser, who put me to my graduation were chuffed to manager who, although knowing that for now – so fingers crossed for
through the course – I was quite bits and totally spoiled me with a their field of work really well, the future!”
lucky that my boss had the gorgeous meal afterwards – and
confidence in me, and one month lots of champagne! It was a
later the course was arranged and brilliant day, and one that I’ll
I was receiving my coursework.” never forget.”
She describes some of the Life has changed dramatically
paralegal coursework assignments since Caroline’s graduation day,
as “real toughies!”, but had plenty but she has bounced back.
of support both at home and at “Unfortunately I was made
work – particularly from her redundant a matter of weeks after
graduating, which was a very
difficult time for me,” she
explains. “But I’ve now got a job
as a debt recovery paralegal with
Edinburgh Council which is so far
Part-time LLB Law Degree
going really well. I still can’t
believe that I’m actually doing (evening classes)
this job – I feel so much more
than ‘just a secretary’ now. Considering taking the first step to becoming a solicitor?
“Even though it’s at the early
stages, I have a good feeling that
Could legal skills boost your current career? Either way,
I’m going to love this job. It’s the Part-time LLB provides a real solution – study two
“It’s definitely a way for what I trained to do, so I’ll give it evenings per week with fortnightly tutorials – so you
‘us lowly secretaries’ to my best shot.” can enjoy learning and still have time for your
Outside of work, Caroline’s life
take that step up the is pretty busy. She lives in other commitments.
ladder and to put our Edinburgh with her partner of
three and half years: “we’ve Whether you wish to jumpstart your career, or are
skills and knowledge to known each other for about 12 – seeking the intellectual challenge that
good use.” it sounds a bit like a Mills & Boon
book but we’d always been comes with legal study, don’t miss
friends – he’s my absolute out on an opportunity for entry
partner Jonny, and her ex- soulmate,” she says. She also runs in September 2008.
colleague Karen, a former a monthly discussion ground, and
paralegal graduate. “Even though sings in a funk/soul/disco covers
I’ve worked in the legal sector for band, as well as “making the best To find out more,
years, I definitely know so much chicken fajitas and frozen email: firstname.lastname@example.org
more about the procedures and margaritas in Edinburgh!”
terminology of the legal world, In five years time, Caroline or call 0141 548 3738.
and am also confident that I can hopes to see herself “exactly Please quote ref: SPL2/08
carry out so much more in my where I am today, but with a few
new job with Edinburgh Council,” more wrinkles!” The University of Strathclyde is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, number SC015263
The place of useful learning www.law.strath.ac.uk/courses
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 15
Glasgow law firm Miller Samuel have been trailblazers in the
paralegal field, supporting the emerging role as far back as the early
1990s. Here, two members of the team share their experiences.
Employment Law – which she has As for future plans, Linda hopes to coming up, and suggested that I
just completed. She is currently remain with the firm that she loves – submit my CV. I was unsure as I had
based in the firm’s Employment Unit, and her ultimate ambition is “to still no experience, no training and knew
working alongside 2 partners, 3 be around when the first legal firm in nothing about the different areas of
assistants and a trainee. Glasgow makes a paralegal an law. I put in my CV, got an interview
Linda has just been promoted due ‘associate’. What a celebration that and got the job!
to her experience, dedication and would be!” “I was propelled into a department
commitment to the firm. In that dealt with claims for coal
her current role, she assists miners. I stayed in this department
with the development of the for eighteen months and then moved
department as well as the co- into the RTA department. Whilst
ordination of seminars and there they trained me to deal with
presentations. She deals with pursuer’s claims, raising and
enquiries from clients on a progressing of court actions to the
daily basis and ensures that proof stage. I also undertook my
their requirements are met. Paralegal certificate in Civil Court
“Setting up and organizing Practice. Once I obtained this I was
the Miller Samuel seminars keen to move on, and decided that
and attending various Miller Samuel was the place for me.
conferences really is the best “I have been with Miller Samuel for
Linda Reilly, part of the job, and I have around eighteen months now, and I
Employment Law Paralegal learned a lot from it,” she have to say since being here they
says. “It involves meeting have helped me achieve my goals.
“At school they said I would never be people, telling them what we They make sure that my CPD is kept
suited to office work, but I walked do and helping promote the up to date, and have encouraged and
into my first legal job about a week firm – it doesn’t matter how helped me progress in my role.
after leaving,” Employment Law stressful this part of the job “I am part of the litigation team and
Paralegal Linda Reilly recalls. “After gets, it’s great, and I have now my typical working day involved
working for a small firm for a few got it down to what I call ‘a dealing with everything from mail,
years I was keen to progress, and military operation’! dealing with clients, insurers, experts
when I saw a legal secretary position “As many will already know etc. If I need a second opinion there
being advertised for Miller Samuel I from previous magazines, I is always someone around for me to
submitted my CV and was invited
for an interview.
started work in 1994 on an
American class action against the
Nicola Shields, ask. I want any client that I deal with
to receive the best possible service.
“I remember attending for my manufacturers of Dow Corning Litigation Paralegal “As for my least favourite part of
interview and wondering what I was implants, which I still look after. the job, I can’t think of a thing. Every
doing… I had been working at a When this case was taken on board I “When I left school I obtained a job single person that you deal with is
small office which consisted of a was doing a mixture of product as a receptionist. This organisation different, and the assistance that I am
couple of members of staff, and had liability and employment work, but provided on-the-job training for required to give is different.
no experience of working for a firm even although the firm has no grown employees of outside companies “I am getting married at the end of
like Miller Samuel. When I was told and my role has changed solely into who were between the ages of 16-24; July, so am keeping busy with
that I had the job, I was thrilled to an employment one, it makes sense at the end of their training they wedding preparations at the
bits. for me to finish the work off. I would gain an SVQ qualification in moment. I enjoy horse riding and
“I enjoy being in the thick of it, and started the work on these cases and Administration and Engineering. joined the Miller Samuel Badminton
meeting and helping clients. Every the clients know and trust me – and I Whilst working for them, I gained an Club – this is fun as we all get to play
day at Miller Samuel is different and will continue to do all that I can for SVQ at levels 2 & 3. I moved on from against different departments and we
brings something new.” them.” there to a Gas Infrastructure have regular tournaments.
Linda finds Miller Samuel an Linda says that her home life “can company, as a switchboard operator “In five years time I hope to have
extremely supportive working be hectic – but everyone is and general administration assistant. gained more experience and
environment. “The firm is very supportive and understands the busy I then progressed into the Accounts knowledge to enable me to head up
proactive in ensuring that staff reach job that I have. The are all very Department, and went on to do an my own team and have the change
their full potential,” she says. “I am proud of my achievements, which I HNC in Accounts. I had considered to pass on my knowledge and
always encouraged and supported in have to say is entirely due to the moving into banking, but felt that I experience to others.”
my role, and made to feel like an partners at Miller Samuel always was ready for a change.
essential part of the team.” being supportive and encouraging “I knew someone who worked in a
She describes herself as “a bit of an me in my role.” To relax, she likes to legal firm and they were always
all-rounder,” having worked in jog and watch TV programmes talking about it; how interesting the Find out more about
several areas since joining the firm in about property development. “I work was and how much they Miller Samuel at
June 1990 and holding qualifications wouldn’t mind giving this a bash in enjoyed it. They mentioned to me www.millersamuel.co.uk.
in Civil Court, management and my spare time!” she says. that they knew a position was
16 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
Unemployed and Anxious Redundancy Fears
e have recently had a staff meeting and
have recently been made redundant from my
position as a residential conveyancing been told that some redundancies will
paralegal. There don’t seem to be any other be made in the firm. I have been with
conveyancing paralegal positions opening up and the firm for 15 years and am worries about the
current competitive nature of the market. I have
I am getting increasingly worried. With a not had an interview since starting here and have
mortgage to pay and a young family, I can’t afford not had to update my CV since then! What is the
to be out of work for much longer. What can I do? ratio of candidate to job at the moment, and how
would I go about getting a new job if the worst
irstly, I am sorry to hear that you have been
comes to the worst?
made redundant – it is never an easy thing to
go through. Be assured that you are not alone his is a common concern in the current
in your situation as many firms are making cuts on marketplace, and we’ve had lots of letters
the property side of things and although the and emails voicing similar worries. It is a
residential market is experiencing difficulties at good idea to prepare yourself for the worst
outcome as things often turn out better than
the moment, it is not forever. Conveyancing planned! The ratio of candidates to jobs, in the
positions are currently only coming up on conveyancing sector, is currently not great. With
occasion, and they are fiercely contested by the volume of redundancies being made, many
experienced conveyancing paralegals like you experienced conveyancing paralegals are Welcome to the Career Clinic:
recently made redundant. There are a few options struggling to find positions. This makes it all the your chance to ask our
outside of paralegal work that you could consider more important to make the right impression
– such as temporary legal secretarial work or legal when a position does arise. It really makes a resident paralegal
administration. You will therefore still be working difference if you spend time on your CV. recruitment specialist any
in the legal sector, and when the market picks up Remember to keep it concise and get a friend to
again you will be in the right place. The
check it over for any spelling or grammatical questions about your
errors. Differentiate yourself from the crowd –
temporary aspect would mean that should maybe take on some voluntary legal work whilst paralegal career.
something come up in the meantime, you will be looking for your permanent position? I sincerely
available without having to give extended notice hope that you are not one of the unfortunate ones Emma MacArthur works for
periods. I wish you luck. to be made redundant, but hopefully you are now
more prepared for the worst case scenario. Above Hudson Legal – the only
Will I Be Demoted? all, remember that the current market will pick up recruitment consultancy in
so stay positive and focus on future career
Scotland to have a team
have been working in my paralegal career for opportunities!
four years but have not sat my paralegal dedicated solely to the
qualification. I have heard stories from Workmate Worries
colleagues that as a result of some legislation recruitment of paralegals.
t the start of this year, I found my dream
coming in, my job will no longer be recognised as job as a criminal paralegal and was very
that of a paralegal. Is this true? I really enjoy my excited to begin my career. However, my
job, but cannot currently afford to take the workmates aren’t very friendly and often make fun
paralegal course and am worried that I will be of me. I am the youngest member of the Have you got a burning
demoted. department and am struggling to make friends. I
don’t want to have to leave my job because of a question for our recruitment
he Law Society of Scotland is currently few mean people, because I love what I do, but it’s
working to establish a “Law Society of getting unbearable. What do you suggest? expert, or would you like to
Scotland Registered Paralegal” status. The share your experiences on the
ullying in the workplace is unacceptable and
primary reason for this is to promote the interests something you should not have to put up
of the public and paralegals alike. Becoming
with. There is a chance that your work
“registered” would be voluntary, but only those colleagues are not aware that they are hurting
registering will be entitled to use the title and your feelings, so I would recommend you let them Drop us a line at
receive the benefits of Registered Paralegal status. know that their behaviour upsets you. If they are specialist_paralegal_magazine
A discussion document relating to the registration aware, I would urge you to speak to your
of paralegals can be found at www.lawscot.org.uk/ supervisor or the HR department. Human @centlaw.com
paralegals, and this includes information about Resource personnel are trained to deal with
situation such as this and will be able to offer you
what qualifications and skills will be necessary to
help and guidance. As regards to making friends,
be formally recognised as a paralegal. If you still maybe look outside your department – there are
have unanswered questions regarding where you possibly some younger people in other areas of
stand, I would recommend contacting the Law the business? I hope this situation can be resolved,
Society for further guidance. Good luck! and that you start enjoying your workplace!
Brought to you in association with www.uk.hudson.com/legal
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 17
Mum’s the Word!
Could the legal profession do better for working mothers?
Maternity provision hit the headlines on legal returning to work, and only 11% felt they had
news sites last month, thanks to an unlikely
source. A footnote to a survey commissioned by
sufficient career development opportunities.
the Training and Development Agency for So where is the legal profession THE FAWCETT SOCIETY
Schools revealed that, out of eleven employment getting it so wrong? www.fawcettsociety.org.uk
sectors, the legal profession came bottom of the Stereotypes probably have a considerable role
table of the best jobs for mums returning to work. to play. It stands to reason that teaching’s short MUMSNET
The survey was keen to publicise the fact that hours and longer holidays – holidays which will www.mumsnet.com
teaching topped the poll, with 91% of 2,000 ultimately correspond to those of the kids, once WORKING FAMILES
mums surveyed across the they’re that bit older – are
UK stating that a job in much more attractive
education was best suited to propositions than the legal WORKSMART
working mums. Catering, profession’s traditional all- www.worksmart.org.uk
retail and leisure industry night deal culture.
jobs also scored highly. But But times are changing. As NIPPAZ WITH ATTITUDE CLOTHING
none of those questioned the TDA survey shows, www.nippazwithattitude.com
claimed that a job in the working mothers need GINGERBREAD
legal profession would suit. flexible working www.gingerbread.org.uk
The survey also showed arrangements or even part-
that a “passion for the job” time hours where these are
plays a big part in making a possible: and they could
return to work appealing for benefit from just that, under Ultimately, it seems that employers are
mums – while 48% of new government legislation recognising the need to make concessions to
teachers will return purely which is set to extend the retain talented, qualified staff – rather than risk
for the love of the job; only right to request flexible having to re-recruit in an uncertain marketplace.
26% of employees in the working to parents of
legal profession said the children aged up to sixteen. What are my rights?
same. Under the current rules, this • All employees are entitled to 52 weeks
Other findings revealed that 89% of legal is limited to those whose children are under six or maternity leave, regardless of length of service or
workers are looking for a more flexible approach are disabled – but according to figures obtained number of hours worked. This is divided into 26
to work, only 35% of mums working in the legal by the BBC, more than 90% of such requests were weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) and 26
sector felt they were “treated like an equal” on granted by employers last year. weeks Additional Maternity Leave (AML), and
your rights will be different during each period of
who say women stay
Thosehome withwork are, shouldrather
than go back to
when baby is ill? Who takes her to the
GP? What happens when the train is
late, and there is nobody to pick her up
tax let alone see you through the
month. How many of them have
crèches to encourage their female
• Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is payable for
a total of 39 weeks. To qualify, you must have
worked for your employer for 26 weeks by the
opinion, misguided. There is no reason from nursery on time? There are times employees back to work? How much end of the 15th week before your baby is due, and
why a woman cannot have it all – when something has to give. money would employers save on have average pay of at least £90 per week. SMP
work, baby, social life. That doesn’t Most women simply don’t have a recruitment fees by simply working works out as 90% of your normal pay for six
mean that it’s easy, or at times even choice – they have to go back to work around their employees more effectively? weeks, followed by 33 weeks at £117.18 (April
practical. For me, guilt is the biggest for financial reasons. Long gone are the I completely understand that business is 2008-09 rates) or 90% of your normal pay,
thing every working mum needs to come days when a family could survive business, but let’s face it – if you are whichever is the lower.
to terms with. Suddenly, everyone seems solely on the husband’s salary. I’m one loyal to your employees, they are much • If you do not qualify for SMP, you may still be
to have an opinion about what you of the lucky ones – I have a husband more likely to be loyal to you. One in entitled to claim Maternity Allowance from the
should be doing and how you should who is willing to help, who does his ten mothers work purely to pay nursery government.
be doing it. When I started back at share of the night-time feeds, helps me fees – working hard just to stand still. • The earliest you can start your maternity leave
work, lots of friends and colleagues get baby dressed in the morning and But when you are possibly just a step and pay is 11 weeks before your baby is due,
(mostly those without children) asked pack the changing bag for nursery away from promotion, you can only unless you give birth before then. You can work
me how I was coping, as though despite the fact he also works full time. hope that it is worth it in the long run right up to the birth if you wish. You must give
somebody had died. They were offering Everything is planned, every minute of to provide a better standard of living your employer notice of your intention to take
me sympathy. There are days when the day. We only have the one; yet it’s for your little ones. maternity leave in or before the 15th week before
through lack of sleep I feel like I need it, hard emotionally, financially and in I am a mother, a wife and an your baby is due.
but in general I’m happy and like to every other sense. But it is rewarding. employee. It’s no walk in the park, but I • You may work for up to 10 Keeping in Touch
think that my return to work could be To help us, the government say that made my choice to be all three. And I’m (KIT) days without bringing your maternity leave
viewed as a positive thing. employers should be more flexible. How happy to say I do it successfully and, to an end or losing your SMP. These can only
I like the cut and thrust of juggling many of them really are? How many for the most part, happily. take place if both you and your employer would
things – I suppose the best of both of them pay maternity pay over and like them to, and can be worked at any time
worlds – but there are days when you above the statutory basic, which let’s Louise works for a during maternity leave expect for during the two
feel like you are torn. What happens face it will hardly pay your council mid-sized firm in Glasgow. weeks immediately after the birth. They do not
have to be consecutive.
18 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
Educating and supporting
employees with The Baby Gurus
For most women the journey from conception to I hear you ask? Well in the UK, if 10% more work pressure and increasing benefits, the
birth is a lengthy 40 weeks (although first babies mothers returned to work after the birth of their employee is able to work at her optimum
have a tendency to come a little later at nearly 42 baby, it has been estimated that corporations benefiting both herself and her employer.
weeks – phew!). The stages of pregnancy are would save £39 million annually. For each Having a workplace which supports pregnant
nicely named in trimesters – first, second and individual that doesn’t return to work that women (and the partners of expectant women)
third. The first trimester often brings with it vacancy costs companies around £3.5k to recruit from the point of pregnancy disclosure to a
nausea, the second a little light relief and the and train the replacement. The answer is to retain successful return to work is a win-win situation.
third, often the discomfort of a heavy bump. Not staff who are happy and content with their new Take a Glasgow law firm which found baby visits
easy whilst juggling a busy career! work/life balance. difficult. Ten lawyers cooing over a new baby is
Every day in the UK 350,000 women are lovely BUT this costs thousands of pounds in lost
working whilst pregnant. For employers there is revenue. Inviting all the mums and babies to
increasing legal pressure to ensure that the one of The Baby Gurus baby teas solves this
workplace provides not only a safe problem. Mum and baby feel valued, with
environment, ensuring maternity rights experts on hand to assist with sleep
are at least met but also ideally that the problems, feeding problems etc. and
workplace is a pregnancy and family the workforce can “pop in” for ten
friendly one too. minutes to say hello.
In the UK there are 1,900 babies born Pregnancy and birth seminars run
each day. In addition, 550 women will quarterly for both mums and dads to be.
experience a miscarriage and around 1 in 7 Knowledge is power to this group who
couples will have fertility issues. This soak up facts and tips with ease resulting in a
amounts to a very busy human resources more confident, comfortable employees who are
department dealing with a range of circumstances looking forward positively to this great new stage
on a daily basis. Research by Tommy’s Charity showed 78% of of life.
That’s where The Baby Gurus come in. women felt unhappy or stressed at different To find out more about The Baby Gurus
Pregnancy is one of the biggest life changing points through their pregnancy. The research Corporate services contact 0845 468 0840 or
experiences which employees face (it’s up there found that a third of women over exert email email@example.com. Contact us to
with divorce and house moves). The Baby Gurus themselves during pregnancy with 20% of these register your interest for HR or employee training
offer the first corporate antenatal service women saying they over exerted themselves events or see www.thebabygurus.co.uk for more
delivering education and support for employees because of pressure from their employer. Over information.
from pregnancy until after their return to work. exertion has been shown to increase nausea and
We ensure that employees feel valued, supported vomiting, backache, exhaustion and mental I Sonya Murray is a Director with The Baby
and educated during the transition from fatigue. Increasing the already demanding Gurus; an independent teaching midwife,
pregnancy to parenthood. symptoms of pregnancy has a direct effect on antenatal teacher and trainer, as well as a
Why educate and support expectant employees absenteeism. What’s the answer? By reducing mother of three.
Personal Injury Paralegal Ref 6931 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£24-£28k
Trust Paralegal Ref 6999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£neg
IP Advisor Ref 6989 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£19-£24k
Property Litigation Paralegal Ref 6740 . . . . . . . . . . .£22-£26k
Debt Recovery Paralegal Ref 6732 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£20-£24k
Personal Injury Paralegal Ref 6702 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£19-£23k
Executry Paralegal Ref 6834 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£22-£25k
Commercial Paralegal Ref 6728 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£21-£25k
Private Client Paralegal Ref 6634 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£24-£28k
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 19
Employment and Immigration ii:
The UK is currently at the start 3. Maintenance (10 points) which are borderline, the UK Border anyone who preaches to their
of the biggest immigration Shortage Occupations: By June 2008 Agency will publish a list of occupations community and/or performs a pastoral
shake-up for forty years. In our the Migration Advisory Committee at or above NVQ level 3 and those role. Tier 5 will cover migrants coming
Spring 2008 issue, Damir (MAC) is to produce shortage which fall below this standard. to work temporarily in the UK as a
Duheric addressed the point occupation lists for the UK and a Competence in English Language: religious worker in a non-pastoral role,
based system generally and separate list for Scotland only. These Migrants entering under the skilled where the duties include performing
looked in more detail at Tier 1 – lists will comprise skilled occupations worker part of Tier 2 (shortage religious rites but not preaching to a
highly skilled migrants. In this where there are shortages that can be occupations and resident labour market congregation.
issue, he examines Tier 2 of the filled from outside the European test) will be required to speak English to Points will be earned against three sets
new point based system. Economic Area (EEA). a basic user standard. This will include of objective criteria with an overall pass-
Where a migrant is applying to enter an ability to understand and use familiar mark of 70 points:
The Skilled Migrant tier is (Tier 2) the UK to fill a job from this list, they everyday expressions and very basic Certificate of Sponsorship - 50
aimed at enabling UK employers to will receive sufficient points to proceed phrases, to introduce themselves and Maintenance - 10
recruit individuals from outside the without reference to their prospective others and ask and answer questions English - 10
European Economic Area (EEA) to fill a earnings or qualifications. about basic personal details. Intra Religious institutions (sponsors)
particular job that cannot be filled by a Resident Labour Market Test: It may Company Transferees will only be wishing to recruit religious workers will
British or EEA workers. It will come in be necessary for an employer to recruit required to demonstrate the required need to provide evidence that they are a
force in the third quarter of 2008. a migrant from outside the EEA to fill a English language ability if they wish to bona fide religious institution. The
Employers across Tier 2 will only be particular job that cannot be filled by a stay beyond three years. sponsor must ensure the migrant will be
able to bring in migrant workers if they British or EEA worker and is not on the Maintenance: Initially, out of country filling a genuine vacancy that cannot be
have a sponsorship licence issued by the shortage occupation list. This will only applicant will have to show they have filled with a suitably qualified member
UK Border Agency. be possible if the employer is able to £800 before they enter the UK and a of the resident labour force. The job
The following existing immigration show that there is no suitably qualified further 2/3 of £800 for each dependant must be advertised for at least two
categories will be replaced when the worker from the UK or EEA available to they intend to bring with them. These weeks.
Skilled Migrant Tier 2 is introduced: fill the vacancy. funds are intended to support the Migrants will be required to meet a
work permit employment, ministers To do this the employer must have applicant and his/her family until he/she level of English equivalent to the
of religion, airport-based operational advertised the job for at least 2 weeks. starts receiving a salary. Council of Europe level B2 because of
ground staff, overseas qualified nurse or This measure ensures that resident the need to effectively communicate
midwife, sabbatical posts , seafarers, workers will first have the opportunity Sportspeople with worshippers. This is approximately
named researchers, training and work to apply for a job before a migrant is This sub-category is for elite the same level that those seeking entry
experience scheme, Jewish agency recruited. If the prospective earnings for sportspeople and coaches who are as ministers of religion must
employees and overseas representatives the job are over £40,000 then the job internationally established at the demonstrate under the current rules.
(news media). has to be advertised for a highest level, whose employment will They will also be expected to show
Everyone wanting to minimum period of one make a significant contribution to the maintenance funds of £800 plus
come to the UK under ATTRIBUTES TEST week. development of their sport at the additional funds for any dependants.
PBS will need prior entry Intra Company highest level in the UK and who intend
clearance, for which they Certificate of Transfers: Intra to base themselves in the UK. Points Application Process
will not be allowed to Sponsorship: Company Transfers, will be awarded against three sets of There will be a single application
apply without a i) Offer of job in allow employees of objective criteria with an overall pass- process, whether in or outside the UK.
Certificate of shortage multinational companies mark of 70 points: All applicants will provide documentary
Sponsorship. However, a occupation - 50 to be transferred to a Certificate of Sponsorship – 50 evidence (to be specified in guidance
sponsorship certificate in ii) Offer of job skilled post in a UK- Maintenance – 10 available before implementation) to
no way guarantees that that passes based branch of the English - 10 support their claim for points.
entry clearance will be Resident Labour company. There is no Migrants under this sub-category will
issued. Market Test - 30 requirement to meet the need to be sponsored by a club (or Appeal
In addition to the iii) Intra Company Resident Labour Market equivalent) licensed by the UK Border Section 4 of the Immigration, Asylum
general arrangements, Transfer – 30 Test. Migrants must have Agency in order to issue Certificates of and Nationality Act 2006 removes the
Tier 2 Skilled Workers Qualifications: been working overseas Sponsorship under this category. full right
also include two further No qualifications - 0 for the sponsoring Applications for a licence to issue a of appeal for those applying from
categories - Sports NVQ3 - 5 company for at least 6 Certificate of Sponsorship under this abroad to come to the UK under the
People and Ministers of Bachelors months, and while in the sub-category must be accompanied by points system (except where the appeal
Religion. or Masters - 10 UK must earn a salary approval from the relevant Governing is brought on Human Rights or Race
PhD – 15 appropriate for that job in Body for the sport. A Governing Body is Discrimination grounds). The
General Prospective Earnings: the UK. one that is recognised by one of the legislation will take effect as each points
As with the other tiers, £17,000 – £19,999 - 5 Skill Level: Whether Home Sports Councils (e.g. Sports system tier is implemented. Applicants
an applicant wanting to £20,000 – £21,999 - 10 the job is a shortage England). Where a sport does not have will be able to seek one Administrative
come to the UK under £22,000 – £23,999 - 15 occupation, has passed a governing body as recognised by the Review per application if they feel an
this tier will need to show £24,000 + 20 the resident labour Home Country Sports Councils, the error has been made in their decision.
that he or she has enough market test or is an Intra UK Border Agency will request advice Applications made from within the
points to qualify. Tier 2 has Company Transfer, it must from the sports councils and other UK will retain a full right of appeal.
an overall pass mark of 70 points and be above the minimum skill level and be relevant sporting bodies as to whether
contains three sections: paid at the appropriate rate for that job there is an appropriate body. I Damir Duheric is a senior solicitor
1. Attributes test based on the in the UK labour market. with Morton Fraser Solicitors,
certificate of sponsorship, A job must be at NVQ3 level or above Ministers of Religion specialising in immigration law. For
qualifications and prospective to be considered for this part of the tier. This category is for those coming to further information please contact
earnings (pass mark 50 points). In order to avoid confusion as to what fill vacancies as religious workers with Damir Duheric on 0131 247 1292 or at
2. English Language (10 points) jobs are at this level, and for those recognized religions. This includes firstname.lastname@example.org
20 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
an unfair contract term?
Gillian McCluskey on the
ongoing bank charges test case.
Given the abundant press coverage, not excluded from an assessment of UTCCRs. All parties have agreed Ombudsman Service, whose
we are all no doubt aware of the fairness under the UTCCRs. If the that the appeal process should responsibility it is to deal with
ongoing test case which seeks to terms were to be excluded this happen as quickly as possible, and individual complaints by customers,
challenge whether unauthorised would be by reason of regulation accordingly it remains to be seen has decided not to progress new
overdraft charges and returned item 6(2) which provides that “in so far as whether that finding will be upheld. complaints at the present time, other
fees, imposed by banks upon their it is in plain intelligible language, Although many of the banks’ than in hardship cases.
customers throughout the UK, are the assessment of fairness of a term customers will manage their If a court action for recovery of
fair. The charges are applied to shall not relate (a) to the definition accounts in accordance with the charges is raised in Scotland, then
customers on the basis of terms of the main subject matter of the level of funds they have in those given the test case has not yet come
contained in the banks’ personal contract, or (b) to the adequacy of accounts, there can be no dispute to a conclusion, and given no
current account contracts. There decision has been made regarding
has been widespread public concern whether the terms are actually
over these charges, mainly to the unfair, it is likely that the banks will
effect that the charges are unfair and address the courts regarding the
in any event excessive when There has been widespread public concern over these option to sist cases for the time
compared to the actual costs being. It is a matter for the courts as
incurred by banks when dealing charges, mainly to the effect that the charges are to whether sists would be granted in
with the issues to which they relate, unfair and in any event excessive when compared to such cases in Scotland, but no doubt
such as when an account goes into the banks would argue that a sist
unauthorised overdraft, or when an the actual costs incurred by banks when dealing with would be appropriate in the
item (such as a cheque or direct the issues to which they relate circumstances. In England all of
debit) is unpaid due to insufficient these court actions are being placed
funds in an account. on hold pending the outcome of the
The Office of Fair Trading has test case.
previously stated that it shared the It is important to note that banks
public concern regarding the the price or remuneration, as against that banks will incur some costs can continue to levy charges in the
monetary level, and frequency of, the goods or services supplied in when dealing with accounts which meantime. Accordingly, banks and
these charges. Accordingly, in April exchange”. do run into unauthorised overdraft consumers alike are keen to keep
2007, the Office of Fair Trading Whilst the case remains ongoing at or have insufficient funds to meet abreast of developments in this area,
began an investigation into the the High Court in England, a direct debit payments. The Office and we await with baited breath the
fairness of these charges and is now judgement has now been made in of Fair Trading states that it is not next instalment. The Office of Fair
the driving force behind this test respect of a hearing on preliminary saying that banks should not charge Trading is using its website to
case. The banks who agreed to take issues. On 24 April 2008, Justice customers who mismanage their publish regular updates regarding
part in the test case are Abbey Andrew Smith ruled that the banks’ account. It states that it wishes to the test case, and is publishing the
National plc, Barclays Bank plc, terms in relation to unauthorised come to a conclusion on whether court documents where possible.
Clydesdale Bank plc, HBOS plc, overdraft charges and returned item the banks’ terms are in compliance The Office of Fair Trading is also
HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds TSB Bank fees (the terms contained in the with the UTCCRs which are continuing with its investigation
plc, Nationwide Building Society, banks’ personal current account designed to protect consumers into the fairness of the terms that
and The Royal Bank of Scotland contracts) can be assessed for against unfair standard terms in provide for the charges (for
Group plc. Thus far, banks have not fairness under the UTCCRs, that the contracts they make with businesses. unauthorised overdraft etc) and the
accepted that the unfairness rules of terms are largely in plain intelligible Whilst the test case is ongoing, level of these charges and how they
the Unfair Terms in Consumer language, and that they are not banks may continue to face are applied.
Contract Regulations 1999 penalties at common law. The terms complaints from their customers The most important decision to be
(UTCCRs) are applicable. of four of the banks were held not to who believe they have received made in due course will be whether
The UTCCRs provide, among be in plain intelligible language, but wrong or unfair charges. The test or not the terms are actually unfair.
other things, that “a contractual term only with regard to minimal points case will not prevent these If they are, this will allow the Office
which has not been individually and this issue will not be appealed customers from complaining to their of Fair Trading to consider seeking
negotiated shall be regarded as by the four banks in question. banks, nor indeed from raising court an enforcement order against the
unfair if, contrary to the requirement These are the only issues which action should they wish to recover banks in terms of the Enterprise Act
of good faith, it causes a significant have been considered thus far, and these charges if the banks have 2002. Only time will tell as to
imbalance in the parties’ rights and the question of whether the terms refused to refund them voluntarily. whether the banks will remain
obligations arising under the are actually unfair remains to be Normally a customer would steadfast and continue to levy the
contract, to the detriment of the answered. approach their bank in the first same charges in the same fashion
consumer” and that “an unfair term Given the importance of, and instance for the complaint to be until such an order is granted.
in a contract concluded with a potential implications of, the resolved. If the complaint cannot be
consumer by a seller or supplier shall judgement, the banks have obtained resolved, then a customer would
not be binding on the consumer.” permission to appeal Justice Andrew then have the option of referring I Gillian McCluskey is an Associate
The Office of Fair Trading has Smith’s finding that the terms can be their complaint to the Financial with Miller Samuel LLP, specialising
sought to argue that the terms are assessed for fairness under the Ombudsman Service. The Financial in Commercial Litigation.
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 21
Asbestos: the case law and
For decades, asbestos was the world’s number one wonder product. You could mould it, mix it, apply it
to products or paints and under no circumstances would it burn. As one famous advert boasted: “it’s the
roof over your head, the brakes on your car, the fire stop by your office, it’s a life protector!” A chilling
irony given what was to come, for there was only one flaw in this wonder product: it killed you.
Even after the grim reality of the lungs caused by exposure to has presented a series of dilemmas 4. C is found to be suffering from
product became known, the asbestos asbestos. A minimum dose of the for the “but for” test. The overall mesothelioma, and;
industry was in denial. A UK latter is necessary to bring about the object of delict is to decide cases in 5. Any cause of C’s mesothelioma
Asbestos Information Committee condition; the severity increases which the law may justly hold one other than inhalation of asbestos
advert from the 2nd September with the amount that is inhaled. It party to compensate another. dust at work can be effectively
1970 edition of Punch claimed we does not usually develop within the However, medical science’s discounted, but;
would be “in danger!” without first twenty years following understanding of industrial diseases 6. C cannot (because of the current
asbestos, warning that without this exposure. is far from complete. Consequently limits of human science) prove, on
“indispensible material” ships and Mesothelioma: This is a malignant the courts are left with situations the balance of probabilities, that his
buildings would be in peril from fire. terminal tumour found not only, but where a Pursuer has suffered injury mesothelioma was the result of
In fact, fire deaths plummeted after most commonly, in the pleura. In the through the negligent acts of a inhaling asbestos dust during his
asbestos lagging was banned. main, such tumours are caused by Defender or Defenders, but medical employment by A or during his
Recent figures released by the exposure to asbestos. The mean science is unable to establish on the employment by B or during his
Health and Safety Commission latent period between first exposure balance of probabilities which acts employment by A and B taken
(HSC) show an inexorable rise in to asbestos and death from or which Defender caused the together;
British mesothelioma deaths over mesothelioma is of the order of forty injury. This dilemma is most acute in Is C entitled to recover damages
the last 35 years, with almost 2,000 years. The incidence of mesothelioma cases, where exposure against A, or B, or against A and B?
recorded in 2004. The HSC predicts mesothelioma in Western Europe to one fibre of asbestos can lead to To this question, a court at first
that mesothelioma mortality will has been increasing: in the United development of the terminal cancer instance and the Court of Appeal
“peak at around 1950 to 2450 deaths Kingdom it is expected to peak gave negative answers. It did so
some time between 2011 and 2015”. between 2010 and 2020 at some because, applying the conventional
2,500-3,000 cases per annum. There “but for” test of liability, it could not
Various diseases is no cure, and death commonly Given the high be held that C had proved against A
There are of course various results within 12 to 18 months of the number of victims and that his mesothelioma would
diseases caused by asbestos, and onset of symptoms. It is a very probably not have occurred but for
anyone dealing with asbestos claims distressing way in which to die. the value of the claims, the breach of duty by A, nor against
should be clear about the Lung Cancer: This, as the title asbestos litigation is big B on the same grounds.
differences: implies, is a cancer arising in the The decisions of the courts in this
Pleural Plaques: These are lung which can be caused or business and has been case caused a great deal of concern.
localized areas of pleural thickening contributed to by asbestos. As with the subject of several This is not surprising given that the
with well demarcated edges. They asbestosis, the risk of such cancer is vast majority of mesothelioma
usually develop on the parietal related to the dose of asbestos – the
high profile court clashes claimants had worked for more than
pleura, but occasionally develop on greater the dose, the greater the risk, between victim solicitors one employer and therefore fell
the visceral pleura. They consist of particularly if the asbestos is of the and insurers. within the Fairchild scenario.
bland, fibrous tissue. The amphibole type. In this context However the House of Lords, in a
pathogenesis is uncertain, but it is there is interaction between the remarkably direct opinion, had no
believed that the presence of exposure to asbestos and smoking difficulty in extending the
asbestos fibres leads to a prolonged since, as is now well-known, boundaries of material contribution
low-grade inflammatory response smoking can also be the cause of of the lining of the lungs many years to include the multiple Defenders in
resulting in the release of chemical lung cancer. after exposure. asbestos cases.
mediators, in turn leading to the The essential question underlying Lord Bingham concluded that,
laying down of fibrous tissue. The Material Contribution the legal dilemma faced in Fairchild where conditions 1-6 above are
Pleural Thickening: This is a debate: Fairchild etc v may be accurately expressed in this satisfied, C is entitled to recover
pleural fibrosis arising from Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd way. If: against both A and B. it was a matter
inhalation of asbestos, that extends & Others etc, House of Lords, 1. C was employed at different of “common sense” to treat the
continuously over a variable June 2002 times and for different periods by conduct of both A and B, in
proportion of the thoracic cavity but Given the high number of victims both A and B, and; exposing C to a risk to which he
without well circumscribed margins and the value of the claims, asbestos 2. A and B were both subject to a should not have been exposed, as
– it is diffuse and not demarcated. It litigation is big business and has duty to take reasonable care or to making a material contribution to
usually involves the visceral pleura. been the subject of several high take all practicable measures to the contracting by C of a condition
If sufficiently extensive, it may cause profile court clashes between victim prevent C inhaling asbestos because against which it was the duty of
restrictive lung function impairment solicitors and insurers. of the known risk that asbestos dust them to protect him. Furthermore, if
and breathlessness: occasionally it is The traditional test of causation in (if inhaled) might cause either A or B was not before the
the cause of persistent chest pain. In personal injury law is commonly mesothelioma, and; court, C would still be entitled to
itself the condition is benign. It is known as the “but for” test: on the 3. Both A and B were in breach of seek full compensation from the
not caused only by asbestos balance of probabilities, but for the that duty in relation to C during the Defender who is. A or B could of
exposure, but can be caused by other negligent act of omission of the period of C’s employment by each of course seek contribution against the
pathologies such as infection or Defender, the Pursuer would not them with the result that during other or any other employer by way
trauma. have suffered injury. both periods C inhaled excessive of right of relief.
Asbestosis: This is a fibrosis of the Over the years, industrial disease quanities of asbestos dust, and; However, the victory of the
22 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
claimants in Fairchild was soon Therefore they could not be relied to psychiatric illness caused by December 2006 to end the dilemma
overshadowed by two other upon to create a cause of action apprehension of the possibility of of mesothelioma victims, forced to
landmark cases. which would not otherwise exist. an unfavorable event which had not choose between claiming damages
Barker v Corus (UK) plc and two The case of Mr Grieves was actually happened. for themselves or waiting so that
other cases, House of Lords, May different because he suffered not relatives could possibly claim more
2006 merely anxiety but clinical Legislative intervention after their death.
The House of Lords has ruled depression, a recognized Whilst the insurance industry has Section 1 of the Damages
that, where more than one psychiatric illness, in consequence won these landmark cases that (Scotland) Act 1976 (“the 1976
employer has negligently exposed a of being told that his plaques attempt to stem the avalanche of Act”) confers on the relatives of
claimant to asbestos and the indicated a significant exposure to claims, the victories seem to have people who die as the result of a
claimant goes on to develop asbestos and the risk of future been short lived. Governments both wrongful act certain rights to
mesothelioma, each employer disease. Psychiatric illness in Westminster and Scotland have damages. Those relatives listed in
should only be held liable to the constituted damage for the purpose not been reluctant to consider Schedule 1 to the Act may claim
extent their breach of duty of founding an action in negligence; overturning the House of Lords under subsection (3) for loss of
increased the risk of the claimant so the question in Mr Grieves’ case decisions in favour of the victims. support and funeral expenses.
contracting the disease. The was not whether he suffered Compensation Act 2006 Immediate family may also claim
decision avoids the burden of full damage, but whether the Section 3 of this Act, which under subsection (4) for distress,
liability falling on a dwindling defendants owed him a duty of care reverses the Barker v Corus grief and loss of society. These
number of employers who happen in respect of psychiatric illness decision, came into force on 25th claims are separate from the
to be traceable and solvent or caused by his anxiety at the risk of July 2006 but is to be treated “as deceased’s own claims for damages.
insured, but may reduce the amount future illness. The threshold having always had effect” (s16(3)), But subsection (2) of that section
of compensation claimants can question was whether this kind of so is retrospective. Further, for cases provides that there shall be no
expect to recover in such cases. harm to this particular employee settled or determined on or after liability to relatives of a deceased
In this English decision, the was reasonably foreseeable. 3rd May and before 25th July, there person where that person’s claim
House of Lords agreed that has been settled, or damages have
Fairchild applied but (by a majority been awarded, prior to death.
of four to one) concluded that The previous Executive introduced new measures in Mesothelioma suffers faced the
liability should be apportioned dilemma of either pursuing their
according to the relative degree of December 2006 to end the dilemma of mesothelioma damages claim while still alive or
contribution the defendant had victims, forced to choose between claiming damages for not pursuing their claim before
made to the risk of the disease being themselves or waiting so that relatives could possibly death so that their executor and
contracted. relatives can claim awards which
Grieves and others v FT Everard claim more after their death. would total more than the award of
& Sons and others (aka Rothwell v damages the sufferer would have
Chemical & Insulting Co. Ltd and been entitled to. Most sufferers
others), House of Lords, October forewent the compensation which
2007 would provide some comfort for
In October last year, ten English them before they died in order to
personal injury test cases seeking help their families.
compensation for pleural plaques On 27th September 2006, the
were upheld at first instance. Mr Rights of Relatives to Damages
Justice Holland concluded that, (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill was
whilst pleural plaques could not introduced to the Scottish
found a cause of action, penetration Parliament. It was passed by
of the lungs by asbestos fibres Parliament on 21st March 2007 and
(evidenced by the plaques) when received Royal Assent on 26th
coupled with the risk that the fibres April. In light of the urgency of the
could give rise to other asbestos- situation, the Scottish Parliament
related diseases, and with the took the unprecedented step of
resultant anxiety, was sufficient to allowing people to benefit
found a cause of action. immediately – before the legislation
Upon appeal by the defendant was even on the statute book.
employers, the following issues On the facts of Mr Grieves’ case, are provisions for applying to the Although the Act’s provisions are
were considered: it could not be said that is was court to vary the terms of any restricted to mesothelioma cases,
1. Do pleural plaques constitute reasonably foreseeable that the settlement or decree. they apply retrospectively to “any
an injury? event which actually happened – Secondly the Scottish case in which the sufferer recovers
2. If not: is the existence of pleural the creation of a risk of an asbestos- Government announced in damages or obtains a full settlement
plaques, coupled with the risk of related disease – would cause November 2007 that they were on or after 20th December 2006”.
significant future injury and anxiety, psychiatric injury to a person of introducing a bill to overturn the The Act disapplied section 1(2) of
sufficient to found a cause of action? reasonable fortitude. It was House of Lords decision in the 1976 Act so as to allow the
3. In relation to Mr Grieves, submitted for Mr Grieves that even Rothwell. This February, they immediate family of a
whether there could be recovery for if his psychiatric illness was not extended the bill to include pleural mesothelioma sufferer to claim
psychiatric injury alone on the basis foreseeable, the decision of the thickening. The Government says damages for distress, grief and loss
that this was a foreseeable majority of the House of Lords in the Bill, which has now been of society under section 1(4) of the
consequence of his negligent Page v Smith (1996) indicated that introduced to the Scottish Act after the sufferer’s death
exposure to asbestos by the is was enough that his employer Parliament, will allow people who irrespective of whether the
defendant? ought to have foreseen that have been negligently exposed to deceased has already recovered
Lord Hoffman said that the exposure to asbestos might cause asbestos and developed damages or obtained a settlement.
plaques in themselves were not him physical injury, namely an asymptomatic asbestosis or pleural The new provision applies only
damage which could found a cause asbestos-related disease. The thickening, as well as pleural where the suffer recovers damages
of action. Save in the most foreseeable event was that Mr plaques, to claim for damages. or obtains a settlement on or after
exceptional cases the plaques could Grieves would contract an asbestos- South of the border, the the date the Act came into force.
never cause any symptoms, did not related disease. If that event government has also come under The immediate family will have the
increase the claimants’ susceptibility occurred, it could no doubt cause pressure from MPs and campaigners normal limitation period of three
to other diseases or shorten their psychiatric as well as physical to take similar action. years after the death of the sufferer
expectation of life. injury. But the event had not Campaigners have also had in which to make their claim.
Did the plaques become damage occurred. The psychiatric injury legislative success in extending the
when aggregated with the risk had been caused by apprehension rights of mesothelioma victims:
which they evidenced or the that the event might occur. The Rights of Relatives to Damages I David Wilson is a Solicitor
anxiety which that risk caused? In creation of such a risk was not (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Act Advocate and a senior partner
principle, neither the risk of future actionable. It would be an 2007 with Drummond Miller, where he
injury nor anxiety at the prospect of unwarranted extension of the The previous Executive specialises in all fields of
future injury was actionable. principle in Page v Smith to apply it introduced new measures in personal injury litigation.
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 23
Why not take advantage of the traditionally quiet nature of the quickly and as fully as possible. Chaired by Stephen Cowan of August, Edinburgh), promises to demystify what needs to be
summer months, and get some of your CPD out of the way? CLT Yuill & Kyle, tutor on the Specialist Paralegal Debt Recovery done to get a development through the new planning system.
Scotland has a great range of courses and conferences, running Qualification, the Practical Debt Recovery in 2008 Conference Returning after a successful event last year, the Environmental
through the summer months into early autumn, to enable you (29th August, Edinburgh) will take into account law and Law in Practice Conference in association with UKELA (22nd
to clock off some of those outstanding hours before the practice from both sides of the border. An essential – and very September, Edinburgh) will provide detailed analysis of the
November rush starts. timely – conference for all debt recovery practitioners. impact of environmental legislation on Scots law, while the
Being able to draft an effective will is an essential skill for the Good news! Due to popular demand, a second date has been Commercial Leases Conference (24th September, Glasgow) will
private client practitioner, and one which continues to evolve. A added for our sellout 14th Annual Licensing Conference (9th focus on the current challenges facing the marketplace.
team of experienced solicitors will take you through the basics September, Stirling). As a new licensing regime begins in Finally, the Employee Vetting and Monitoring Conference
in our Effective Will Drafting Conference (28th August, Scotland, there has never been a more challenging time for (22nd September, Edinburgh) is an essential event for all HR
Edinburgh); with an extremely practical look at what is required licensing practitioners – making this popular event more professionals. This conference, new for 2008, will tackle topical
of the modern paralegal and where the advice given can make essential than ever. Special offers are available on multiple issues such as social networking and security lapses while
a huge difference both to the client, and to the future of the bookings – check our website for details. discussing recruitment and remedies open to employers should
client’s family and other beneficiaries. We also have several full-day conferences dealing with some the worst happen.
In the current economic climate, it is even more crucial to the of the more niche areas of property law, each of which will court Full details of these and other CPD options are available on
success of any business to be able to recover its debts as for six hours of CPD. The Planning to Develop Conference (27th our website.
CIVIL LITIGATION & PI CRIMINAL LAW The Best of Family Law 2008 Co-ownership and Family Law
Cross Examination Masterclass 16th October, Glasgow 9th September, Glasgow
Tripping and Slipping 20th October, Edinburgh 11th September, Edinburgh
with Donald Findlay QC
14th August, Glasgow 20th October, Edinburgh The Annual Rural Law Update
21st August, Edinburgh PRIVATE CLIENT 15th September, Glasgow
27th October, Glasgow
Planning for Retirement – 29th September, Edinburgh
Small Claims, Summary Cause Criminal Law in 2008 –
Effectively ARTL and Registry Issues –
and Privative Jurisdiction – the Masterclass
the new rules 28th July, Glasgow the crucial update
30th October, Glasgow
30th July, Edinburgh 18th September, Glasgow
15th August, Glasgow Advising Families with
DEBT RECOVERY 25th September, Edinburgh
22nd August, Edinburgh Special Needs Adults
Corporate Insolvency Successful Commercial Property
Court of Session and Debt Recovery 31st July, Edinburgh Development – the Masterclass
Practice & Procedure 28th July, Edinburgh Developing an Elderly Client 23rd September, Edinburgh
18th August, Edinburgh Practice – and making it pay! Understanding Property Aspects
EDUCATION LAW 12th August, Edinburgh on Insolvency
Recent Developments in Medical Education Law for Schools The Best of Private Client 2008 24th September, Glasgow
Negligence Litigation – Liability & Conference 2008 26th September, Edinburgh
10th September, Glasgow
18th September, Edinburgh 17th September, Edinburgh Mobile Mast Sites – what
26th August, Glasgow The Trusts and Tax Property Lawyers Need to Know
28th August, Edinburgh EMPLOYMENT LAW 25th September, Glasgow
Shaken Babies – Flexible Working 20th September, Edinburgh The A-Z of English
a case for referral 16th September, Glasgow Residential Conveyancing
19th September, Edinburgh PROPERTY LAW – 30th October, Glasgow
8th September, Glasgow RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL
Presenting a Case Before an
22nd September, Edinburgh SKILLS & MANAGEMENT
Employment Tribunal – Home Reports & the Sellers
Work Related Upper Limb the works Survey – friend or foe? The Art of Influencing
Conditions Explained 23rd October, Glasgow 15th August, Glasgow 27th August, Glasgow
Introduction to 28th August, Edinburgh Keeping Your Clients Happy
27th October, Glasgow
Employment Law 2008 Drafting – the Complete 6th October, Glasgow
COMPANY & COMMERCIAL LAW 24th October, Glasgow Conveyancer’s Guide Interviewing Witnesses –
25th August, Glasgow How To Unlock Their Memories
The Unfair Commercial FAMILY LAW Topical Tax Issues for Property 9th October, Glasgow
Practices Directive Divorce and the Wealthy Client Lawyers in 2008 Professional Negligence
30th September, Glasgow 18th September, Glasgow 2nd September, Glasgow 10th October, Glasgow
Remember. . .
SSP members are entitled to discounted rates across CLT’s full range of conferences, seminars and certificated programmes. Just mention your membership when booking.
For further details of our CPD programme, visit our website on www.clt-scotland.co.uk or call us on 0141 225 6700.
24 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
We stand accused of
We plead guilty.
And we’re proud to. Because our newly launched Legal Practice here in
Scotland will carry on the Ellis Fairbank tradition of being a name to
trust and rely on in executive search and selection.
Whatever your role within the legal profession, from newly qualified
solicitor to partner level, paralegal to legal secretary, our exceptionally
experienced Consultants will utilise their expertise and hands-on
knowledge as they gain an in-depth understanding of your needs and
match you to the career opportunity most suitable for you.
If you are seeking an open and honest career search experience handled
by professionals who bring years of invaluable market knowledge to
their roles, we’ll be guilty of delivering it.
Litigation Paralegal - Glasgow £18k - £22k
Commercial Lending/Property Paralegal - Glasgow £20k - £22k
Executry Paralegal - Glasgow/Edinburgh £23k - £27k doe
Construction Paralegal - Edinburgh £20k - £25k
Trusts Paralegal - Edinburgh £25 - £32k doe
For more information or to find out more about the above roles,
contact email@example.com on Office: 0131 656 4127
Mobile: 07825 893 359
or firstname.lastname@example.org on Office: 0131 656 4129
Mobile: 07921 807378.
Speak to the
Call us. We’re ready.
“I have had a superb experience in dealing with Hudson
Legal, and particularly with Emma MacArthur. I found her
always readily available to speak to me and return all my
calls. I was worried about my interview and Emma helped
reassure me and settle my fears which made me feel more
of an individual and not just a number.
I previously registered with another agency and the service
I received there fell far short compared to the expertise and
kindness shown by Emma. She represented me
professionally and effectively and with her help I secured a
fantastic opportunity, perfect for me and far quicker than I
Candidate testimonial, 2008
At Hudson Legal, our dedicated consultants have over 15 years
experience in the paralegal market. We can help you manage
your career in the most effective way by providing advice and
support, as well as assistance in securing that next position.
T 0141 227 9196 (Glasgow)
T 0131 555 9819 (Edinburgh)
26 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
£26,000 - £28,000
Watermans is one of Scotland’s top personal injury firms with an unrivalled reputation for their expertise
Using bespoke I.T. systems for claims administration and procession, cases are dealt with swiftly and
efficiently. With a highly personal service, including home visits, this forward-thinking law firm has been
established since 1999 and has successfully managed over 4,000 claims ranging from a few hundred
pounds to over £1million. This professional team of experts combines legal, personal injury, and insurance
claims experience with their own panel of medical and other professionals to advise on claims. Watermans
is also capable of handling cases in England and Wales, as well as in Scotland.
We have a rare opportunity for an experienced personal injury paralegal in our state of the art Leith offices.
The ideal candidate for this diverse personal injury position would be capable of:
• handling over a hundred personal injury cases – including medical negligence, public liability,
employment liability and road traffic accidents
• liasing professionally with clients
• working both independently and as an integral part of a team
• working with state of the art technology
• building effective relationships with team members
The successful candidate would be working for two partners in Watermans’ modern offices in Leith and
would preferably have some court experience. Good organisational abilities would be beneficial to the role,
as would strong written and verbal communication skills.
In return for hard work and dedication, you will receive a remuneration package that strongly rewards
success. Our success is of course down to our people so if you are results focused and relish the
challenge of assisting in the development of a growing and already successful firm, this could be the
opportunity for you.
To apply, please send your CV together with your current salary details to our advising consultant
Emma MacArthur at Hudson Legal: 0141 227 9196 or email@example.com
H UDSON IS A LEADING PROVIDER OF PERMANENT RECRUITMENT, CONTRACT PROFESSIONALS AND TALENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS WORLDWIDE
The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008 27