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					                                                                             Summer 2008 Issue 15
                                                                              Scotland Edition

The Member Magazine for Qualified Paralegal Practitioners

Springtime Graduations!
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...

4            Editorial
             A badge of quality

4            Mailbox
             Your letters and comment

5-7          News
             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
             Course calendar


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!

12           Interview
             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
                                                                                                     Designed and printed by
     THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS                                                             In Position Media Ltd,
                                                                                              426 Drumoyne Road, Glasgow, G51 4DA
     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                                      
                                       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                    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                        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

legal profession
                                                          The latest legal
                                                          news from around
                                                          the United Kindom
                                                                                           Bill opens way for
                                                                                           asbestos victims
                                                                                           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
                                                           visit      their
                                                                                   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                       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. 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                 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.
                                                                                             AID INCREASE
                                                                                                                                      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
                                                                 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                                                                                   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 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 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
                                                                                                         Quality Assured

                                                Contact Seonaid Robertson on 0131 220 6656,
                                                or send your CV to

                                                                                                                                     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                             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
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                 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 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  
Practitioner Award at a graduation ceremony held      Paralegals' website recently?                          Remember The Specialist Paralegal is your
at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.                    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                        Paralegals via email on            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                                     Specialist Paralegals, please contact:
  English Paralegal Practitioner/UWE Qualifications:                             Gary Anderson, Membership Manager
  Karyn Stinson                            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.                             

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.

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
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                                                                     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.

    Home telephone:
                                                                     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.
    Work address:
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                                                                            for one year’s membership of the Society.

    Work telephone:                                                  Signed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Contact email:
                                                                     Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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    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
Licensing paralegals
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
                                                                                                      Gordon Hunter
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 
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
Illegally Blonde

                                                                                                                                                                Image by Lyndsay Meager
Diary of The Specialist Paralegal’s girl about town!

Dear Diary,
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…
  Hubby: Me!
                                                      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
Springtime Graduations
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
                                                                                the crowd!”
                                                                                  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:
  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                              

                                                                                                                                      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
in Civil Court, management and             my spare time!” she says.                that they knew a position was

 16   The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
career clinic
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      supervisor or the HR department. Human                              
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                                                              

                                                                                                                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.
                                                                                                                                         USEFUL WEBLINKS:
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?                                    
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         
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-     
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,             
claimed that a job in the                                                                    working mothers need                        GINGERBREAD
legal profession would suit.                                                                 flexible            working       
  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
                 their children
                           in my
                                                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 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 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
professional update
Employment and Immigration ii:
Skilled Migrants
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

20 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
professional update
Bank charges:
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
professional update
Asbestos: the case law and
legislative intervention
                             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
                                                                                                           Conference 2008
  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 or call us on 0141 225 6700.

24 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
We stand accused of
being experienced,
approachable, honest,
trustworthy, ethical
and professional.

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 on Office: 0131 656 4127
Mobile: 07825 893 359
or on Office: 0131 656 4129
Mobile: 07921 807378.
                                                                        Speak to the
                                                                        industry experts.

                                                                        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
                                                                        thought possible.”

                                                                                                 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.
                                                                                                                Emma MacArthur
                                                                                                                T 0141 227 9196 (Glasgow)
                                                                                                                T 0131 555 9819 (Edinburgh)                                                                        

26 The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008
Personal Injury

£26,000 - £28,000
Watermans is one of Scotland’s top personal injury firms with an unrivalled reputation for their expertise
and success.
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



                                                                                                         The Specialist Paralegal Summer 2008   27

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