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It is well known that workers who make “protected disclosures” (i.e. “blow the whistle”) must not suffer any detrimental treatment from their employer because they have made such disclosure. If they are dismissed for doing so, this will be an automatically unfair dismissal. This is a technically complex area of law, and there are many pitfalls which employers can fall into in relation to how they respond to whistleblowing. The recent Court of Appeal decision of Royal Mail Ltd v Jhuti [2017] EWCA Civ 1632 is therefore a welcome one for employers, as it affirms the principle that the dismissal of an employee who has made a protected disclosure may  be fair if the dismissing manager is shown to be unaware of any protected disclosures.  The motivations of other employees who may seek to subject an employee to disadvantage because of their whistle-blowing  are not to be attributed to the Employer  provided that  any disciplinary or capability process is conducted in a fair way independently of colleagues with such unlawful intentions.

Family practitioners have been eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court decision in the case of McDonald v McDonald as to the interpretation of Regulation 4 of the Divorce etc (Pensions) (Scotland) Regulations 2000.   The Supreme Court have now released their judgment – creating a landmark decision for how pensions should be treated upon divorce.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

To date solicitors have been restricted in the types of fee arrangement that can be offered to clients. For example, solicitors have been unable to charge a fee based on the percentage of sums awarded in a litigation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Many people are reluctant to put in place a Will.  Some feel they are too young and do not wish to consider making a Will until later in life or they become seriously ill.  Others feel they have insufficient assets or are comfortable that their family will follow their instructions.   Regardless of your age or how modest or straightforward you think your estate is, we recommend all our clients put Wills in place.

When spouses separate and require financial resolution between them as a result, in Scotland they will be advised by family lawyers that they are entitled to fair division of the net matrimonial property.  In general terms matrimonial property includes all assets belonging to the parties individually or jointly which was acquired during the period of marriage and held as at the date of separation, less any debts similarly held by the parties individually or jointly as at that date, subject to a few exceptions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

“Intelligence is about being open minded”, the late, great Irish sports writer Con Houlihan once said.

New requirements have come into effect which will have application for many of the major commercial disputes litigated here in Scotland. These requirements aim to nudge parties away from the Court and towards Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) or settlement. Below is set out a summary of the changes and what their effect may be for those parties engaged in a commercial dispute.

While non-domiciled individuals (“non-doms”) have traditionally received favourable tax treatment in the UK, a number of reforms were announced in the 2015 summer Budget to widen the scope of the UK tax net.  Last week’s Finance Bill contains a number of provisions which bring these changes into force from 6 April 2017.

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