World's fastest property sale?

Have Tait Macleod broken the speed record for the sale of a Scottish property?

Our client received an offer to purchase his property on Monday 10th October.  The property was sold with money and keys changing hands before 10am on Friday 14th Otober.

This process normally takes about four to six weeks in Scotland.

We were able to do this largely as a result of two factors.  Firstly, neither party had a mortgage.  In most cases at least one party is dealing with a lender which always involves  more time given the additional work lenders have to undertake.

Secondly, the lawyers on each side applied their years of experience and common sense to conclude the deal.  For instance, the buyer's lawyer didn't insist on seeing a coal mining report for a flat in the middle of Falkirk!!

I look forward to hearing if anyone can match or beat the unusual speed of this transaction.

New: Fees to be introduced for Employment Tribunals

In a move that is clearly designed to discourage vexatious litigants the George Osbourne has announced plans to introduce fees for Industrial Tribunals.  The detail is still to be made available but looks like it will cost £250 to lodge a claim with a further £1000 payable once a hearing has been fixed.

This will almost certainly end in increased claims for costs by successful parties which will sadly make enforcement of legal rights a hazardous gamble at best for many people.  It seems another way of marginalising the less well off unless the legal aid board steps in with funding.

We wait with baited breath....

Religious Discrimination

The link below takes you to the EHRC submission to the European Court of Human Rights for a determination of whether the Uk is applying the law in a way which protects religious freedom and prevents discrimination on religious grounds.

This area of law is fraught with difficutlties as different beliefs will conflict with each other from time to time and it's simply not possible to allow everyone full freedom.  In my opinion it's a delicate balancing act which must show respect to everyone while allowing for each of us to hold to our own beliefs.

It'll be interesting to follow this case and its outcome. Whenever that might be!

EHRC Submission.

Access to Justice narrowing

It's time to make sure you have legal costs insurance.

The Government has a clear agenda to reduce the legal aid budget which will greatly restrict access to justice for many people.

In criminal cases justice will be beyond the purse of many if they can't afford to instruct a solicitor or pay a contribution to legal aid.  Many people will possibly decide to spend it on fripperies such as food and utilities.

In civil cases people just won't be able to afford to go to court to defend, establish or enforce their rights.  It makes justice even more distant, particularly for those in work who already contribute through taxes.

I have for many years tried to encourage people to take up legal costs insurance which can assisst in many situations.  It is often available as an add-on to domestic house policies for relatively low cost.

Employment Law Changes 2012

As mentioned in this blog last week the Government have confirmed that the qualifying period for Unfair Dismissal claims is to be extended to two years with effect from April 2012.  This means employees will have to wait twice as long to have protection from unfair dismissal in the majority of cases.  There are some cases which require no qualifying period of service.

The Government also proposes to introduce fees for raising Employment Tribunal claims.  Further information will be provided when issued by the Government.

Proposed changes to qualifying period for unfair dismissal

The Government confirms proposals  to extend the qualifying period for unfair dismissal from one year to two years.

Good news for employers who can now take on staff for longer periods without worrying about unfair dismissal claims.  In effect the "trial period" becomes two years!

Not such good news for employees who won't have protection from unfair dismissal but may be more likely to be offered a job if empolyers feel more confident.

The two year period therefore matches the two year qualifying  period for redundancy.

The proposal is referred to in page 14 of the Government's document "One in One out: Second Statement of New Regulation".

Tait Macleod Solicitors
6 Park Street
Falkirk. FK1 1UZ.
LP 38 Falkirk
Tel: 01324 88 88 77
Fax: 01324 41 16 07 

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