Professional practice updates 2014

Professional practice updates August 2014

Cyber Security Checklist

Lender Exchange Update - Final Terms and Conditions

Powers of Attorney and Sheriff and Sheriff Baird's Opinion - Update


Cyber Security Checklist

Stay safe online, on the phone and face to face

Following recent cyber attacks against Scottish firms the Technology Sub Committee has prepared the undernoted checklist which solicitors should consider.


• Never give banking or personal details to anyone you don't know or trust. This information is valuable, so make sure you protect it

• Always log onto a website directly rather than clicking on links in an email

• Ensure your anti-virus, malware and firewall protection is up to date on all devices, from servers and PCs to tablets and smartphones

On the phone

• Always ask for the name of the individual you're speaking to and who they represent. Verify their identity with the company's head office on a different phone

• Never give out personal, credit or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number is from a trusted source

• It's advisable not to respond to text messages or numbers you don't recognise - they may be charging you at higher rates and receiving calls may be very expensive


• Always ask for identification and remember you don't have to let them into your premises and they must leave if you tell them to

What to do if you have been scammed

• If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online. Contact the police if the suspect is known or still in the area.

Useful links, guidance and further information

Guide to banking online - Bank Safe Online provides advice and tips on using online banking securely and with confidence

Get Safe Online - Free expert advice, providing practical advice on how to protect yourself, your equipment and business against fraud, identify theft and the like

Microsoft Safety & Security Centre - Software Operating system Supplier providing targeted advice to Microsoft users

Action Fraud - UK National Fraud crime reporting centre


Lender Exchange Update - Final Terms and Conditions

Since the last lender exchange update issued on 3 July 2014, the Society has been advised by Decision First that the new conveyancing panel management system Lender Exchange, which is being facilitated by Decision First, will be launched on 4 August 2014. In the interests of openness and transparency, we attach a copy of the final Terms and Conditions we have received from Decision First and which were previously provided to us on a strictly confidential basis. We would draw members' attention to the legal advice which the Society obtained on the previous version of the draft Terms and Conditions which was published on 21 May 2014 and in particular the new amendments to the confidentiality and termination provisions. We would also remind members that by accepting the Terms and Conditions firms are bound by them and any applicable lender specific terms and conditions.


Powers of Attorney and Sheriff Baird's Opinion - Update

1. Current situation:- Sheriff Baird issued an Opinion in a case involving Clydesdale Bank to the effect that certain wording which followed a style provided by the Office of Public Guardian was not sufficient to constitute a valid continuing Power of Attorney and therefore such a Power of Attorney was invalid. Numerous other Powers of Attorney use the same style as the one which Sheriff Baird considers to be invalid.

2. The Office of Public Guardian (OPG) have issued a statement to us as follows:-

The Public Guardian has been made aware that the Clydesdale Bank has decided not to pursue its appeal against the decision of the Sheriff at Glasgow.  The Public Guardian is conscious that the decision raised a number of issues, including that of the validity of the power of attorney in question.  The Public Guardian is in the course of making an application to Glasgow Sheriff Court under s.3 of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 in order to obtain directions from the Sheriff on a number of those issues.  The Public Guardian does not expect to comment further while that application is pending.

3. The procedure to be followed by the OPG should give an opportunity for PoA validity issues to be fully explored.

4. Meantime, it is noted that Sheriff Baird is a Sheriff at first instance and that his Opinion is not binding authority on other Sheriffs.

5. Further updates will be issued as soon as the information becomes available.

6. Sheriff Baird's Opinion can be accessed from this link:-