The Society's specialist accreditation scheme was established in 1990. The exceptional quality and skill of accredited specialists under the scheme is recognised throughout Scotland.

Over 500 solicitors are accredited specialists.

The accreditation scheme offers recognition of solicitors who develop specialist knowledge during their careers, and also helps the public choose a solicitor with the necessary expertise, particularly in more complex cases.

Areas of specialism

There are currently 28 specialisms, which can be searched using our Find a solicitor search facility.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

The area of agricultural law is broad and while knowledge of the Agricultural Holdings legislation is a significant part of practice in this sphere there are other equally important aspects and legislative enactments having a direct bearing.  Accordingly, in addition to providing evidence of expertise in the various aspects of the tenanted sector, examples by applicants might also include:

  • Regulations emanating from the Common Agricultural Policy and the subsidy regime.
  • Agri/environment schemes.
  • Relevant aspects of environmental law, which has a significant overlap on this area through regulations imposed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Government.
  • Taxation, in particular Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax rules and Value Added Tax legislation and the specific rules thereunder applicable to this area.

In assessing the application, the panel will consider the complexity and/or novel nature of the work and the role played by the applicant in its delivery.  

Knowledge and application of procedures

Applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work and their knowledge and application of relevant legislation and regulation to specific cases or situations over the five year period in question.   Examples of work might cover not only contentious elements but also application of knowledge in non-contentious areas, for example in the sphere of family/business planning.

Applicants who do not practice in the area should also demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of law in this area, for example through evidence of teaching, or authorship or academic material.

Applicants should provide detail of training and courses attended during the five year period.

Knowledge sharing

Many aspects of agricultural law are complex and subject to frequent review and credit will be given to applicants who demonstrate that they have engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Evidence should therefore be provided of presenting seminars, teaching, and authoring relevant materials.

Thinking outside the box

Applicants should demonstrate an ability to think outside the box and come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems. A large part of the more recent legislation in this area, in particular the Agricultural Holdings legislation remains open to interpretation and is untested.  Accordingly there are often no black and white answers to specific situations. Applicants should demonstrate how they have addressed such situation by giving examples of how they have formulated solutions to such problems.   Equally applicants who do not practice in the area might provide evidence of their thinking in such problematic areas and their contribution to interpretation.  

Approved Solicitor Arbitrators are authorised under statute (2010 Act) and require additional steps in the accreditation:

Applicants must hold a current specialist accreditation in arbitration law.

They must demonstrate very specific experience in relation to arbitration awards by providing:

  • Details of two anonymised Arbitration Awards you have delivered in the five years preceding the date of this application. AND/OR
  • Evidence of relevant decision making in Judicial or quasi-judicial roles, eg Temp Sheriff or Tribunal Chair.  AND/OR
  • Provide evidence of formal training such as Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators or membership of the panel of arbitrators of the Family Law Arbitration Group or equivalent.

Standard charges for all specialist accreditations are £200 for first accreditation and £150 for renewal accreditation.

Download an application form now

Any queries regarding the operation or applications to the scheme should be directed to Patricia Wilson on  0131 476 8123 or by email: patriciawilson@lawscot.org.uk or to Elaine MacGlone on 0131 226 8887, email elainemacglone@lawscot.org.uk

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Arbitration law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the Arbitration law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • advising on arbitration options;
  • representing parties in arbitrations;
  • acting as an arbitrator;
  • acting as an arbitrator’s/tribunal’s clerk; and
  • appeals following arbitration

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of Arbitration law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of Arbitration law by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants (from an academic background) who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of Arbitration law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Arbitration law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on Arbitration law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of Arbitration law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and Application of the Law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in Charity Law.  The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the Charity Law sector throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • establishing charities in different legal forms;
  • drafting Constitutions and Contracts;
  • advising on charity legislation and compliance;
  • advising on governance issues including mergers and partnerships.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined – whether, for example, the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team;
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involved work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel, challenging or untested issues;
  • the breadth of the applicant’s knowledge and experience within the Charity Law sector;

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex, challenging or novel matters, rather than crediting a significant volume of standard or repetitive work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and Application of Procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the Charity Law sector in their application.  Examples of work should be provided where available.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of Charity Law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of Charity Law by highlighting complex, challenging or novel cases with which they have been involved.

Applicants who do not practice specifically in the Charity Law sector of should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of Charity Law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners and/or charity trustees or in publishing academic material.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of their new thinking and/or research which contributes to the development of Charity Law and/or its practical applications.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.

Knowledge Sharing

Charity Law is a changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers and/or for the benefit of charity trustees and others involved in the charity sector.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on Charity Law topics.

Membership of advisory groups set up by OSCR, the Scottish Government or other relevant bodies in relation to reviewing and developing Charity Law and practice, and specific guidance thereon, is also relevant.

Thinking outside the box

Applicants should demonstrate an ability to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with novel or unusual solutions to problems, in the process possibly pushing the boundaries of accepted understanding and practice of Charity Law. A creative idea which does not work may have a relevance for accreditation purposes even if not as much as one which does. Attitude and approach can be important in gaining respect, standing and reputation as a leader in the Charity Law sector.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the Law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Child Law.  The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of practice in the Child Law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate knowledge and experience of most of the following:-

  1. Application for Permanence Orders and Adoptions under the Adoption & Children (Scotland) Act 2007;
  2. Childrens Hearings and Referral cases;
  3. Any appointment as Safeguarder or Curator by the Court;
  4. Conduct of proceedings for contact/residence or under Children (Scotland) Act 1995;
  5. Any appointment as a Bar Reporter in Childrens cases;
  6. Any proceedings under the Hague Convention;
  7. Any Tribunal cases dealing with Additional Support Needs or Mental Health legislation involving children.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • Role of the applicant and the work outlined – whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team;  and
  • The complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points, or complex situations.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

It is important to recognise that applications under Section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act relating to children would not normally be covered by the speciality where these applications are ancillary to Family Law proceedings.  The purpose of Child Law Accreditation is quite separate from simple involvement in ancillary orders in Family Law proceedings.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non contentious work should be provided where available. 

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of Child Law for the relevant five year period, whether in Local Authority service, the Reporter Service or in Private Practice should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of Child Law through both the Children’s Panel system and the Court.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non contentious aspects of Child Law should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.  Again it is recognised by the panel that in many situations, Child law matters are resolved extra judicially.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application for Child Law, for example through evidence of teaching on the subject, or writing guidance for Practitioners.

Membership

Any applicant who is a member of the Scottish Child Law Centre, the Family Law Association, who is an Accredited Family Law Arbitrator, or who is an Accredited Family Law Mediator should make reference to this in their application.

Knowledge sharing

Child Law is a rapidly changing area of Law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should provide any available evidence of presenting Seminars, teaching, responding to the government consultation and writing materials on Child Law topics, whether in house or for other public bulletins. 

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the Accreditation Panel (“the Panel”) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Commercial Leasing law (“the Specialism”).  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the Specialism throughout the five year period under review.  When considering the strength of the application, the Panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team, but for the avoidance of doubt, consultants, legal directors, associates and senior assistants are eligible – what counts is the person’s role in the transaction, (not in their firm); and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The Panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • acting for landlords and acting for tenants in single occupancy lease transactions, multi-occupancy leases (shopping centre leases, business park, office building, retail park etc.);
  • preparation or revisal of leases in new build/ development scenario;
  • either involvement in ground leases or interposed leases; and
  • details of any commercial lease arbitration or litigation in which the Applicant has been involved (not essential)

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of work should be provided where available. Some examples are:

  • experience of working with SDLT / LBTT and VAT on leases;
  • experience of drafting and revising draft missives to enter into a lease;
  • experience of acting for both landlords and tenants; and
  • experience of standard securities over leases.

Applicants who have been engaged in the Specialism for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of the Specialism by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice should provide the Panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practise in the Specialism should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of the Specialism, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.

Knowledge sharing

Commercial Leasing is a fluid area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on the Specialism topics.  The following is a list of what might be appropriate:

  • details of any books, articles or other publications written, or to which the Applicant has contributed;
  • details of seminars presented (in house or for an external provider);
  • details of supervision carried out by the applicant for trainees, paralegals and assistants in their own firm; and
  • attendance at seminars run by RICS or Institute of Arbitrators (good for collateral knowledge and practice development).

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of the Specialism is open to interpretation in many areas, and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of construction law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the construction law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • construction and related legislation
  • procedures relating to construction contracts/disputes
  • health and safety, environmental, permits and operational requirements in a construction environment

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of construction law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice, in-house or a public authority, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of construction law by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of construction law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Construction law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on construction law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of various aspects of construction law is open to interpretation and also involves the application of policy.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law or policy does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where the law or the particular construction issue is new, untested or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of their new thinking and/or research which contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of crofting law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the crofting law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • rights of crofters, owner occupiers, owner occupier crofters, landlords;
  • responsibilities and entitlements of the above;
  • crofts, their pertinents, creation & succession;
  • common grazings, apportionments, deemed crofts, grazing rights;
  • acquisition and sale of crofts or parts thereof, tenanted or otherwise;
  • removal of croft land from crofting controls by the Commission and/ or the Scottish Land Court;
  • registration of crofts and common grazings

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of crofting law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of crofting law through the Crofting Commission and/ or Scottish Land Court by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of crofting law, and who do not have extensive Crofting Commission/ Scottish Land Court experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of crofting law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners, providing opinions, or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Crofting law is a developing and changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on crofting law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of crofting law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the Accreditation Panel (“the Panel”) when considering applications.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of debt and asset recovery.  The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the debt and asset recovery field throughout the five year period under review.  The examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • the debtor’s individual rights, whether contractual and/or statutory, whether that debtor is an individual, partnership, limited company or other legal entity;
  • rights and responsibilities of creditors applicable to the sector in which the debt and/or asset recovery action is taken place, in particular, in relation to debt recovery in the consumer credit sector and/or heritable repossession areas, applicants must demonstrate expertise in relation to relevant rules and guidance issued by the Financial Conduct Authority;
  • equality provisions;
  • data protection issues in relation to the processing of personal data and sensitive personal data in relation to individuals on debt and asset recovery matters; and
  • recognising vulnerability issues in relation to consumer debtors, forbearance, treating customers fairly and appropriately, and relevant codes of practice.

When considering the strength of the application, the Panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant and the work outlined – whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of the team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the example cited involved work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The Panel will award credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters and will also award credit where the applicant is effectively managing a volume of work.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where applicable.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of debt and asset recovery for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of debt and asset recovery law through the courts by highlighting complex or novel cases that they have been involved with.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of the law in relation to debt and asset recovery matters, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.

Knowledge sharing

The law and regulation of debt and asset recovery is a rapidly changing, area, credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on Debt and Asset Recovery law topics.

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of the law and regulation to debt and asset recovery activities is open to interpretation in certain areas. Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law, or relevant regulatory guidance, does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of discrimination law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the discrimination law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • individual discrimination rights;
  • responsibilities and duties of employers;
  • equality provisions;
  • issues related to protected characteristics
  • discrimination law generally and in particular outside the realm of employment

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious (employment tribunals, courts and other relevant fora) and non-contentious work (compliance, risk and prevention advice) should be provided where available.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of discrimination law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of discrimination law by highlighting complex or novel matters they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of discrimination law, and who do not have extensive contentious experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of discrimination law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.  

Knowledge sharing

Discrimination law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on discrimination law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of discrimination law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/creative/original solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of their thinking and/or research which contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of employment law. The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the employment law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • individual employment rights;
  • responsibilities and entitlements of employers;
  • equality provisions; and
  • collective employment law

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of employment law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of employment law through the employment tribunal system by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of employment law, and who do not have extensive employment tribunal experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of employment law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Employment law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on employment law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of employment law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of environmental law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the environmental law field throughout the five year period under review. 

It is recognised that environmental law covers a wide area and accordingly it is not regarded as appropriate to demand expertise in specific areas.  Examples provided in the application should, however, demonstrate expertise at a high level in at least some of the following:-

  • Waste;
  • Water pollution and water quality;
  • PPC and other licensing/permissions;
  • Contaminated land;
  • Climate change and air quality;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment;
  • Delict/nuisance;
  • The Conservation of Nature.

Credit will not be given with respect to examples which provide evidence of expertise only relative to planning law or relative to a transaction which has an environmental driver (such as the construction of a wind turbine) but which does not involve any expertise in environmental law itself.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application. 

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of environmental law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of environmental law by highlighting complex or novel cases with which they have been involved.

It is recognised that applicants in practice may focus on contentious or non-contentious aspects of environmental law or a combination of both and credit will be given for both kinds of work.  The emphasis should, however, be on complex or novel matters.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of environmental law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Environmental law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on environmental law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of environmental law is open to interpretation in many areas, the relevant legislation is lengthy and complex and case law can be limited or confusing.   Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the Law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Family Law.  The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of practice in the Family Law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at high levels of most of the following:-

  1. Separation Agreements
  2. Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  3. Pre Cohabitation Agreements
  4. Agreements prepared in respect of termination of cohabitation
  5. Proceedings raised under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985
  6. Proceedings raised under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006
  7. Free standing proceedings raised under Section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  8. Proceedings in relation to domestic abuse.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • Role of the applicant and the work outlined – whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team;  and
  • The complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non contentious work should be provided .  It is recognised that in the Family Law field, most matters are resolved extra judicially.  Accordingly, while it is of use for the panel to consider cases in which proceedings have indeed been raised, and indeed where proceedings have gone to a full conclusion and the issue of a Judgment, the panel recognises that as earlier indicated, the bulk of Family Law Practitioners work will involve the satisfactory conclusion of cases by way of  Minutes of  Agreement.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of Family Law for the relevant five year period should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of Family Law  in the Court of Session and/ or  in the Sheriff Court by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non contentious aspects of Family Law and who do not have extensive Family Law experience in Court in the relevant period should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received and courses attended during the five year period and similarly should highlight any work carried out in the training area.

Membership

Any applicant who is a member of the Scottish Child Law Centre, the Family Law Association, Consensus Scotland, or other relevant body,   who is an Accredited Family Law Arbitrator, or who is an Accredited Family Law Mediator should make reference to this in their application.

Knowledge sharing

Applicants should provide any available evidence of presenting Seminars, teaching, responding to the government consultation and writing materials on Family Law topics, whether in house or for other public bulletins.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of data protection and freedom of information law.  The panel recognise that while these two disciplines are closely inter-related and many practitioners regularly deal with both aspects, we also recognise that many solicitors will deal predominantly with one rather than the other.  We do not wish to bar specialist accreditation to appropriate candidates simply because they have limited exposure to the other area – for example, a solicitor in private practice with no public sector clients may have a wealth of experience in data protection but has limited opportunity to be involved in Freedom of Information.  The panel expect applicants in this situation to be able to demonstrate at least a solid fundamental grasp of the basics of the other half of the specialism.  This means an applicant need only satisfy all the core criteria listed below for either data protection or for freedom of information but need not satisfy all the core criteria for both.

Within the two key areas, applicants are expected to provide evidence in their application form of significant involvement in a broad range of activities falling under one or both halves of the specialism throughout the five year period under review. Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

Data Protection – core requirements

  • individual subject access rights;
  • fair processing requirements;
  • advice on external disclosures and/or internal secondary uses of data
  • data security issues
  • regulatory requirements and complaints handling (which can but does not need to involve issues directly involving regulators)
  • training and awareness raising
  • information sharing protocols
  • data processor issues.

Data Protection – optional additional possibilities

  • international data flows
  • data protection aspects of records management issues
  • data breach management
  • involvement with appeals to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) and beyond on data protection issues
  • sector-specific issues (e.g. financial sector, marketing, law enforcement)

Freedom of Information:  core requirements (these requirements can also be satisfied by reference to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 where this is more relevant to an applicant’s work):

  • General advice on applicable legislation
  • Advising on FOI requests at initial and internal review stage (for non-public sector applicants, this should be read as advising clients on how to make or challenge such requests and decisions). For specialist accreditation, these should be novel or significant issues and not run-of-the-mill matters.
  • Involvement in advising on a wide variety of the exemptions under the legislation (applicants are in particular expected to demonstrate experience of advising on FOI issues which involve personal data)
  • Advising on appeals to the Scottish Information Commissioner. Again, these should represent novel or significant matters, particularly ones which have resulted in changes to the generally-understood position
  • Involvement with training, guidance and awareness-raising on FOI

Freedom of Information:  optional additional possibilities (these requirements can again also be satisfied by reference to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 where this is more relevant to an applicant’s work):

  • Involvement with appeals to the Court of Session and beyond on FOI issues
  • Involvement in matters potentially falling under multiple disclosure regimes or subject to other legal frameworks

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available (in this context, “contentious” means where an applicant or data subject is in disagreement with a data controller or public authority in relation to data protection or FOI).

Applicants who have been engaged in this area for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of data protection and/or FOI through the processes of reviews and appeals/requests for assessment by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of data protection and FOI for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.

Knowledge sharing

Data Protection and FOI are relatively new and rapidly developing areas of the law.  Applicants should demonstrate that they are operating at a level where peers can benefit from shared knowledge. Sharing knowledge by such means as presenting seminars, authoring materials etc is a useful way to approach this.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on data protection or FOI topics (including closely-related areas such as records management or information security).

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of the law in this area is often open to interpretation and equally often misinterpreted or misapplied.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate an ability to think outside the box and should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of new their thinking and/or research which contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (“the panel”) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of immigration law. The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad range of work or practice in the field of immigration law throughout the five year period under review. Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level in most of  the following areas:-

Immigration

  • Immigration law, including case law, Home Office concessions and policies, as well as the Immigration Rules
  • The Human Rights Act on decisions relative to
  • Applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK including entry, removal and deportation procedures and bail

EU law

  • The scope of EU law including its applicability to EEA, third country nationals and UK nationals
  • Entitlements of family members under EEA regulations, including after death, separation, divorce, departure  or cessation of activity of the principal EEA applicant
  • Rights under EU law and access to services and benefits in the UK
  • Appeal rights and procedures arising from EEA regulations

Asylum

  • Asylum claims and the criteria for the grant of asylum or humanitarian protection
  • Appeal rights and procedure to challenge refusal of asylum
  • Rights and entitlements including asylum support for those who are successful in obtaining refugee status or international protection

Knowledge of Procedure 

  • Knowledge of availability of Legal aid including availability of ABWOR for appeals
  • Knowledge of the relevant tribunal procedure rules for both the First-tier tribunal and Upper tribunal appeals
  • Onward appeals to the Court of Session and the appropriate procedure rules governing same, including time limits.
  • Availability of remedies including Judicial Review to challenge decisions of tribunals and the Secretary of State

When considering the merits of any given application the panel will consider the:-

  • Role of the applicant in the examples of professional work outlined, and whether the applicant  was the lead  adviser or practitioner in the  case; and
  • The complexity of the case and the work involved, including any  novelty or  complicated aspects of law and procedure as well as the overall importance of the result  to the client(s)

Knowledge and application of both law and procedure

  • All applicants should demonstrate the breadth and extent of their knowledge and professional expertise in their field with examples of a range of contentious and non-contentious work – which may include opinion or advice in particular areas or aspects of cases of an important nature.

Applicants who have been actively  engaged in this area of law for the  relevant five year period, whether in private practice or otherwise, should be able to  demonstrate a high level  of working knowledge of immigration law and procedure by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Those applicants who are not actively engaged in representing applicants before the First-tier tribunal or the Upper tribunal should demonstrate a broad and  high level of understanding  of the practical application of immigration law, for example through  evidence of teaching  on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.

Applicants should also provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing on immigration law topics. Applicants should  provide relevant examples or evidence of Professional Skills in dealing with ethical /diversity issues which arise in the Immigration law context, such as:-

  • Awareness of vulnerability or potential vulnerability of clients
  • Understanding the needs of clients and the available range of solutions by employing their knowledge and expertise of Immigration law, the immigration Rules and Home Office policies and concessions

Understanding of potential criminal and ethical implications, including civil penalties, arising from situations and applications in this area of law.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Incapacity and Mental Disability Law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the Incapacity and Mental Disability Law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate that the applicant has a high level understanding and expertise in

  1. dealing with all aspects of  the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 for example (but not limited to) provisions regarding:-
  • Continuing Powers of Attorney
  • Welfare Powers of Attorney
  • Revocation, Resignation and Termination of Powers of Attorney
  • Appeals including appeals against decision as to incapacity
  • Accounts, funds and the handling of residents finances
  • Intervention and Guardianship Orders
  1. In addition the applicant must show how he or she applies the principles of the Act in their work
  2. The applicant also needs to demonstrate an expertise in the procedural rules and regulations that support the Act.
  3. In addition to the above the applicant may also describe other areas of law where their knowledge and understanding of incapacity legislation or the impact of incapacity have been important.
  4. Human Rights and relevant EU law.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.
  • How the applicant has shown their work is centred on the incapax

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of Incapacity and Mental Disability Law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of Incapacity and Mental Disability Law by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with or advised on.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of Incapacity and Mental Disability Law, and who do not have extensive Sheriff Court or other experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of Incapacity and Mental Disability Law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on Incapacity and Mental Disability Law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 is still open to interpretation in many areas, case law is still developing.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the interests of the patient need to be put first.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the Accreditation Panel (“the Panel”) when considering applications.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Insolvency and Restructuring Law.  The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the Insolvency Law field throughout the five year period under review.  The examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of understanding of dealing with most of the following:-

  • All forms of corporate insolvency processes – liquidation; administration and receivership (not necessarily practical experience relative to receivership).
  • The key areas of differentiation between Scotland and England in regard to cross-border insolvency.
  • All forms of security including floating charges; standard securities; assignations in security in a stressed/distressed scenario (with particular emphasis on the effect on and options relative to same post the onset of insolvency).
  • Personal insolvency – including sequestration and relevant trust deeds.
  • Relevant legislation including Westminster legislation, Scottish parliament legislation and regulations.
  • Restructuring using a corporate insolvency process.

In considering any application the following will also be of relevance:

Role of the applicant and the work outlined – whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of the team.

The complexity of the work – whether the example cited involved work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

It should be noted that to the extent that experience is limited to one of either only corporate or personal insolvency the Panel will require extensive experience to be demonstrated evidencing a particularly high level of expertise.

The Panel will award credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters and will also award credit where the applicant is effectively managing a volume of work.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where applicable.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of the law in relation to Insolvency Law matters, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period.

Knowledge sharing

The law and regulation of Insolvency is a rapidly changing area and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation working on/with any relevant industry committee, and writing materials on Insolvency Law topics.

Thinking outside the box

The scope and application of the law and regulations relevant to Insolvency Law (including issues relative to the taking of security) is open to interpretation in certain areas. Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law, or relevant regulatory guidance, does not present a definitive answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have constructed strategies in insolvency assignments to advantage recoveries to creditors and/or provides clarity in areas of practice where there may be uncertainty.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants for Intellectual Property accreditation should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area. The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the Intellectual Property field throughout the five year period under review. Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise in some or all of the following:-

  • The relevant UK and EU laws
  • Advisory work in relation to complex Intellectual Property matters
  • Experience of unusual or complex transactions involving Intellectual Property.
  • Experience of contentious Intellectual Property work focusing on any unusual or ground breaking aspects of cases.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant and the work outlined- whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work- whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straight forward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward day-to-day matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application. Examples of a variety of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where possible.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of Intellectual Property law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice, or in-house, or in the public sector should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of Intellectual Property law by highlighting, in particular, complex or novel cases or transactions they have been involved with.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received and courses attended or presented during the five year period.

Knowledge Sharing

Intellectual Property law is an ever expanding and changing area of law and credit will be given by the panel where applicants have been involved in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers. Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, speaking at conferences or workshops, teaching, responding to government or other consultation papers, and writing materials on intellectual property related topics whether for learned journals or commercial publications.

Thinking outside the box

Intellectual Property law can take time to catch up with developments in technology. It is often the case that lawyers have to advise on scenarios where the law does not provide a clear answer to the question posed. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to issues which have arisen with regards to Intellectual Property law, perhaps where the law is new or uncertain.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants for accreditation on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation Panel  (the Panel)

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants, who may of course be engaged in private practice or employed by a local authority, should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the field of licensing law. The application should include evidence of engagement in a broad spectrum of work and practice in licensing law throughout the five year period under review.

In particular, the examples given should demonstrate a high level of expertise in most the following:

  • Advising,preparing and presenting, or acting as a Clerk or Depute Clerk to a Licensing Board considering, applications.
  • Dealing with objections.
  • Preparing for and appearing at review applications.
  • In depth knowledge of licensing legislation, primary and secondary, as well as case law.
  • Knowledge of varying local interpretations of law and procedures.
  • Knowledge of appeal and judicial review procedures.

In addition, licensing law is a rapidly developing and changing area of law and is open to wide interpretation in many areas: case law and local practice often confuse rather than clarify the position. In practice lawyers face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to problems faced.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters they have handled where innovative solutions to problems have been found - especially where the law is new, untested or uncertain.

Knowledge and Application of Procedures

In addition, all applicants must demonstrate the breadth of their understanding and work in the field. Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided

Applicants must demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of licensing law by highlighting complex or novel cases with which they have been involved.

Applicants should also demonstrate evidence of teaching other practitioners or the trade and  writing for legal, academic or trade journals.

Consideration should also be given as to whether an applicant is regarded as a practitioner to whom a specialist or non-specialist might resort for advice, or Licensing Board representation, in connection with a complex matter.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the process of accreditation and the factors which will be considered relevant by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering an application for accreditation or re-accreditation as a specialist in medical negligence and medical negligence (defender only). The panel will be looking for evidence of fitness, competence and relevant experience over the five year period.

Knowledge and application of the law

The applicant should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of medical negligence law. The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the medical negligence law field throughout the five year period under review. Examples provided in the application should demonstrate most of the following:

  • Experience of a significant number of matters from across the following categories

- matters of complexity with a number of difficult and novel issues

- matters involving significant skill, time and labour on the part of the applicant

- matters involving specialised knowledge on the part of the applicant

- matters involving unusual circumstances or where the subject matter is important to the client

- matters involving significant value

- matters where the applicant has taken particular steps with a view to avoiding a dispute, resolving a dispute, limiting the matters in dispute or limiting the scope of any hearing including mediation

  • An understanding of the tests for medical negligence including the legal criteria for liability where deviation from normal practice is alleged
  • An understanding of the issues of causation and quantification of damages in medical negligence claims
  • An understanding of the practices and procedures of the Scottish Courts in dealing with medical negligence claims including in the Court of Session
  • Participation in relevant Law Society of Scotland committees or other bodies or contribution towards consultation papers within the specialism

The applicant should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field of medical negligence. Examples of contentious and non-contentious medical negligence work should be provided where available. Where the applicant has appeared in court personally or supported counsel in contentious matters that experience should be demonstrated. Where the applicant can demonstrate a breadth of medical negligence work across a number of disciplines including, for example, medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy or osteopathy that should be provided. The applicant should be aware that there is a separate accreditation for medical negligence (defender only).

An applicant who is not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and research has contributed to the development of the specialism.

Medical negligence law is a rapidly changing area and credit will be given where an applicant has engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers, their clients and the public generally. The scope and correct application of medical negligence law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law can sometimes confuse rather than clarify the position. Solicitors in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed. An applicant should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral or unusual solutions to problems for example where the law is new, untested or uncertain.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the process of accreditation and the factors which will be considered relevant by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering an application for accreditation or re-accreditation as a specialist in medical negligence and medical negligence (defender only).  The panel will be looking for evidence of fitness, competence and relevant experience over the five year period.

Knowledge and application of the law
The applicant should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of medical negligence law. The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the medical negligence law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate most of the following:

  • Experience of a significant number of matters from across the following categories
    • matters of complexity with a number of difficult and novel issues
    • matters involving significant skill, time and labour on the part of the applicant
    • matters involving specialised knowledge on the part of the applicant
    • matters involving unusual circumstances or where the subject matter is important to the client
    • matters involving significant value
    • matters where the applicant has taken particular steps with a view to avoiding a dispute, resolving a dispute, limiting the matters in dispute or limiting the scope of any hearing including mediation
  • An understanding of the tests for medical negligence including the legal criteria for liability where deviation from normal practice is alleged
  • An understanding of the issues of causation and quantification of damages in medical negligence claims
  • An understanding of the practices and procedures of the Scottish Courts in dealing with medical negligence claims including in the Court of Session
  • Participation in relevant Law Society of Scotland committees or other bodies or contribution towards consultation papers within the specialism

The applicant should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field of medical negligence. Examples of contentious and non-contentious medical negligence work should be provided where available.  Where the applicant has appeared in court personally or supported counsel in contentious matters that experience should be demonstrated.  Where the applicant can demonstrate a breadth of medical negligence work across a number of disciplines including, for example, medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy or osteopathy that should be provided. The applicant should be aware that there is a separate accreditation for medical negligence (defender only).

An applicant who is not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and research has contributed to the development of the specialism.

Medical negligence law is a rapidly changing area and credit will be given where an applicant has engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers, their clients and the public generally.  The scope and correct application of medical negligence law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law can sometimes confuse rather than clarify the position.  Solicitors in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  An applicant should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral or unusual solutions to problems for example where the law is new, untested or uncertain.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of mental health law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the mental health law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate that the applicant has a high level understanding and expertise in

  1. dealing with all aspects of  the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 for example (but not limited to) provisions regarding:-
  • Short Term Detention Certificates
  • Compulsory Treatment Orders and
  • Compulsion and Restriction Orders
  • Extensions and appeals
  1. In addition the applicant must show how he or she applies the principles of the Act in their work
  2. The applicant also needs to demonstrate an expertise in the procedural rules and regulations that support the Act.
  3. In addition to the above the applicant may also describe other areas of law where their knowledge and understanding of mental health legislation or the impact of mental disorder have been important.
  4. Human Rights and relevant EU law.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.
  • How the applicant has shown their work is patient centred

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of mental health law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of mental health law through the mental health tribunal system by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with or advised on.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of mental health law, and who do not have extensive mental health tribunal experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of mental health law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on mental health law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The Mental Health Care and Treatment Scotland Act 2003 is still open to interpretation in many areas, case law is still developing.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the interests of the patient need to be put first.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of pensions law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the pensions law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • UK and relevant EU pensions law;
  • FCA rules and policies:
  • pension fund advice;
  • advising employers/employees on pensions; and
  • pension fund closures, transfers cessations and failures

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of employment law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of pensions law by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of pensions law, and who do not have extensive pension dispute experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of pensions law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

pensions law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on pensions law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of pensions law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of personal injury law in Scotland.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the personal injury field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level and should include:

  • Experience of a significant number of matters from across the following categories
    • matters of complexity with a number of difficult and novel issues
    • matters involving significant skill, time and labour on the part of the applicant
    • matters involving specialised knowledge on the part of the applicant
    • matters involving unusual circumstances or where the subject matter is important to the client
    • matters involving significant value
    • matters where the applicant has taken particular steps with a view to avoiding a dispute, resolving a dispute, limiting the matters in dispute or limiting the scope of any hearing including mediation
  • An understanding of the tests for personal injury including the legal criteria for liability where deviation from normal practice is alleged
  • An understanding of the issues of causation and quantification of damages in personal injury claims
  • An understanding of the practices and procedures of the Scottish Courts in dealing with personal injury claims including Commercial Actions in the Court of Session
  • Participation in relevant Law Society of Scotland committees or other bodies or contribution towards consultation papers within the specialism.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • the role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of litigated work (whether in the Sheriff Court or in the Court of Session) and non-litigated work should be provided where available.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of personal injury law for the relevant five year period, whether for pursuer or defender, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of personal injury law by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Personal injury law is constantly developing and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on personal injury law topics.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of planning law.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the planning law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise at a high level of most of the following:-

  • planning and related environmental and other legislation – this could include natural and cultural heritage issues, roads, CPO and EIA;
  • procedures relating to planning applications/conditions;
  • the negotiation and drafting of Section 75 planning obligations;
  • advice on conduct of planning reviews/appeals at both a local authority and DPEA level;
  • the procedures relating to the formulation and application of development plan policy; and
  • judicial review and statutory challenges to decision making.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of planning law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice, in-house or a public authority, should be able to demonstrate a high level of working knowledge of the practical application of planning law within the planning system by highlighting complex or novel cases they have been involved with.

Applicants in practice who focus on more non-contentious aspects of planning law, and who do not have extensive appeal or Court experience in the relevant period, should provide the panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and high level of understanding of the practical application of planning law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Planning law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on planning law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of planning law is open to interpretation and also involves the application of policy.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law or policy does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where the law or the particular planning issue is new, untested or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation panel when considering their applications.

Knowledge and application of the relevant Tax Law

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience, usually of both practising and advising in the area of Private Client Tax la.  The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of practice and advice, or, as an alternative, research and education, in this field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate knowledge and expertise at a high level of the following as applied to individuals, trusts, and small family businesses, whether UK resident or non-resident, and whether UK domiciled or non-domiciled:

  • Income Tax;
  • Capital Gains Tax;
  • Inheritance Tax;
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land & Buildings Transactions Tax;
  • Taxation powers devolved to Scotland;
  • Enforcement and the implications of:
    • Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes;
    • The General Anti-Abuse or Avoidance Rules of UK and Scotland;
  • The practicalities of dealing with HMRC
  • Compliance requirements of HM Revenue & Customs;
  • European Union and other international compliance obligations;

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider:

  • The role of the applicant in the work outlined - whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team; and
  • The difficulty of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward or was complex, possibly requiring the balancing of competing objectives.

The panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex matters.

Knowledge sharing

Taxation is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultations, and writing materials on Private Client Tax law topics.  

Original Thinking

Applicants should demonstrate originality in their approach to solving tax challenges.  They should demonstrate that they are alert to:

  • issues which may arise in future, whether changes in law or social changes which may have an impact on the taxation strategies of the families whom they advise;
  • the tax implications of other specialist areas of law, such as pension law, in particular when reform is proposed.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the process of accreditation and the factors which will be considered relevant by the accreditation panel (the panel) when considering an application for accreditation or re-accreditation as a specialist in professional negligence.  The panel will be looking for evidence of fitness, competence and relevant experience over the five year period.

Knowledge and application of the law and procedures

The applicant should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of professional negligence law. The application should include evidence that the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the professional negligence law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate most of the following:

  • Experience of a significant number of matters from across the following categories
    • matters of complexity with a number of difficult and novel issues
    • matters involving significant skill, time and labour on the part of the applicant
    • matters involving specialised knowledge on the part of the applicant
    • matters involving unusual circumstances or where the subject matter is important to the client
    • matters involving significant value
    • matters where the applicant has taken particular steps with a view to avoiding a dispute, resolving a dispute, limiting the matters in dispute or limiting the scope of any hearing including mediation
  • An understanding of the tests for professional negligence including the legal criteria for liability where deviation from normal practice is alleged
  • An understanding of the issues of causation and quantification of damages in professional negligence claims
  • An understanding of the practices and procedures of the Scottish Courts in dealing with professional negligence claims including Commercial Actions in the Court of Session
  • Participation in relevant Law Society of Scotland committees or other bodies or contribution towards consultation papers within the specialism.

The applicant should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field of professional negligence. Examples of contentious and non-contentious professional negligence work should be provided where available.  Where the applicant has appeared in court personally or supported counsel in contentious matters, that experience should be demonstrated.  The applicant should identify whether they or their firm appears on the Law Society of Scotland’s pursuer professional negligence panel or on the panel of an insurer providing professional indemnity cover.  Where the applicant can demonstrate a breadth of professional negligence work across a number of professions including, for example, the legal profession, the medical profession, the nursing profession, the dental profession, the accountancy profession, the engineering profession, the architecture profession or the surveying profession that should be provided. The applicant should be aware that there is a separate accreditation for medical negligence but experience in medical negligence matters ought to be demonstrated where that supports an application in respect of professional negligence generally.

An applicant who is not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and research has contributed to the development of the specialism.

Professional negligence law is a rapidly changing area and credit will be given where an applicant has engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers, their clients and the public generally.  The scope and correct application of professional negligence law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law can sometimes confuse rather than clarify the position.  Solicitors in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  An applicant should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral or unusual solutions to problems for example where the law is new, untested or uncertain.

The following is intended to provide a short guide for applicants on the types of evidence that will be considered by the accreditation Panel (the Panel) when considering their application.

Knowledge and practical application of the law

Applicants should demonstrate an in-depth and high degree of knowledge, insight  and experience in the area of public procurement law and practice.  The application should include evidence the applicant has been engaged in a broad spectrum of work or practice in the public procurement law field throughout the five year period under review.  Examples provided in the application should demonstrate expertise and understanding covering all or most of the following:-

  • advising on the application of EU procurement law and choice of procedures
  • advising on the impact of EU procurement law on the business or activities of authorities or economic operators
  • advising on the preparation of procurement documents and notices to a range of procurement procedures
  • advising on the conduct of procurement procedures and the rights and obligations of participants
  • advising on challenges to procurement procedures and the remedies available
  • advising in legal proceedings relating to procurement procedures, and

Any such advice or representation may be in relation to economic operators or contracting authorities. When considering the strength of the application, the Panel will consider the:-

  • role of the applicant in the work outlined and their level of responsibility and accountability; and
  • the complexity of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward, or involved novel or untested points.

The Panel will award more credit where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex or novel matters, rather than crediting simple volume of work and/or dealing with fairly straightforward matters.

Knowledge and application of procedures

All applicants should demonstrate the breadth of their work in the field in their application.  Examples of contentious and non-contentious work should be provided where available.

Applicants who have been engaged in the practice of public procurement law for the relevant five year period, whether in private practice or in-house, should be able to demonstrate an in- depth  working knowledge of the practical application of public procurement law to procurement procedures by highlighting complex or novel procurements they have been involved with.

Applicants who in practice work primarily with either contracting authorities, or economic operators, and do not have experience of advising in relation to both sides of the public procurement process during the relevant period, should provide the Panel with an indication of whether or not they have gained such experience prior to the period under consideration.

Applicants who do not practice in the field should demonstrate a broad and deep  understanding of the practical application of public procurement law, for example, through evidence of teaching on the subject and/or writing guidance for practitioners or academic material.

Applicants should highlight any relevant qualifications gained including membership of relevant professional bodies, training received, and courses attended during the five year period. 

Knowledge sharing

Public procurement law is a rapidly changing area of law and credit will be given where applicants have been engaged in knowledge sharing for the benefit of their peers.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultation, and writing materials on public procurement law topics.  

Thinking outside the box

The scope and correct application of public procurement law is open to interpretation in many areas and case law often confuses rather than clarifies the position.  Lawyers in practice often face scenarios where the law does not present a clear answer to the question posed.  Applicants should demonstrate their expertise by providing examples of matters handled where they have come up with lateral/unusual solutions to problems, perhaps where law is new, untested, or uncertain. 

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

Knowledge and application of the law and practice

Applicants should demonstrate a high level knowledge of and practical experience in Scots trusts law.  The practical application of trust law in modern practice is normally closely associated with the application of tax law and applicants should be able to demonstrate strong knowledge in the taxation of trusts.

The knowledge and application of the law and practice should cover:-

  • The formation of trusts, to promote protection (e.g. the protection of people or the protection of assets) or tax objectives (e.g. inheritance tax and capital gains tax); the flexibility of modern trust drafting so that trusts can adapt to changes in family circumstances and taxation.
  • The practical administration of trusts, including trust accounting and tax compliance.
  • The legal duties and powers of trustees and their application.
  • The legal entitlements of a beneficiary and the remedies available to beneficiaries where there has been a breach of trust and the legal consequences for a trustee who commits a breach of trust.
  • The taxation of trusts (including the capital tax consequences of transfers to trust, the capital and income tax position of trusts during their subsistence and the capital tax consequences of transfers from the trust to beneficiaries)
  • The winding up of trusts.
  • Property law aspects of trusts – joint property, the effect of death of trustees, whether assets are part of the trust fund or not, lapsed trusts – and the concept of the separate patrimony of the trustee and the individual.
  • The types of trust encountered in practice, from traditional family trusts (liferent and discretionary), trusts used in conjunction with financial products (e.g. life assurance trusts, pension death benefit trusts, discounted gift trusts), trusts used for specific asset protection purposes (e.g. trusts for the disabled, personal injury trusts) and the use of inter vivos and mortis causa
  • The use of trusts in commercial settings.

It is acknowledged that this is a broad array of distinct areas and it is not necessary for every applicant to show evidence of every area.  However, it is expected that there will be evidence of high level knowledge and experience of a broad spread of these distinct aspects rather than evidence centred on just a few.

Evidence of knowledge or the application of the law and practice of other jurisdictions (e.g. England and Wales or “offshore centres”) is not evidence of a specialism in Scots trust law.  However, such knowledge and experience may be evidence of cross-border aspects of Scots trust law and practice.

When considering the strength of the application, the panel will consider:-

  • The role of the applicant in the work outlined – whether the applicant was the lead or a relatively junior member of a team;
  • The difficulty of the work – whether the examples cited involve work that is relatively straightforward or was complex, possibly requiring the balancing of completing objects.
  • Credit is awarded where the applicant has demonstrated a leading role in a range of complex matters.

Knowledge sharing

While Trust Law itself cannot be described as changing rapidly, the use of trusts in practice has changed markedly over the last twenty year in line with changes in taxation and the employment of the trust concept in innovative ways or to promote the sale of certain financial products.  A specialist in trusts law should therefore be able to demonstrate some contribution to sharing his or her knowledge - credit will be given to applicants who can demonstrate that they have engaged with their peers and new entrants to the area to share their knowledge and experience with them.  Applicants should therefore provide any available evidence of presenting seminars, teaching, responding to government consultations and writing materials related to Trusts Law.

Original thinking

Applicants should demonstrate originality in their approach to solving trust and trust taxation challenges.  As many trust and trust taxation challenges are unique to the set of family circumstances, individual’s objectives and the assets involved, so too solutions often require to be bespoke.  This might involve unique and challenging drafting or devising bespoke trust and tax planning solutions to a particular set of circumstances.

Applicants who are not in practice should provide evidence of how their thinking and/or research contributes to the development of the field.

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