Registers of Scotland on its sponsorship of the Scottish Legal Awards, and revised policies regarding the submission of copy certificates such as death certificates

Scottish Legal Awards

RoS are proud to have been sponsors at this year's Scottish Legal Awards - the annual event that celebrates excellence and achievement in the Scottish Legal Profession.

We began sponsoring the Scottish Legal Awards in 2007 and this year we increased our level of sponsorship to ‘support sponsor’, becoming more involved in the judging process with the Keeper, Sheenagh Adams, joining the judging panel for the first time. Sheenagh was one of 14 judges who had the task of assessing the entries.

A total of 13 different firms and individuals received awards at the event. One of the most notable winners was Simpson and Marwick, who won the Property Team of the Year award. The judges praised the team for providing consistent and high quality client care.

Richard Loudon, Head of Property at Simpson and Marwick, collected the award from Catriona Hardman, Deputy Keeper (Legal and Corporate Services – RoS). The firm won against stiff competition from Morton Fraser and Maloco & Associates, who were also short-listed in this category.

Extract and photocopy certificates

The Keeper has recently reviewed and updated registration policies in respect of the submission of extract certificates (official copies) and photocopies with applications for registration. This article tells you about the changes.

Applications for registration in the Land Register sometimes need to be accompanied by evidence of the status of one of the parties to a transaction. The most common example is an application to update a title sheet following the operation of a special destination on the death of a party to that destination, such as where ownership of land is held equally by A and B and the survivor of them. Paragraph 6.17 of the Registration of Title Practice Book, available on the RoS website, specifies that the applicant should submit a death certificate and written confirmation that the destination has not previously been evacuated. In the past, the Keeper did not insist on the provision of an extract certificate and would accept a photocopy. This will now change to reflect best practice, and copyright and legal requirements.

Extract birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates are subject to Crown copyright. The copyright guidance, published at, specifies that the use of a photocopy of an extract as evidence of the occurrence of the event in question is not authorised. This is further supported by the Registrar General for Scotland, who advises that the photocopying of certificates for purposes other than record keeping is not authorised. Otherwise, there is the potential to use photocopies to perpetrate fraud given that photocopying bypasses the inherent security features of extract certificates. As a non-ministerial office holder, the Keeper must take account of the copyright guidance and the important reasons for that guidance being issued.

A further reason for reviewing the Keeper's policy was to ensure that the Keeper complies fully with the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. In relation to the death of an incapacitated adult to whom a guardian has been appointed, the death certificate of the adult must be recorded in the Register of Sasines to evidence the termination of the guardianship arrangement. Applicants were submitting photocopies of such certificates (possibly being confused because of the ability to submit photocopies in respect of Land Register applications). In terms of 2000 Act, only extract certificates are acceptable for this purpose.

ARTL UPDATE – as at 28 April 2010

  • 25,120 ARTL transactions have taken place.     

Live on ARTL

  • 333 solicitors’ firms are currently on the ARTL system.
  • 22 lenders are currently on the ARTL system.
  • 12 local authorities are using the system.

For up-to-date information and a full list of participating practices and companies go to:

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