Latest information on Scottish Paralegal Association conferences and events; and updates for paralegals working in property

Our annual conference is on 18 April 2019 in Glasgow and if you are reading this before then, it is not too late to join us. Our sponsors are First Scottish Searching Services, Blackadders LLP, the Coal Authority, Estate Research, Lindsays, Property Searches Scotland, Registers of Scotland, Smart Promotions and Stewart Title. 

As stated in our last article, the committee are providing free CPD/networking events in Edinburgh and Glasgow throughout the year. Our next event is on 22 May in Glasgow and the committee will confirm the speaker and topic in due course.

We held our AGM on 6 April and are pleased to announce that Sandra Reid was re-elected as President, Alison Smith as Vice President, Ann Clark as treasurer, Louise Duguid as secretary and Anne McDowall as membership secretary. Paula Jones was elected as a committee member; Margaret McGhee, Jenny Livingstone and Elaine Campbell were re-elected. If you are interested in joining the committee and represent the interests of paralegals in promoting the profession in Scotland, please get in touch. 

The committee are working on improving our social media pages. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please follow and like our pages so we can keep you informed of upcoming events and diary dates. We will also be sharing blogs and articles from legal firms and our partners. If you would like to feature on our social media pages, please get in touch: we would love to hear from you.

Preparations are also underway for our conference at the Apex Hotel, Dundee, in September. Ticket sales will be announced shortly. 

Coal Authority help

For our conveyancing members, purchasing property or land on the coalfield is a topic that is sometimes misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. We often see reports that climatic conditions are giving rise to more subsidence and ground instability. With over 50% of residential properties in Scotland sitting on the coalfield, where do clients stand?

The good news is that in 1994, the Coal Authority was established to manage the effects of past coal mining with the aim to protect the public and the environment.

According to Coal Authority records, there are more than 173,500 recorded mine entries across Britain, 22,864 in Scotland. So it’s no surprise to hear that the Authority’s public safety and subsidence team deal with a combined total of around 1,200 surface hazard incidents and subsidence claims every year. 

In addition to performing their statutory duties, the Coal Authority’s commercial reports team specialise in providing expert advice and mining reports to support residential and commercial property transactions.

Why are they so confident that property and land purchases should not be restricted when purchasing on the coalfield? Put simply, because they work hard to reassure and instil confidence into the property and lending markets through their provision of industry-leading mining reports, alongside their specialist advice.

This month marks the launch of the improved Coal Authority official CON29M coal mining report. One of the many highlights is the inclusion and confirmation of the statutory protection cover provided by the Authority and professional opinion from its in-house experts, to provide peace of mind for the buyer. 

We’re delighted that the Coal Authority will be supporting our upcoming events, including the main conference in Glasgow, on 18 April.

You can catch the Authority at the conference, or for more information on its commercial reports and advisory services please visit

Revenue Scotland: new portal

Finally, Revenue Scotland is undertaking a programme of work to replace the Scottish electronic tax system (SETS). From this summer, the online portal you use to submit land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) will change. 

You will hear more from Revenue Scotland as the programme progresses. Training and instructions will be available to all SETS users through face-to-face workshops and online channels before the new system launches. Meantime, find out more at

The Author
Louise Duguid, secretary of the SPA and accredited paralegal in residential conveyancing at Blackadders, and Sandra Reid, President of the SPA and an accredited paralegal at Lindsays
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