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Cohabitation rights seminar

Date: 14th June 2019

Time: 09:00 - 12:15

Location:
Law Society of Scotland
Atria One
144 Morrison Street
Edinburgh
EH3 8EX

CPD Hours: 2hours 30minutes

During this seminar, our expert family lawyers will discuss the rights of cohabitants in Scots law and the prospective areas of reform, as well as offering insight into key cases and providing practical guidance.

2.5 hours verifiable CPD

In the last few years, the number of cohabiting couples has increased significantly across the UK, quickly becoming the fastest growing family type in the country. The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 gives cohabitants certain rights in the event of separation or death. However, these rights are much more limited than those of married couples or civil partners, and the courts have wide discretion to quantify claims. As a result, this ever-changing landscape often leaves clients and their solicitors in a ‘grey’ area touching on issues involving property and finances, joint assets, children maintenance and parental responsibility.

During this seminar, our expert family lawyers will discuss the rights of cohabitants in Scots law and the prospective areas of reform, provide tips and guidance on how to best issue a claim and draft cohabitation agreements, and offer insight into recent key cases to reflect on how the thorny issue of ‘quantification’ has been assessed and developed in the courts.

Are you a solicitor specialising in this area of law? We offer specialist accreditation in a number of areas,  including Family Law and Child Law. Find out if you qualify see Specialist Accreditation.

By attending this seminar, you will:

  • increase your understanding of the legal and practical implications of cohabitants’ rights in Scots law and the possible areas of reform;
  • learn about the criteria used in recent decisions to assess and quantify claims;
  • get tips on how to best draft claims;
  • identify the key aspects to keep in mind when advising your clients on cohabitation agreements.
  • John Kerrigan, Consultant, Blackadders
  • Karen Gibbons, Partner, Harper Macleod
  • Lesley Gordon, Partner, BTO Solicitors
  • Anne Dick, Inkdance Family Mediation
  • 09:00 - 09:20

    Registration and refreshments
  • Speaker
    John Kerrigan

    John has been in legal practice for 42 years. Within this time he has been a Partner for 34 years, prior to becoming a Consultant in September 2018. John is a member of the Trusts and Succession Sub-Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, and sat on an Advisory Committee of Practitioners and Advocates. The function of that Committee was to advise the Scottish Law Commission in relation to proposed changes to the laws of succession.

    John has chaired a number of Conferences on Succession, Trusts, Adults with Incapacity etc over the past 19 years, on a number of occasions sharing a platform with the former Public Guardian, Sandra McDonald. He regularly speaks and provides Seminars to various local Faculties throughout Scotland and other Legal Training providers on, inter alia, succession and AWI topics, including a number of Internet Webinars.

    • cohabitation before and after the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006
    • Scottish jurisdiction and comparison with English cohabitation law
    • rights of cohabitants during relationship;
    • key areas for reform.

    Speaker
    John Kerrigan

    John has been in legal practice for 42 years. Within this time he has been a Partner for 34 years, prior to becoming a Consultant in September 2018. John is a member of the Trusts and Succession Sub-Committee of the Law Society of Scotland, and sat on an Advisory Committee of Practitioners and Advocates. The function of that Committee was to advise the Scottish Law Commission in relation to proposed changes to the laws of succession.

    John has chaired a number of Conferences on Succession, Trusts, Adults with Incapacity etc over the past 19 years, on a number of occasions sharing a platform with the former Public Guardian, Sandra McDonald. He regularly speaks and provides Seminars to various local Faculties throughout Scotland and other Legal Training providers on, inter alia, succession and AWI topics, including a number of Internet Webinars.

    • claim on separation and claim on death;
    • what claimants need to prove;
    • time limits;
    • how do we quantify a claim?
    • defence

    Speaker

    Karen is a highly experienced family law solicitor who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in family law and also as a family law mediator. She is trained in Collaborative Practice. Karen holds dual qualification in Scots and English law.  

     

    Karen has extensive experience over the spectrum of family law case types, including financial provision and divorce cases; cohabitation cases; pre-nuptial and pre-cohabitation agreements; child related cases, including those with an international element and child abduction related matters.

     

    Having specialised exclusively in family law since the outset of her career, she has many years of experience of assisting clients achieve the right outcome for their particular circumstances. Whilst experienced in dealing with cases both in the sheriff courts and Court of Session, in most cases, she is able to help clients find a positive way forward without the need for court proceedings.

     

    Karen is a member of Consensus, IACP (the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals), CALM Scotland and the Family Law Association of Scotland (FLA). For many years, she also assisted with family law clinics within the Edinburgh community on a voluntary basis both with Citizens Advice Bureau and Gingerbread.

     

    For many years, Karen had a very close involvement with the running of Scotland's FLA.  Karen was elected twice on to the FLA's Committee, from 2008 to 2016, and held high profile office bearing roles: Vice Chair (2012 to 2014) and Chair (2014 to 2016).  Amongst the objectives of the FLA is the promotion and monitoring of family law reform as well as the provision of education and training in family law and in skills necessary for good practice. Karen regularly organised and chaired training events for family law practitioners throughout Scotland, was in regular communication with the Scottish Government primarily in relation to family law reform, and by virtue of her office bearing roles, Karen was also invited to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee in connection with the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill.

     

    Chambers UK comment that Karen "offers advice on financial provision, cohabitation claims and child-related matters" and she is also highlighted as an accredited mediator and family law specialist.

  • 10:25 - 10:40

    Questions and discussion
  • 10:40 - 10:55

    Refreshments and networking
    • How have courts recently quantified claims?
    • What factors have been taken into consideration?

    Speaker

    Lesley is ranked in band 1 by Chambers UK legal directory and is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in family law.

     

    She has specialised in this area for twenty years and is considered one of the foremost experts in Scotland. Rated highly by peers and clients alike, one commentator described her as "an absolutely brilliant, knowledgeable person" and another that “She has financial knowledge and gravitas. I think she is faultless” (Chambers UK). Lesley has a wide breadth of experience in all aspects of family law and has both a contentious and non-contentious practice.

     

    Lesley is "extremely effective in dealing with clients who struggle to understand the financial side of things. She is very sensitive to clients' needs" and "she can explain things simply and effectively while also managing their expectation." (Chambers UK)

     

    Lesley deals principally with the financial issues arising from the formation or breakdown of relationships, including those involving an international dimension. She has particular experience in cases involving the valuation of companies and the interface between partnership law and family law.

     

    Lesley sits on the national committee of the Scottish Collaborative Practice Group “Consensus” and is a family law arbitrator with the Family Law Arbitration Group Scotland.

    • tips for drafting the agreement: aspects to keep in mind and the pitfalls to avoid
    • overview of common provisions
    • what happens to the agreement if cohabitants move to marriage/civil partnership.

    Speaker
    Anne Dick

    Anne was a family law specialist and accredited family mediator until retiring from legal practice in 2017. She now works freelance as a family mediator, trainer, consultant and writer under the name “Inkdance Family Mediation” which allows her to continue to indulge her enthusiasm for dispute resolution and black letter family law.  Anne is currently working on an update for the annotations to the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 for W. Green, which might help temper that enthusiasm!

     

    Anne is part of the training team for the Portfolio which provides training for Collaborative Practice and Mediation. She is a consultant for Brewin Dolphin, helping to build as much shared understanding as possible when professionals are advising about financial provision.

  • 11;55 - 12:10

    Questions and discussion
  •  

Prices

prices exclude VAT

Member:
£108.34
 
New member:
£97.92
 
Accredited Paralegal:
£97.92
 
Trainee:
£97.92
 
Unemployed member:
£87.50
 
Non-member:
£118.75
 

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