Latest news and updates on C1 and C4 forms, lobbying guidance and video conferencing

C1 and C4 Guidance

HMRC announced earlier this year that there is no longer a requirement to submit a principal C1 to HMRC for it to be stamped and returned before an application for Confirmation can be applied for.

A copy of the C1 is to be sent when submitting the IHT400 Account to HMRC. HMRC will process the IHT400 Account and send a certificate to the Solicitor acting for the estate confirming that Inheritance Tax has been paid. This will include a unique reference that will replace the HMRC stamp.

Once the Certificate has been received by the Solicitor this should be submitted to the Sheriff Court with the principal C1 for Confirmation to be granted.

Since this change, HMRC have reported that in 76% of Scottish Cases a principal C1, not a copy, has been submitted to them. In most instances they have been able to retrieve the principal and return this to the submitting agent however from 1 November 2017, HMRC processes are changing and this will no longer be possible.

From 1 November 2017, a copy C1 must be submitted. Due to these new processes, if a principal C1 is submitted HMRC will be unable to return the principal.

This new process will also apply if a Corrective Account C4 is required.

Video conferencing between solicitors and clients in prison

The Society’s Technology Law and Practice Committee has set up a working group to look at issues relating to technology in the courts – the group includes members of the access to justice, civil justice, criminal, legal aid and technology committees.

In relation to video conferencing (VC), the Scottish Prison Service has provided the working group with details on the number of rooms with VC facilities for each prison institution. These details are as follows:

Addiewell

2 x Agents Rooms with VC

Barlinnie

3 x Agents Rooms with VC

Cornton Vale

2 x Agents Rooms with VC

Dumfries

2 x Agents Rooms with VC

Edinburgh

3 x Agents Rooms with VC

Glenochil

3 x Agents Rooms with VC

Greenock

3 x Agents Rooms with VC

Grampian

4 x Agents Rooms with VC

Inverness

1 x Agents Room with VC

Kilmarnock

3 x Agents Rooms with VC

Low Moss

2 x Agents Rooms with VC

Perth

3 x Agents Rooms with VC

Polmont

3 x Agents Rooms with VC (+1 TBA)

Shotts

3 x Agents Rooms with VC


In relation to the number of bookable slots available, the Scottish Prison Service has explained:

“In general, across the prison estate the virtual agent visits are available for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon Monday to Friday. The number of slots depends on the individual agents requirements when they book. We work to a standard 30 minute slot but can increase as required. We have numerous examples of 45 & 60 minute sessions being requested. The SPS will remain flexible with this booking pattern at present.

Based on 30 minute slots over a 4 hour daily window the SPS therefore has an absolute maximum capacity of circa 300 sessions per day.”

For further information, please contact the Secretary to the Technology Committee – matthewthomson@lawscot.org.uk.

 

Lobbying activities - Obtaining a waiver of the privilege and confidentiality

The Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 will fully commence in early 2018.The Act will require solicitors who engage in “regulated lobbying” activities (as defined in the Act) to register client information on a public register

 We suggest that solicitors who are instructed in regulated lobbying activities obtain a waiver of confidentiality and privilege from their clients. This should state that the client waives their right to confidentiality and privilege in respect of all registration requirements under the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016.

 If the client does not agree to waive confidentiality for these purposes, the solicitor should explain the difficulties in lobbying on their behalf and should consider whether to accept the instruction.

 If your firm regularly undertakes regulated lobbying work (and you might carry out more of this type of work than you think), your firm should consider including appropriate wording in its letters of engagement – e.g. outlining that the firm will fully comply with the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 and will provide client details and information to the public register where required by legislation.

 Providing this information within your engagement letters should ensure that the client is in no doubt about the position and will also mean that you will be able to rely on it in the event of a complaint or claim.

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