Litigation since 1880

We are delighted to announce our sponsorship of the upcoming Moorland Conference, hosted by Scottish Land & Estates. This event will take place at Cardney Steading, Dunkeld, on June 11, 2024, from 9:15 am to 4:15 pm.

Event Highlights

The conference will address significant updates and changes in moorland management following the passing of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill by the Scottish Parliament. The agenda includes discussions on the new legislation’s impact on businesses, facilitating debates, and allowing participants to pose questions directly to Scottish Government agencies.

Who Should Attend?

Landowners, land agents, and land managers will find this conference particularly relevant. The event promises to be an essential gathering for anyone involved in moorland management, offering talks from prominent figures such as Jim Fairlie MSP, Finlay Carson MSP,representatives from NatureScot and our Senior Partner David McKie.

Why We Sponsor

As sponsors, our firm is committed to supporting initiatives that foster understanding of the complex legislation that governs Scotland’s rural landscapes and effective moorland management.

Join Us

We invite all professionals involved in rural and moorland management to join this important discussion. To book your spot or for more information, please visit the Moorland Conference page. We look forward to seeing you there and engaging in these crucial conversations about the future of our rural landscapes.

Scottish Paralegal Association Glasgow Conference 2024

Neil Hay , Partner at Levy & McRae was delighted to take part in the Glasgow 2024 Scottish Paralegal Association conference last week. Neil spoke to delegates about the new legislation The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021.

Neil said “It was a pleasure to take part in this busy conference on the topic of the new Hate Crime legislation. This is an area of law which has been of great interest to the public and everyone in the legal sector. Overall the conference was a tremendous success. Congratulations to the organising Committee and many thanks for the kind invite to participate.”

Levy & McRae are delighted to sponsor what promises to be a fascinating talk in Grand Hall of The Merchants House of Glasgow this coming Friday 19th April.

 

The speaker is the incomparable Donald Findlay KC, who is going to speak about the notorious case of Oscar Slater (1872 – 1948), the victim of a notorious miscarriage of justice in Scotland. Wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Slater was freed after almost two decades of hard labour. His release came about through the efforts of several journalists, lawyers and writers, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 

Senior partner, David McKie, said:

 

‘Although the legal landscape has changed and the death penalty thankfully no longer applies, we still see miscarriages of justice, and this case, although a century old, will highlight the importance of lawyers, campaigners and journalists in the fight to ensure justice is secured, something Levy & McRae have been involved in for many decades and which continues to run through our DNA. The talk is likely to be poignant for many connected our firm, having only recently lost our former senior partner, Len Murray, who represented Anthony Miller in the last ever capital murder trial in Scotland in 1960.

 

We are very proud to support this event in a wonderful venue and look forward to hearing from such a unique advocate and flamboyant speaker.’

At Levy & McRae we have a long history of being appointed by organisations requiring strategic legal advice and representation in Scotland. In the latest of such appointments, we are pleased to advise that we have been engaged by the Free Speech Union, a UK wide organisation, to act in cases involving its members arising from implementation of the recently introduced Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021.

 

This is a new statute which has attracted much scrutiny and public debate. It is anticipated that the legislation may lead to legal challenges in the courts, and it is for this reason that Levy & McRae has been secured to provide expert legal advice. Commenting on the appointment Neil Hay, Partner and Solicitor- Advocate commented: “ We are pleased to be appointed as solicitors to Free Speech Union, as we are with all appointments by organisations. Our reputation has been built on robustly examining legislation, taking legal challenges where appropriate, and providing a powerful defence for our clients. This appointment places us at the forefront of scrutinising this new and important area of Scottish criminal law.”

We are pleased to announce that “90 Days”, a play proudly sponsored by our firm which premiers this weekend at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, was recently highlighted in an episode of the popular “Happiness is an Egg Shaped” podcast featuring first scottish women’s rugby captain Sandra Colomartino. Talking  about the play she conceived, this discussion explored the history of women’s rugby in Scotland, focusing on the pivotal 1994 World Cup and the evolution of the sport to its current state, alongside the narrative of “90 Days.”

The podcast provided insightful commentary on the challenges and triumphs within women’s rugby, emphasising the cultural and social impact of the sport’s development. “90 Days” was commended for its portrayal of this journey, underscoring the play’s significance in celebrating women’s rugby.

Our firm received a mention in the podcast, recognizing our support for the arts and our commitment to initiatives that highlight the achievements in women’s sports. This acknowledgment reflects our ongoing dedication to fostering community engagement and promoting stories of empowerment and progress.

We encourage our network to listen to this episode to gain a deeper understanding of the historical and contemporary landscape of women’s rugby, and the role “90 Days” plays in this narrative. You can listen here: Happiness is Egg Shaped podcast…episode with Sandra Colamartino

Tickets are still available for some shows. We wish the cast and crew every success with the production! Details here: Traverse Theatre 90 Days .

Company directors in Scotland hold a significant role when it comes to ensuring health and safety in the workplace. In this blog post, we will delve into the key responsibilities and obligations that company directors have towards health and safety, as explained by Ray Gribben, Legal Director.

 

The Crucial Role of Company Directors

 

Company directors are not just figureheads within an organisation; they are the cornerstone of corporate health and safety responsibility. Their duties extend beyond the boardroom, encompassing legal obligations towards their employees and the broader community impacted by their operations.

 

Establishing a Culture of Health and Safety

 

One of the primary responsibilities of company directors is to establish and promote a robust health and safety culture within their organisation. By setting clear goals and expectations, directors pave the way for a safer working environment and foster a culture where health and safety are prioritised by everyone.

 

Legal Obligations Towards Employees and Others

 

Legally, company directors are tasked with ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of their employees while they are at work. However, their responsibilities go further, encompassing the well-being of individuals who may be affected by their business activities. This broader perspective emphasises the importance of proactive risk management and compliance with health and safety regulations.

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, company directors in Scotland play a critical role in championing health and safety within their organisations. By fulfilling their responsibilities and obligations diligently, directors not only protect their employees and stakeholders but also contribute to a safer and more sustainable working environment for all.

To find out more about Ray click here.

In 2016 Stephen Giusti and Leo Martin trading as Giusti Martin, Solicitors joined Levy and McRae, Solicitors.

 

Stephen Giusti and Leo Martin were previously partners of Sinclair McCormick & Giusti Martin (formerly MacDonald McCormick & Giusti Martin) and HBM Sayers (also HBM Sayers Giusti Martin)

 

Levy and McRae hold documents created by the firms of MacDonald McCormick & Giusti Martin, Sinclair McCormick & Giusti Martin and Giusti Martin for their clients, such as wills, powers of attorney and title deeds. They also hold such documents created by Stephen Giusti and Leo Martin for their clients when they were partners in HBM Sayers.  Should you require access to these or need to update them in any way please contact Levy & McRae who can assist you in respect of these documents and other matters.

 

If you were a client of Giusti Martin please contact Levy and McRae on 0141 307 2311 or email them at info@lemac.co.uk with details of your enquiry.

 

At Levy and McRae we pride ourselves on always being at the forefront of new legal developments, alongside playing a prominent role in the Scottish legal community.

Our Criminal Law Partner Neil Hay was delighted to be Chair at the CLT Scotland Criminal Law Conference held last week. Scotland`s premier criminal law conference featured a day of expert speakers and updates on case law and legislation. Neil also presented a talk on “Using prior statements in Trials” and fellow Partner Callum Anderson of Levy & McRae also delivered a talk on “Media Law for Criminal Court Practitioners”.

Levy & McRae was also represented at the conference by Hannah Fairbrother Hannah Baxter and Mark Maguire.

L&M Medilaw’s Elizabeth Rose and Craig Christie assess the UK Supreme Court’s decision in McCulloch v Forth Valley Health Board and the impact of the decision on one’s consent to medical treatment.

The UK Supreme Court has finally answered the question on everyone’s lips since the landmark decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board: what legal test should be applied to the assessment as to whether an alternative treatment is reasonable and requires to be discussed with a patient?

The answer, “the professional practice test” under Hunter / Bolam.

The case was an appeal from the Inner House concerning the death of Mr Neil McCulloch who unfortunately suffered a cardiac arrest caused by cardiac tamponade. Between March and April 2012, Mr McCulloch was admitted to Forth Valley Royal Hospital numerous times with chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. After investigations of his symptoms, including three echocardiograms, the treating consultant, Dr Labinjoh, during a visit on the Acute Admissions Unit, noted his condition was improving and that he had no chest pain. She considered there was no clear diagnosis for pericarditis and therefore decided against prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (“NSAIDs”). Mr McCulloch was later discharged and died a day later.

Mr McCulloch’s widow and family brought a claim for damages stating that, amongst other things, Dr Labinjoh had breached her duty of care under Montgomery to advise Mr McCulloch that NSAIDs were an alternative treatment. Had he been advised of this, he would have taken an NSAID and survived.

The Health Board argued that the applicable test was Hunter / Bolam and while some doctors would have advised of and prescribed NSAID in the circumstances, there was a reasonable body of medical opinion that supported Dr Labinjoh’s decision.

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court considered only two decisions in their assessment of the case:  Montgomery and Duce v Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust [2018] PIQR P18.

In Montgomery, the Supreme Court made a “fundamental distinction” between a doctor’s role in 1) assessing potential investigatory or treatment options; and 2) their role in discussing with the patient any recommended treatment and possible alternatives, and the risks of injury involved. These were two separate duties of care where Hunter / Bolam applied to (1); and the test applicable to (2) was that stated in para. 87:

“The doctor is … under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments”.

The Court then noted the decision in Duce which confirmed this distinction. Here, the Court of Appeal confirmed that what risks are associated with a certain treatment is a matter for medical professionals; and whether the patient should be told about such risks is a matter for the court.

The Justices held that the applicable legal test to determine what is a “reasonable alternative treatment” was the “professional practice test”. They outlined six reasons:

For these reasons, the family’s appeal was dismissed.

Comment

The duty to disclose has now gone from a patient-centric haven to having medical paternalism burst back on to the scene. Montgomery was designed to put decisions about medical treatment firmly back in the patient’s hands as a reflection of not only societal changes in the provision of medicine and access to information online, but also the fact that patients are regarded as, “persons holding rights, rather than passive recipients of the care of the medical profession”. It seems the Supreme Court now considers that patients still need to be partly passive…