Dallas McMillan's Glasgow Lawyers' Blog

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Rise in New Build Home Completions

The latest Quarterly Housing Statistics from Scotland’s Chief Statistician have revealed that 16,309 new build homes were completed in the 12 months to September 2016. This is an increase of 1% on the 16,152 homes completed in the previous year.

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Delegation of Company Directors' Power

Company directors are often required to execute documents or undertake acts in connection with a transaction or other events at short notice or at times when they are unavailable. It is therefore common for the board to delegate powers to act and signing authorities. There are also circumstances in which directors may wish to appoint an attorney to execute documents on their behalf. Whether the board or a director can validly delegate a certain act will depend on the delegation provisions in the company’s articles of association, and on the type of role that the board or director is attempting to delegate. The type of acts to be considered can be divided into the following categories: • Delegation by the board of directors.• Delegation of a director’s responsibility as a director.• Delegation of a director’s authority to bind the company.• Delegation of acts to be undertaken in a director’s personal capacity. Delegation by the board - A company’s board of directors has collective responsibility for managing the company, and the starting point is that decisions concerning the running of the company should be taken by board resolution. However, a board may delegate aspects of its functions to a committee, or to an individual executive director, or to others if and to the extent that the company’s articles expressly authorise that delegation. The committee, director or other individual to whom the directors’ powers are delegated may also sub-delegate those powers to others if the articles permit them to do so. It is therefore important to review a company’s articles whenever a board, committee or director intends to delegate or sub-delegate any of the board’s powers, to ensure that any authority under the articles is broad enough to cover the delegation in question. Any board resolution delegating authority to a committee or individual when that delegation is not permitted by the company’s articles may be held to be invalid. Common delegation provisions - In practice, most companies adopt articles that provide the board with wide powers of delegation, including by power of attorney For example, Article 5 of the model articles set out in The Companies (Model Articles) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/3229) (Article 5) (model articles) for both private and public companies authorises the board of directors to delegate any of the powers conferred on it by the articles “to such person or committee; by such means (including by power of attorney); to such an extent; in relation to such matters or territories; and on such terms and conditions, as they think fit”. Any delegation under Article 5 may authorise further delegation of the directors’ powers by any person to whom they are delegated.Limits on power of delegation - Certain acts require a specific power to delegate to be included in a company’s articles of association and will not be covered by a general power to delegate such as that set out in Article 5 or regulation 72. For example, an express power should be included in a company’s articles if the board wishes to delegate its powers to determine directors’ fees and remuneration. In addition, certain acts, such as the authorisation of a director’s conflict of interest under section 175(4)(b) of the Companies Act 2006 (2006 Act), are required by statute to be taken by the full board, and may not be delegated to a committee of the board. To the extent that there is no express delegation of specific powers, the power may nevertheless be considered to be implicitly held by a director as a result of his executive office.

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Protecting EU Consumers from Dangerous Products

The European Commission has recently published its latest report on the Rapid Alert System for dangerous products.

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Succession in Scotland following the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016

The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into full effect in November 2016, has introduced a number of important changes to Succession law in Scotland. The Act marks the first major change to this area of law since the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.

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Mobile phones are a Fatal Distraction

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has described using a hand-held mobile phone while in control of a vehicle as a fatal distraction.

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Employee, worker or self-employed? The Question is back in the courts

With the growth in the “gig economy”, more and more businesses are utilising innovative contractual arrangements to maintain their workforce. Big names like Uber and Deliveroo have been at the forefront of this development. In recent months though, persons working within the gig economy have been taking legal action with a view to enforcing employment rights for themselves and for their co-workers. Pimlico Plumbers v Smith represents the latest skirmish in this battle.

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Energy Performance - Action Plan Requirement for Non-Residential Building

From 1st September 2016 and using the powers set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the Scottish Government has now started to enforce the improvement of energy efficiency in non-residential buildings.

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Compensation for Medical Negligence

The care received in hospitals in the UK is generally of a high standard, but sometimes mistakes are made, which can have tragic consequences for patients and their families.

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Shortage of Houses Continues to Pose Problems

A lack of properties coming onto the housing market is continuing to prove problematic, according to the latest Residential Market Survey by RICS.

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Decrease in number of Employment Tribunals

There has been a 70% reduction in the number of employment cases which are brought to Tribunal.  This percentage is the same for multiple claims as for individual claims.  This trend is as a result of the requirement for fees to be paid in order for an individual to have their claim heard before an Employment Tribunal. 

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Landlord Register Upgraded

Registration for landlords in the private rented sector is compulsory and, although the register of landlords has been online since 2006, the system has now been upgraded. This upgrade should make it more straightforward for landlords to apply and to renew their registration, for anyone to search the public register of landlords and for local authorities to maintain the register in their area.

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When is a resignation a resignation? Did Mark Warburton ‘resign’ from Rangers?

Once again, employment law is in the news  following the resignation of Mark Warburton from Rangers. There was initially some confusion regarding events, with Warburton and his team adamant they had not resigned from their position.

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Preparing for the loss of buy-to-let tax relief

Time is quickly running out for buy-to-let landlords currently claiming income tax relief on mortgage interest payments. From the 6th April 2017, residential landlords will face new restrictions for income tax relief for financing costs for residential properties. Until now, individuals buying property to let are able to claim relief on their mortgage interest payments at their marginal rate of tax. For example, individuals paying the basic rate of tax get 20% tax relief, whereas those within a higher tax bracket can claim up to 45%.

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Calls for Action Following Rise in Road Casualties

The most recent road casualty figures from the Department for Transport have revealed a rise in the number of people killed or seriously injured, which has prompted road safety charity Brake to call for more preventative action by Government.

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Survivorship Clauses

A survivorship clause is something which you can put in your title deeds which provides that on the death of the first proprietor, the surviving proprietor, often  a spouse or a civil partner, will automatically inherit the predeceasing proprietor’s interest in the property.

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Injury to Child in the Care of a Family Friend

Occupiers Liability - Anderson V Imrie, [2016] CSOH 171

As recent decision from the Court of Session deals with an issue at the forefront of working family life; suitable and appropriate childcare.  Many parents employ the help of nurseries or childminders but it is certainly common for friends and family step in to offer assistance. The case of Anderson v Imrie highlights the duty on a caregiver, even in an informal setting, where a foreseeable risk of injury is met with negligent supervision.   

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House Price Growth Steady at Start of Year

The start of 2017 has seen ‘broadly stable’ annual house price growth amounting to 4.3%, according to Nationwide’s House Price Index for January. This is only slightly below the annual growth rate of 4.5% recorded in December 2016. On a monthly basis, house prices rose by 0.2% in January, after seasonal factors were taken into account.

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Protecting Waste Industry Workers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in conjunction with the Environment Agency, has recently carried out a series of visits to waste sites, in an attempt to improve working practices on these sites and ensure that operators are complying with all relevant legislation.

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Road Safety Charity Welcomes Police Crackdown

Road safety charity Brake has welcomed a recent police campaign targeting illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel.

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Employment Status – when are you an employee or independent contractor?

Employment status is a subject that has been in the news recently following the much publicised decision in the case of Mr Yaseen Aslam and Mr James Farrar v UBER. In the UBER case, it was held that the individuals were workers and therefore were entitled to certain benefits. The Employment Judge was less than complimentary about the practices of UBER. That being said, UBER have announced that the decision is subject of appeal with a hearing likely to be fixed in the next few months.

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