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Most farmers are aware that in recent years the price of agricultural land has been far higher than one would expect if the value was directly related to the economic return which can be made from it. There have been many reasons for this of course, not least of all a shortage in the supply of land coming to the market as compared to previous years. However, other factors which have driven high values include the significant tax benefits which investing in agricultural land brings, including the potential to obtain relief on the value of the land at 100% for Inheritance Tax purposes.

The Scottish rules of succession have remained largely unchanged since the introduction of the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964. This sets out in detail the basis upon which estates should be distributed when a person dies without a Will. Critics claim the rigid rules it imposes are not fit for purpose in modern Scotland.

By Eric Gilligan, Partner and head of Stronachs’ employment team; and Catriona Sutherland, Trainee Solicitor

2016 looks set to be a big year for employers as sweeping reforms relating to trade unions, gender pay gap reporting and illegal workers are due to be implemented in the coming months. Notable cases are also set to be called before the appeal courts, addressing such issues as the scope of protection afforded to agency workers, the duty to collectively consult and the vexed question of employment status. Some of the highlights are listed below.

We are in the middle of the most extensive changes to our civil court system in over a century.

A jury has awarded the family of a deceased man sums significantly more than have been awarded previously in similar cases.

Scotland has seen a big increase in cycling, with high profile professional athletes such as Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins doing much to raise its profile.  Concerns have been raised, however, about cyclists’ safety.  This has led to calls for a change in the law to provide better protection.

The Scottish Government has today published a Bill aimed at updating the law on Fatal Accident Inquiries.

Chambers UK 2018

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