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New book, “A Practical Guide to Legal Rights in Scotland” authored by Associate, Sarah-Jane Macdonald, has been published

Published: 01 February 2022
Time to read: 3 mins

Legal rights is something of a minefield and there are a number of common pitfalls practitioners should be aware of. To further complicate matters, there are many quirky aspects that arise in practice that are not widely known.

Despite these challenges, there isn’t a source currently available to practitioners in the form of a checklist of the common issues to be wary of. Instead, the law relies on practitioners having the knowledge and expertise to identify issues and points of law, to then research how that applies in their circumstances. More often than not, legal rights issues are overlooked because of that old adage “you don’t know, what you don’t know” and it isn’t until something goes wrong that an issue comes to light.

Given the contentious climate we now find ourselves in, it has never been more important to have a single, handy resource available that aims to set out the key issues clearly. My recently published “Practical Guide to Legal Rights” book will, I hope, be a welcome guide for practitioners. It is what it says on the tin, a “practical guide”, which covers the key principles, common issues, hidden traps and tax implications to look out for.

The book looks at legal rights from a number of perspectives, whether you are undertaking lifetime planning for a client keen to avoid a claim, acting for a claimant seeking to maximise their entitlement, or acting for executors who need to balance the needs of such claimants with the residuary beneficiaries.

Lord Hope who provided the book’s foreword commented:

“This excellent little book provides a guide through these various problems which every practitioner in this field will welcome. It is, as its title indicates, a practical guide. … It uses simple language and a clear, concise and logical layout. It goes immediately to each of the issues which it seeks to address. Yet it does not overreach itself. It recognises that easy solutions are not always available… the guidance that is offered here will be of very real assistance, as [practitioners] work through to a sound solution to each problem and seek to avoid any pitfalls that they may encounter along the way.”

The main driver for this book was to create a practical guide for practitioners to raise awareness of the many pitfalls and offer guidance on navigating this often complex area of the law.

Sarah-Jane Macdonald is an associate in Private Client at Gillespie Macandrew LLP, and is the author A Practical Guide to Legal Rights in Scotland, Law Brief Publishing (2021) published this week.

This article featured in the Scottish Legal News on 1 February 2022.

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