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13th October 2016
Expansion, expansion, expansion Stevenson and Marshall to merge with Thomas Blair and Son Solicitors and Estate Agents
We are delighted to announce that we will merge with Thomas Blair and Son Solicitors and Estate Agents with effect from 1st November 2016 trading as Stevenson & Marshall LLP, Solicitors and Estate Agents. The merger aims to continue the growth of Stevenson and Marshall LLP as a dominant town centre business providing an extensive range of legal and estate agency services. The merged Firm will have over 30 staff and will operate from our existing office. The merger continues the growth of Stevenson and Marshall LLP having already incorporated renowned Dunfermline Criminal Defence firm Beatson and Co as well as long establish Dunfermline Firm W and J Reid .
The Firm of Thomas Blair and Son is a highly regarded, respected and long established Firm of Solicitors and Estate Agents with a long family run history dating back to the original formation of the Firm, in Dunfermline, in 1840. For the past 31 years Thomas Blair and Son has been operated by husband and wife team, Malcolm and Denise Slora. Together they have dedicated their professional careers to the interests of their clients. They have built up a strong reputation with their clients and with the legal community for their reliable, trustworthy and common sense approach and are happy in recommending their much valued clients, whom they have worked with for many years, to Stevenson and Marshall LLP.
The merger will provide a wider range of legal services for clients of Thomas Blair and Son including Family Law, Child Law, Employment Law, Personal injury Law, Criminal Defence work, Guardianships as well as Commercial Property and Business Law. Stevenson and Marshall LLP will continue to provide the existing legal and property services currently offered by Thomas Blair and Son including Executries, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Conveyancing and Estate Agency, and together we will have an even stronger presence in these sectors.
Our Senior Partner, Andrew Brown said “We are always looking for opportunities to develop our business. Our priority is always to find the right Firm that will allow us to develop our existing operation to meet our plans to further expand Stevenson and Marshall LLP. Thomas Blair and Son is a like-minded Firm who, similarly to Stevenson and Marshall LLP, has been providing legal advice for well over one hundred years. The ethos of Thomas Blair and Son is the same as our own – to provide excellent legal expertise and first class client care. We understand that times change and as a Firm, despite having our foundation built on these traditional values, we are forward thinking and are always looking to improve in the interests of our clients. We embrace technology and are one of the first Firms in Scotland to offer online legal services. We understand that modern day society is demanding which is why we strive to make things as straight-forward as possible for our clients. The clients of Thomas Blair and Son will now have the benefit of an extensive range of legal services being provided to them. This merger is a new chapter in the story of both Stevenson and Marshall LLP and Thomas Blair and Son and we are all very excited about it.”
Malcolm and Denise Slora of Thomas Blair and Son said “Stevenson and Marshall LLP is a perfect match; our Firms have been providing legal services for well over one hundred years and our respective Firms are built on traditional values of legal expertise, professionalism and service of the highest standard. We are confident that the merged Firm will offer clients of Thomas Blair and Son a wide range of legal services to meet their requirements while maintaining the excellent service presently provided to them.”
The team at Stevenson & Marshall look forward to meeting with the clients of Thomas Blair and Son, and to offering their expertise and care to all clients of the newly merged practice for many years to come.
16th July 2014
As you may be aware, new rules on flexible working came into force on 30th June 2014. Before this date, only employees with 26 weeks service who were parents or carers had the right to request flexible working from their employers. Now, all employees with 26 weeks service can make this request.
Unless the employee agrees others, employers must inform employees of their decision on the flexible working request within 3 months.
However, employers should remember, employees only have the right to request flexible working – the right is not for this request to be granted. It may be reasonable for an employer to refuse a request for legitimate business reasons.
If you are an employee and need advice on making a flexible working application or if you are an employer and you would like advice on dealing with flexible working applications and revising your office polices, contact a member of our Court department.
13th May 2013
The Queen’s Speech proposed changes to immigration law which may have a substantial impact on the private rented sector in Scotland. In particular private landlords may be required to check tenants' immigration status to ensure their tenants are in the UK legally.
Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “This measure is likely to have a significant impact on private sector tenancies in Scotland. As housing is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, it will be interesting to see how this measure would be implemented in Scotland."
There are also proposals on the deportation of foreign nationals who commit serious crimes. Clancy said: "This is an issue which has attracted lots of attention recently. The proposals in the Bill will need to be scrutinised closely to ensure their compatibility with Human Rights Law."
Draft Consumer Rights Bill
Consumer law is to be consolidated in to one Act of Parliament. This should provide greater clarity for consumers and businesses while also increasing protection for people buying digital content, such as e-books and software.
Frank Johnstone, Convener of the Consumer Law Committee at the Law Society of Scotland said: "The Society welcomes the Government's draft proposals to provide clearer consumer rights for the quality of digital content, such as e-books and software. Consumers should be entitled to have the same expectations, rights and remedies as would be applicable when purchasing tangible goods."
The High Hedges (Scotland) Act
will come into force in 2014. It will allow residents to apply to their local authority for a High Hedge Notice to compel neighbouring landowners to cut back high hedges. House purchasers (and their solicitors) will have to check before concluding missives to buy a property that they have been made aware of any obligations or financial liabilities arising by virtue of a High Hedge Notice.
26th April 2013
Conveyancing – Separate Representation for Buyers and Lenders
Solicitors in Scotland have voted at their Annual General meeting in favour of changing the current practice whereby a solicitor can act for both the buyer and mortgage lender in house purchases. They propose that in future there should be compulsory separate representation for lenders and buyers in all transactions.
Law Society president Austin Lafferty says the Law Society became aware of situations where conflict of interest arose and the protection of the borrower client’s interest did not align with the interest of the mortgage lender. He says: “The severe economic downturn, increasingly complex transactions, increasing risk of mortgage fraud and the additional pressures from lenders mean that it is no longer appropriate, and indeed is arguably not in the public interest to continue.”
However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders says it will lead to higher costs and runs contrary to consumer interest. CML director general Paul Smee says: “At a time when housing and mortgage markets are still recovering, this is a protectionist measure with little regard for the interests of consumers.”
Austin Lafferty responded ‘These costs are not the borrowers’, they are costs associated with lenders satisfying themselves on their own lending risk - and it will be for the lenders to decide on whether they are prepared to pass on these costs to their customers. Market forces will also play a role and undoubtedly determine a new fee-structure so, while the borrower and lender will each pay for the work of their own solicitor, I do not foresee any astronomical price rises. It’s worth remembering that conveyancing fees in Scotland are moderate compared to elsewhere’.
If you need advice on any aspect of conveyancing including house purchase, sale and transfer, please contact any member of our conveyancing team on 01383 721141
1st March 2013
Employment Law – Increases in Compensation Payments
The Employment Tribunal limits increase each year with effect from 1 February.
• The maximum amount of a “week’s pay” is increased from £430 to £450. This is used for the purposes of calculating a basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal and also for statutory redundancy payments.
• The amount of the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal has increased from £72,300 to £74,200. The maximum basic award has also increased from £12,900 to £13,500. This means the total maximum award that can be awarded by the Employment Tribunals for successful unfair dismissal claims is £87,700.
• The minimum basic award in cases where a dismissal is deemed unfair because it is connected with health and safety, employee representative, trade union, or occupational pension trustee reasons, has increased from £5,300 to £5,500.
• Guarantee payments, which are paid during periods of lay-off or short-time working, have increased from £23.50 a day to £24.20.
Other changes include:
• Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase to £136.78 from 7 April
• Statutory sick pay increase to £86.70 from 6 April
• In April 2013 90-day collective consultation period (for redundancies of 100 or more) will be reduced to 45 days
• In April 2013 fixed-term contracts expiring on their agreed termination date will be excluded from collective redundancy consultation
• From 8th March 2013 unpaid parental leave is to increase from 13 to 18 weeks per child.
If you need advice on any aspect of employment law, please contact any member of our employment team on 01383 721141
13th February 2012
Stevenson & Marshall take over the business of W & J Reid
Following the sudden and unexpected death of Gordon Armstrong solicitor and owner of one of Dunfermline’s oldest and most established legal firms, W & J Reid, Stevenson and Marshall are to take over the running of the business of W & J Reid . Prior to Gordon Armstrong’s death, he had been in discussions with a view to transferring his business to Dunfermline’s largest legal firm Stevenson & Marshall and working with them as a consultant until his eventual retirement. The two businesses have now been merged together.
Gordon was principally a court solicitor who worked tirelessly for his clients and at all times showed the utmost integrity and dedication in pursuing his clients’ interests.
Graham Cox, a close friend and fellow solicitor, explained “Since Gordon’s death I have been touched by the comments and correspondence received from Gordon’s clients, his staff and fellow solicitors. It is obvious to me how much Gordon was held in high regard by not only by his clients but also by his fellow solicitors. Everyone has been shocked by his sudden passing and there is no doubt that he will be sadly missed”.
Stevenson & Marshall’s senior Partner Andrew Weatherley commented:
“Gordon’s sudden death has shocked us all. We were in discussions with Gordon which would have involved a planned transfer of W & J Reid’s business to Stevenson & Marshall and would ultimately have allowed Gordon to wind down and plan for his retirement after a very successful and distinguished legal career. It is very sad that he was not able to wind down in this way
“Since Gordon’s death it has been a very difficult time for the staff and clients of W & J Reid and a situation which could clearly not continue indefinitely. We have therefore taken over the running of the business with immediate effect. Any existing clients should therefore contact Stevenson & Marshall on 01383-721141. Whilst W & J Reid’s offices at Queen Anne Street will remain open for the next month to allow for an orderly transition of business all enquires should be directed to our offices at 41 East Port , Dunfermline . I would normally have been pleased to announce that Stevenson & Marshall have taken over a very successful and well established legal practice but given the circumstances of Gordon’s sudden death I am just sorry that I was denied the opportunity of working along side someone as well respected as Gordon was”
19th Jan 2012
ESPC announce Stevenson Marshall as fastest selling estate agents
Dunfermline based solicitors Stevenson Marshall have beaten over 180 other estate agents registered with the ESPC to receive the accolade of ‘Fastest Selling Agency’ in 2011
The ESPC, who collate sales data from all registered members, released figures to show that Stevenson Marshall outperformed the market significantly with properties on their books selling quicker than all other member agencies.
In a very difficult market the firm also increased over-all sales by 19.3% (compared to a market drop of 10%), their highest total since 2007 and achieved their highest ESPC ranking for sales volume ever.
In addition Stevenson Marshall showed an increase of 10.3% in the number of properties offered for sale than in the previous year while the market recorded a drop of 8.8%
The performance of the company’s property department has been exceptional given poor economic conditions as Stevenson & Marshall partner Andrew Brown explained:
“The housing market in Fife was very flat again in 2011. As the ESPC figures show, the number of properties brought to the market has fallen significantly, so it’s particularly pleasing to see that we have bucked the trend and been able to attract more clients in any year since 2007 when market conditions were much more buoyant
“There is no doubt that this is down to the hard work of our property manager Amanda Newby and her colleagues and their ability to find buyers for our clients relatively quickly. This is very important to someone selling their home when the market is depressed and our team have delivered a valuable service to our clients in this respect.”