Category Archives: Member Information

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Criminal Law Masterclass

Criminal Law Masterclass

A masterclass in criminal Law featuring :-

Ian Duguid QC

Double Jeopardy


Ian Duguid QC- Double Jeopardy





Donald findlay


Donald Findlay QC – Developing science and expert evidence




Alex Prentice QC – Pre trial publicity in the internet age

Frances McMenamin QC – Sexual Offences

John Keenan – Recent developments in Moorov

This event may be accredited for 5 hours cpd.

Lunch will be provided.

For info email Niall McCluskey at

Prince Philip Building, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh , Nicolson Street Edinburgh GB – View Map

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Double Jeopardy and Ian Duguid QC

Ian Duguid QC

Double Jeopardy and Ian Duguid QC

The first “Double Jeopardy” trial to ever take place in Scotland was the trial of Angus Sinclair, defended by Ian Duguid QC it was the first to be held in Scotland following the ending of the centuries-old double jeopardy rule that meant people could not be tried more than once for any offence..

A number of countries already allow exceptions to the rule that a person should not be tried twice in relation to the same offence.

Double jeopardy is a widely-held legal principal, and forms part of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

But a number of countries allow some exceptions to this general rule.

Scotland joined this group in 2011 when MSPs passed the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act – legislation which was first used in the World’s End murder case.

It was reported in the Times and the Telegraph today that Antonio Boparan, could face charges of causing death by dangerous driving following the death of a little girl he left brain damaged and paralysed in a horrific car accident nine years ago.

Patrick Sawyer in the Telegraph reported that Boparan – the heir to a £130 million food manufacturing fortune – was found guilty of dangerous driving in April 2008, but was released just six months into his 21 month sentence.

Boparan could have faced 14 years in prison had Cerys had died immediately following the crash, but instead he served just six months as a result of being found guilty of the lesser charge of dangerous driving.

More than 13,000 people signed a petition calling for tougher sentences which was delivered to Westminster by Cerys’s parents in July 2009.

Due to a massive campaign for change the law was changed meaning that  anyone convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving now faces up to five years in prison, instead of the previous maximum of two.

This is  what came to be known as ‘Cerys’s Law’.

Now Cerys’ family have called for police to bring new charges against Boparan of causing death by dangerous driving.

A spokesman for Boparan said in a statement: “Antonio remains deeply remorseful of his actions as a teenager nine years ago and their tragic consequences.

“No words can appropriately convey the extent of his sorrow and regret at hearing this terrible news today. He sends his heartfelt condolences to Cerys’ family at this extremely difficult time.”

Do the changes to the law strike a balance in rights?

Sinclair had been tried and acquitted in 2007 for the rape and murder of two women and subsequently acquitted when a judge ruled there was no case to answer. The case ws widely reported as the “World’e End Murder” due to the link with the women and their visit to a public house of that name in Edinburgh.

The prosecutor at the High Court in Edinburgh had failed to provide forensic evidence vital to the case before the jury.

In Glasgow more recently we watched news reports of the Glasgow Bin Lorry crash, Fatal Accident Inquiry and  reporters and members of the public asked if the driver would now face criminal charges in light of some information that came to light during the course of the FAI. Legal opinion of many leading lawyers in this area  would seem to concur that it is most unlikely that Harry Clark, the bin driver concerned, will face prosecution as this was not a trial, where subsequent new evidence was discovered, this was a Fatal Accident Inquiry where the Crown had already given a written and public statement to the driver that he would not be prosecuted.

It is in the public interest to ensure that dangerous criminals are brought to justice. Hence, double jeopardy legislation is limited to the most serious of cases.

There would be a never ending flow of cases if “Double Jeopardy” applied in all criminal cases as witnesses decided to pop up all over the place as old scores were settled.


Ian Duguid QC was involved in the defence of the first double jeopardy case in Scotland and has been involved in many land mark cases in the course of his esteemed career at the Scottish Bar.

An experienced and renowned Queens Counsel, Ian has gained a broad range of expertise through a varied career including several years of service with the Attorney-General’s Chambers in Hong Kong, as a standing counsel to the Ministry of Defence and as an adviser to Her Majesty’s Government on offending related matters. He has acted as both prosecution and defence counsel in the High Court and Appeal Court, in some of the country’s most notorious recent prosecutions.

Selected Cases

Regina –v- Lam Kor wan – for the prosecution in notorious Hong Kong multiple murder case known as the “Jars Murderer”

Rosepark Nursing Home Health and Safety Prosecution

Brown v-Stott – landmark Privy Council appeal

HMA-v-Strachan & Ors –defending the only accused acquitted on the charge of conspiracy in the notorious child sexual abuse and pornography trial

HMA-v-Robert Cunningham – killing of Dundee toddler Brandon Muir

HMA-v-Daanish Zahid – the murder of Glasgow teenager Kris Donald

HMA –v- DT – homicide of 15 year old schoolboy in a school gym hall by fellow pupil

HMA –v- Robert Jennings – Helensburgh triple murder of the Sharkey family in a house fire

HMA -v- Clive Carter – murder of pharmaceutical conference delegate at the SECC

HMA –v- Said Fadal – murder of Imam’s son in Edinburgh street shooting by Somali gang

HMA –v- Aldaire Warmington – Rox jewellery store robbery in Edinburgh

HMA –v- Alice Ross – defence of oldest accused to face High Court trial in Scotland (aged 93) for causing death by dangerous driving

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How To Handle Negative Reviews

How To Handle Negative Reviews

How To Handle Negative Reviews

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Fergus Muirhead Warns About Telephone Scammers

Fergus Muirhead Financial Adviser







Fergus Muirhead Warns About Telephone Scammers

Telephone scammers seem to have become more active in recent weeks. They’ll call you telling you they are from your bank and that you’ve been the victim of a fraud then they’ll ask you to confirm lots of your personal information so that they can verify your details.

The best advice is simple advise and it doesn’t get much more simple than- Don’t tell them anything.

Don’t give away any unsolicited information over the phone. Be suspicious and check everything out.

“I got an email from my bank the other week with details of a new promotion they were running, similar to the Santander 123 account. you had to register with them in order to start accumulating points and there was a link on the email to allow you to register. There was something not quite right about the tone and wording of the email and that put me on high alert.”

I happened to be passing the bank later that day and when I went in to check it all out it turns out that it was a genuine email, and a genuine offer, and I was able to register and start to take part while I was in the branch.

So it was all much ado about nothing but always better to be safe than sorry I think. Always report any suspicious activity on your account or in emails from your bank and remember that they will never phone you out of the blue and ask for passwords or pin numbers. If you do get a call that you’re hot sure about then you should hang up and call your bank immediately with details of the call.

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Can You Trust Online Reviews?

Can You Trust Online Reviews?

At we use a third party site called Trust Pilot to host our reviews and seek reviews from clients on our behalf. Other members of the RTLcooperative use different methods including simply hosting the testimonials on their main website. have provided client testimonials on their website.

More than ever before people are inundated with choice whether they are buying a washing machine or selecting a lawyer to fight an impoirtant case for them. We all tend to find that personal stories go a long way in describing if a compnay can meet our own needs so it is not at all surprising that testimonials play a major role in the purchasing decisions made by todays savvy online purchasers.

But can we trust those online reviews. With a firm like Easyanswering they will allow you to speak to clients and hear exacly what the service is like, with companies like roadtrafficlaw they offer masses of detailed case reviews and testimonials and also offer to put you in touch with those foremr clients who will allow such access. Solicitors have a real difficulty with reviews as they require to observe strict client confirdentiality codes, even when the case has finished and that is where a third party site, like Trust Pilot, really come into its own

Here are some signs to watch out for to make sure you get the facts and not the fiction when it comes to online reviews.


Check out the reviewer

Your first point of reference should be the person who left the review. They are more likely to be a legitimate person if the following checks out:

  • They have been using the site for a long time before leaving the review
  • They have left reviews for other products
  • They have friends or belong to a network

All of these point to the behaviors of a real person who can be deemed impartial. If the review has only just joined the site or only left a review for the product or service in question, then you may want to consider basing your purchase on their advice.




Verified customers

Many websites run employ services such as Revoo to help provide transparent and authentic feedback on their products. The review is actually part of the purchasing process so that you can be sure that only those that actually purchased the product have left a review.

Confirmed Purchase


Shop around

If you’re shopping for a big ticket item or booking at a pricey hotel, it is definitely worth checking reviews on many different sites and even social networks.

If something has great reviews on Yelp or Google Reviews, may have a bad rating on Trip Advisor, Amazon or another service. If the reviews differ significantly, it is certainly worth investigating a little further into them.

A quick search on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t hurt either. Check out any mentions of the product name or if a restaurant or hotel, visit their Twitter page to see how people are engaging with them. If there’s a lot of angry customers complaining, you may want to think twice before booking!

Do you have any tips to get trusted review online? Let me know on Twitter or on Facebook.

Thanks to Charlie Sanchez at AVG Software for the above hints and tips on his Blog post

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Leading Legal Excellence

lawScot 1

Leading Legal Excellence

The legal market is going through unprecedented change. The challenge of the digital era coupled with new expectations from clients requires those within the legal profession to adapt, to innovate, to modernise, to take risks and grasp new opportunities.

The Law Society of Scotland have organised a conference that will be opened by The Law Society President, Christine McLintock they say in their website :- “We are delighted to welcome Lord Hodge, Justice of the UK Supreme Court as our opening keynote speaker with the afternoon’s keynote session being delivered by Karl Chapman, CEO of successful new UK legal market entrant Riverview Law. Throughout the day you will be spoilt for choice with over 16 different topics for you to choose from within Rule of Law, Business, In House lawyers and the Economy streamed sessions.

This year’s conference will see Solicitors from Private Practice and In-house come together with colleagues from other professions at our post conference networking event, to celebrate both the winner of the annual In-house Lawyers Group Rising Star Award and the 50th anniversary of the Scottish Law Commission.

Registration fees for the conference are from £130.00 inclusive of VAT and the conference will count towards 6hours CPD.

Find out more information and register

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ISM Psychological Services Ltd

ISM Psychological Services Ltd Launch New Website

We are delighted to announce to all members and the world in general that Sharron Reilly and her team at ISM Psychological Services have launched a new website.

After some improvements and polishing of the old website she has relaunched and produced a short promo video (through her membership of the RTLcooperative)  to help promote the site.

An easy way to introduce members and their clients and contacts to this new service, now available in Scotland, is simply to share the video with them. It highlights how easy it is to access the website on all mobile devices, tablets, phones etc.

ISM Psychological Services from The RTLcooperative on Vimeo.


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Fergus Muirhead’s New TV Show

Category : Member Information

Fergus Muirhead Financial Adviser

Fergus Muirhead’s New TV Show

One of our newest members but oldest friends is Fergus Muirhead. He has been filming at the BBC all week for a new TV programme. Why not check out his latest contribution all about pensions.

Right on The Money is full of great tips on how to get the best value from your money. It’s on every morning this week at 9.15am. Check out some of the great stuff you can see and hear on the programme on its new website

We are hoping to get Fergus to allow us to use his Money Sucks 60 second video snippets on our website and for him to provide us all with a bit of free advice on our financial health and financial planning.

Fergus is an experienced writer and broadcaster. He has written on all aspects of money and consumer issues for a number of newspapers and magazines as diverse as Scotland on Sunday, The Herald, The Sunday Herald, the Sun, The News of the World and the Journal of the Probate Section of the Law Society. He wrote a regular column in Moneywise Magazine and for five years he was Consumer Champion at best selling magazine Women’s Own.

He is the author of three money advice booklets for One Parent Families as well as a number of Chapters in the Probate Section Journal Yearbook. He has also written on-line content for RBS ‘Money Sense’ website as well as their ‘Teacher’s Guide to Finance’ Booklets.

As well as his writing credits Fergus has appeared regularly on a number of radio and TV programmes. These include GMTV, BBC Breakfast, Homes Live and Location, Location, Location for TV and Macaulay & Co, The Phil Williams Show and many BBC News programmes on radio.

He can currently be seen and heard on his regular money and consumer slot on BBC Scotland’s flagship TV news programme Reporting Scotland and on the lunchtime radio show John Beattie.

Away from his desk Fergus has travelled the world playing bagpipes and he has acted as Compere at every Piping Live Festival in Glasgow as well as at the prestigious William Kennedy Festival in Armagh. He is a respected performer at Burns Suppers – his Tam o’ Shanter is well worth seeing we are told.

Apart from being on the telly and all the stuff he regularly does he can be approached at any time by our members for a review of their financial plans and some specific advice on the financial issues that affect us all. More information about Fergus Muirhead can be found on his personal website and on his moneysucks website