Category Archives: Uncategorized

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HMRC: how to spot an online fraudster

The taxman and KPP Accountants tell customers how to spot an online fraudster in the run up to the online Self Assessment deadline.

It’s the time of year when HMRC sends out more than one million Self Assessment emails reminding customers of the fast approaching 31 January deadline for online returns.  It’s also the time of year that scammers see the opportunity to cash in on one of the most phished brands in the world – yes you’ve guessed it, HMRC.

Luckily HMRC has a strict yet easy to understand protocol in place that tells its customers what to expect when HMRC communicates with them via email.  And with 85% of all 2013/14 Self Assessments completed online, it’s incredibly important that HMRC does everything in its power to raise customer awareness on how to spot a fraudulent email.

What you need to look out for

The protocol states that emails sent by HMRC to customers will never contain or ask for the following information:

  • Personal or financial information of any kind; this includes the customer’s full address, full postcode, Unique Tax Reference (UTR), or any bank details
  • Financial information that refers to specific figures, tax computations or particular facts about a customer
  • Email attachments or web links
  • An offer of a repayment or refund
  • A request to send a response to a personal HMRC email address.

HMRC has also reminded its customers that they have a part to play in keeping their personal information secure by updating their web browser and anti-virus software to the latest versions, and keeping their passwords safe and changing them regularly.

Stay alert

Jonathan Lloyd White, Director of Security and Information and Departmental Security Officer (DSO), HMRC, said:

“We are committed to customers’ online security, but the methods that fraudsters use to get information are constantly changing, so people need to be alert. When using our online services, I would urge all our customers to be vigilant, and remember that HMRC will never send an email to ask for your personal information or password, or include a link or attachment. We want to help you stay safe online. Visit for more advice.”

Personal tax accounts

2016 has also seen HMRC start the year with the launch of the Personal Tax Account, which they’ll roll out during the coming months; this will give customers a safe and secure way to communicate with HMRC through messaging and web chat via their own Personal Tax Account.

If you’re worried about the legitimacy of an email you’ve received from HMRC, or would like general Self Assessment advice then please get in touch on 0141 345 2355 or email

– See more at:

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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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A Guide To Instructing An Advocate in a Road Traffic Case

Category : Uncategorized

Advocates in road traffic casesA Guide To Instructing An Advocate in a Road Traffic Case

Who is best for your case?


The first thing you need to do is to find a solicitor who has the type of experience and knowledge that you can depend upon to source the right advocate for the job. Your choice of solicitor will often determine the  choice that you will be afforded. In general the more complicated and serious the case, the more likely you are to need a senior advocate or QC.


At Roadtrafficlaw we find that there are many so called, junior counsel, who have a vast range of experience and ability and who can be depended upon to deal with serious and complex cases.


What Factors Matter When Choosing an Advocate?

(1) Experience goes a long way, so seek out an advocate who has a great deal of court experience. Remember that trials experience may have been garnered as a solicitor as some Advocates have several years experience running their own firm prior to training to become an Advocate. Just because someone is a junior Advocate does not mean that they are young and inexperienced.


(2) What do you have to lose? The more valuable “the prize” the more you should invest in your defence team as like in every other walk of life you tend to get what you pay for.


(3) Where in the country is the case likely to be heard? You may want someone local to that area as this can reduce costs but also because that sometimes means that the particular advocate knows the personalities involved in your prosecution


(4) Are you willing and able to travel to meet the Advocate at Edinburgh High court or the instructing solicitor’s offices?  Are you willing to consult online using an online conferencing tool?


(5) What level of experience does the Advocate have in your particular type of case? Does he/she have a track record that you can review? (Often Advocates produce a list of the more serious cases that they have been involved in)

How do I know how senior or experienced an advocate is?

An advocate’s seniority is based on two elements, the number of years of qualification or when he/she was “called to the bar”’ and whether he or she has taken silk (become a QC). Most people are aware of what a Queen’s Counsel (QC) is. It is a mark of status that an advocate has been recognised as being particularly experienced in their chosen practise area.

At Roadtrafficlaw we have a strong working relationship with several advocates however even we require to speak to the  advocate’s clerks to discuss the case prior to agreeing who should act in the case. We need to discuss issues such as complexity, urgency, client’s needs/ resources, likely time that the case will take.

We need to discuss the fees and whether they will be on a fixed fee, lump sum basis (Preferred by many clients) or an hourly basis and the amount of work required. Arrangements for case consultations, locus attendances, expert reports and case discussions.

Generally speaking, the earlier the advocate is involved in a case the better for all concerned.




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Guard Your Online Rep!

Guard Your Online Rep!


RTLcooperative Members Now Have FREE Rep management carried out by Alice.

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Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd and Corporate Track Days

Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd and Corporate Track Days


Driver awareness packages


Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd fronted by ex Strathclyde Police Traffic Department Officer

Keith Hale offers a highly successful and quickly cost effective individually tailored or fleet driver safety and awareness packages all of which offer greater road safety and improved vehicle fuel efficiency, lower accident rates and reduced sickness rates and of course you will be less likely to collect those horrible fixed penalty tickets!


If you then wish you can use your tips and awareness gained through Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd on town/country and motorway roads on the race track, yes they are transferrable skills!


Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd can also due to their expertise offer in-house transport management packages to avoid the potential pit falls and liabilities of the Corporate Homicide (Scotland) Act  placed upon businesses now.


How Corporate Track Days started


Once your employees have undertaken this driver awareness training, or simply as a team building exercise or bonding day why not consider a Corporate Track Day, undertaking driving on at Knockhill Racing Circuit, their rally stage, go-cart racing track, 4×4 driving or even skid control sessions.


The beginning of the offering of corporate track days began with Road Traffic Consultancy’s desire to help those working in corporate offices and sales roles to have the chance to take to the track to “legally burn some rubber” or  just to “let of steam” perhaps following a successful full corporate year or even a quarter.



In conjunction with Knockhill Race Track in Fife Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd has entered into this particular concept for those in corporate positions.


Getting into Gear with Corporate Track Days


Test your ultimate driving skills with corporate track days.


If you are used to being behind a desk and want to express your daring side, then you can look at the track days in Scotland for more adventure.  These full day/half day’s out even allow you to take your own vehicle to the track, or rely on the track vehicles to race others to the finish line and for the final prize or that elusive “time”.


Whatever your goal or dream, a fun day of on the road, or a track/rally/4×4/skid control and racing experience awaits.


Preparing for the Track


If you are ready to get on the track, then there are many options:


You have the option of bringing your own car as a part of the race experience (Trotter Independent Trader vans need not apply) this allows you to test your own vehicle in legal conditions against the clock.


If you want to do this then Road Traffic Consultancy Ltd can direct you to specialist insurance providers, who for the appropriate premium will allow insurance cover on your own vehicle on the track as your standard insurance is not current for these purposes.



Bonuses of Track Days in Scotland


Enjoy even more with the track days in Scotland that are being introduced.


To top off the races it can be arranged for you to drive with the resident Knockhill racing circuit former Scottish Rally Championship driver who will be at the wheel.


Not only will you want to race against others in your team, but will use the tips provided to you in prior driver awareness sessions and if you wanted you would be able to race against Keith Hale on the track!


This adds into even more fun with the competitive nature while allowing everyone to enjoy the best of the races and team building.


If you are interested in taking up the challenge to improve your organisations driving standards and be looked upon as a leading training provider within your corporate field in today’s very competitive  market and are looking to be “That bit different from the rest” or even simply want to race against your colleagues on the track in a safe controlled environment then take that first step and call Keith on 07776138095 or email him at and get that first meeting set up.

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5 Tools For Measuring Your Online Presence

Category : Uncategorized

RTLcooperative Monitor Your Online Image

RTLcooperative Monitor Your Online Image

5 Tools For Measuring Your Online Presence

Google Analytics
Though experts on the topic have indicated that relying on just one of the tools that are available is short-sighted, there is no doubt that if you have to choose just one, Google Analytics is the most popular (and arguably the most useful) of all of them. It has the advantage of being free, simple, and tells clearly and plainly how people are coming to your site and what they’re doing there once they arrive. There’s more information available for those who really want to dig, and it is incredibly user friendly.

Google Alert
Another useful and easy method of seeing whether your brand is being mentioned online, as well as what is being said about it, is to set up a Google Alert about yourself. You’ll receive an email every time reference is made to you, and you’ll be able to see exactly what is being said. How often you receive alerts is entirely up to you, and at the same time that you’re checking for news about yourself, you can also plug in an alert about your area of expertise or your competition so that you know what’s going on with them too.

If you are a Twitter user, TweetBeep is a tool that you’ll find worthwhile. Much like Google Alerts, it provides you with a notification when a Twitter conversation mentions you, and lets you track those conversations. The alerts update hourly, so you can stay aware of developing issues, and the real-time aspect provides you with the opportunity to respond immediately.
Bitly gives you the opportunity to see whether people are clicking on the links that you’re providing in your web outreach. Whether you’re blogging, tweeting, posting web-based articles, or emailing, it provides real time measures and tracking tools so that you can determine which of the information you’ve provided is of the most use to your followers.

This tool provides a report that lists all of the online search engines, including video, and lets you know how many times your brand is showing up on each. The program includes Google, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Flickr, Yahoo and more, making it possible to see and measure a wealth of information in a single glance.

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Fergus Muirhead- 60 Secs on Best Budget Tips

Category : Uncategorized

Fergus Muirhead- 60 Secs on Best Budget Tips

In a brand new series listen to and watch Fergus Muirhead here as he explains common money and consumer issues in less than one minute.
This series will build up over the next few months into a valuable library of money and consumer tips, all delivered in a simple and straightforward way.

I’ve written about the importance of budgets before but now, for the first time, you can watch for 60 seconds and learn the basics of an effective budget. Part 2 to follow soon.


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Online Reputation Management

Reputation Management Infographic

Reputation Management Infographic

Online Reputation Management

These days the internet is omnipresent and as a result, it radically changed the business landscape. Today an engaging and updated website is necessary for business success. Back then, websites are static and only serve as a brochure where people only scan and check for offerings but today, if consumers happen to come across an outdated website, chances are they would close that tab to go find a more engaging site to avail services.

Aside from that, customers are no longer passive. If they find that your services are dissatisfying, chances are they’d tweet about it or post negative reviews online for the entire world to see. These are very detrimental to any business small or large. No one wants to avail the products or services of a business that has bad reputation.

So what can we do about this?

Put online reputation at the center of your business!

When you say online reputation it is simply how customers see your business online. Your website, your social media accounts, your customer reviews; all of these plays a vital role in managing your reputation online.

Tips to Manage your Online Reputation

  1. Create your Website – Creating a website is a must for any business. Make sure to highlight your services and offerings clearly. It is also important put out your business’ contact info as well as directions to your establishment to make you accessible to your customers.
  2. Set up your Social Media Accounts – Many business owners don’t realize the positive impact social media can bring to their business. It is a great marketing tool and it is free! It is a good way to bring your brand in front of billions of people and a lot of them could be your next client.
  3. Update – Setting up a website is not enough as you need to create content for your customers to read while they are browsing. Try to post a blog once a week to show your readers as well as other professionals in your field that you are an expert in your industry. The blog posts that you make should be focused on helping your current or potential customers in some way.

How to deal with Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can’t be avoided when running a business. You can never please everyone and some of them are keen to get their thoughts online. The internet can be quite vicious. Someone in your personal or professional life who wants to do damage to you can post their thoughts online putting your company’s name and reputation at stake. What do you do when this happens?

  1. Respond Quickly and Politely – In case of a complaint from a customer, a prompt “We are aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible” is better than a late reply with information.
  2. Address Criticism – Never ignore negative comments hoping that it will somehow disappear because it won’t. People who read these comments will wait for your response regarding the matter and if there’s no explanation from your side then they would assume all those bad reviews were right. Address these criticisms as soon as you can.
  3. Understand them – Bad reviews are a way for you to learn more about your audience. Understand what their sentiments are and try to evaluate if their complaints are legitimate. Maybe there really is something wrong with your service. You can treat these criticisms as a way to improve your business in the future.
  4. Deal with Illegitimate Attackers – Everyone has a right to express their opinions but if what they say is false? Then defend your reputation at all costs. Don’t let them destroy something you worked so hard in building. Sometimes, if you don’t do something to defend your business, they might do it again until your online reputation is completely destroyed.

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The Need for Website SEO for Your Growing Online Business

The Need for Website SEO for Your Growing Online Business

A lot has changed in the way people do business today. With the Internet, it becomes much easier to reach out to customers at a personalised level and upgrading to a global scale is easier than ever before. In today’s digital age, a great website is mostly all that you need to interact with your audience and turn them into potential customers later on. It is also a fantastic way to “Start a lean business” ie test your ideas and see if there is strong consumer demand for the product or service you intend providing, before you go out and invest in a manufacturing process!


Create a Professional Website

Websites are very important because it is the first impression that potential customers will see receive. It establishes a  lasting impression that could make or break your relationship with them.

However, websites are not just limited to aesthetics and professional web design,  companies such as Soapbox Digital Media understand that. There is also a dire need to make sure that the site is created using clean, SEO-friendly code, so that they run fast and are easily searchable on the Internet. Otherwise, what use is a great-looking website when you have no audience to show it to?


Blogging for Your Business

There are really only so many keywords and phrases you can put in your website without making it look stuffed and forced. SEO experts such as Chris Cagienard who has been in the business for years attest to the effectiveness of blogging as a way to add fresh content into the site so that it looks, feels and reads as natural as possible – even if you are actually injecting important keywords, phrases and search terms into the article. There is a whole lot more to SEO success than just putting together some backlinks and Blog posts. There are deeply effective methods that allow Chris and the team at Soapbox to persuade Google that your site is worth ranking higher than your competitors. They are not going to explain those methods here but are happy to make themselves available for client consultations to demonstarte just wwhat they can bring to your SEO table.


“Roadtrafficlaw and Graham Walker Soliciotrs are clients of Soapbox Digital Media and I have no hesitation in recomending them to you. I have developed an online presence the hard way by creating my own sites and building SEO and then by trusting variuous folk over the years to help with the site development. Chris and his team far excel what you will get out there in the land SEO experts and Gurus”… Graham Walker Solicitor


When the Effort Is Just Too Much

It can all get to be a little too much for most of us. We need to concentrate on running our business and delivering what our present clients need not what our future clients may want.

If you are not technically inclined person, you can call for web design companies like Soapbox Digital Media which is made up of a group of Scotland’s most talented web designers and developers who aim to bring out the best of your business through their web design and SEO efforts.


Looking for SEO Scotland services is one tricky task, so make sure you check out a portfolio of past works to see how well they do their work. Chris Cagienard and his team of highly experienced digital marketers can help you with your SEO and online business woes by making sure that your site is clean, optimised and is of the highest quality. Soapbox Digital Media ensures results being delivered on time and on budget, every single time.