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Family Law

Family Law

Thorley Stephenson’s family law department is at the forefront of private client and legal aid representation in all aspects of family law.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

We aim to provide the best possible advice and representation for personal injury claims.

Civil Disputes

Civil Disputes

In today's climate civil disputes, whether between individuals or companies, can not only be complex but also costly, getting the best advice at a very early stage is crucial.

Road Traffic

Road Traffic

Our road traffic law solicitors have years of experience in defending clients across Scotland in relation to motoring offences...

Latest News

  • Those who persistently pirate music and movies in the UK will begin to receive emails warning them that what they are doing is illegal. The email system is part of a new initiative to educate people about the legal ways to enjoy digital content and to foster a culture of responsible use. The warning system will begin in 2015 and users may be sent up to four warnings per year is they are suspected to be infringing copyright laws. However, no action will be taken for ignoring the warnings. The warning system has been developed by internet service providers (ISP’S) and representative of the film and music industry, over the course of four years. Talks with the government have led to the creation of the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (Vcap). This will issue warnings via email or post. The UK’s largest ISPs (BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky ) have all signed up to Vcap, with many of the smaller ISPs expected to join later. The first draft of the regime was contained in the Digital Economy Act 2010 which called for ‘technical measures’ to be enacted on those who persistently used digital content illegally. This was to include having internet access suspended after the requisite number of warnings. Furthermore, those who hold the rights to digital content called for the warning letters and emails to mention penalties that could be faced for copyright infringement and also that violators be registered in a illegal file sharers database. The government has also pledged to allow £3.5m for a campaign that will educate users and promote legal ways to watch films and listen to music. Business Secretary, Vince Cable said ; "It's a difficult industry to pin down and it's also difficult to protect.But unless you protect it then it's an industry that cannot function." Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, said; "It's about persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection. Vcap is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice," Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.
  • The discovery by Scottish Police Authority (SPA) that the rate of searches carried out by Police Scotland was nearly nine times greater than the rate in the New York Police Department (NYPD) has been deemed ‘shocking’ by MSP’s. However, despite the SPA discovering this comparison prior to statistics being released, the statistic never made it into the final report, provoking concern about the SPA and Police Scotland. Some local authorities, such as Fife, witnessed a 400% year-on-year rise in frisks.Other controversies have included "consensual" searches on young children. The SPA, set up to scrutinize Police Scotland, launched a review of the stop and search policy last year and published a report on its findings in May. A draft of the report included a table comparing the scale of stop and search in the areas covered by Police Scotland, the Metropolitan Police in London and the NYPD. The table was based on the total number of searches carried out per 10,000 people between April and December last year. The NYPD figure was 110.6.However, for Police Scotland, it was 979.6. Almost nine times higher. The table also made clear that the rate of stop and search, was nearly three times higher for Police Scotland than the Metropolitan Police in London (Met). In the final report, the figures for Police Scotland's non-statutory searches were taken out, which gave the appearance that its figures were in line with the Met. The final report, omitting the NYPD statistics stated: "The rate of statutory search in Scotland per 10,000 people is broadly similar to the stop and search rate per 10,000 people in the Metropolitan Police." However, the final report did show that stop and search was higher in Scotland, compared to the Met, when non-statutory searches and frisks were included. The draft report was sent to the Scottish Government and Police Scotland for comment. The omissions have raised concerns about the SPA's performance and impartiality. The role of the SPA is to hold both Police Scotland and its chief constable to account. However, it is funded by the Government. Alison McInnes, the Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman, said: "We have learned that Police Scotland stopped and searched three times as many people as the Metropolitan Police last year, including thousands of children. Now it appears that unfavourable international comparisons and other damaging statistics have been buried. This is shocking."   Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors   For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.
  • Leading charity Railway Children along with long term partner Aviva are calling on parents to tackle awkward conversations with their children to help prevent a child running away from home. There are 100,000 runaways in the UK each year and these are often as a result of difficult issues such as death, divorce and other family changes. Talking to children about these topics could help prevent the isolation that children feel during these times and prevent them running away. Part of a campaign to encourage parents to talk to their children launched this week. Aviva Conversations invites parents to upload their most awkward conversation to raise awareness of the need for open dialogue at home and to help Railway Children raise support for those who have no one to turn to. A new survey, by Railway Children and their long-term partner Aviva reveals that more than one in four children admit to keeping problems and concerns to themselves because they are too afraid to talk to their parents. Furthermore, despite the fact that 95% majority of parents believe they are open to tackling difficult subjects, the survey, among 500 parents and 500 11-16 year olds, reveals that many parents aren’t actually broaching topics such as family changes, divorce or death with their children. Andy McCullough, Head of UK Policy & Public Affairs at Railway Children, said: “Every five minutes a child runs away from home in the UK. That's 100,000 children under 16 every year. These children run away for a variety of reasons such as problems experienced at school, relationship issues or family breakdown.Not having someone to talk to about these problems can result in feelings of desperation and helplessness for a child, which could lead them to think about running away from home. For any parent, discovering that your child has run away from home is the worst possible nightmare. But talking to your child and having open conversations, regardless of how awkward they might be, may be all it takes to prevent them from considering running away from home.” Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice on family law issues from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599
  • In excess of 2700 complaints relating to facebook or twitter were reported to Police Scotland last year, new figures show - an average of more than 7 complaints per day. There has been a massive increase in social networking crimes with only 43 complaints in 2008-2009, and the rate having doubled over the last two years.Facebook and Twitter have featured in 6358 Scots crime reports in the last five years, according to figures released under freedom of information.Twitter was mentioned in 554 complaints and Facebook in 5804. Most complaints involve obscene or threatening messages and prominent members of society and celebrities are often the victims. Police have also had to deal with complaints of racial abuse, grooming, stalking, fraud and extortion in relation to social networking sites. Both Facebook and Twitter have also been involved in cases of assault, theft, rape and even murder. 21 year old Daniel Turner was murdered last year by 25 year old Evan Dow made public on Facebook plans to kill . Daniel was stabbed 171 times at a park in Glenrothes for which Dow received a life sentence.Furthermore, teacher Kyle Young, 26, used Facebook to lure a 13-year-old female pupil into sending photos of herself. Young was given a 3 year community payback order. Police have stated they have a proven track record in dealing with online crime and are evolving to keep up with changing times.However, Labour justice spokesman and former senior detective Graeme Pearson MSP said: “We can expect a growing criminal content on the internet in the years ahead, and police will need to beef up their response.” Contact Our Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.
  • This week the multi-agency group created to take forward proposals to enhance protection of those who may be at risk of domestic abuse had its first meeting. On Monday 30 June, Police Scotland’s Chief Superintendent Helen Swann, Head of Licensing and Violence Reduction Division (LVRD), chaired a meeting with Scottish Government, the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), ASSIST advocacy services and Scottish Women’s Aid to discuss the remit of the group and the creation of a  Scottish Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme pilot. Chief Superintendent Helen Swann said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for Police Scotland and by scoping out the options for a pilot with our partners, this will allow us to ensure we use every means at our disposal to keep people safe.” The new disclosure scheme will allow relevant information about offenders committing offences relevant to domestic violence to be shared with potential victims. This will give people in such a situation a chance to make informed decisions about their safety. The decision to disclose the information will lie with a multi-agency forum which will take into account the rights and considerations of all parties involved. However, the disclosure may be triggered by the victims, family members, a member of the public who notes concern, the Police, social work or a public authority. This gives the provision a very wide remit. Kenny MacAskill, Justice Secretary said: “We take the issue of domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women very seriously indeed and are committed to tackling this abhorrent behavior, which blights the lives of individuals and communities.” Contact Thorley Stephenson’s Solicitors For specialist legal advice from our solicitors in Scotland, please telephone 0131 556 9599.