The Austin Lafferty Solicitors & Estate Agents Blog

Austin Lafferty, solicitors and estate agents in Glasgow, East Kilbride and Hamilton, provide legal advice to the businesses and individuals of Glasgow, East Kilbride, Hamilton and beyond. Get legal advice you can trust from Austin Lafferty. Below are details of our latest posts.

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Austin Lafferty

Austin Lafferty

Austin is the founding partner of Austin Lafferty Solicitors and Estate Agents, having qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and opened his own firm in 1987. As well as managing the firm, Austin has expertise in various aspects of private legal practice, now dealing mainly with business clients in commercial property transactions, leases, general business advice and support, and company acquisition.

He is also involved in a full range of legal services for individual clients, from wills and powers of attorney to conveyancing, civil disputes and family problems, working with solicitor colleagues in the firm on cases and transactions.

Austin is also a well-known broadcaster and writer on legal and other matters, and is a member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland.

Blog entries tagged in Solicitors Hamilton

There has been much thought and angst in the press recently about the changes in family structure that have taken place in the UK over recent years. Many, such as the rise in the number of single parents or the growth in cohabitation, are seen by some as being bad for society - and for children.


Children's parties or activity days, where prospective adopters meet children awaiting adoption, could be part of the solution to the current adoption crisis, reports the Economic and Social Research Council.


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According to recent data from the Irish Central Statistics Office, the share of the population aged 15 and over who were single fell from 43.1% in 2006 to 41.7% (1,505,035 people) in 2011. The married population increased by 9.2% between 2006 and 2011, growing from 1,565,016 to 1,708,604.


A recent poll of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has found that 51% reported seeing an increase in the use of postnuptial agreements during the past three years.


The Scottish Government has published its Programme for Government 2012–13, in which it has announced its intention to introduce the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill. The Bill will allow same sex couples to marry and allow civil partnerships to be registered through a religious ceremony.


A recent publication by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has given details on the work of the Child Support Agency.

DWP is responsible for the child maintenance system in Great Britain. It funds information and support for separating parents and runs the statutory child maintenance schemes, currently operated through the CSA.

DWP assumed responsibility for the CSA from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission on the 1st  August 2012, following an announcement on 14th October 2010 that the Commission would become an executive agency of DWP as part of the Public Bodies Reform.

The main findings of the data include:


A British woman is caught up in an international custody battle for her 13-year-old son, who is living with her ex-husband's family in Qatar, reports the Telegraph.

Rebecca Jones, who now lives in Bahrain, had married a Qatari man but he died in a motor bike accident in 2005. The couple were divorced at the time.


A researcher at Kansas State University has carried out a study into whether the type of relationship a woman has with her ex-partner is a factor in how the couple shares custody of children.

Assistant professor Mindy Markham's study of 20 divorced or separated mothers sharing physical custody of their children with their former partners found there were three main patterns of co-parenting -- continuously contentious, always amicable and bad to better.

Nine mothers had continuously contentious co-parenting relationships with their ex-partners from the time of separation to the present.

Four mothers in the study had amicable co-parenting relationships, where they reported always getting along with their ex-partners from separation to the present.

Seven of the mothers in the study had bad-to-better co-parenting relationships, where co-parenting was contentious at the time of separation, but greatly improved over time.

Communication with the ex-partner also played a role in the co-parenting relationship. In the always amicable and bad-to-better relationships, mothers were able to communicate well with ex-partners. These mothers said this made discussing differences in parenting styles easier.

But for women in continuously contentious relationships, lack of communication was a big issue, Markham said. These mothers limited direct in-person or phone communication with their ex, preferring alternative methods like texting or email. They also avoided seeing their ex in person when it came time to exchange children by having them picked up at day care or school.

Markham said she was surprised by the level of animosity that accompanies shared custody, at least from some mothers' perceptions.

"Nearly half of the mothers in this study continue to have conflicted relationships with their ex-partners, and conversations with these women negate the notion that shared physical custody ensures cooperative, less conflicted relationships," she said. "This study can be important for helping professionals recognize that shared physical custody is not a panacea for postdivorce problems -- and that in some cases it exacerbates them."

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UK adoption trends

Posted by on in Family Law and Divorce

The Office for National Statistics has published an annual statistics bulletin on adoptions which took place following court orders in England and Wales in 2011.

Figures on adoption orders apply to adoptions by relatives and stepparents as well as adoptions from care. Foreign adoptions are also included if they meet the legislative requirements and where an application has been made for registration.

There were 4,734 adoptions entered into the Adopted Children Register (ACR) following court orders made in 2011, which is a 6% increase over 2010. There have been small fluctuations in the number of adoptions over the last decade.

The ONS reports that adoptions also increased in Scotland between 2010 and 2011 by 6%, from 466 in 2010 to 494 in 2011 (General Register Office for Scotland, 2012). No data for adoptions in Northern Ireland in 2011 is currently available.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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A wealthy banker from Scotland and his ex-wife have brought an end to their ten year marriage with what has been described as the 'happiest divorce ever', reports the Scotsman.

Roger Jenkins made his money as a tax expert in the banking sector, and is thought to be worth around £300 million. He separated from his ex-wife three years ago, but the couple remained good friends and have agreed the terms of their divorce amicably, without needing to go to court.

His ex-wife, Diana Jenkins, is a successful businesswoman in her own right, and, according to the Scotsman, will receive a settlement of around £150 million under the terms of the divorce.

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Statistics on SCRA referrals

Posted by on in Family Law and Divorce

Official statistics recently released by the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA) have revealed a fall in the number of children and young people being referred to the Reporter for the fifth consecutive year.

The majority of referrals were on welfare grounds. In 2011/12, there were 28,017 referrals on care and protection grounds, while 5,604  were referred on offence grounds (these figures include 2,028 children who were referred on both grounds).

The two most common grounds for referral continue to be that the child was a ‘victim of a Schedule 1 offence’ (13,151 children) and lack of parental care (11,194 children).

SCRA’s Chair Carole Wilkinson said: “The aim of the Children’s Hearings System is to protect the most vulnerable children and young people in our communities.

“Our priority is to ensure that children and young people who require compulsory measures of supervision come to the attention of the Reporter as soon as possible, so we can make a decision which will ensure they get the help and support they need to improve their lives.

“Over the last few years, there has been some excellent co-operation and partnership working to ensure that children who do not require compulsory measures of supervision, receive earlier and effective intervention from our partners elsewhere in the children’s services arena. The impact of this is undoubtedly highlighted through the numbers of children referred in recent years.

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Austin is often asked to contribute to legal, business and financial forums. Fergus Muirhead is a longstanding friend and colleague (going right back to university days), and is similarly a TV and radio pundit, and while Austin advises the public on all areas of law, Fergus does an equivalent job on money and finance.

Here is some analysis and advice on the eternal issue of Making A Will (and what happens if you don’t!).

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One of my readers this week took the law into her own hands in a way, but then the department store she was in also tried to take unilateral action. Not quite a citizen’s arrest, but not far off it. The query demonstrates how lack of knowledge of the law can be a problem.

This week's star letter to my Evening Times column is a rather insidious story of espionage in the place of employment. As you can see, the law allows companies to monitor their staff, subject to certain safeguards.

Listen to Austin Lafferty's take on party litigants from his recent radio appearance on MacAulay & Co with Fred MacAulay:

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Along with your biro, Harry Potter boxed set and James Blunt CD, you can get a will or a divorce at the counter -  and pay by swiping your credit card.

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Along with your biro, Harry Potter boxed set and James Blunt CD, you can get a will or a divorce at the counter -  and pay by swiping your credit card.

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When I began in the legal profession in 1979, my first job was as an apprentice conveyancer in Glasgow. It was the very start of a revolution.

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213 Fenwick Rd,
G46 6JD
Tel: 0141 621 2212
Fax: 0141 621 1342


23 Townhead Street,
United Kingdom,
Tel: 01698 477 614
Fax: 01698 476 613

East Kilbride

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