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Scotland could be a centre for dispute resolution

1 Dec 08

Scotland could become the 'Switzerland of dispute resolution' if the right legal reforms are put in place, according to the Business Experts and Law Forum (BELF), set up by the Scottish government to look at how the country's legal system could be made more business-friendly

The BELF concluded that there is a need to actively market Scottish legal services as part of a full range of professional services, an intrinsic part of the economic infrastructure that supports a successful, enterprising nation;

Although most arbitration takes place between those doing business here, Scotland should market itself internationally as a forum for arbitration, offering high quality arbiters, facilities and legal support.

While retaining its judicial authority, the Commercial Court of the Court of Session should operate in the way successful businesses operate – flexibly and responding to the needs of those who use the service.

Charlotte Barbour, assistant director, accounting and auditing with ICAS, who took part in BELF, said: “We welcome the recommendation that there should be a collective, proactive communications strategy to promote Scottish professional services, including legal, accountancy, and financial services, as part of a highly qualified and expert economic infrastructure that actively assists businesses. It is vital that confidence in our economy is rebuilt and we applaud the work of the BELF.”

A bill to reform and modernise arbitration law in Scotland will be introduced early next year. It will encourage the use of arbitration domestically and to help resolve commercial disputes privately and more quickly than through the courts.

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Business Experts and Law Forum | dispute resolution | Charlotte Barbour

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