Proposals to bring the Scots Law of Contract into the Modern Era

The Scottish Government has introduced a bill into the Scottish Parliament which will change the Scots law of contract in two major respects.

When passed, the Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill will bring Scots Law on the formation of contracts into a modern era.

The first major innovation the bill will make is to allow a document which requires to be signed by two or more parties to be “executed in counterpart”. This means that each party to the contract can sign their own copy of the document remotely from each other, rather than the one document being circulated round all the parties of the contract needing to be signed. The subscribed counterpart will then be delivered to the other party or parties.

The second important change is that the Bill will permit delivery of paper legal documents by electronic methods, meaning that the document will take legal effect upon such delivery.

The two advances will promote confidence in using Scots law to form contracts and hopefully will make Scotland a better place to do business.

Professor Hector MacQueen, the lead commissioner on the contract law reform team stated “This bill is the end product of a great deal of consultation with legal practitioners which has helped to produce innovations that are both principled and pragmatic in allowing the swift completion of documents in accordance with international best practice. I look forward to helping its speedy progress on to the statute book.”

The Law Commissions review can be seen at:

Mitchells Roberton Solicitors & Estate Agents in Glasgow are happy to provide advice in relation to commercial contracts.

If you have any questions please contact Ross Leatham on or telephone 0141 552 3422.

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About Ross Leatham

Ross graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2004 having spent 6 months of his studies as an international student at the University of Tilburg. He commenced his traineeship with Mitchells Roberton in 2005 and has been with the firm ever since. He is an experienced solicitor dealing in the purchase and sale of both commercial and residential property, acquisition and disposal of businesses, commercial leasing and property finance. He has acted for a wide range of clients including accountants, further educational establishments, hotels, restaurants, veterinary surgeons, dentists and charities. Ross firmly believes that each client is not just a case and he always takes the time to foster a genuine engagement with his clients to best understand their needs in order to provide focused commercial advice and pragmatic solutions to their problems. Ross only wishes he could find as an effective solution to enhance the performance of his beloved hockey team, East Kilbride. Ross is married.

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