Hidden consequences of backlog of ROS Open Casework

As of April 2024, the number of open cases in the Registers of Scotland’s backlog exceeds 119,000, with the oldest case dating back to January 2018.

While homeowners are not restricted from selling, remortgaging or making changes to their land or property title whilst the application is open, it can create unnecessary additional time, effort and sometimes costs for solicitors.

More worryingly we have recently seen a number of occasions where standard securities that were recorded in the Sasine Register have not been discharged as part of the First Registration and solicitors acting in any subsequent transactions are not aware of their existence when following normal practices, until the application makes it out of the backlog!

Once a property moves to the Land Register, there is no need (in theory) to look at the Sasine Register. A Legal Report for a property that has left the Sasine Register will only report on the Land Register title or pending application(s). If the parties acting in the first registration have failed to satisfy their obligation to discharge an outstanding standard security, then this won’t be apparent in normal practice.

We can help mitigate the risk of the above situation. If a property is undergoing first registration, we can send the legal report as normal. However we can also make you aware and arrange an unregistered legal report. We can examine the evidence of the original, identify the sasine search sheet and provide an unregistered legal report over the sasine title(s) making sure there are no surprises when you receive your completed title sheet.

At Millar & Bryce we’re here to help, as well as being experts on searches, we understand your requirements for conveyancing and registration and provide pro active solutions to mitigate risks in transactions.

If you’d like further details, then please contact your Account Manager or email us at relationship@millar-bryce.com

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Millar & Bryce celebrates Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2024

This week is Scottish Apprenticeship Week (4 to 8 March) and to celebrate we’d like to shine a light on the important and valuable role our apprentices play here at Millar & Bryce.

Skills Generation is this year’s theme of the week, and we are proud to join around the 12,000 apprentice employers in Scotland, supporting the new generation of Scotland’s skilled workforce, for now and in the future.

Darren Mossman, Senior Regional HR & Facilities Manager, comments: “Investing in our people is critical to the future of our business and through our continued investment in Modern and Graduate apprenticeships has ensured our employees are able to build necessary skills to support them in their role but also our clients. Apprenticeships provide a crucial bridge between education and employment, offering employees valuable hands-on experience, industry recognised qualifications and a pathway to sustainable careers, they massively contribute to building a skilled workforce for the future.”

At Millar & Bryce we offer both a Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship. Darren continues, “Millar & Bryce have been supporting Modern Apprenticeships for many years and more recently have partnered with Scotia Law Training who deliver the Modern Apprenticeship in Paralegal Practice. In addition we have expanded into Graduate Apprenticeships and have employees studying a Graduate Apprenticeship at Robert Gordon University which will see them achieve an honours degree in Business Management after four years.”

Leona Ferguson, Operations Team Manager, now in year two of a four-year Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management comments, Undertaking a Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management has given opportunities to combine academic knowledge with practical skills and applying these in real time in the business. It’s been reinforcing some of the skills and knowledge I already had whilst enhancing my “toolbox” with new learnings, boosting my confidence in my ability. I’ve had opportunities to connect with other leaders in group and learn from their experiences and included my team in these to help grow their knowledge and experiences too. This has brought about efficiency ideas and new customer experience suggestions.

It isn’t always easy juggling work, studying and life, especially if you have been out of formal education for a few years, however, there is lots of support from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the business which helps make it a little easier. If anyone was to consider this route, then my advice would be “go for it”! You aren’t going to lose anything so it’s a win, win!”

Beth Farquhar, Operations Support Coordinator, entering year two of the Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management comments, “My manager offered the Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management at RGU for all the hard work and the potential she saw in me. I was worried I would be quite overwhelmed with the workload of a full-time course and a full-time job. Millar & Bryce have been amazing though. They have given me time to focus on my university work and I think it’s the reason I am doing as well as I am, as I have had their support.

I’m almost finished with my first year – its flown by – and I’m really enjoying it overall. I’ve learnt I great deal so far and am feeling positive about it helping me progress in my career. I am looking forward to beginning my second year. I’ve also learnt so much about myself, so it’s been beneficial for me in many aspects. 

The work-based learning subjects are related to the conveyancing profession that Millar & Bryce serve. Gary Donaldson, Operations Director, comments, “I’m delighted that we are celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week. Work based learning has been remarkable for Millar & Bryce, we have seen our apprentices gain skills, experience and confidence that have helped develop them personally and professionally. The knowledge that this learning brings has also allowed interactions with our customers to be more meaningful, benefitting both our apprentices and our customers.”

If you would like more information, please email careers@millar-bryce.com

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WEBINAR: Source of Funds & Wealth 2024

It is reported that organised crime costs the UK economy more than £100bn every year. For legal and property firms, conveyancing plays a considerable role in deterring money laundering cases.

With Source of Funds (SoF) and Source of Wealth (SoW) checks both a mandatory requirement for legal and property firms, Conveyancers are showing it is possible to tackle the financial crime increase at one transaction point.

Our partnership with Armalytix has created an effortlessly customer experience to conduct faster and more effective SoF and SoW checks that provide greater insights and reduce your risk in transactions.

We hosted a session with Tom Lyes, Head of Legal at Armalytix, and Kate Burt, Founder of HiveRisk, on Source of Funds & Wealth: Top Tips and Guidance on Wednesday 21st February 2024. Highlights from the webinar include:

  • Expectations from regulators: with a focus on The Law Society of Scotland guidance on funds derived from Crypto
  • Navigating complex challenges: key principles, common pitfalls, issues and risks with Source of Funds
  • Technology Insights: How can technology help with the Source of Funds process
  • Expert panel discussions: A common question from the audience was whether costs be passed onto clients. Tom Lyes states, “There is nothing to stop firms charging for AML as a fee, but they would need to include a paragraph in their terms of business. They can also show it as a separate fee and VAT on the fee note.” 

To view the presentation, click here.

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Festive Opening Times 2023

Over the festive period, our office hours will vary from usual. Our Christmas opening times are as follows:

  • Friday 22nd December: Normal office opening hours
  • Monday 25th December: Bank Holiday: Office closed
  • Tuesday 26th December: Bank Holiday: Office closed
  • Wednesday 27th December: Normal office opening hours
  • Thursday 28th December: Normal office opening hours
  • Friday 29th December: Normal office opening hours
  • Monday 1st January: Bank Holiday: Office closed
  • Tuesday 2nd January: Bank Holiday: Office closed.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We wish our customers and partners a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. We look forward to our continued partnership in 2024.