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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Thompsons Solicitors Scotland announced winners of Firm of the Year at Scottish Legal Awards

Thompsons Solicitors Scotland crowned winners of Firm of the Year at this year’s Scottish Legal Awards.

During a fantastic evening, the ultimate award of the night was Firm of the Year, sponsored by Millar & Bryce. This year the awards was presented to Thompson Solicitors following a series of high-profile winning campaigns and a successful strategic expansion into new areas of work.

Gary Donaldson, Operations Director at Millar & Bryce, commented:

“We’re delighted to be continuing our support of the Scottish Legal Awards, congratulations to all of the businesses that we shortlisted, it really is testament to the amount of hard work and dedication by all those involved. We’d like to wish an extra special congratulations to Thompsons Solicitors for winning firm of the year, a fantastic achievement that you should all be incredible proud of.”

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WEBINAR: More effective source of funds and share of wealth checks

Conveyancers must deal with a rising tide of regulation as efforts to tackle financial crime increase. Complying with these obligations to verify the source of a client’s funds and wealth is becoming more complicated as it becomes more critical. Many of these checks are still being carried out manually by firms through the collection of bank statements and client questionnaires.

Armalytix provides a solution to allow Millar & Bryce’s legal customers to conduct faster and more effective Source of Funds (SoF) and Share of Wealth (SoW) checks that provide greater insights and reduce your risk in transactions.

Evidence collated via Armalytix can be used to build the rationale as to how a client can fund the transaction and provide assurance that these funds were obtained through legal and visible means.

We are holding a joint webinar at 10.30am on Wednesday 11th October looking at the challenges faced by property lawyers when it comes to collecting and reviewing SoF information and how technology can help aid faster, more accurate risk-based decisions.

Click here to register for the webinar

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Millar & Bryce to partner with data intelligence firm Armalytix to enhance anti-money laundering checks

Millar & Bryce, Scotland’s premier land property search expert, has today announced its partnership with Armalytix, a data intelligence firm that allows the safe sharing of financial insights.

With Source of Funds (SoF) and Share of Wealth (SoW) checks both a mandatory requirement, this partnership will allow Millar & Bryce’s legal customers to conduct faster and more effective checks that provide greater insights and reduce their risk in transactions.

Home movers are able to share data via Open Banking services to deliver the financial insight law firms require to run comprehensive anti-money laundering (AML), fraud and financial risk checks. Evidence collated via Armalytix can be used to build the rationale as to how a client can fund the transaction and provide assurance that these funds were obtained through legal and visible means.

Millar & Bryce customers will also have access to new modular features, including;

  • Dedicated Commercial Property journey
  • Income Verification
  • Upfront financial fact findings
  • Market-leading analysis
  • Legal Eye endorsed questionnaires

Richard Hepburn, Managing Director at Millar & Bryce, commented:

We’re delighted to be signing this partnership agreement and working with one of the UK’s foremost companies in the provision of data for AML checks. This agreement will allow Millar & Bryce customers to enhance their AML checks and will provide them with peace of mind that they have all the information necessary to make a decision on a client and demonstrate that to the regulators.

Our commitment to the continual improvement of our tech stack to complement the huge knowledge and experience we have within the team is now bearing fruit, and we are now seeking to further enhance that via relationships with data providers such as Armalytix.

 Tom Lyes, Head of Legal and Property at Armalytix, stated:

Partnerships are incredibly important to us at Armalytix and we’re excited to be working with our first partner in Scotland. From speaking to Millar & Bryce’s MD, Richard Hepburn, and Director of Operations, Gary Donaldson, it’s really clear that they have a wealth of experience in the Scottish market and really know their clients’ regulatory requirements. Our partnership allows access to our market leading solution to transform the complex, manual process of Source of Funds and Wealth checks.

We’re holding a joint webinar on Wednesday 11th October looking at the challenges faced by property lawyers when it comes to collecting and reviewing SoF information and how technology can help aid faster, more accurate risk based decisions. Click here to register for the webinar.

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Millar & Bryce Search Capability Integrated into Denovo Platform

Integration will allow conveyancers to make property searches from within Denovo’s CaseLoad platform


Millar & Bryce are delighted to be able to announce our integration with case management specialists Denovo Business Intelligence

The integration will allow lawyers using Denovo’s CaseLoad software platform to order property searches through Millar & Bryce. All ordering, updates and report downloads sync automatically with CaseLoad, including the M&B invoice. Conveyancing teams working within CaseLoad can order core search products from Millar & Bryce, without ever leaving their case management system.

The integration has taken place as more lawyers have called for increasingly sophisticated software to help them in their everyday tasks. The integration will support conveyancing teams by saving them precious time in not having to leave their case management platform, providing the information needed to support their transaction, when they need it.

By having Millar & Bryce’s search capabilities embedded within their case management system, conveyancing teams will remove the need for information to be rekeyed, reducing errors and ensuring reports are received directly back into the relevant matter inside CaseLoad.

Millar & Bryce, as part of the wider Landmark Information Group, have worked to upgrade to the latest cloud technologies over the past three years and are now beginning to see the fruits of this investment in initiatives like this with Denovo Business Intelligence all with the aim of enabling  better and faster servicing of customers through enhanced search order and production technology.

Richard Hepburn, Managing Director of Millar & Bryce said: “We’re delighted to get this integration complete and start to see the tangible benefits that we know it will bring to Denovo customers. Current case management integrations in the Scottish market tend to be simple clickable links to open the search provider’s online platform, so still requiring extra time in rekeying information and risking errors. This new integration will see Denovo customers offered an unparalleled experience as they will be able to make time and efficiency savings by ordering reports and receiving results from Millar & Bryce without leaving CaseLoad”.

Steven Hill, Operations Director at Denovo, added: “This is an exciting moment for Denovo and for our law firm clients. We now have the ability to expand our case management software capabilities by integrating with Millar & Bryce. The integration provides CaseLoad users with the ability to create property searches in minutes using existing matter data, dramatically reducing the possibility of manual input errors. One click sending, status updates returned automatically, reports being auto downloaded to the matter, and having the ability to add multiple products to single orders, reducing data input and the time taken to place orders, are just a few of the benefits law firms will inherit by using this integration. Partnering with Millar & Bryce helps to further streamline the CaseLoad user experience. We will continue to work closely to ensure our customers can accurately and efficiently process and progress orders all from one place.”

About Millar & Bryce

Established in 1875, Millar & Bryce has been supporting the legal profession providing title information, conveyancing searches and land reference services.  Employing 100+ experienced searchers, geospatial experts and technologists, the company combines time-honoured professionalism with modern-day innovation, supporting decision makers on buying, selling, conveyancing and financing land and property transactions.  

As a wholly-owned business unit within Landmark Information Group, Millar & Bryce can draw on expertise focused on the entire property process including estate agency, surveyor, lender, broker, land agency and developer services alongside property lawyers, all backed up by world class technology platforms and solutions.  At the start of 2022 Landmark Scotland was launched to bring these disparate services together with a direct focus on the Scottish property market.    

About Denovo Business Intelligence

We’ve been developing legal case management software to help the legal industry for over 30 years. Our software is solicitor led, meaning we collaborate with solicitors to design and develop software solutions and services for law firms in the UK. We have built a cloud-based legal software platform that is dynamic, fully customisable and ever-evolving.

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Webinar – The Missing Billions – UK Unclaimed Assets

Millar & Bryce are delighted to be working with our friends at Estatesearch to bring you a new webinar on identifying and understanding estate accounts.


Missed assets and liabilities are a growing issue in estate administration and astonishingly 88% of practitioners report that identification of all estate accounts is becoming more difficult with the rise of digital and online banking. The figures demonstrate there are clearly issues.

This talk will cover several key learning objectives including:
– The Missing Billions, the value and location of UK unclaimed assets
– The Dormant Asset Scheme, proposals by UK government
– The Implications for Executors and Beneficiaries
– Best Practice and Due Diligence

Join Emma Baddaley from Estatesearch on June 7th at 10.30am for this live webinar in which we will answer all your questions on understanding estate accounts.

Can’t make it on the 7th? We’ve got you covered. Simply register for the webinar as normal and a recording will be sent to you within 24 hours of the webinar’s completion.

To attend the webinar, register with your name and email address at this link.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our team directly, please email relationship@millar-bryce.com

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M&B Celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week

To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we’d like to pay tribute to those within the Millar & Bryce family who have made a herculean effort to achieve their apprenticeships during such an extraordinary time. 

Our 2020 graduates have now gained an industry recognised qualification, and we have another five apprentices set to graduate in 2021.

Richard Hepburn, Managing Director, Millar & Bryce, comments: “From a business perspective, the focused knowledge they have gained aligns us much more closely with our customers as well as demonstrating our commitment not only to the property industry, but to our employees’ professional development. We have always invested in our people, and with funding available to businesses who are willing to invest in their staff, the decision to create a brighter future for individuals and businesses becomes that much easier.”

Ellie Wilson, Administration Assistant, saw her paralegal apprenticeship as a good opportunity. “To be the first group at M&B to undertake this course was nerve-wracking, but I think it went very well and I believe this could help lead me down a possible career path. It’s also something else to put on my CV.” Claire Baxter, Personal Searcher in the Operations Team, agrees. “After reading all the information about the Apprenticeship and what I would get out of it, I couldn’t turn down such a rewarding opportunity.”

The commitment to studying alongside a full-time job was not without its challenges. Ellie said, “With the global pandemic going on and being in lockdown, it was certainly challenging not being able to physically go over to my manager or other members of staff for support (although this was still available over the phone or by message).” Claire echoes this sentiment. “Some of the course content for me is quite hard to take in due to the nature of it – Scots Law is heavy reading! I’m really interested in the course, though, and am looking forward to increasing my knowledge.”

Time management was also the biggest challenge for Sandra Stolecka, Finance Assistant, who is taking the graduate apprenticeship in accounting to become a professional accountant. Already holding a Master’s in Economics, Sandra enjoys the flexibility of being able to learn and work at the same time. “Hopefully after five years I become an accountant, and this will bring plenty of opportunities for the finance department, as I will be able to tackle more tasks which, at the moment, I am unable to do.”

It’s clear to see how the apprenticeships benefit both the employee and the business. Claire said, “I’ll be a lot more confident within my own job role, and it’ll give me the determination to try new things within the business, whether that’s learning a new role or helping on new projects.” Ellie agrees, “I think this gave me a great opportunity to learn more about conveyancing relating to M&B, and I can use this knowledge in my day-to-day role. I was provided with great resources which I can always look back on. I feel grateful to have had this opportunity. For the business, I think this has been a real success.”

The course is provided through distance learning and quarterly on-site support from Scotia Law Training. Apprentices learn the necessary skills, law and compliance rules required to work to paralegal level. Munro McCannell, Managing Director at Scotia Law, comments: “The apprentice will become a more effective, productive and motivated member of staff, and we’re delighted to have worked with Millar & Bryce these last twelve months, and share our congratulations to the most recent graduates. We look forward to supporting the next cohort on their journey in 2021.”

Darren Mossman, Snr HR Manager, comments: ‘We are very excited to support our people in their professional development. Working in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland and our training partners we have been able to increase our number of apprentices year on year and launched our first Graduate Apprenticeship programme in Accounting in late 2020. The value to the business in backing talent through apprenticeships is not only recognised with the increase in skills and knowledge but highlighted in the feedback from the apprentices themselves. We are sure our apprentices will enjoy the courses they are undertaking albeit it is challenging in the current climate. We encourage all Scottish businesses to consider apprenticeships, especially with the financial help available, the opportunity for individuals to gain an industry recognised qualification and the positive impact it has on the apprentices themselves.’

The training is part funded and until 25 March 2021, there are grants payable to employers up to £5,000, via Skills Development Scotland. Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchel, comments: “Additional funding for employers to recruit apprentices means sustaining vital opportunities for people to work, learn and earn, while ensuring businesses have the critical skills they need”.

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

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Millar & Bryce’s Christmas Campaign throughout December to raise money for Social Bite “20 for 20”

The Millar & Bryce team have well established links with Social Bite and we wanted to continue to support the amazing work that they do through a Christmas fundraiser. The Festival of Kindness is something we all feel passionately about and we want to spread a little cheer by taking part in activities we enjoy to help others.

This year has been especially tough for a lot of people and we want to give more than just our regular company charity donations. We have decided to launch our 20 for 20 fundraiser where, as a team, we will cover 20 miles a day for 20 days, starting from Friday 4th December through to Thursday 24th December.

Not only will this support Social Bite, but we know that exercise will also help support our own health and wellbeing and keep us feeling good and delivering our best on these dark, cold winter days.

We hope our colleagues, customers, friends and family will help by sponsoring us and cheering us on to hit our 400 mile target so that we can raise awareness and help Social Bite achieve their target of delivering 250,000 meals to support people who need our friendship more than ever this year. Please dig deep and help us raise our fundraising target as we run, walk, cycle and swim our way to 400 miles!

To help us in our quest and if you’d like to give a donation here is the link to our fundraising page:


Thank you for your support and watch out on our LinkedIn and Twitter pages for updates!

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