As noted in our earlier article, The Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill was introduced into the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The Bill aims to introduce, amongst other things, execution in counterpart into Scots law.
The Bill is currently at Stage 1 of the Parliamentary process and since its introduction the Committee has received written evidence from a number of parties in the legal sector, both north and south of the border.
At the end of September Paul Hally and Dr. Hamish Patrick of the Shepherd and Wedderburn Finance and Restructuring team also gave oral evidence to the Committee on the positive effects of introducing execution in counterpart into Scots law. Paul and Hamish emphasised that the introduction of execution in counterpart as a valid method of signing under Scots law would remove many of the practical problems that currently exist in relation to transaction completions, particularly in cross-border transactions. Counterpart signing will eliminate the need for all parties to meet in person for a physical completion and for principal documents to be couriered through multiple jurisdictions.
The Committee will soon submit a report to the Scottish Parliament to consider whether the general principles of the Bill are agreed. Once Stage 1 is complete (which is expected by the end of November this year), the Bill will be passed to a second committee stage to consider any amendments. Further evidence may also be sought at that stage.
Shepherd and Wedderburn have enthusiastically supported this legislation from its genesis and hope that it will continue to progress smoothly through the remainder of the Scottish parliamentary process.