Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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Criminal liability of a partnership – Bill progresses

A Bill that makes provision for the prosecution in Scotland of partnerships, partners and others following dissolution or changes in membership, has completed its passage through Parliament.

The Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Bill is now waiting for Royal Assent, and will come into force on the day after the assent is granted.

The Bill closes a legal loophole in Scottish partnership law, which came to light after the tragic death of 14 elderly residents in a fire at the Rosepark nursing home in Lanarkshire in 2004.

The Crown Office made three separate attempts to prosecute those alleged to be responsible but the case failed because of a loophole preventing the prosecution of a partnership once it had dissolved.

Welcoming the Bill, Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform at the Law Society of Scotland, said:

"The failure to secure a prosecution in the tragic Rosepark case demonstrated that action needed to be taken to reform this area of Scottish partnership law. The Bill is a welcome development. When the Bill becomes law, individual partners will no longer be able to avoid criminal prosecution on the basis that the partnership is dissolved; they will instead be held to account under Scottish law."

 

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