THE Scottish Crofting Federation has launched a legal helpline for its members in partnership with well-known crofting law firm Inksters Solicitors.
Fiona Mandeville, vice-chair of the SCF said: “Crofting law, as everyone knows, is complicated – and crofters needing legal advice really have to go to a specialist solicitor.
“The SCF has seen the need for a legal helpline for some time and now, in partnership with Inksters Solicitors, is pleased to offer this service to its members.”
Brian Inkster, head of Inksters Solicitors said: “We are one of the few legal firms in Scotland specialising in crofting law.
“With the passing of the new crofting Act there is even more need for a direct route to expert advice. We are very pleased to be working with the SCF in providing this much-needed service.
“SCF members will be able to phone one Highland number – 01599 230 300 – to be put through to a lawyer with crofting expertise.
“The initial advice will be free (for around 15 minutes, which can usually solve many problems) and if the SCF member wishes to engage Inksters to undertake legal work on their behalf they will receive a 10% discount on the fees chargeable.”
Ms Mandeville added: “Not only does this mean that many legal queries can be answered for free, andthat big savings can be gained on more protracted issues, but that this is with a leading crofting law team with outlets in Glasgow, Inverness, Wick and soon to be, Portree; and all through one number.”
The Crofting (Scotland) Act 1993 was the last consolidation of crofting law, and this has since been amended in 2007 and 2010, but crofting law is waiting for consolidation again.
Ms Mandeville said crofting is humorously known as ‘a small island of land surrounded by a sea of legislation’.
She added that the new legislation, which strengthens crofting regulation, is expected to increase the demand for lawyers who know the legislation well, saying the recent publicity regarding owner-occupier crofters was evidence of this.