Head of Dispute Resolution, Aberdein Considine
What does the company do?
Full legal services for commercial and private clients, financial services, and Scotland’s largest solicitor estate and letting agent.
Where is it based?
Aberdeen with 19 offices across the country
What are the biggest challenges facing businesses?
Given the number of issues which businesses are having to manage, such as high inflation, I’d anticipate we’ll see the trend of increasing dispute instructions continue and specifically we’ve been seeing a steady growth in commercial lease disputes and the length of time taken to resolve these. We have also seen a marked increase in commercial debt recovery, contractual disputes and insolvency instructions.
What should be done to overcome these challenges?
One thing the whole country could benefit from is a period of political stability at UK level. There are massive challenges ahead, whether that’s managing inflation, the energy crisis, Brexit and of course a subject very topical the moment, climate change.
The UK Government needs to provide the necessary support to the public and public services but it also needs to focus on support for the business community, especially SMEs.
Have the Scottish and UK Governments called it right on taxes?
The market reaction to the mini budget told its own story. Whilst I think we would all like lower taxes, probably a more balanced approach is required at the moment.
Has Brexit impacted on your business?
The biggest impact we’ve seen is on our clients. Increasing barriers to trade in Europe inevitably brings its own challenges but the reduction in businesses being able to recruit the right people and the required numbers, from hospitality to agriculture, has also had a serious effect.
Do you use public transport?
I walk or cycle to work.
What do you drive? Is it petrol, diesel or electric? What would make you switch?
Do you favour a four-day working week?
Aberdein Considine works the hours we need to do to deliver for our clients, which often means working outside what are considered the core working periods. We are a flexible employer, agreeing arrangements with staff which work for them whether that be variable hours or home working. In our team, we always go the extra mile to meet the requirements of our clients but I believe this is best achieved with a happy and healthy staff.
Do you think this is the right time to call an independence referendum?
As this question concerns issues under consideration by the Supreme Court currently, I will respectfully reserve my position.
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