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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11265
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Please could you advise me on the following--according to

Customer Question

Please could you advise me on the following--according to what Scottish Law would say. I am a Director of a Charitable Trust. Two years ago the Directors through an improper process (although they have not so admitted, but that does not matter at the moment) had a Law Firm issue me a letter asserting that my actions were not compatible with Section 66 of the Scottish Charities Act. In fact my actions led to an Inquiry by OSCR which found serious regulatory violations and a prescription to correct. Rather the accusations were not on substance but behaviorable. But they were all hearsay evidence by an individual or two with no witness and no documentation of the behavior. I have demonstrated the frivolous nature of the allegations. But again that is not immediately relevant. The accusations are well known in public and are damaging.
After two years of expressing concerns, the Board has said it will rescind the letter--which act will simply be recorded in Minutes.
My questions are as follows:
Can a letter be rescinded in this way without stating the reasons for doing so?
Even if so, can the action simply be recorded in Minutes or would it require a formal letter either from the Board or from the Lawyers?
Do both parties have to agree to the rescinding, or can it be unilateral by the Board?
Is rescinding a legal term in Scotland?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

I am a Scots lawyer. The term rescind means to revoke or cancel. It is typically a unilateral term which means that in this situation whether you agree or not, the Board can agree to rescind the letter which would render it pro non scripto. It doesn't require their lawyers; lawyers are only agents. It doesn't require reasons although from your point of view it would be preferable that reasons are given. That is not something that you will have control of, however, and I would say the rescission of the letter would be a result from your point of view as it records the withdrawal of the allegations. I hope this helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A brief clarification.........Must there be a letter to me from the Board, or from the transmitting lawyer, stating rescinding, rather than just an entry in Minutes of the Meeting where a majority agreed to rescind. And does the letter definitely amount to a withdrawal of the allegations. I ask because it could be that the rescinding is because the Board does not want to spend any more money, rather than rescinding the substance of the accusations. And finally since the original letter was transmitted by lawyers (who as you say are only agents) does it differ in any way from if the Board had simply transmitted the original letter? Thanks.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

It's a question of evidence and exactly what is being suggested. If the allegations are being withdrawn you want evidence of this. If the minutes read that the allegations are being withdrawn absolutely and not just because of the expense of pursuing then a copy of the minute would suffice. If you aren't given a copy of th minute then you should try to get a letter. Again the lawyer issue is irrelevant.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hope I am here when you call. If the Board action says nothing about reasons, can the Board come back later and give other reason than withdrawing the accusations? Also how is the damaging aspects of having the accusations out there for two years dealt with? Is that just a matter I would have to take up in a court? Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Or if the rescinding letter/Minutes simply silent on the reasons, legally does it follow that it is a rescinding of the accusations. And the Board cannot come back later and claim it meant something else? Thanks.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

1. The consequences of the two year period would have to be taken up in a court as an action for defamation if that was thought to be appropriate. 2. The words rescinding the allegations will be taken as they read; there is no law prescribing what has to be said other than the English language. If for example the minute says that the Board are withdrawing the allegations that that is what is meant. If, on the other hand, the minute says that the Board are taking no further steps as guards the allegations then that has an entirely different meaning.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks. You have done a great job. Just before finally closing I shall just confirm that a good statement will be:The allegations in the letter of xx.xx are hereby rescinded pro non scripto. Meaning they are rescinded as if they were never written. Correct? Thanks, ***** ***** Scott
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

Rescinded and held to be pro non scripto would be better, but yes, that is correct.