Criminal Defence

Woodward Lawson are able to provide a high level of personal guidance throughout all forms of criminal prosecution in Aberdeen and elsewhere in Scotland. We provide expert representation in all types of criminal cases in the High Court, Sheriff or Justice of the Peace Courts.

Civil Litigation

Woodward Lawson represent clients in a broad range of civil court cases, both in the Sheriff Court and Court of Session.

Contractual Disputes

Contracts form the backbone of daily life in any business. Occasionally, difficulties arise in relation to what was actually agreed and disputes occur if one party does not do what the other expects them to do.

Guardianship & Incapacity

We have significant experience in relation to Guardianship applications both from the perspective of raising applications for Guardianship and also in opposing such applications in disputed cases. Ian Woodward-Nutt also regularly acts as a Court appointed reporter in relation to Guardianship cases.

Building Disputes

Whether you are a builder seeking payment for works which have run into difficulties or a client receiving possible defective building work, it is best to seek our advice at the earliest possible juncture.

Road Traffic Offences

Road Traffic Law forms part of the Criminal Law that is a broad and technically complicated area. If you have been charged by the police or have received papers intimating a criminal prosecution for an alleged road traffic offence, it is important to take advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer at the earliest opportunity.

Debt Collection

Every business encounters debtors from time to time and this can seriously affect important cash flow. At Woodward Lawson, we provide a robust one-stop service from seven day letters to pursuing court action in the Sheriff Court and Court of Session.

Property & Boundary Disputes

Few aspects of life can cause such concern as a neighbour asserting rights over your land or preventing you from doing something on their land that you thought you had a right to do.

Family, Divorce & Children

The breakdown of a relationship, be it marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation, leads to all manner of financial worries and practical difficulties as the inevitable change in your personal circumstances occurs. This is especially so if there are children involved and major assets require to be divided.

Road Haulage Representation

Woodward Lawson are pleased to offer representation in all matters concerning road haulage and transport law.

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News & Comment

Winter Roads

15 November 2013

As winter fast approaches, a recently reported case is of interest. The case was one where a local authority were sued by the relatives of a deceased who had died whilst driving on a main road (a so-called Priority 1 route) between 5.35 and 6am one December.

The evidence showed the accident occurred when the car hit ice and the driver lost control. The relatives claimed that the local authority had not met the standard of care within the Roads (Scotland) Act, 1984 to take such steps as were reasonable to prevent snow and ice endangering the safe passage of vehicles and pedestrians.

It was a matter of admission that the local authority’s policy did not provide for the treatment of any roads between 9pm and 6am. It was alleged by the relatives that the local authority had:

(i) failed to treat the road the evening before by salting or gritting where pre-treating was reasonably required

(ii) failed to monitor conditions overnight by monitoring data or instigating a patrol

(iii) that they failed to treat the road overnight given the conditions which had arisen.

As regards:

(i), the Court took the view that the afternoon decision not to pre-treat during the evening was not unreasonable since the decision had to be made for the area as a whole and the council officer could not reasonably be expected to make decisions for individual roads which were not known to present unusual hazards.

In relation to (ii) and (iii), which the Court considered together, this was an attack on the council’s policy of not treating roads between 9pm and 6am. Other councils did operate a 24 hour policy. The court had to decide whether its powers extended to consideration of a council policy when clearly that policy was dictated by competing public interests and weighing of resources. The Court indicated its view that the setting of operational policies was one for elected bodies and not the Courts. However, the Court also indicated that if it was wrong on the extent of its powers and could consider this policy matter, it would not hold that the policy adopted by this local authority was unreasonable.

In so deciding, it took the view that the operation of a non 24 hour policy was not outwith the reasonable discretion of the council. Other councils (of a similar topography) had the same policy in place. In any event, it was still for the relatives to show that if such a 24 hour policy had been in operation, it would have prevented this particular accident and there was no evidence to that effect. Of passing interest was the evidence that gritting of roads carrying a very low volume of traffic was of questionable value since it takes the action of traffic on salt to remove ice from the road.