Lecturer

LLB (Hons), Dip LP, Solicitor
View my full research profile

  • Tel: +44 (0)131 651 4307
  • Email: scott.wortley@ed.ac.uk
  • Office and Feedback Hours for current students:
    Tuesday, 10.30 - 12

Biography

Scott Wortley was educated at Annan Academy and the University of Edinburgh graduating LLB (Honours) in 1994. He qualified as a solicitor in 1997 completing a traineeship at Messrs Ketchen and Stevens, WS. Thereafter he was employed at the Scottish Law Commission and worked as senior legal assistant on the Scottish Law Commission projects on feudal abolition (culminating in the Report on Abolition of the Feudal System which was implemented by the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000) and Real Burdens. He was heavily involved in the research for the Discussion Paper on Real Burdens, and the subsequent Report on Real Burdens - having a consultancy role on the latter project following his departure from Scottish Law Commission staff.

From 2000-2005 he was a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde.

In 2002-2003 he was adviser to the Justice 1 committee of the Scottish parliament on the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill assisting in the preparation of the Stage 1 report and amendments submitted by committee members during Stage 2 of the parliamentary process. The bill, based on the Scottish Law Commission work on real burdens, was enacted as the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003.

During 2005 he was a consultant to the Scottish Executive in its work on the reform of diligence (enforcement of decrees) against land. This project culminated in the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc (Scotland) Act 2007.

Scott was a member of the Law Society of Scotland Conveyancing Committee and the Joint Consultative Committee between the Registers of Scotland and Law Society of Scotland. He is a former convenver of the board of examiners of the Law Society of Scotland and has been an external examiner in the law school at Glasgow Caledonian University, University of West of Scotland, and the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Scott is currently a member of the working group assisting the Scottish Law Commission in its work on moveable transactions (including the reform of the law of assignation and the reform of the law of moveable securities in Scotland).

Research Interests

Scott has research interests in the area of rights in security (including floating charges), issues in property law, and legislation, the legislative process, and statutory interpretation. 

He is currently working on work on the legislative history of the Prescription and Limitation (scotland) Act 1973, based on a period of research in the archives in the Scottish Law Commission; and is working on articles relating to the enforcement of standard securities.

In the past he has written on the law of real burdens, issues in transfer of ownership, and the law of floating charges and diligence. He is the author of the chapters on co-ownership, capacity, and rights in security (forthcoming in Volume 2) in Scottish Land Law (with the late Professor W M Gordon). He authored the substantial treatment of the law of real burdens in the seventh edition of Professor McDonald's Conveyancing Manual, and articles in a number of journals. He has also delivered continuing professional development seminars on various aspects of the law of real burdens around Scotland. His collaborative work on the topic with Dr Andrew Steven has been relied on in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland (see, eg, At.home Nationwide Ltd v Morris). Scott's work on the interaction between floating charges and diligence was relied on in the recent five judge decision in MacMillan v T Leith Developments Ltd [2017] CSIH 23.

He has a particular interest in comparative aspects of property law especially relating to other mixed legal systems, having published: on co-ownership with Professor Duard Kleyn from the University of Pretoria in R Zimmermann, D Visser and K Reid (eds), Mixed Legal Systems in Comparative Perspective: Property and Obligations in Scotland and South Africa (2004); and on rules regulating double transfers; and was one of the co-authors of the Scottish national report on transfer of movables in Europe.

Scott has supervised PhD students on the law of floating charges, the law of positive prescription, and the law of posession. 

He welcomes expressions of interest in postgraduate research in the areas of property and commercial law, particularly on the topics of obligations encumbering land, and the law relating to insolvency processes, rights in security, debt and debt enforcement.

Websites

Mr Scott Wortley's Homepage at Edinburgh Law School

The Ranking Problem (Research in a Nutshell)

Biography

Scott Wortley was educated at Annan Academy and the University of Edinburgh graduating LLB (Honours) in 1994. He qualified as a solicitor in 1997 completing a traineeship at Messrs Ketchen and Stevens, WS. Thereafter he was employed at the Scottish Law Commission and worked as senior legal assistant on the Scottish Law Commission projects on feudal abolition (culminating in the Report on Abolition of the Feudal System which was implemented by the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000) and Real Burdens. He was heavily involved in the research for the Discussion Paper on Real Burdens, and the subsequent Report on Real Burdens - having a consultancy role on the latter project following his departure from Scottish Law Commission staff.

From 2000-2005 he was a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde.

In 2002-2003 he was adviser to the Justice 1 committee of the Scottish parliament on the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill assisting in the preparation of the Stage 1 report and amendments submitted by committee members during Stage 2 of the parliamentary process. The bill, based on the Scottish Law Commission work on real burdens, was enacted as the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003.

During 2005 he was a consultant to the Scottish Executive in its work on the reform of diligence (enforcement of decrees) against land. This project culminated in the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc (Scotland) Act 2007.

Scott was a member of the Law Society of Scotland Conveyancing Committee and the Joint Consultative Committee between the Registers of Scotland and Law Society of Scotland. He is a former convenver of the board of examiners of the Law Society of Scotland and has been an external examiner in the law school at Glasgow Caledonian University, University of West of Scotland, and the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Scott is currently a member of the working group assisting the Scottish Law Commission in its work on moveable transactions (including the reform of the law of assignation and the reform of the law of moveable securities in Scotland).

Courses Taught

Insolvency Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Business Law (Ordinary)

Commercial Law (Honours) (Course Organiser)

Commercial Law (Ordinary) (Course Organiser)

Property Law (Honours)

Scottish Legal System (Ordinary)

PhD Supervisees

María Paz Gatica Rodríguez  'The law of neighbours'

Alisdair MacPherson  'The Attachment and Ranking of the Floating Charge in Scots Law'

Books and Reports

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2016-2017, (Avizandum, 2016)

Scott Wortley, William M. Gordon, Scottish Land Law, (W. Green, 2016)

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2015-2016, (Avizandum, 2015)

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2013-2014, (Avizandum, 2013)

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2012-2013, (Avizandum, 2012)

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2011-2012, (Avizandum, 2011)
Abstract: A collection of statutory material on Scottish property, trusts and succession law.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2010-2011, (Avizandum, 2010)
Abstract: A collection of statutory material on Scottish property, trusts and succession law.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2009-2010, (Avizandum, 2009)
Abstract: A collection of statutory material on Scottish property, trusts and succession law.

Scott Wortley, William M. Gordon, Scottish Land Law, (W. Green, 2009)
Abstract: Scottish Universities Law Institute text on Scottish land law

Andrew J. M. Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2008-2009, (Avizandum, 2008)
Abstract: A collection of statutory material on Scottish property, trusts and succession law.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2008-2009, (Avizandum, 2008)
Abstract: A collection of statutory material on Scottish property, trusts and succession law.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2007-2008, (Avizandum, 2007)
Abstract: A collection of statutory material on Scottish property, trusts and succession law.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2006-2007, (Avizandum, 2006)
Abstract: A collection of property, trusts and succession statutes.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, Avizandum Statutes on Scots Property, Trusts and Succession Law 2005-2006, (Avizandum, 2005)
Abstract: A collection of Scottish statutes on property, trusts and succession.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, David A. Brand, Professor McDonald's Conveyancing Manual, (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2004)
Abstract: The seventh edition of a standard Scottish conveyancing text. It is extensively revised to take account of feudal abolition, the reform of title conditions and the law of the tenement and many other matters.

Scott Wortley, Jenny Hamilton, Andrea Coulson, Dave Ingram, Business Finance and Security over Moveable Property, (Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2002)
Abstract: An empirical study of small and medium sized enterprises in raising finance. The paper contains details of interviews with lenders, business advisers (includnig accountants and solicitors), and small and medium sized enterprises themselves, and draws conclusions as to proposed reforms of Scots law of rights in security.

Articles

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, 'Is that Burden Dead Yet (part 2)? ', (2006), Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, pp 50-53
Abstract: A discussion of the ways in which real burdens can be extinguished under the new law.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, 'Is that Burden Dead Yet? (part 1) ', (2006), Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, pp 46-49
Abstract: A practical account of the extent to which real burdens have survived feudal abolition and how to extinguish them if they have.

Scott Wortley, 'Love Thy Neighbour: The Development of the Scottish law of Implied Third Party Rights of Enforcement of Real Burdens', (2005), Juridical Review, pp 345-75
Abstract: An examination of the development of the law of implied third party rights of enforcement of real burdens from the common law through to the statutory reform in the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003. The paper argues that taking account of empirical data, and principles of property law the reform proposals are flawed.

Scott Wortley, 'Preserving Feudal Burdens as Praedial Real Burdens: Reallotment under the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000', (2003), Scottish Law Gazette, Vol 71, pp 73
Abstract: Examination of Part 4 of the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000 and the rules for preservation of feudal real burdens.

Scott Wortley, Stewart Brymer, 'Preparing Superiors for Feudal Abolition ', (2002), Green's Property Law Bulletin, Vol 60-61, pp 6-7; 1-6
Abstract: What should superiors do in the run up to feudal abolition?

Scott Wortley, Dot Reid, 'Mind the Gap: Problems in the Transfer of Ownership', (2002), Scottish Law & Practice Quarterly, Vol 7, pp 211-31
Abstract: An examination of the Inner House decision in Burnett's Trustee v Grainger.

Scott Wortley, 'Double Sales and the Offside Trap: Some Thoughts on the Rule Penalising Private Knowledge of a Prior Right', (2002), Juridical Review, pp 291-316
Abstract: A comparative study of the doctrine of notice (the offside goals rule) in Scotland and South Africa examining doctrinal justifications for the rules. This article analyses the unreported case of Alex Brewster & Sons v Caughey and considers when a party penalised by the doctrine requires to be in bad faith.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, 'The Modernisation of Real Burdens and Servitudes: Some Observations on the Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill Consultation Paper', (2001), Scottish Law & Practice Quarterly, Vol 6, pp 261-85
Abstract: An analysis of the Scottish Executive's Consultation Paper on the Scottish Law Commission's Report on Real Burdens.

Scott Wortley, 'L P W van Vliet, Transfer of Moveables in German, French, English and Dutch Law (Nijmegen: Ars Aequi Libri, 2000) ', (2001), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 5, pp 261-62

Scott Wortley, 'Of Inoperative Deeds and Operational Areas: A Transitional Problem in Land Registration', (2001), Scots Law Times, pp 79
Abstract: Examination of transitional issue in land registration when a county becomes operational for the first time. Looks at ss 2 and 8 of Land registration (Scotland) Act 1979.

Scott Wortley, 'Squaring the Circle: 'Revisiting the Receiver and effectually Executed Diligence'', (2000), Juridical Review, pp 325-46
Abstract: A critical examination of the case of Lord Advocate v Royal Bank of Scotland and the rules on competition between diligence and floating charges. Attention is given to the circles of priority created by the decision and there is a critique of the approach of JG Birrell in SME vol 4 and the Scottish Law Commission, Report on diligence on the dependence.

Scott Wortley, Douglas W. Vick, Andrew D. Murray, 'Regulating E-Commerce: Formal Transactions in the Digital Age', (1999), International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, Vol 13, pp 127-45
Abstract: As digital transactions become more common the need to regulate the commercial frontier of cyberspace becomes increasingly urgent. This has been recognised by national governments, supranational bodies and international organisations. The regulations proposed have though been offered in a piecemeal fashion. National governments attempt to fit cyberspace within the four corners of their (familiar) domestic jurisprudence, and even supranational and international bodies have been guilty of simply extending previous rules to the realm of cyberspace. This paper suggests that a coherent approach to the regulation of electronic commerce may start with an identification and application of principles rather than with the transference of rules. It uses as a reference, proposals for the modernisation of land transfer systems introduced in Canada and Australasia, currently being evaluated by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland and the Law Commission/HM Registry. Underlying these proposals is a central issue: how are traditional formal requirements for property transactions accommodated in cyberspace? More fundamentally, if that most formal of transactions, the transfer of real property, can be modernised to meet the challenge of a new digital age, can not all modes of commerce be similarly modernised for the digital era? This paper evaluates whether a principled approach to answering these questions can, more generally, provide a workable framework for approaching e-commerce regulation.

Andrew Steven, Scott Wortley, 'The Perils of a Trusting Disposition ', (1996), Scots Law Times, pp (News) 365-69
Abstract: A consideration of whether the use of trust clauses by conveyancers in dispositions is a good idea.

Chapters

Andrew Steven, David Carey Miller, Malcolm Combe, Scott Wortley, 'National Report on the Transfer of Movables in Scotland ' in Wolfgang Faber, Brigitta Lurger (ed.) National Reports on the Transfer of Movables in Europe (Sellier 2009) 307-470
Abstract: Scottish report on transfer of moveables.

Scott Wortley, 'Real Burdens and Personal Bar ' in Robert Rennie (ed.) The Promised Land (W. Green 2008) 25-70
Abstract: An examination of the law of personal bar as it applies to real burdens at common law and under s 16 of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003