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Mr Scott Wortley

Lecturer in Commercial Law

Co-Director of Quality Assurance

LLB (Hons), Dip LP, Solicitor

Office hours:

Friday 15:00-16:00

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 4307


View my publications

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 parliamenton 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.