In last summer's edition of the e-bulletin we discussed the Scottish Office's consultation on reforming the law on Scottish unincorporated associations.  In particular we looked at the proposal that unincorporated associations who meet certain criteria should be given separate legal personality.  Scottish Associations with Legal Personality ("SALP") would have the ability to enter into contracts, sue or be sued, and own property, all in their own name.

The consultation period closed on 9 July 2012 and the Scottish Office issued its report on the findings in the autumn of last year.  Somewhat disappointingly given the importance of the proposal, only 41 responses were received during the consultation period (including our own).  Whilst there was widespread support for taking forward the broad principles of the proposals, there were mixed views on several aspects including whether SALP status should be "opt in" or "opt out".

A copy of the Scottish Office's report on the consultation can be found here.

Based on the responses received, the Scottish Office has decided that further work is required on the proposal to ensure that any change in law does not have unintended consequences which could damage the interests of unincorporated associations.  Unfortunately there is no indication at present as to how long it may take before an amended proposal is put forward.  In the meantime, the legal status of unincorporated associations remains unchanged.