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Lands Tribunal for Scotland


Retiral of Douglas Ballantyne

On 7 May notice was given on this website of the retiral of Neil Tainsh after 25 years as Clerk to the Tribunal. Today we say farewell to Douglas Ballantyne who, after spending his early career in bookselling and publishing, joined the Registers of Scotland in 1989 before moving to the Lands Tribunal, as Depute Clerk, in 1999. So today sees the end of 22 years of service to the Tribunal during which time he and Neil, later joined by Eli Do Rego, provided a dedicated, well-informed and user-friendly service to Tribunal users.

With a shared background at Registers of Scotland, it was no surprise that Neil and Douglas worked well together as they met the successive changes involved in the abolition of the feudal system, reform of land registration law, the introduction of the Electronic Communications Code and much more. Jointly they provided the Tribunal with a long period of stability and their departure means the loss of the vast store of knowledge as to the Tribunal’s various jurisdictions which they had amassed.

Neil and Douglas were always going to be difficult to replace and so it has proved. Although Neil’s post still remains vacant, despite successive advertisement rounds, we hope to announce Douglas’s replacement very shortly. In the interim, while measures are being taken in an attempt to maintain the high standards they set, I trust Tribunal users will understand if there are any delays in responding to enquiries and so on until we are fully staffed once more.

For Douglas retirement is going to be very much a bold and exciting new chapter of his life since he and his wife, Lisa, are (present international tensions notwithstanding!) moving to live in France where they have bought what looks to be the perfect retirement retreat. My fellow Tribunal members and Eli thank Douglas most warmly for all he has done for the Tribunal during the past 22 years (and perhaps particularly during the difficult past six months since Neil’s retirement) and we know that many of our regular users will join with us in wishing him and Lisa every happiness in retirement. Merci et Au Revoir!

Lord Minginish
2 November, 2021