Home to Britain’s highest peaks, deepest lakes and shortest nights, Scotland continues to have an outsized position in the world culturally, economically and politically.
A separate legal jurisdiction from its southern neighbour, Scotland is both a proud nation and a part of the UK (for now).
The birthplace of capitalism (or at least, Adam Smith, of ‘free hand of the market’ fame) remains a place of thriving businesses. From oil in the east, finance in Edinburgh and whisky (not whiskey) pretty much everywhere, the economy is as diverse as its islands and glens.
Governed by the nationalist and pro-EU SNP in Edinburgh, there is frequent tension with the UK government in London and suggestions that Scotland may go for independence Catalonia style (though presumably not with the same outcome).
Scotland’s economy remains dominated by its relationship with England, though it has considerable self-government in areas such as education and health policy as well as successful exports – whisky, woollens and oil expertise among them.
For those considering relocating themselves or doing business north of the border, a few things to remember. The law is similar but different to England, not just due to recent devolution but historically, with different legal principles (no consideration required for a binding contract, for example). Your English lawyer will not automatically be qualified to practice in Scotland and very few lawyers bother to qualify in both. Taxes are also different, so you might need an accountant experienced at advising Scottish clients.
Famous for having two seasons – winter and July – Scotland is perfect for adventurers, romantics and entrepreneurs.
Just watch out for the cold, wild difference in day lengths between summer and winter, and midges (if you are not familiar with this particular insect imagine the lovechild of mosquitoes and the Devil).
And don’t assume that because you’re in the UK that laws and customs will be the same – you will need specialist local advice.