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Brian Inkster.

THE LOCAL founder of a law firm says he is “honoured” to have won a national small business award.

Brian Inkster, of Inkster’s Solicitors, picked up the Scottish self-employed/sole trader of the year award at a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ceremony Edinburgh on Thursday.

He set up as a sole trader in 1999, and 23 years later Inkster is still a sole trader.

However, Inksters now has nine employees and 18 other sole traders. Those sole traders all work under the Inksters brand from 10 offices throughout Scotland.

He also developed ‘Plug & Play Law’ since 2013, which is a model where senior lawyers can work as a collective, with enhanced technology and back-office support.

Last year Inksters fully replaced salaried solicitors with self-employed consultant solicitors and now just concentrate on the consultancy business model.

In the last two years, and all during the pandemic, Inksters added six new self-employed solicitors. At the same time, the employed support team increased by three.

“The pandemic affected businesses in a variety of ways, some very badly, others very well, but whatever the case, it made us all think hard about what we do,” Inkster said.

“Inksters was transformed by it, fully adopting the exciting new ‘plug and play’ business model where, rather than being partners or employees, all solicitors are self-employed consultants within the Inksters brand, receiving back-office help and support from our Inksterplex hub in Glasgow.”

FACE coverings are no longer legally required from today (Monday) at places of worship or during wedding ceremonies and funerals in Scotland.

The wider legal requirement, applying to shops, some other indoor settings and public transport, is due to be converted to guidance on 18 April.

THE SUMBURGH based coastguard helicopter was tasked with removing crew from the offshore Petrojarl Foinaven FPSO on Saturday following reports of a fire.

A helicopter from Stornoway and a fixed-wing coastguard aircraft were also involved in the operation.

The production vessel in question was located 95 miles north-west of Sumburgh.

THE UNION Unison will consult local government members on taking industrial action over pay.

The decision was made on Friday at Unison’s national local government conference after members rejected an initial pay offer from local government body COSLA.

In January Unison – with Unite and GMB – submitted a pay claim calling for a £3,000 flat rate increase, a minimum hourly rate of £12 per hour and an agreement of home/hybrid working guidance.

In March COSLA offered a two per cent increase across the board and an increase in the Living Wage hourly rate to £9.98.

This was rejected outright by Unison members. Unison said it will now start the industrial action process.

THE SCOTTISH Government’s flagship family payment – Scottish Child Payment – has now doubled to £20 per week per child.

More than 100,000 children are said to be already benefiting from this increase.

The payment, which is unique to Scotland, was designed to tackle child poverty.

The benefit will be extended at the end of the year to all eligible children under the age of 16 – and at that point it will also increase further from £20 to £25.