Douglas Connell says a constitutional group set up to offer advice to clients on Scotland's future is now seeing regular inquiries in an interview with The Herald.

Douglas reiterated the firm has a neutral stance on independence but is seeing a growing level of demand from clients as"the debate hots up".

The interdisciplinary group, chaired by Douglas, is made up of lawyers with various areas of expertise, investment managers and financial planners.

A Range of Views on Scottish Independence

He said:"We represent clients with the whole spectrum of views on devolution and independence.

"We are getting a lot of questions now on areas like pensions, financial services regulation, tax residence and tax domicile, income tax and property taxation."

Douglas said even clients not based in Scotland are becoming more aware of the independence referendum and are concerned about the lack of information available.

Knowing the Risks

He said:"When you think about what advice we give, then a lot of what we do is based on risk.

"I think if you apply that approach then Scottish independence is appearing on the informal risk maps that clients consider when planning their own affairs.

"It is not on the map because it is an awful thing or a major threat, but because of the uncertainty.

"There are many known unknowns but actually there quite a lot of unknown unknowns.

"I am not sure we are going to get much clarification on a lot of these things over the next 18 months.

"The problem for some clients is they are having to make a lot of long-term decisions now so cannot wait for a White Paper."

While Douglas is not aware of clients postponing major investment decisions in Scotland, he is worried the uncertainty may begin to have an effect

He added:"The real risk for us working in Scotland is people start making decisions based on their perceptions of what may happen over the next few years."

Turcan Connell opened its first Glasgow office in September last year.

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