• Our database searches will have thrown light on the place and person involved, in every routine case. Our officers do not begin a journey until we have captured our data. We look for notices in the Gazette, or traces to new addresses. Our detective’s approach guides us in all our services for citation and diligence. We minimize your risk of incurring needless costs; we maximize our opportunity fully to answer your needs.
  • We can solve many problems, without court action. From collecting small debts amicably, to highly confidential engagements – our extra-judicial services complement our judicial functions. As court officers, or private agents, messengers-at-arms are accountable to public authority. Our officers’ standards of care and conduct are always the same.
  • The Commissary court, just like the Small Claims one, has business in which we can help you. We put at your service the combination of expertise in genealogical and historical research with all the court officer’s practical know-how in tracing people. We charge estates modest scale fees for our time as executry research agents; we never hunt fortunes from heirs.
  • We correspond with agents throughout the world – so do not imagine that we keep within the geographical limits of any Scottish sheriffdom. Consult us, please, on any matter requiring diligence or diligent investigation!

Recovering Commercial Rents

Entrance hallLandlords of commercial premises in Scotland, with registered leases, are in a fortunate position. All the legal procedures that could secure payment of their debts and costs could be carried out by a messenger-at-arms. There is no need for any other legal agency to be involved, unless bankruptcy proceedings prove necessary.

“A debt… recoverable by summary warrant may be collected… in the case of a decree or summary warrant of the Court of Session, by a messenger-at-arms” (Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers Rules 1991, 14(2)(b)). A lease registered in the Books of Council and Session for preservation and execution is a “document of debt” (in terms of Section 221 of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007), containing warrant for summary diligence.

As the collection and enforcement processes are all parts of a messenger-at-arms’ official functions, the prescribed fees for diligence are recoverable from the tenant’s first payments. Another advantage of employing Rutherford & Macpherson is that we charge no commission on the monies we recover.

Send us the extract registered lease and your statement of the sums due to be recovered. If the warrant is in order (and we can obtain a suitable one, if there has been a change in the identity of the landlord since the lease was signed), the service of a charge for payment on the tenant may be all that requires to be done.


Stained glass

Enforcing Decrees

The meaning of “decree” includes (by virtue of the same Section 221) “a civil judgement granted outside Scotland by a court, tribunal or arbiter which, by virtue of any enactment or rule of law, is enforceable in Scotland”. A judgment from a court in England and Wales, once registered in the Books of Council and Session, contains warrant for diligence, as though it were a decree of Scotland’s supreme civil court. A messenger-at-arms is the officer of court authorized to enforce such a decree.

It is appropriate, therefore, for creditors or solicitors outside Scotland to instruct messengers-at-arms directly. Send us your certificate of money provisions (Form 111) and we can send it for registration. Once we have the extract registered certificate, we can begin enforcement immediately.

In all cases, please note that the instructing party is liable to pay the messenger-at-arms’ fee. By virtue of Sections 93 and 94 of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987, and Sections 40 and 41 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002,  the expenses chargeable against the debtor are recoverable from his first payment to account. Therefore, in those cases where money is successfully recovered, what the messenger-at-arms ultimately provides is a legal service, free of cost to you, the user.