The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 9 August 2013

David Brown appointed new managing director of Ayr Racecourse

David Brown has been appointed managing director of Ayr Racecourse, succeeding Richard Johnstone.

[Ayr Racecourse’s new managing director David Brown pictured above (left) presenting a cheque for £33,988.50 to broadcaster Fred MacAuley with a previous Miss Scotland winner Aisling Pearson. Saints and Sinners Racenight at Ayr Racecourse boosts Scottish charities.]

David joined the Racecourse management team as accountant in 2005 and became finance director in July 2007.

David said: “I am excited about my new appointment. I am looking forward to continuing the good work that has seen so much investment in the track and in facilities over the past 10 years.”

Richard Johnstone will remain co-owner and director of Ayr Racecourse. He bought the track along with fellow businessman Alan Macdonald in June 2003 and since then has overseen dramatic improvements including the upgrading of hospitality facilities, the building of a new Grandstand Sports Bar, Champagne Lawns and a new parade ring.

The former Racecourse offices and HQ, Western House was transformed into a four-star hotel in 2005 and is firmly established as one of the most sought after wedding venues in Scotland.

Ayr Racecourse and Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie welcomes Michael Ryan, Mayor of Sunrise, Florida, USA

The Mayor of Sunrise, Florida, USA, Michael Ryan paid a visit to South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie at the County Buildings while on a private holiday in Ayr with this wife and two children.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie welcomes the Mayor of Sunrise, Florida, USA, Michael Ryan and his wife to County Buildings in Ayr.] 

Speaking about meeting the Mayor and his family, Provost Moonie said: “I was really pleased to welcome the Mayor and his family to Ayr, and after giving them a warm South Ayrshire welcome tell them about all the great activities, places to visit and things to see in South Ayrshire. I particularly enjoyed telling them about the history of the County Buildings, and hearing from them about their home town. 

Commenting on his visit Mayor Ryan said: “I came to South Ayrshire about ten years ago, and am really pleased to be back. The scenery is stunning, and there is so much to see and do. I was delighted that Provost Moonie was able to meet my wife and myself, and show us round the Council headquarters.”

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Monday, 5 August 2013

What Compensation Claims Culture?

By: Ross Slater
Head of
Frazer Coogans Solicitors

It is clear that the continuing struggle to try and obtain clear information about the reasons for the rise in motor insurance premiums goes on.  The UK Parliament’s Transport Select Committee have issued a third Cost of Motor Insurance Report, focusing on the impact of insurance premiums of claims for whiplash injuries, particularly concentrating on fraudulent or exaggerated claims.  The report is a bit of a damp squib however, as the Select Committee concludes that there is insufficient data to allow it to form a definitive view, though a number of recommendations are made.

[Pictured: Ross Slater, Head of at Frazer Coogans Solicitors.]

Dealing with the principal issue of whiplash injuries, the report comments that there is no generally accepted objective test for whiplash.  It repeats the recommendation that all such claims for compensation should be backed up with a medical report commenting on the injured party’s attendance for medical treatment.  However, it was at pains to state that “genuine claimants should not be demonised simply because their condition cannot be picked up on a scan.”

The practice of insurance companies attempting to settle injury claims without the necessity of a medical report (sometimes as early as a few days after a road traffic accident) is strongly criticised.  It was felt that this could only encourage potential fraudulent claims, and Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Select Committee called on insurers to “immediately put their house in order and end practices which encourage fraud and exaggeration.”

[Pictured: The team at Frazer Coogans Solicitors. From left to right behind Ross Slater are: Cheryl Phillips, Stacey Carey and Sandra Stewart.]

Additionally, the Report raises a number of interesting policy issues.  The insurance industry, and indeed the current Government, has often commented on the ground swell of a compensation claims culture, and the increasing numbers of fraudulent or exaggerated claims at the heart of that. While being critical of the availability of clear data, the Select Committee points out that the number of whiplash claims are presently at their lowest since at least 2008.  Coupled with this, there is presently no industry accepted definition or classification of fraudulent and exaggerated claims, leading the report to conclude -
“The Government’s claim that the UK is the “whiplash capital of the world” cannot be conclusively proved or disproved from the international evidence which is available. It is surprising that the Government has brought forward measures to reduce the number of fraudulent or exaggerated whiplash claims without giving even an estimate of the comparative scale of the problem.”

 It is therefore very encouraging that the report calls upon the Government to put together a strategic approach to the issue of fraud and premium pricing, and suggesting that the insurers provide clearer consistent data on the subject.  Insurers are heavily criticised on this matter, having failed to provide information about the links that they have with solicitors, vehicle repairers, credit hire firms and other organisations from which referral fees were received.

Clarity is the way in which the issue of fraudulent or exaggerated claims can be defeated. I welcome any attempts to root out fraudulent claims, and obtaining clear medical evidence is the best place to start.  It is very disappointing that insurers feel they can circumvent this necessary part of the process by door-stepping injured parties.  Obtaining clear medical advice about the injury, followed up by clear legal advice on the potential value of the claim is crucial.


Ross Slater
Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Dalblair House,
46 Dalblair Road,

Telephone:01292 280499
Web: and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.