Saturday, 6 August 2016

Highland Titles Cannot Make You A Laird Lord or Lady It's Official

An article about fake Laird Lord and Lady titles was published in The Times on Friday. It appears that some people have been so taken in by the advertising of con merchants like Highland Titles claiming you can become a Laird Lord or Lady by owning a souvenir plot of land, that they've been applying for a coat of arms from Lord Lyon.

The headline reads "Buying piece of Scotland doesn’t make you a laird or lady"

The start of The Times article can be seen HERE, and a full copy of an open access version is archived HERE.

The Guardian also picked up on the story HERE

We have to chuckle at the protestations of Highland Titles, their quotation from the article reads "In Scotland anyone can, subject to requirements of good faith, call themselves whatever they like, including ‘laird’, ‘lord’ or ‘lady’".

We have no argument with the above, unfortunately that is not what Highland Titles have been telling  and selling to their customers.

Here are two clips from a scan of the "Landowner Handbook" section of the document pack sent out to Highland Titles' customers, taken in Spring 2015.

We can see quite clearly that Highland Titles claim that "As the owner of Scottish land you can legitimately style yourself as a Laird Lord or Lady, and, "The title of Lord or Lady depends on owning Scottish land". Both of these statements are bare faced lies designed to con their customers into believing they own a plot of land and that in so doing they gain a genuine title, it's nonsense.

As we have seen previously ad nauseum, and as pointed out in The Times article, it is not possible to become the owner of a souvenir plot of land in Scotland, whatever Highland Titles or anyone else may tell you.

The other tiny issue is, even if you did actually own the plot, as pointed out in The Times article by Lord Lyon, you still would not gain the rights to any titles at all.
"The Court of the Lord Lyon reiterated that the titles awarded had no legal worth." 
“It is a description rather than a title and is not appropriate for the owner of a normal residential property, far less the owner of a small souvenir plot of land."
Yes in Scotland you can call yourself anything you want, but doing so does not make you become the thing you've called yourself.

Giving yourself a title using descriptive words does not make you become the thing the words describe.

Lets make it simple, giving yourself the title of  'Doctor' doesn't make you a doctor does it? Obviously not. In the same way giving yourself the title of Laird Lord or Lady doesn't make you one, does it?

If you really must call yourself Laird Lord or Lady and have that on your passport you can, but be aware this will become your fist name not your title. Just fill in a free deed poll document available here fill out the form, follow the instructions, and off you go. There is no need to give a bunch of scammers £29.99 for the privilege, it makes it no more valid.

If you think calling yourself "Lord of Whatever" might get you better seats in restaurants or something, just call yourself that. Banks and credit card companies will change the name on cards if you send a simple free deed poll document, they don't care what you want to be called and do want to keep your custom. Paying good money for a plot of land you can't own makes no difference at all to this.

But Highland Titles have a trademark on Laird of Glencoe and that's what I want to call myself. This makes no difference at all, you are not using it for commercial purposes so you are entirely at liberty to call yourself that, it does not contravene their trademark in any way.

You don't get a title by owning land in Scotland, you don't get a meaningful title by calling yourself a descriptive name. To top it all, you can't own a souvenir plot of land in Scotland. Anybody claiming otherwise and offering to sell you any of the mentioned, is operating a scam.

In our opinion it is a national disgrace that this business has been allowed to carry on for so long without the intervention of regulators. We can see no reason why the law has not been applied to those who peddle this nonsense, and benefit financially from their clear deception.

What others have to say about Highland Titles might interest you

Andy Wightman (now an MSP) asks "Who Owns Lord Glencoe's Plot" HERE

Malcolm Combe Lecturer in Law at Aberdeen University discusses Highland Titles HERE

Craig Anderson Lecturer in law Robert Gordon University letter to the Scotsman HERE

#loveandgarbage discusses Scots land law and Highland Title's claims that their customers become land owners and get a title HERE and HERE

Previous cons operated by the Bevis mob

The website fooling consumers into paying for otherwise free European Health Insurance Cards and other matters is discussed HERE

The Mirror newspaper reveals that Peter Bevis of Highland Titles was behind the Telephone Preference Register website, which was found by the Advertising Standards Agency to  be "leading users to infer it was a Government service" HERE

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