A law firm for life

Frequently asked questions, answered

Not sure about something? Let us help you…

I am starting out in business and I wonder what keys things I require to have in mind before starting this process?

Starting your own business is an exciting and interesting time, but it is essential that you embark upon that journey having made all the necessary preparations and developed a strategy for the business. Our top 10 tips for those embarking on a new venture are:-

  • Prepare a Business Plan.
  • Formalise realistic financial projections.
  • Get professional advice from Solicitors and Accountants before you start.
  • Get the support of your Bank and funders.
  • Obtain whatever grant funding is available to get your business launched. Many Local Authorities, Business Enterprises and Trusts provide support/grants for the launch of many different entities.
  • To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. The old adage is never truer. In the event that your preparations are comprehensive and you have considered all of the hurdles that might arise, at least in the first year of business, this will stand you in good stead to cope and your business to survive when these hurdles appear on the horizon.
  • Start small and grow at a pace you can manage. While rapid expansion can see a huge increase in revenue for the business, in the event that this arises at the expense of quality either of product or service, then failure and collapse will be just around the corner.
  • Surround yourself with the best people qualified to help you deliver the business objectives. You can’t do it all yourself!
  • Identify your KPI’s and continually monitor their performance.
  • Enjoy it.

If I enter into Partnership, do I require a Partnership Agreement?

There is no requirement for any Partnership to write a Partnership Agreement,. In the event that no Partnership Agreement is signed off between the Partners, then the Partnership Act 1890 will dictate and regulate the relationships among the Partners. Whilst this historic Act can provide the basic framework for a Partnership, it is very often unsuitable in modern practice for the business relationships which Partners wish to enjoy. It is always advisable to have in place a Partnership Agreement to set out the obligations, rights and benefits that Partners will enjoy from the Partnership.

I am a Shareholder in a Limited Company along with four other colleagues. We are all Directors and want to regulate the arrangements among us. Can we do that?

In any Private Limited Company it is open to the Shareholders to regulate the relationship among them by producing a Shareholders Agreement. This is very common and advisable in Private Limited Companies. This can regulate very important issues among the Shareholders such as:-

The obligations of the respective Directors and Shareholders.
The Dividend Policy of the Company.
The amount of capital which will require to be contributed on subscription by each Shareholder.
The method of transfer of shares in the event that one Shareholder wishes to exit.
Transfers of shares on death and incapacity.
The method of valuation of shares in the event that transfer is to be effected for any reason.
Restrictive Covenants for Shareholders to regulate their activities after exit and to prevent, for instance, competition with the Company after share sale.

We can advise on all aspects of preparing a Shareholders Agreement and put this in place for you.

What is a Personal Guarantee in the context of a Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership?

Where you trade as a Limited Company or LLP, a creditor may require the Directors or members of a business to sign Personal Guarantees to guarantee the debt of the Limited Company or LLP. This will mean that in the event of insolvency, whilst Limited Liability protection is provided by the Company, the Directors will be personally liable for those debts for which they have signed a Personal Guarantee.

What is a Power of Attorney and do I need one?

A Power of Attorney comes into effect in the event that you suffer some form of incapacity, for example a stroke or dementia. The Power of Attorney tells everyone who you want to manage your money and help you with your care if you cannot make these decisions yourself. The alternative to a Power of Attorney is an Application for Guardianship which is far more complicated and expensive. Please contact our reception to make an appointment with one of our Executry solicitors to discuss the options available to you.

A family member has died - what do I do now?

At The McKinstry Company we understand how difficult bereavement is. One of our experienced solicitors can handle all aspects of your loved one’s estate. Please contact our reception to arrange an appointment.

A relative has died without a Will, what does that mean?

If someone has passed away without leaving a Will, the estate remains to be divided in terms of the Law of Succession in Scotland. It is important that you seek the advice of a qualified and experienced professional to assist you in dealing with the estate. Please contact our reception to arrange an appointment with one of our Private Client team.

I am involved in a dispute which I think will result in court action - what will it cost to instruct a solicitor?

Our solicitors will confirm the cost of our service when they meet with you. This will depend on what service we provide, though we do offer a number of funding options for all clients and can provide details on request. In many cases, we can offer an initial consideration of your circumstances without charge.

Can you visit me at home?

We can provide an initial meeting at home for our disabled clients and for those whose injuries prevent a meeting taking place at our offices.

My spouse/partner and I have separated and I need advice about divorce - how much will it cost to consult a solicitor?

We do not offer Legal Aid for this type of work and charge on an hourly rate basis. Please contact our Litigation team to arrange an appointment with one of our solicitors, who can advise you of the costs you might expect to incur.

Do I have to leave my assets equally to my children?

No. Children have a right under Scots Law to a certain amount from your estate but this doesn’t apply to property

I want to put an offer in for a farm, what do I do?

Contact us and we will discuss the offer with you and submit it formally to the Seller’s solicitor or agent

Ayr Sandgate

Queen’s Court House
39 Sandgate
Ayr, Ayrshire

  • Disability access
  • Parking close by


146-148 Dalrymple Street
Girvan, Ayrshire
KA26 9BQ

  • Disability access
  • Parking close by
Join the McKinstry family
Some of our happy clients
  • Really helpful and friendly always replied to calls and emails. Thank you very much for all your help and advice and hard work.

    Mr S, Auchinleck
  • First class throughout 100% better than last time we moved house and used a different firm. Always responded to promptly with appropriate detailed replies. First Class

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Thank you for the support during a difficult time.

    Mrs M, Ayr
  • Every email was timely and actioned quickly. Kirsty and Libby were exceptional to deal with. They kept me informed in a timely manner with the added complication of our sale being carried out whilst we are currently based in America.

  • My emails were always responded to in a timely manner no matter who I was dealing with. Thank you to Nat and Kirsty who helped throughout our move and during some difficult times when lock down was first announced! They have both been great.

    Miss K, Dalry
  • Everything was done extremely professionally.

    Mrs G, Ayr
  • Very happy with the way my case has been dealt with despite working restrictions due covid 19 - thank you. Calls & emails always responded to within reasonable timescale. Very impressed with lawyers and staff I have dealt with during current case and previous divorce case very friendly and efficient.

    Mrs H, Ayr
  • All very prompt, efficient, clear, friendly and personable. Not overwhelming with legal jargon. Many thanks for making the process of setting up a will so straightforward.

    Mrs D, Troon
  • We required our Wills to be amended and that was done without any problems whatsoever.

    Mrs F, Ayr
  • Very business-like and helpful

    Mr M, Ayr
  • I was very impressed with the professionalism shown by all members of staff I had any dealing with. All calls and emails were relevant to the sale of my flat. All questions I had were dealt with at the time. For any further legal matters I will certainly be using The McKinstry Company

    Mr H, Ayr
  • Excellent service most happy with attentiveness and customer service.

    Mr F, Condorrat
  • Nat & Libby efficiently dealt with every question I had.

    Mrs K, Ayr
  • Kirsty understood our weird schedule when we were often 8 hours behind UK time, and simplified things for us by liaising via email. She was extremely approachable and dependable. In Kirsty’s absence, Jodie and Nathaniel would step in and communicate with us, and were very helpful too.

    Mrs N, Ayr
  • Great service and always on hand to answer our questions. Prompt and efficient response.

    Mr H, Ferniegair
  • Questions and communication were answered promptly

    Mr W, Sinclairston
  • Speaking from my own personal experience I was perfectly happy with the service I received. Everything was done to my satisfaction.

    Mrs I, Largs
  • Very efficient, timely and very mannerly on the phone

    Mr McN, Mauchline
  • The service was superb.  Kirsty and team were extremely helpful.

    Mr and Mrs R, Ayr
  • First class service from start till finish. Always there to give help and advice.

    Mr R, Ayr
  • Great service and advice from a good professional company.

    Mr R, Kilmarnock
  • Excellent, very friendly and professional. I will be using you for all my property transactions in the future!

    Mrs S, Godstone
  • My case was handled sensitively and smoothly.

    Mr N, Ayr
  • Everyone concerned in the sale of our property was very efficient and kept us up to date with all happenings.

    D Ferguy, Cookstown
  • Great service.  Would recommend you to others.

    Mr S, Kirkmichael
  • Communication was always available when required. Made me feel confident throughout the process.

    Mr L, Ayr
  • Always replied or phoned back when I needed my questions answered.

    Miss McF, Patna
  • A very prompt and friendly service, a pleasure to deal with.

    Mr R, Aberdeen
  • Robert was very supportive.

    M Carruthers, Kilmarnock.
  • Great, Rebecca was very pleasant to deal with and went out of her way to help with our case

    S Everett, Kilbarchan
  • The solicitor / paralegal I was dealing with was very professional and performed to a high standard. I was very impressed.

    B Ferguson, Methil
  • Local firm, word of mouth good reports.

    K Rooney, Glasgow
  • All queries were dealt with in a prompt and professional manner and I was kept informed of progress as events developed. Thank you very much for making a difficult situation much easier to deal with.

    Mrs McG, Ayr
  • Communication via telephone and email was regular, prompt and comprehensive. All queries and questions were answered with no delays or problems. My experience with the McKinstry Company was pleasant and smooth.

    Mr McK, Ayr
  • My family and I received excellent service from everyone with whom we had contact. The service was of the highest standard and, as I have in the past, I will continue to recommend the company to anyone seeking legal assistance.

    Mrs S, Ayr
  • All emails and calls were dealt with promptly. Very impressed. Very very pleased with service.

    Mr and Mrs H, Hull
  • I enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Very professional.

    Mrs A, Ayr
  • Mr Honeyman was very professional and knowledgeable which made us feel reassured. Very happy with the service and if I needed a solicitor again I would get in touch.

    Mr B, Ardrossan
  • Prompt quick efficient communication.

    Mrs K, Cumnock
  • Ease of making appointments and timescale for completion of business all good.

    Mr & Mrs T, Maybole
  • Gave reassurance and comfort at a stressful time. I felt ten times better after our first meeting and support provided ultimately exceeded my desired outcome.

    Mr N, Saltcoats
  • The supportive way that the advice was provided along with the willingness to fit appointments in with our requirements

    Mr R, Ayr
  • The whole process was handled with upmost professionalism throughout.

    Mr McN, Kilwinning

We’re delighted to welcome you back!

We are open by appointment but these will be restricted to executry and matrimonial clients. Social distancing measures will be in place and please ensure face coverings are worn when entering the office.