Dictum Meum Pactum

London Stock Exchange Coat of Arms Dictum Meum Pactum
London Stock Exchange – Coat of Arms

The London Stock Exchange, dating back to 1801, was granted their coat of arms, above, in 1923.

Dictum Meum Pactum.

Meaning?: “My word is my bond”.

I am reminded recently that Scots law is different than English law. One key element is that under Scots law, a verbal contract is legally binding.

Once again: “My word is my bond”.

One key area of difference in the two legal systems is in buying and selling property.

In Scots law, once you contract to buy or sell a house, that is it. Binding. Sanctions against anyone pulling out of a deal are tough and expensive.

In English law, though, such transactions are always at risk of anybody in what is called a “property chain” pulling out at the last minute, as it seems to this untrained observer that it is easy to make an excuse and do this.

For those looking to buy property in England, then, they must be subject to the whims of everybody up and down the chain right up to the last moment. Feels ludicrous and so many English people look enviously at the security and trust buyers in Scotland can put in that system when buying there.

I often say the six most dangerous words in business are:

We’ve always done it this way

It makes me wonder. Why, oh why, has nobody in authority in England thought to change this archaic system that seems to serve nobody well. Answers on a postcard please 😉

So, two thoughts for you to ponder in your own leadership:

  1. Is your word truly your bond, always?
  2. What have you always done “this way” that you could, in truth, choose to change tomorrow?