Legal Services

Frequently Asked Questions and Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can sign contracts on behalf of the University?

A: The University Court is the University’s governing body and the legal persona of the University. It has the authority to bind the University in legal agreements. For practical purposes, it has delegated some of its powers to committees or individuals as recorded in the University’s Delegated Authority Schedule (also referred to as DAS)

University Court

The DAS is structured to show:

  • The Committee or individual which must approve the transaction, arrangement or project;
  • The individual who holds the delegated signing authority to sign the legal documents relating to the transaction once approval has been given; and
  • The individuals who need to be informed or consulted by a delegated signing authority or approver for transactions of certain types or above certain values.

Delegated Authority Schedule


Q: What is the University’s formal name and description, used when signing contracts? 

A: The University Court of The University of Edinburgh, a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SC005336, incorporated under the Universities (Scotland) Acts, with its registered address at Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, UK.

Please note that University Schools and Colleges are not distinct legal entities, and so cannot enter into contracts on their own behalf.


Q:  I have been asked to negotiate/review/sign an agreement relating the University. Should Legal Services review it?

A: Not necessarily - not all legal agreements signed on behalf of the University require Legal Services’ review. Please see the section 'Contact Details for Specific Queries' on the 'Contact Us' page for more information on which teams should be contacted for specific issues.

Contact the Legal Services Team

Contact Details for Specific Queries


Q:  What are my intellectual property rights in relation to research I conduct at the University?

A:  Under UK law, IP generated by employees in the course of their employment is the property of the employer unless otherwise agreed. IP created by employees outside the course of their employment belongs to the employee concerned, except where University resources have been used to create the IP. Where University resources have been used to create the IP, the employee will be deemed to have agreed to transfer such IP to the University. IP created by a student who is not an employee of the University belongs to the student concerned unless otherwise agreed (for example, due to funding requirements).

More information can be found in the University policy on intellectual property

Policy on Intellectual Property


Further guidance is available in relation to copyright from:

  • The Scholarly Communications team, which provides advice on copyright for researchers; and
  • Information Services, which provides further information on copyright, including in relation to teaching and research

The Scholarly Communications team

Information Services


Q: A  legal document/claim/dispute has been served on me – what should I do with it? 

A: Please contact us if a legal document has been served on you in your capacity as an employee of the University.

Contact the Legal Services Team


Briefing Notes

Legal Services has prepared the following Briefing Notes on Data Protection, Intellectual Property, State Aid and Public Procurement which are available on the Legal Services Wiki page. [Note: requires EASE login]

Legal Services Wiki