Ian S. Forrester QC LLD
Ian Forrester QC was educated and trained in Scotland, Louisiana, New York and Brussels. He is a well-known practitioner in the field of European law, specialising in competition, intellectual property, customs, antidumping, pharmaceutical regulation, football, the precautionary principle, broadcasting, computer software and due process, being a member of the bars of Scotland, New York, England and Brussels. He argued a number of leading cases, including Magill, Bosman, Pfizer Animal Health, Microsoft, GSK, and Gibraltar, on behalf of large and small companies, the European Commission, private individuals, political figures, and trade associations. He has written over 100 articles or chapters on a range of legal topics. In 2015 he was nominated by the UK to be the judge from the UK on the General Court of the European Union where he sat on about 200 cases concerning competition, access to documents, trademarks, plant varieties, public procurement, employment, and other European Union questions. He has been an arbitrator in proceedings under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, Court of Arbitration for Sport and has argued cases before courts in Scotland ,England, Belgium, Serbia and France, as well as the EFTA court, the ECtHR in Strasbourg, and the EU courts in Luxembourg.
Further detail about his practice, visit: ianstewartforrester.com.
Una Doherty QC
Una Doherty QC has been ranked in the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 editions of the Legal 500 UK Bar Directory for Personal Injury, Medical Negligence and Professional Negligence.
- 2015 edition: “Great attention to detail and particular strengths in high-value medical negligence claims.”
- 2016 edition: “An impressive ability to assimilate a lot of technical information very quickly.”
- 2017 edition: “Reliable and well organised.”
- 2018 edition: “A high calibre advocate.”
- 2019 edition: “Extremely reliable, quick-witted and efficient.”
- 2021 edition: “Una has an incredible eye for detail and getting into the minutiae of a case. She runs consultations, negotiations and court hearings very well, making her a go-to senior counsel.”
She has also been ranked for clinical negligence in the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 editions of Chambers UK Bar Guide.
- 2017 edition: “Very able and efficient. She’s insightful and good at analysing cases.” “She’s always very well prepared.”
- 2018 edition: “She grasps legal concepts very well, is very tenacious in court, gives very clear advice and is hands-on.” “She has a very broad grasp of how things work on both the defendant and claimant side and is very effective in reaching sensible settlements.”
- 2019 edition, ranked as a new silk: “Very knowledgeable and very thorough.”
- 2020 edition: “She is a thoughtful and diligent advocate.” “Her attention to detail is second to none. She’s also great with clients and is quick to spot issues.”
- 2021 edition: “She is always extremely well prepared and is very thorough. She’s pragmatic and always puts the clients first.” “She is very meticulous, approachable and practical.”
- 2022 edition: “She is meticulous in her preparation and attention to detail. She turns around work extremely efficiently.” “She is extremely thorough and diligent.”
Una has a varied civil practice which covers a range of reparation and commercial disputes, although her main areas of practice are in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. She is instructed both for pursuers and for defenders and acts for clients ranging from individual litigants to insurers and public bodies. She is regularly instructed by the NHS Central Legal Office. She has extensive experience of high value personal injury claims including those involving catastrophic brain injuries. In the area of clinical negligence, she regularly acts in multi-million pound claims, including cerebral palsy cases.
She has been an Ad Hoc Advocate Depute since 2013, and in that role prosecutes criminal cases in the High Court.
She was a Legal Assessor to the General Teaching Council of Scotland from 2017 to 2021, advising panels on questions of law and procedure in Fitness to Teach proceedings.
In 2017, she completed an International Arbitration Law course at the University of Aberdeen, and was a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators from 2017 to 2021.
Una took silk in 2018.
In 2020, Una qualified as a mediator.
In 2021, Una was appointed as a Legally Qualified Chair by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). In that role Una chairs panels with social service and lay members to decide whether workers’ fitness to practise is impaired.
Recent selected cases:
Confidentiality prohibits the details of the numerous claims which have settled without recourse to the courts or in the course of proof.
Robert Howie QC
Robert Howie QC was admitted as an advocate in 1986. He took silk in 2000. He has been involved in a large number of adjudications as Counsel, legal adviser or adjudicator. He has also acted as the Court’s reporter in several petition cases including Earl of Balfour, Petitioner 2003 SC (HL) 1 and Chisholm, Petitioner 2006 SLT 394. He regularly appears in the Inner and Outer Houses of the Court of Session. He has appeared in the Sheriff Court, the Lands Tribunal and in several Arbitrations. Robert Howie has also led in the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court.
Robert Howie QC is ranked in the current edition of Chambers and Partners under 4 areas of practice. In Construction Law he is described as “A really great lawyer who is deserving of his great reputation and an opponent to be reckoned with… He is very good at marshalling and dealing with legal arguments.” He is also ranked in Chambers and Partners for Insolvency described as being “very commercially and tactically minded… His advice is always first-class, clear, well thought out and supported by detailed knowledge of case law.” Under Commercial Dispute Resolution “His thoroughness and knowledge are second to none… He is one of the cleverest advocates at the Scottish Bar. He’s near the top of the pile in terms of quality commercial work.” And under Professional Negligence “He has an amazing ability to come up with a left-field argument… He is very bright, very able and an inventive thinker.”
Lauren Sutherland QC
Lauren Sutherland QC called to the bar in 1996 and took silk in 2016. Prior to calling to the Bar she was a Solicitor in private practice specialising in Personal Injury and Medical Negligence work. As a Solicitor she worked for both claimants and defending claims. Since calling to the Bar she has specialised in Clinical and Professional Negligence, Fatal Accident Inquiries, Personal Injury and Human Rights issues in Medical Law. In 2020 Lauren gained CEDR accreditation as a mediator.
Lauren runs a blog providing comment on legal cases in the area of clinical negligence and patient consent and can be viewed here.
Lauren Sutherland QC has advocacy experience gained over nearly 30 years both as a Solicitor in private practice and at the Bar. She has considerable experience in catastrophic injury cases and has a particular interest and expertise in cerebral palsy, cancer and brain injury cases. As a Solicitor she gained experience in the area of nursing practice and this continued when she called to the bar and she had responsibility to oversee the nursing section in the Vale of Leven Public Inquiry. She has also considerable experience in the area of Solicitors professional negligence.
She is currently ranked in Chambers UK and the Legal 500 (Band 1) for Clinical Negligence. She has consistently been ranked band 1 for Clinical Negligence.
Chambers UK have said:
Lauren Sutherland QC is a strong silk who brings her skills to bear in the full array of clinical negligence and personal injury cases. She is adept at navigating complex causation and quantum issues and is especially knowledgeable about claims relating to cerebral palsy, brain injuries and fatal incidents. Instructing solicitors frequently praise her for her medical knowledge. (Chambers 2022)
“Excellent on her feet and very well prepared.” (Chambers 2021)
“She is pragmatic, great at managing expectations and very practical.” (Chambers 2021)
“She has an apparently inexhaustible energy to prepare and argue some of the most ground-breaking cases”, “A highly regarded and experienced advocate recognised for her personal injury and medical negligence experience” (Chambers 2020)
“She is absolutely superb, and she fights a client’s corner pretty fiercely… hugely knowledgeable and really applies herself“.
In the 2016 edition she is described as “Deeply knowledgeable in medical negligence matters. I don’t think you could find a more committed advocate to medical negligence cases.” “She’s a real leader in this field; the most specialised claimant clinical negligence advocate in Scotland“.
In 2017 Chambers say of her “Her knowledge of the legal and medical aspects of the cases she handles is phenomenal” “Absolutely superb at medical negligence cases. She goes the extra mile to understand the expert knowledge.”
Lauren was junior counsel in the landmark case on Consent to medical treatment – Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board  UKSC 11. She presented the first argument for the claimant in the Scottish Inner House and was part of the team who conducted the case in the UK Supreme Court. This case was instrumental in changing the approach to consent in the UK and has been described as one of the most significant clinical negligence cases in recent years. Lauren has published a book on Consent post Montgomery available on Amazon (see Law Brief Publishing for details).
Lauren has been involved in a number of high profile Fatal Accident Inquiries, the Nimrod litigation and is currently involved in the Product litigation involving the use of TVT and mesh in gynaecological procedures and orthopaedic product litigation.
She was appointed by the Scottish Government as junior counsel to the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry in October 2009. The Inquiry had a wide remit to review deaths from C difficile infection. Her involvement required extensive knowledge of care of the elderly, nursing and medical practice, and infection control in hospital.
She was invited to participate in the review panel Chaired by Professor S McLean on the issue of introduction of no fault compensation in Scotland.
Lauren was a key speaker at the Association of Breast Surgery Conference on 13th May 2019 at the SEC Glasgow where she lead the Medico-Legal case discussion on consent and practical case studies on issues of patient consent confidentiality.
In 2020 Lauren was appointed Head of Medical Negligence at PEOPIL (Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers).
Lauren was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2021 and joined Byrom Street Chambers in February 2022. She can accept instructions in England and Wales via her clerks at Byrom Street Chambers.
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen has a civil practice with particular emphasis on commercial law, planning and environmental law and public law. She is currently ranked in five separate practice areas by Chambers UK and she was the Legal 500 Scottish Bar Junior of the Year in 2020.
Since calling to the bar in 2009 Laura-Anne has been instructed in a variety of commercial matters including company and insolvency matters, contractual disputes, shipping matters and tax appeals. She has represented both developers and planning authorities in planning matters, petitioners and respondents in a range of judicial review proceedings, and interested parties and core participants in fatal accident and public inquiries.
Laura-Anne has extensive advocacy experience. Before calling to the Scottish Bar she practised as an Advocate in South Africa and she called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2008. She has appeared in the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Session (Inner and Outer House), the Scottish Land Court, the Sheriff Court and various tribunals and inquiries.
She has been on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel since 2015 and was a Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government from 2015 to 2021.
In 2022 Laura-Anne was appointed Counsel to the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry.
Graham Primrose QC
Graham Primrose QC is a highly regarded silk, consistently ranked in Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2019 for Personal Injury as a “Star Individual” and in Clinical Negligence.
A wide and varied civil practice with particular emphasis on reparation and clinical and professional negligence. An Ad-hoc Advocate Depute since 2008, the appointment having been renewed in 2017. Regularly instructed by high profile organisations, including several large insurance companies, the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, the Advocate General for Scotland and the National Health Service. Particular knowledge of and expertise in, cases involving air accidents, accidents aboard ships, road traffic accidents and incidents occurring on oil and gas installations.
Instructed for the partners of the pilot and co-pilot of the Super Puma Helicopter which crashed off the Scottish coast in April 2009 with the loss of all passengers and crew. The case concluded with a high-value settlement in October 2012.
Thereafter, instructed to act on behalf of the 9 surviving passengers involved in the ditching of the CHC Scotia Super Puma helicopter off Shetland on 23rd August 2013. After a 4 day mediation, these cases concluded successfully in December 2015. Appeared against a leading English aviation silk at the mediation.
Then retained to act as Senior Counsel on behalf of 10 passengers and the 2 crew who raised claims in respect of the ditching of a Bond Offshore Helicopters aircraft, ‘G-Redw’, in the North Sea on 10th May 2012. These cases concluded with settlement being reached during mid-2016. Thereafter, successfully arguing for the award of an Additional Fee on behalf of the instructing agents before Lord Brailsford, in June 2016.
Between 2018 and 2019, acted as Senior Counsel for the defenders in a case involving allegations of negligence against the owners of a light aircraft which crashed in Tayside killing the pilot and co-pilot. The case was ultimately abandoned, a robust defence having been mounted to the claims.
In October 2014 represented the interests of Aviva Insurance in the Supreme Court in the case of Elizabeth Jackson v Robert Murray 2015 S.C. (U.K.S.C.) 105, which revisited the respective duties of care of pedestrians and motorists, and considered the applicable level of contributory negligence in a case where a pedestrian suddenly moves into the path of a vehicle which was travelling at an excessive speed. The case contains useful guidance on the application of the concepts of “causal potency” and “relative blameworthiness”, the factors which a court must examine when attempting to assess the level of contribution that the conduct of the respective parties has made to the occurrence of an accident.
Appeared on behalf of Gavin Dear, a professional golfer, in the case of McMahon v Dear 2014 Rep. L.R. 71, in which the claimant, a ball spotter at a high-level golf tournament, stepped out from behind a golf cart and was struck in the eye by a ball which had just been played by Mr Dear. As a result of his injuries, the claimant lost the sight of his eye. The claim was successfully defended.
In November 2015 he represented the Advocate General for Scotland in the case of Harris v Advocate General for Scotland 2016 SLT 572, the first Scottish case on quantum of damages in a pleural plaques case in which the pursuer sought full and final, as opposed to provisional, damages.
In January 2016 he appeared on behalf of the claimant at a 2 day debate before Lord Uist in the case of Colin Taylor v Des Quigley & Others 2017 Rep L.R. 37 in which the pursuer, who was a member of a golf club, sought to establish personal liability on the part of the individual office bearers of the club in respect of a long standing defect on the premises, which had caused him injury.
June 2016 represented the defenders in a 2 day motion in the case of Katrina Shaw and Others v Wholefoods Limited, which had been scheduled to go to Jury Trial in early July 2016, and in which the pursuers’ representatives had, shortly before the hearing, lodged a substantive minute of amendment. Successfully argued that the new amendment rendered the pleadings of doubtful relevancy and, on that basis, that the jury trial should no longer proceed and, instead, that a diet of debate should be fixed to discuss the suitability of the cause for issues. The jury trial having been discharged, successfully obtained the expenses of the amendment procedure, the discharged jury trial and the 2 day motion on behalf of his clients..
This case involved an accident in which an elderly pedestrian was killed after stepping into the space between a Land Rover and a caravan, which initially had been stationery at the side of the road, but had then moved off. The case involved various claimed breaches of the Highway Code and the Construction and Use regulations, including allegations that the mirrors fitted to the Land Rover were not legal and that the vehicle combination was unsuitable for use on the public road. The case was subsequently abandoned by the pursuers
In July 2016 instructed as one of a team of senior and junior counsel retained by the National Health Service in Scotland, to defend the claims brought by women who had received synthetic polypropylene mesh implants as treatment for the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. A total of over 500 such claims were brought against the manufacturers of the products and the NHS. Insofar as the cases were directed against the National Health Service, the allegations against the doctors involved were to the effect that they failed to properly consent the patients in respect of the risks of the operations, the risks of the use of mesh and the alternative treatments available. The cases of alleged lack of consent were based on the decision of the Supreme Court in the earlier Scottish Appeal in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board 2015 UKSC 11.
Following a two-week legal debate in the Court of Session before Lord Boyd in December 2017, counsel for the NHS were successful in persuading the Court that the proper application of the Montgomery test was as they had argued, and not the much wider application contended for by the pursuers’ Senior Counsel, see A.H. v Greater Glasgow Health Board & Johnson and Johnson  CSOH 57.
Counsel for the NHS also succeeded in having large parts of the pursuers’ pleadings dismissed on the grounds that they were of questionable relevancy, and in having two of the four lead cases involving the NHS held to be barred by limitation (time barred). In respect of the remaining two cases, in which time bar was also argued, Lord Boyd held that they were potentially time barred, but that a hearing on the factual evidence surrounding the claims and in particular in respect of what each of the claimants knew or ought to have known regarding the connection between their injuries and the products, would be required before the limitation plea could be dealt with.
In 2018, following success at the debate for the NHS, the pursuers abandoned all 500 of their actions against the NHS doctors, and the litigation now proceeds against the various manufacturers of the mesh products alone.
In December 2016 acted for the pursuer in the case of Parkes v Caird and the MIB, in which a former Royal Marine, who had sustained catastrophic injuries whilst working as a road marker, sought damages from an uninsured driver. The case settled with the parties agreeing to enter into a Periodical Payment Order in respect of the elements of the claim relating to future care and case management.
Acted as Senior Counsel on behalf of the widows and children of all crew members aboard the RAF Nimrod Aircraft which crashed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, whilst on active service in September 2006 after suffering an in-flight fire. A substantial settlement of damages was achieved on behalf of the clients in the summer of 2010.
On behalf of the M.D.D.U.S., between 2012 and 2017 represented the interests of a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in a series of cases raised against him by a number of former patients alleging negligent performance of back operations, including operations having been performed at the wrong level of the spine, negligent placement of metalwork and inadequate recording of surgical procedures within the medical notes. Conducted the successful settlement negotiations in respect of all claims.
Appeared on behalf of the second defenders and reclaimers, a golf club, in the Inner House Appeal in the case of Phee v Gordon 2013 SC 379, a litigation involving a claimant who lost an eye as a result of a wayward golf shot. In that case the first defender, the golfer, was blamed for the accident for failing to take reasonable care to notice the presence of the pursuer on a path situated near to the tee from which he was playing off, and also for failing to appreciate that his limited golf skills were such that he could not be confident of missing the pursuer if he teed off when he was on the path. The golf club were blamed for failing to erect signs on the path where the pursuer was struck, warning golfers not use the path until those nearby had played off.
As at February 2020, retained to act as Senior Counsel in approximately 50 high-value reparation cases before the Scottish Courts. In many of these litigations damages running well into seven figures are sought. Acting on behalf of the defenders in two cases involving fatal injuries on construction sites. He acts for claimants and defenders in a number of litigations concerning road traffic injuries in which teenage passengers have sustained catastrophic injuries. These cases involve complex claims for personal care, loss of wages, case management, transport, specialist accommodation, the costs of guardianship and personal injury trusts and, in one case, the question of the significance of a pre-existing and serious co-morbidity on life expectancy.
Extensive appearance in cases involving maritime accidents, injuries aboard offshore oil installation and accidents in the North Sea diving industry.
Extensive experience and expertise in aviation cases involving light aircraft and helicopters.
Recently successfully defended the lead case in a cohort of over 20 litigations brought against the operators of a touring coach by the passengers who had been injured when the coach had overturned in high winds, see: Allen Woodhouse v Lochs and Glens Transport  CSOH 105, a decision of Lord Glennie.
Most recent High Court Trial Prosecuted – Glasgow High Court January 2018 Attempted Murder – Conviction secured before Lord Armstrong and a jury.