Health and safety in Scotland

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP's 'vastly experienced and professional' regulatory defence practice is a respected player in the market and acts for an impressive client roster spanning various industries including sport, agriculture, retail, transport, construction, food and drink and manufacturing, among others, while the team is also noted for its work on behalf of insurers. The 'excellent' Clare Bone, who is also 'very pleasant to work with', and the 'extremely knowledgeable' Vikki Watt jointly head the practice. Associate and regulatory defence lawyer David Cairns is 'up and coming' and associate Lindsay MacNeill, who joined the team in March 2018 from Pinsent Masons LLP, is noted for her 'straight-forward advice'.

Practice head(s):

Clare Bone; Vikki Watt

Other key lawyers:

Alasdair Gillies; David Cairns; Lindsay MacNeill


They are peerless at anticipating and managing risks.

Professional, approachable and calming in stressful moments.’

Clare Bone and Vikki Watt have an unmatched blend of experience, knowledge and communication skills.’

When a client faces challenges, the team provides prompt and professional solutions.

The team is 100% supportive and takes the time to explain matters carefully and clearly.

Response times to enquiries are excellent.’

Second to none.

The team has a drive to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.

Key clients

Orkney Cheese Company

Bakkavor Foods

Twatt Potatoes

Inex Works

AIG Europe

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

CHUBB European Group

NFU Mutual Insurance Society

Cunningham Lindsey

Work highlights

  • Acted for leading fresh foods wholesaler Bakkavor Foods in a prosecution following the death of one of its employees from a head injury incurred from a falling crane.
  • Acted for Orkney Cheese Company in a prosecution concerning a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
  • Advised Inex Works Civils following an HSE investigation into a work at height incident occurring on one of their customer sites.
  • Successfully represented Alan Twatt Potatoes following a health and safety investigation into an incident where an employee fell from a makeshift platform on a forklift truck.

Burness Paull LLP

The team at Burness Paull LLP is particularly rated for its strength in the oil and gas sector and led by 'go-to lawyer for offshore health and safety matters' Rona Jamieson. Its clients, including various global oil companies, receive regular assistance with investigations and prosecutions alongside compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Rona Jamieson

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Gray


Leaders in their field.

Breadth and depth of expertise is unparalleled.

Particularly strong in off-shore oil and gas cases.’

Rona Jamieson is unmatched in her knowledge and breadth of expertise.

Lynne Gray combines tactical approach with exceptional client handling skills.

Key clients



Repsol Sinopec

Maersk Oil



Spirit Energy

Marathon Oil

Babcock International

Arnold Clark

Work highlights

  • Advised Quality Food Products Aberdeen on liability and agreed terms for a plea with the Procurator Fiscal following a breach of the Working at Height Regulations.
  • Acted for Shell in relation to a criminal prosecution following an accident on the Brent Delta offshore installation where three workers were injured.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Noted for its broad health and safety practice, Pinsent Masons LLP's 'extremely professional and knowledgeable' team receives frequent instructions from high hazard industry players, including construction, waste, manufacturing and energy sector clients. As well as its expertise in handling investigations and prosecutions, the team led by the 'very good' Laura Cameron also provides regular compliance advice.

Practice head(s):

Laura Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Craig; Tom Stocker


Extremely friendly, courteous and professional service.

Key clients

BP Exploration Operating Company

Shell UK

Balfour Beatty

BAM Nuttall

Peel Ports

DONG Energy (Power) UK

Galliford Try

The University of Edinburgh



Work highlights

  • Advised Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, a joint venture between American Bridge, Dragados, Hochtief and Galliford Try, on a serious lifting incident during the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing Bridge.


Acting for corporates, public sector clients and individuals, BLM is well versed in handling a wide range of health and safety work, including fatal and serious injury cases, corporate manslaughter investigations, environmental exposures and food safety matters. The 'very capable' James Varney heads the team.

Practice head(s):

James Varney

Key clients



QBE Insurance

Glasgow City Council

Work highlights

  • Achieved success at trial for Robert Purvis Plant Hire, which was prosecuted for allegedly causing the death of an employee through a failure to have a safe system of work in a vehicle maintenance workshop.

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP acts for corporate clients alongside insurers across various industries with particular expertise in the marine and fishing, construction, oil and gas and leisure sectors. Noted for its full-service offering, the team routinely advises on regulatory issues and acts for clients in regulatory and internal investigations and subsequent court actions. Elena Fry heads the team, which includes professional negligence lawyer Tony Jones QC, who joined the firm in June 2018 from BTO Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Elena Fry

Other key lawyers:

Duncan MacLean; Paul Marshall; Malcolm Mackay; Laura McMillan; Tony Jones QC


Pro-active engagement.

Good focus on adding value for the client.’

Makes options available clearly understood.

Paul Marshall provides timely, considered and balanced advice.

Very good attention to detail.

Key clients

Advance Construction Group


City Holdings

Babcock International Group

National Express Group

Sunderland Marine

Steamship P&I

Standard P&I

Northlink Ferries

CalMac Ferries


Subsea 7

Aberdeen City Council

Air Transat

Work highlights

  • Advising Sunderland Marine Insurance Company and owners of MFV Nancy Glen after the loss of the fishing vessel, and two fatalities, including an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
  • Advised Sunderland Marine Insurance and its insured, owner of fishing vessel Annie T, on a regulatory investigation following a fatal man overboard incident from a fishing vessel in a remote location on the Western Isles including representation at the Fatal Accident Inquiry.
  • Advising Northlink Ferries on marine health and safety issues and also acting via its insurers handling any claims concerning passengers, crew or cargo interests.
  • Advising CalMac Ferries on various claims and provides assistance with investigations by various bodies such as MCA, MAIB and HSE.
  • Instructed by Clyde Fishermen’s Association to investigate and represent one of its skipper members in a charge of criminal damage to static fishing gear while trawling.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP's 'pragmatic' team jointly led by Mark Donaldson and Gilles Graham has a fine reputation among insurers but it also acts for individuals and commercial entities in criminal prosecutions and associated civil claims. The group has been particularly active handling investigations and prosecutions arising from severe and fatal workplace accidents while environmental health investigations work constitutes another key area of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Mark Donaldson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Constable


Strong litigation firm with the breadth and depth of experience to handle health and safety prosecutions and any corresponding civil claims.’

Swift response times.

Mark Donaldson’s communication, advice and explanations of complex matters in a clear and sympathetic way is absolutely outstanding.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern has notable experience representing public bodies and private companies in enforcement notice appeals, fatal accident inquiries and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigations and also handles compliance work. Jonathan Guy is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Guy

Key clients

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Scottish Prison Service


Scottish Water

Scottish Midland Co-operative Society

The Highland Council

Northern Lighthouse Board

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

Work highlights

  • Continues to represent the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the Clutha helicopter accident of 29 November 2013.


With notable energy sector expertise, CMS' client roster includes various multinational energy companies that seek advice on offshore safety matters, including investigations and offshore environmental regulation, alongside other regulatory compliance issues. The team led by Jan Burgess, who divides her time between Aberdeen and London, also acts for various other industry players including construction, leisure, waste, manufacturing and the public sector.

Practice head(s):

Jan Burgess

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser regularly acts for regulators, most notably the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in fatal accident inquiries, investigations and appeals against enforcement and prohibition notices alongside regulatory matters. Jenny Dickson heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Dickson

Key clients

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Air Accident investigation Branch (AAIB)

Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of the Department for Transport and the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) in the fatal accident inquiry following the Clutha Bar police helicopter crash in Glasgow.
  • Defending an appeal against an improvement notice served by the Health and Safety Executive.

DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP

DAC Beachcroft Scotland LLP provides 'straight-forward advice' and is 'easy to work with'. The 'very good' team handles a broad range of health and safety work and is well versed in advising clients, many of which stem from the construction, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transport and public sectors, on investigations for corporate manslaughter, health and safety offences alongside environmental offences. The group is also known for its extensive insurance client base. The 'knowledgeable and experiencedColin Bissett is the main contact in Scotland.

Practice head(s):

Colin Bissett


Has a wealth of court experience.

Can hit the ground running in any health and safety investigation, providing quick and accurate advice.’

Takes preparation to another level.

Leaves no stone left unturned for the client.’

Key clients


AXA Corporate Solutions


Zurich Municipal




NFU Mutual

Liberty Global

HDI Global

Work highlights

  • Advising a construction company on HSE and Crown Office investigations following a workplace fatality.
  • Advising a multinational manufacturer on a fatality at one of its manufacturing plants.
  • Successfully convinced the Crown Office to take no further action against a national house builder client following the injury to children on site.
  • Advising a public authority in relation to a fatality on a construction project.
  • Advising a national construction company following a fatality on site.


With particular expertise in the food and drink, retail, oil and gas and rail transportation sectors, Malcolm Gunnyeon's 'pragmatic' team at Dentons provides its clients with health and safety compliance advice and represents them in investigations.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Gunnyeon


Very good understanding of applicable regulations.

Malcolm Gunnyeon displays all the qualities that one would want when faced with a potential problem; he is calm and has a great breadth of knowledge and experience.

Malcolm Gunnyeon has a fearsome intellect.’

Key clients

The Edrington Group

John Lewis & Partners

Baxters Food Group

Avis Budget

HC One

The Action Group


Menzies Distribution

Zenith Bank (UK)

Holland & Barrett Retail

Work highlights

  • Representing Holland & Barrett Retail in relation to statutory investigations arising out of a major fire at one of its Scottish locations.
  • Advising Stork Technical Services on various health and safety issues affecting the client’s business.