Medical negligence: defender in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP acts for a varied roster of clients including major healthcare providers and large insurers, defending complex cases often involving alleged breach of duty, such as those arising from deaths in custody, defective medical products, aesthetic surgery and ophthalmology. The strong team is led by the 'impressively efficient' Duncan Mawby, who has more than 17 years’ experience acting for the three major defence unions in Scotland. Mawby regularly advises the Medical and Defence Union of Scotland as one of the organisation's leading external panel solicitors, a relationship which has been strengthened by the recent secondment of associate Jill Harris  to the union's in-house legal team in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Mawby

Other key lawyers:

Jill Harris


‘Brodies are a top tier Scottish firm with capability in every field, which is rare in the market.’

‘Brodies are friendly, approachable, swift in dealing with new and sometimes urgent matters that arise 24 hours a day, seven days a week.’

‘Duncan Mawby is a very competent and experienced lawyer.’

Key clients



Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Association of Optometrists

Spire Healthcare Ltd


Clyde & Co LLP

Following recent growth, Clyde & Co LLP boasts the largest clinical negligence defender team in Scotland. Experienced and well-respected solicitor-advocates Graeme Watson and Duncan Batchelor run the practice, which acts for a variety of medical defence unions as well as major corporations and individuals. The team also advises on fatal accident inquiries, criminal proceedings and internal disciplinary hearings and has expertise in defending complex multi-party claims. Watson is noted for his recent work defending manufacturers in high value product liability claims. Dual-qualified senior associate Claire Raftery assists partners with a broad caseload encompassing fatal accident inquiries and aesthetic surgery cases.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Watson; Duncan Batchelor

Other key lawyers:

Claire Raftery


‘The team at Clyde and Co is very experienced in the healthcare sphere and does a very good job.’

‘Associate Chris Dunn is definitely an up-and-comer in the field of medical negligence.’

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP has a proven track record of defending GPs and healthcare professionals on behalf of Scotland’s major defence organisations, focusing predominantly on fatal cases, misdiagnosis claims and dentist negligence. The team has taken part in every medical public inquiry in Scotland under the Public Inquries Act 2005. Laura Donald and associate Stephen Waclawski are both solicitor-advocates with extended rights of audience in the Civil Courts. Donald and the 'hugely experiencedDouglas Jessiman - who in recent years has been involved in public inquiries in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland - are described as 'the two best solicitors in this field in Scotland'.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Jessiman; Laura Donald

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Waclawski


‘A strong medical negligence team with key players in the sector.’

‘Highly knowledgeable, organised and cohesive team with real legal expertise and understanding of this difficult area of law.’

‘Heavily relied upon by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland and the Medical Defence Union Limited to run litigation for members in their stead.’

‘Laura Donald, Douglas Jessiman and Stephen Waclawski have years of experience handling high value, legally and technically challenging litigation with ease.’

‘Douglas Jessiman is very practical and strategic, he can accurately predict the outcome of a case from the outset and sees the strong points that are worth taking. His huge experience is very reassuring to clients and he has such a deep reservoir of knowledge, combined with a great sense of strategy, that he is always a brilliant choice for representation.’

‘Cara Docherty is a calm and steadying influence in any case. She works incredibly hard and has very good judgement. Clients really value her pragmatic approach and strategic brain.’

‘Jennifer King is phenomenally hard working and super-efficient. She keeps on top of every detail in a case and clients (and the whole legal team) take great reassurance from knowing that she is on top of everything and ahead of the game (and the other side) in terms of case management and preparation.’

‘Douglas Jessiman has a knowledge and experience which is at the highest level, combined with an agreeable personality which gives confidence to professionals who are the subject of a claim.’

‘Laura Donald and Douglas Jessiman are, in my view, the two best solicitors in this field in Scotland. They have unrivalled experience of dealing with difficult regulatory proceedings involving health professionals and have unrivalled experience.’

Key clients

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Medical Defence Union Limited