Medical negligence: defender in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP’s ‘reliable and incredibly professional’ team advises many of Scotland’s biggest insurers on the defence of both personal injury and medical negligence claims. The medical negligence practice, led by Duncan Mawby , handles complex claims in areas such as GP negligence, deaths in custody, and medical device implantation. Claims against optometrists are a particular specialism. The personal injury team is particularly active in cases relating to the shipping industry. The arrival of Carly Forrest from BTO Solicitors LLP has further strengthened the group, which is overseen by ‘excellent leaderElena Fry. Experienced solicitor advocate Laura McMillan handles both personal injury and medical negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Mawby


Solid team that is well thought of, experienced and has its finger on the pulse when it comes to Scottish matters.’

Brodies are a tier one Scottish firm. They have a focus on the local market which has been lost by some of the UK national firms. They have excellent expertise in all areas of law.’

‘Lynn Livesey is a standout associate – good with clients, commercially aware and tactically astute.’

Robust but realistic in their approach to cases.’

Key clients

Association of Optometrists

Zurich Insurance




Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Clyde & Co LLP

With offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, Clyde & Co LLP 's Scottish practice has ‘unparalleled breadth and depth of experience’; the team’s expertise spans all types of defendant medical negligence and personal injury cases. Scotland managing partner Vikki Melville leads the personal injury group which advises almost all of the region’s largest insurers on a broad range of complex work and is particularly noteworthy for its historic abuse practice. The clinical negligence group, led by Graeme Watson, is among the largest in Scotland and is instructed by a number of medical defence unions in addition to major corporations. Claims relating to defective medical equipment is an area of recent focus.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Watson

Other key lawyers:

Claire Raftery; Duncan Batchelor


It is probably the biggest insurer team in Scotland, dealing with almost all of the high value and complicated claims that are raised in the Scottish courts.’

Clyde & Co have a wide base of experience – without exception all contacts are easily accessible and happy to provide advice or explanation sought.

On the medical side a very strong practice, headed by two very able lawyers – Graeme Watson and Duncan Batchelor. Both know the area of work very well and provide very good instruction to counsel.

Key clients



BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP’s personal injury and clinical defence practices have ‘unrivalled expertise in the Scottish market’. The firm is the largest independent Scottish practice in the PIy defender market and has been appointed to the panels of all major insurers in the sector. Led by Stephen Bryceland, the personal injury team advises on RTAs, industrial diseases and employers' liability issues. The medical negligence group ‘has an enviable reputation for defending healthcare professionals in the Scottish courts’. Solicitor advocates Laura Donald and Douglas Jessiman are both highly experienced in representing doctors in Fatal Accident Inquiries.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Jessiman; Laura Donald

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Bryceland


‘The insurance team of this unique independent and long-established firm are all professional and capable, yet approachable, individuals. Clients can rest assured that work placed with the team is in safe hands.’

‘Unrivalled expertise in the Scottish market.’

‘The medical negligence team has an enviable reputation for defending healthcare professionals in the Scottish courts on instructions from major medical defence organisations. It has years of experience in handling claims of the utmost complexity and seem to be able to make it look easy to run challenging, technically difficult and high value claims. An absolutely excellent and impressive team from top to bottom without any observable weakness.’

‘Laura Donald and Douglas Jessiman are two of the truly outstanding individuals in Scotland – truly unflappable when handling some of the most difficult cases imaginable.’

‘Douglas Jessiman is a fountain of knowledge in this hugely complex and technically challenging area of work. A highly experienced, hardworking lawyer with a wealth of experience. He takes a pragmatic approach to litigation and litigation strategy and has the complete respect of his peers and colleagues. An all-round good guy.’

‘Laura Donald is an excellent lawyer/solicitor advocate with great judgement and ability. She makes it look remarkably easy to identify the key issues in technically complex and high value cases. Laura is driven, prepares meticulously, fights her corner fairly but hard and always goes the extra mile for her clients.’

Key clients

The Medical Defence Union Limited (MDU)

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS)


AIG General Insurance

NFU Mutual Insurance Society Limited

CHUBB European Group Limited


Riverstone Europe

Gallagher Bassett


Tokio Marine

UK General Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised Chubb on a claim alleging negligent treatment received by the pursuer while working offshore on a north sea oil installation.