Medical negligence: pursuer in Scotland

Anderson Strathern

The growing medical negligence team at Anderson Strathern has expertise in managing complex, high value birth injury claims and cancer claims arising from misdiagnosis or late diagnosis. Practice head Robbie Wilson raised the first TVT mesh claim in Scotland and now manages approximately thirty similar claims. Former firm chair and solicitor advocate Robert Carr has an enviable standing; he is a Law Society of Scotland accredited specialist in both medical negligence and personal injury and is also past president of the Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Court of Scotland. Catriona Watt, who heads up the firm's healthcare, public and regulatory team, leads on much of the practice's most important work.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Wilson; Catriona Watt; Robert Carr


‘The team at Anderson Strathern are highly professional and display great care and compassion. They take the time to explain legal complexities in accessible language and are a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Robbie Wilson is a very good lawyer, extremely well prepared, thorough and empathetic. He is great with clients.’

‘Robbie Wilson and Catriona Watt are excellent lawyers.’

‘The team provide excellent advice and have access to a range of capable experts. They keep us up to date on proceedings. Catriona Watt is very human in her interactions with us and we value that enormously.’

‘Catriona Watt is one of a handful of individuals in Scotland with a genuine specialist interest in medical negligence.’

‘Excellent lawyers with great interpersonal skills. They are up to date , enthusiastic and committed.’

‘Gary Burton is brilliant. He works very well under pressure. In the most complicated of cases he can coordinate all of the different aspects which need to be investigated and proved to a very high standard. He has the respect of his peers.’

Key clients

Harper, Robertson & Shannon

Martin & Company

Masson & Glennie

Quantum Claims


Wallace Quinn

Lynn Herbert & Co

Smith & Grant

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP’s exceptional team includes Ann Logan, who has more than 25 years’ experience in medical negligence litigation work across Scotland, England and Hong Kong, and Julie Clark-Spence, a APIL accredited senior litigator with over 11 years’ experience solely in clinical negligence. The team deals with the full spectrum of claims, with particular specialisms including high value cerebral palsy cases involving informed consent arguments. Delayed diagnosis of cancer, fatal claims and neurological negligence are other key areas of work.

Practice head(s):

Ann Logan

Other key lawyers:

Julie Clark-Spence; David McIntosh


‘The firm is one of Scotland’s leading medical negligence: pursuer practices, with unrivalled experience and expertise in this area.’

‘Extremely thorough and very professional. The whole journey with Balfour+ Manson has been a positive one with no real weaknesses that I can recall.’

‘David McIntosh is a very experienced litigator who constantly delivers first-class results and also has a very understanding and empathetic manner with clients.’

‘Ann Logan is easy to talk to and very compassionate; reassuring me when needed, which was often, and advising me of my options. She is very professional; from details to timekeeping, everything was meticulous. On a lighter note, she also had a sense of humour I found refreshing.’

Work highlights

  • Representing the mother of a daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of birth injury in a claim against a local health board in Scotland.

Digby Brown LLP

Digby Brown LLP has a reputation for taking on high value claims and consistently achieving strong results for clients. The tenacious, specialist team are highly active in the Court of Session, where they pursue the full range of medical negligence claims, often involving negligent surgery or misdiagnosis. 'Formidable' practice head Sue Grant has more than 20 years of litigation experience and is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland in both personal injury and medical negligence. The team recently negotiated a six-figure settlement for the partner of a man who suffered irreparable brain damage following late diagnosis of an aneurysm.

Practice head(s):

Sue Grant


‘The go-to personal injury pursuer firm for high value contentious claims in Scotland.’

‘A pleasure to work with. They are committed to achieving the best outcome for all of their clients. ‘

Drummond Miller LLP

Drummond Miller LLP's medical negligence team pursues a high volume of fatal claims arising from both surgical and diagnosis errors, in addition to high value birth injuries resulting in cerebral palsy and incurring expenses for lifelong care. The team also wins settlements for clients who sustain permanent injuries during the course of surgery, including a case in which medical staff failed to obtain their patient's informed consent. Practice head Liesa Spiller, who sits on the Law Society of Scotland's Panel for granting specialist accreditations, acts on in fatal and catastrophic injury claims, while Darren Deery primarily represents clients in high value birth injury cases.

Practice head(s):

Liesa Spiller; Darren Deery

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP has a well-established reputation for advising on medical negligence claims involving children, including those relating to fetal abnormalities, delayed diagnosis and catastrophic injuries, and has additional expertise in pursuing wrongful death claims. The firm's referral network, HM Connect, has led to a substantial increase in instructions from other firms that see Harper Macleod as better placed to take claims forward. Personal injury and reparation head Elizabeth Mitchell and 'miracle-working' professional negligence head Heather Calderwood lead the team, while recently promoted senior associate Amy Dickson merits recognition for her complex caseload including claims relating to still born babies and failed hip replacements.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mitchell; Heather Calderwood

Other key lawyers:

Amy Dickson


‘The team are well-informed, well-resourced and determined.’

‘Heather Calderwood is determined, hard-working and miracle-working.’

Jackson Boyd LLP

Jackson Boyd LLP  increased its fee income by 100% in 2018, achieving a high volume of settlements for clients. Well-regarded solicitor advocate Debbie Milne manages the employers’ and public liability side of the team, which focuses predominantly on birth injury and stillborn claims, surgical errors and misdiagnosis, with niche expertise in gynaecology treatment errors. Recent cases have involved challenging liability aspects, with multiple potential defenders, as well as questions concerning consent in relation to treatment options. The practice benefits from its positive relationship with the Central Legal Office and Scotland’s medical defence unions, which Milne personally oversees and develops.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Milne; Alan Macdonald


‘Debbie Milne is very experienced and able in her field of medical negligence. She is organised, sensible in her approach, pleasant to deal with and a good negotiator.’

‘Debbie Milne is an excellent solicitor with outstanding case analysis skills.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the family of an elderly man who died as a consequence of pneumonia following failures in the management of bedsores by nursing staff during a hospital admission.
  • Achieving a settlement the day before proof for a dentist who sustained permanent damage to his hand, preventing him from continuing to in his profession, as a result of a delayed diagnosis and subsequent failure to properly treat a deep cut at first instance.
  • Acting for the mother of a stillborn baby in an ongoing case, in which hospital staff failed to carry out CTG scans after she reported a reduction in foetal movements, leading to a failure to carry out the treatment necessary to prevent the baby’s death.


'Outstanding negotiator' David Armstrong and 'excellent solicitor' Jonathan Cornwell head up Lindsays' medical negligence practice, which has diversified its caseload recently, taking on work stemming from dental negligence and prescription errors, often involving complex points of law such as contributory negligence and informed consent. As well as handling complex litigation, the team also looks to utilise alternative dispute resolution as often as possible to expedite the process for clients and keep costs down. Associate Lauren Pasi manages a high volume of complex claims and mentors junior employees remotely from her office in Spain.

Practice head(s):

David Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Cornwell; Lauren Pasi


‘Jonathan Cornwell is an excellent solicitor and a standout in his field.’

‘A well organised modern firm which is committed to maintaining expertise They have a good reputation among other firms and with the court. They are pragmatic and focused on doing high quality work.’

‘David Armstrong has a very pleasant manner with his clients and is well able to maintain their trust and confidence even when dealing with difficult issues’.

Key clients

UnionLine Scotland

Ageas Legal

Consumer Action

Ward Haddaway

Thorntons Solicitors

The Society of Radiographers


McCallum & Co

Lime (Shakespeare Legal)

Legal 2020 Limited

Hampson Hughes

ACH Group Limited

The Communication Workers Union

Work highlights

  • Investigating a death and obtaining the necessary expert reports to demonstrate that it was caused by the prescription of two different drugs that caused blood thinning.
  • Settling a claim prior to proof on the grounds that consent was never given for an operation which resulted in a permanent disability.
  • Settling a dental negligence case arising from a dentist’s failure to provide the claimant with orthodontic treatment while she was a teenager.

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser's practice, which was boosted in late 2018 by the addition of former Shoosmiths lawyer Derek Couper, is particularly adept at pursuing delayed diagnosis cases, birth injury cases and fatal claims. Experienced practice head and solicitor advocate Jenny Dickson is an expert on the latest developments in the field, and handles a wide ambit of high value claims, including a substantial cerebral palsy claim. In 2018 the firm rolled out a range of legal aid options for clients requiring financial support.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Dickson

Other key lawyers:

Derek Couper

Key clients

Innes & Mackay, Solicitors

Glasgow Law Practice

Work highlights

  • Represented the family of young man who died of a heart attack after his GP failed to diagnose a pulmonary embolism.
  • Acting for the family of an individual who died when her prescription medicines caused pulmonary complications.
  • Represented client who was injured during surgery, and whose consent had not properly been taken prior to the operation.
  • Represented client in an unwanted pregnancy case after a contraceptive coil was fitted incorrectly.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland

Irwin Mitchell Scotland's medical negligence practice is Glasgow is on an upward trajectory following a recent restructuring and relaunch. The team frequently deals with birth injury claims as well as brain injury, spinal injury, late diagnosis and optometry related matters. David Bell has over 30 years’ experience in medical negligence and personal injury, regularly acting in the Court of Session for clients. Associate Kathleen Lang  brings an edge to the team as an accredited specialist in medical negligence with a history of working on both the pursuer and defender side of actions.

Practice head(s):

David Bell

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Lang


‘Wonderful lawyers with a fantastic client base and a real desire to get the best results for their clients.’

‘David Bell is a reliable and trusted individual with great strengths and wonderful client care.’

‘Nicola McCartney is one of the most committed solicitors I have worked with – she does a wonderful job for her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on high value medical negligence claim arising from the client’s baby being born with cerebral palsy as a result of the poor advice she received on the appropriate place to deliver the baby.