Next Generation Partners

Medical negligence: pursuer in Scotland

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern remains a market leader in the medical negligence space and has a proven track record acting on birth injuries, catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The group is steered by accredited specialist Robbie Wilson, and continues to be instructed on accidents at work and abroad, misdiagnosis matters and surgical injury. Catriona Watt is the name for birth injuries and also specialises in adult incapacity matters. Robert Carr regularly appears before the Court of Session. Also in the core practice is Gary Burton.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Wilson; Catriona Watt; Robert Carr

Other key lawyers:

Gary Burton

Work highlights

    Balfour+Manson LLP

    Balfour+Manson LLP remains ‘one of the premiere medical negligence pursuer firms in Scotland’, fielding a team of practitioners who are ‘at the peak of their powers in terms of experience and qualification’. The group is singled out for its expertise in handling complex matters regarding liability and causation in cases against hospitals, primary care providers, dentists, ophthalmologists’ other health professionals. The practice is fronted by Edinburgh duo Ann Logan and Elaine Motion, and receives regular instructions on birth injury claims. David McIntosh has a track record in high-value medical negligence claims relating to cerebral palsy, while Julie Clark-Spence in Aberdeen is highlighted for her practice against GP’s and hospitals. Also in the team is senior associate Michaela Guthrie who represents clients in injuries sustained during childbirth.

    Practice head(s):

    Ann Logan; Elaine Motion

    Other key lawyers:

    David McIntosh; Julie Clark-Spence; Michaela Guthrie


    ‘The team are very helpful. You get a very personalised service. Everyone is very professional. The calibre of staff is just phenomenal from the receptionist to the lawyers. Everyone is always happy to help. No question is too small.’

    ‘Ann Logan is just amazing. She is very professional and empathetic. She takes time to listen. Always on hand to talk to and you can ask her anything.’

    ‘Ann Logan is just so nice. Her personality really shines through.’

    ‘Michaela Guthrie is very professional.’

    ‘Balfour & Manson are one of the premiere medical negligence: pursuer firms in Scotland. They are certainly one of the top firms in this area and I would recommend them to any client.’

    ‘Ann Logan is a hugely experienced and able lawyer. She’s a very well known figure in medical negligence litigation in Scotland.’

    ‘Michaela Guthrie is functioning very comfortably at partner level. She seems, as far as I can tell, to handle cases that would be handled by partners at other firms and does so with skill and sensitivity. I have no doubt that she’ll be a partner one day, probably soon.’

    ‘This is a very expert team lead by a partner with a wealth of experience. They are all very hard working, great at communicating with clients and excellent lawyers. I think without exception, this is a very sympathetic team who are very client friendly.’

    Key clients

    A group of women affected by the under-dosing of chemotherapy

    SD for LD v Grampian Health Board

    Work highlights

    • Acting for a significant amount of women who were significantly under-dosed with chemotherapy. In April 2019, after a whistle blower reported the practice, over 100 women, or their relatives (where deceased) were advised by the Trust of the underdoing. In addition, some people received letters when they had not been under-dosed.

    Drummond Miller LLP

    Operating from Edinburgh and Glasgow, Drummond Miller LLP’s practice ‘has a wealth of experience in medical negligence cases’ and focuses on a diverse range of claims, spanning from fatalities to surgical errors. Overseen by litigator Liesa Spiller and Darren Deery who is noted for his ‘astute awareness of how to support clients through a difficult process.Miranda Becher deals with catastrophic injury cases and has a track record of successfully recovering major compensation for clients. At the senior associate level, Lorna Hale has a varied caseload and is recommended for complex fatal claims for families.

    Practice head(s):

    Liesa Spiller; Darren Deery

    Other key lawyers:

    Miranda Becher; Lorna Hale


    ‘The lawyers were without doubt the kindest and most sympathetic professionals I have ever encountered.’

    ‘I was included in almost every meeting with medical professionals, otherwise I was kept fully informed. Their main strengths were people skills, not those honed in an away day awareness course but skills one has inherently.’

    ‘The knowledge and experience the team had very much ensured I was cared for especially when recounting traumatic events.’

    ‘As so much in life can go wrong through poor communication, I could only wish this team was negotiating on the world’s stage. My case was difficult, it would have been even more so without the professionalism, sensitivity and realism of everyone I encountered.’

    ‘It goes without saying that years of experience and knowledge shows but in my encounters particular with Darren Deery it was really glossed over by his kind nature and astute awareness of how to support clients through a difficult process.’

    ‘Drummond Miller has always treated their clients with respect and empathy, working to obtain the best possible outcome.’

    ‘They are always prepared to listen to the family members alongside all the experts.’

    ‘I have worked now with Darren Deery for many years and have always found him very respectful, easy to discuss varying points of view, and very helpful in sending documents that I have required in a timely fashion.’

    Work highlights

    • Acting as sole advisors to a family related to the death of a twin baby boy at less than 1 hour of age due to midwifery negligence.
    • Acted for client who suffered biliary sepsis.
    • Acting in a birth damage claim in which negligence is alleged in respect of the management of a high-risk pregnancy, following admission to hospital with preterm premature rupture of membranes back in 1998.

    Digby Brown LLP

    Digby Brown LLP is ‘at the forefront of complex medical negligence for pursuers with excellent knowledge of experts’, and brings together expertise across complex claims in birth injury and neonatal deaths. Spearheaded by accredited clinical negligence specialist Ruth Kelliher in Glasgow, the team has demonstrable strength in cerebral palsy matters and major surgical errors. Trish McFadden was promoted to the partnership and continues to be the main contact for clients on prescription errors, misdiagnoses and brain injury cases; she is also highlighted for her ‘outstanding knowledge of complex areas of medical litigation.

    Practice head(s):

    Ruth Kelliher

    Other key lawyers:

    Trish McFadden


    ‘Digby Brown contains first-rate medical negligence lawyers. They are exceptionally experienced and able and are, rightly, regarded as leaders in this field.’

    ‘Trish McFadden is another exceptionally experienced and able medical negligence solicitor and is a worthy successor to Sue. Trish also has exceptional people skills and is very popular with clients.’

    ‘At the forefront of complex medical negligence for pursuers – excellent knowledge of experts, reliable assessment of the quality of the case, instructions are always comprehensive and knowledgeable.’

    ‘Trish McFadden – excellent skills with clients and experts, outstanding knowledge of complex areas of medical litigation, very experienced in the highest value catastrophic cases.’

    ‘The clinical negligence team are top class. Efficient, informed and organised. Perfect instructing Agents.’

    ‘Trish, Ruth and their team are excellent to work with. They really know their stuff legally and on the medical aspects in the case. They are tenuous in advancing their client’s cases but also very pragmatic and realistic.’

    ‘Working with them I always know I am fully supported with an awesome level of organisation and case preparation.’

    ‘As a whole, the firm thoroughly prepares cases, taking strong, pertinent statements and communicating well with clients.’

    Work highlights

    • Acting in a £24m case for boy who was left suffering from cerebral palsy due to failures of labour staff.
    • Acting in a £875,000 claim for motorcyclist left with little feeling and movement in his foot after medical staff failed to spot and prevent compartment syndrome after routine surgery.
    • Acting in a £5m case for woman who suffered a stroke after specialists wrongly cleared her CT scan results.

    Harper Macleod LLP

    Harper Macleod LLP’s clinical negligence practice sits within the firm’s wider personal injury group and is headed by Elizabeth Mitchell from Glasgow. It is highlighted as a ‘great team dedicated to achieving the best for their clients’, and covers wrongful death and stillborn deaths, foetal abnormalities including spina bifida, and catastrophic injuries to children. Heather Calderwood has ‘excellent judgement and a strong ethical sense’ and specialises in surgical errors and wrongful death claims, frequently appearing in the Court of Session. Also of note is senior associate Amy Dickson who has an active caseload covering dental, nursing and midwifery claims.

    Practice head(s):

    Elizabeth Mitchell

    Other key lawyers:

    Heather Calderwood; Amy Dickson


    ‘The team has genuine concern for and engagement with client.’

    ‘Amy Dickson is hard working, intelligent, and has common sense approach to cases and always goes he extra mile.’

    ‘The team is not simply knowledgeable, able, and caring, they are also genuinely working in their client’s interests, rather than to cost-build or to promote themselves.’

    ‘Heather Calderwood has to be one of the hardest working agents I have come across. She has excellent judgement and a strong ethical sense, which works to her clients’ advantage.’

    ‘A great team dedicated to achieving the best for their clients; proactive and professional with fantastic attention to detail.’

    ‘Heather Calderwood goes above and beyond in terms of client care and her extensive knowledge and experience means she is someone who you want to have in your corner!’

    ‘Heather Calderwood is committed and determined to get the best result possible. Great to work with – equally at ease with clients, experts and opponents.’

    ‘Amy Dickson is an efficient and effective litigator – with a ready grasp of complex factual matrices. Proactive and sound in her judgment.’


    Bolstered by its online commercial brand Calio Claims which has increased referrals to the firm, the ‘first-class’ clinical negligence practice at Lindsays has a long-established track record on birth injuries, misdiagnosis and surgical errors. Under the leadership of Glasgow-based David Armstrong, who is regularly instructed on behalf of family members in fatal claims, the group is made up of  ‘practical and prudent’ practitioners; Lauren Pasi remains a key contact and is recommended for misdiagnosis matteers, while Jonathan Cornwell handles clinical and dental negligence claims

    Practice head(s):

    David Armstrong

    Other key lawyers:

    Lauren Pasi; Jonathan Cornwell


    ‘First-class service received from every single employee I dealt with throughout the business.’

    ‘They were willing to put faith in my case when others weren’t and we were successful.’

    ‘They were always willing to go above and beyond; in particular David Armstrong who, without his devout efforts and consistent work ethic, my case may have had a very different outcome.’

    ‘This is a conscientious team who are clearly trying to do the very best to maximize the service provided to both clients and counsel alike.’

    ‘They are professional, with a clear approach. Their work is well presented with all instructions and papers provided to Counsel setting out matters an an easily accessible and clear manner.’

    ‘They are responsive and thorough. A real effort is made to ensure that each case is progressed efficiently and effectively and always with client satisfaction added on.’

    ‘Lauren Pasi is a partner who leads from the front. She makes herself available and consultations with clients far more than some other partners would. No case is too big or small. This approach filters down to those with whom she works, and sets a positive tone within the team.’

    ‘Jonathan Cornwell provides clients with a wealth of knowledge and experience combined with excellent client care. The team is experienced and knowledgeable. They create and maintain good relations with clients, experts and counsel.’ 

    Key clients

    Calio Claims

    The Society of Radiographers


    Aegas Legal

    Ward Hadaway

    Law Society of Scotland

    Work highlights

    • Acting for 4 family members in loss of society claims raised in the Court of Session with a value of £1.2m arising out of the death of EG as a result of multiple doctors’ failure to diagnose abdominal sepsis.
    • Acting on a loss of Society claims amounting to over £1.1m concerning a preventable suicide.
    • Acted as Legal Representatives for Core Participants in the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry.

    Morton Fraser

    Operating from an ‘exceptional standard‘, Morton Fraser‘s clinical negligence practice is active across complex and high-value claims, including cerebral palsy and birth injury cases. The team is regularly instructed by a diverse range of individuals and is led by Jenny Dickson in Edinburgh, who is noted for surgical error and fatal claims. Derek Couper’s caseload spans high-value matters concerning lifelong debilitating conditions, including cauda equina cases. The group also enjoys referrals from other firms.

    Practice head(s):

    Jenny Dickson

    Other key lawyers:

    Derek Couper


    ‘They prioritise the interests and concerns of the clients to an exceptional standard.’

    ‘Compassion, interest in and attendance to, their clients’ needs.’

    Work highlights

    • Advising a client who suffered cauda equina syndrome. The medical team failed to obtain consent prior to spinal compression surgery. That surgery resulted in the client suffering from cauda equina, which is a serious and debilitating condition.
    • Advising the family of an individual who developed deep vein thrombosis as a direct result of medication they were prescribed for another condition. The doctor failed to ensure the appropriate care was provided to monitor her condition after medication was prescribed. They died as a result.
    • Advising the family of a gentleman who died when he fell from a hospital bed. His care in hospital fell below the recommended standard, resulting in his death.

    Jackson Boyd LLP

    Jackson Boyd LLP’s medical negligence practice is overseen by solicitor advocate Debbie Milne, who is described as a ‘very experienced and bright litigator’ by clients, and handles fatal claims, misdiagnosis, catastrophic injury and birth injuries. The team is also active in questions around liability and duty of care. Certified as ‘trauma-informed’ by the Law Society of Scotland, new partner Dave Berry specialises in delayed diagnoses and dental negligence matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Alan Macdonald; Dave Berry

    Other key lawyers:

    Debbie Milne


    ‘Debbie Milne – very experienced and bright litigator, always working for the best result for the client.’

    ‘They are a team who are all individually lovely to work with.’

    ‘They have a great way with clients and are very straightforward to deal with.’

    ‘Debbie Milne and Dave Berry are a great team. They are great with their clients and dedicated to getting the best results for them.’

    ‘All are incredibly pragmatic which is a great strength.’

    Work highlights

    • Recovering a seven figure sum for a child born with cerebral palsy.
    • Recovering a significant seven figure sum for a widow and family following a failure to properly treat her late husband’s heart condition.
    • Recovering a six figure sum for a young woman who suffered an injury during chemotherapy.

    Slater and Gordon

    Singled out for providing ‘a first-class service to their claimants’, Slater and Gordon’s medical negligence practice is overseen by Sarah McWhirter in Edinburgh who is described by clients as an ‘intelligent solicitor who works diligently’. Under her leadership, the group handles an assortment of matters spanning fatal cases, orthopaedic and surgical claims, and delayed diagnoses of cancer. Claire Paterson handles claims involving multiple injuries. Leigh Stygal joined the team from DWF and handles clinical negligence matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah McWhirter

    Other key lawyers:

    Claire Paterson; Leigh Stygal


    ‘I have worked frequently with the medical negligence team at Slater and Gordon since 2018 on a wide range of claims including high value/complex amputation cases, fatal claims and secondary victim claims. In my opinion, they are the best pursuer medical negligence pursuer practice in Scotland.’

    ‘The team work effectively together as they have good relationships with one another.’

    ‘They have excellent client empathy but retain sufficient objectivity to provide realistic advice.’

    ‘They investigate thoroughly, are responsive and their cases are always well-prepared. The team are a pleasure to work with and very focused on getting the best outcome possible for their clients.’

    ‘The stand out individuals for me are Claire Paterson, solicitor and Sarah McWhirter, Principal Lawyer. They always thoroughly prepare their cases and know what Counsel requires in order to most effectively present the case.’

    They are very responsive and diligent. The team are a pleasure to work with and very focused on getting the best outcome possible for their clients.’

    ‘Sarah McWhirter is the person I know best – she’s a very able and intelligent solicitor who works very diligently and seems extremely well organised. I think she’s a rising star in the field.’

    ‘I have worked with this firm for around 10 years in my capacity as a neurosurgical expert. I have found them, friendly, efficient and always helpful. They deal with matters expeditiously and are always willing to listen.’

    Irwin Mitchell Scotland

    At Irwin Mitchell Scotland, the medical negligence group is spearheaded by experienced senior associate David Bell and is active across mid-market matters spanning birth injuries, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and ophthalmology. The Glasgow-based practice also features accredited medical negligence specialist Kathleen Lang and Nicola McCartney.

    Practice head(s):

    David Bell

    Other key lawyers:

    Kathleen Lang; Nicola McCartney


    ‘I undertake limited work for pursuer personal injury cases. In this firm my work has been with David Bell, who is excellent. I have nit undertaken any medical negligence work with him.’

    ‘David Bell has a breadth of experience in his field second to none. he encourages his team and supports them superbly. He brings this unrivalled experience to each case without loss of enthusiasm.’