Personal injury: pursuer in Scotland

Digby Brown LLP

Divided into seven specialist departments, Digby Brown LLP fields personal injury experts in a wide range of areas. The overall network is fronted by Gordon Dalyell, who possesses an enviable track record in claims related to accidents at work, road traffic accidents and fatal claims, as well miscarriages of justice. Serious injury unit lead Chris Stewart specialises in catastrophic injury claims, ranging from brain to spinal injuries; industrial disease head Fraser Simpson principally oversees occupational and asbestos disease claims; foreign and travel specialist Mark Gibson focuses on personal injury litigation containing foreign elements, namely where Scottish residents are injured overseas; and Kim Leslie, who steers the abuse group, regularly acts for victims in high-profile historic abuse claims.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Dalyell

Other key lawyers:

Fraser Oliver; Brian Castle; Mark Gibson; David Wilson; Chris Stewart; Fraser Simpson; Kim Leslie; David Nellaney; Simon Hammond; Moira Kay

Key clients

Spinal Injuries Scotland


Child Brain Injury Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual who suffered a below-the-knee amputation after a road traffic accident (RTA), in a case settled out-of-court for £1.4m.
  • Represented client in a successful appeal in an RTA case that opened the door for 16 other claimants.
  • Settled an employment liability case worth £3.1m after a surveyor suffered brain injury after falling through a skylight.

Balfour+Manson LLP

Renowned for its track record in ‘handling complex and sensitive cases‘, the ‘excellent litigation team’ at Balfour+Manson LLP possesses wide-ranging capabilities in personal injury cases, most notably in high-end cases involving catastrophic road accidents, fatalities, workplace accidents and industrial disease claims. David McIntosh – who is ‘able to manage complex, high-value claims extremely well‘ – routinely pursues claims for severely injured clients with traumatic brain injuries and others who have suffered injury from workplace stress. Elsewhere in the team, David Short specialises in aviation accidents that occur both in Scotland and abroad.

Practice head(s):

David Short; David McIntosh

Other key lawyers:

Julie Clark-Spence


‘They have an excellent litigation team. They collaborate and keep up to date with current developments.’

‘David McIntosh is one of the most dedicated solicitors I have encountered. He really is remarkable. He is able to manage complex, high-value claims extremely well.’

‘The litigation department is a strong, compact team that consistently punches above its weight.’

‘Good preparation and understanding of the issues.’

‘Experience of handling complex and sensitive cases. Thorough investigation of claims. Excellent client care.’

‘Very good with people, and good with case management.’

Key clients

Kenyan Tea Pickers

Work highlights

  • Representing tea pickers in Kenya in injury claims against an Aberdeen-based company.

Harper Macleod LLP

Capitalising on the firm's full-service capabilities, Harper Macleod LLP's team handles conventionally low complexity claims as well as taking on many high-value actions. Under the leadership of Elizabeth Mitchell, the group routinely represents household insurance companies and individual consumers in claims related to fatal and catastrophic road traffic accidents, employer's liability accidents and public liability injuries, as well as disease work. Heather Calderwood specialises in wrongful death and fatal claims, some of which are raised in the Court of Session, while 'client-focused' senior associate Marina Harper is especially adept at dealing with serious injury work which emanates from direct clients.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

Heather Calderwood; Marina Harper; Amy Dickson


‘Heather Calderwood is one of the more efficient personal injury solicitors I have had the pleasure to work with. Talent, diligence and results.’

‘The team is very au fait with new trends, experts and arguments which arise in the field.’

‘Amy Dickson is very professional and can quickly focus on the relevant issues in a case.’

‘Client focus with knowledge of the law. Other strengths relate to preparation and the clarity of the advice.’

‘Marina Harper is client focused.’


Lindsays concentrates on road traffic, employer's liability, industrial disease, child abuse and loss of society claims, for which it leverages its online commercial brand Calio Claims, which generates over 60% of the personal injury cases undertaken by the team. The department, which is spearheaded by David Armstrong, counts among its ranks Jonathan Cornwell, who has experience defending insurers against actions raised against their policyholders. A 'clear and effective communicator', Lauren Pasi - who made partner in April 2020 and was involved in the development of Calio Claims - also deals with a variety of cases in both the Sheriff Court and Court of Session.

Practice head(s):

David Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Cornwell; Lauren Pasi


‘I have always found that all members of the Lindsays team are good to work with. Their communication is clear and timely and the staff are friendly.’

‘The team works well together and has high standards in case preparation.’

‘I felt as though Lindsays genuinely took the time to thoroughly consider matters, and to give the case (which was tricky) the time it deserved.’

‘Lauren Pasi is a partner who is not afraid to get heavily involved, and give the case a good amount of her time. She is someone who quickly grasps the legal issues, and is always happy to discuss matters personally, adding to the more personal nature of a type of litigation that can sometimes feel somewhat impersonal.’

‘A cohort of well-qualified and dedicated team members. In higher value or complicated cases, stratifying team responsibility ensures appropriate communication and input.’

‘Jonathan Cornwell is experienced in dealing with a wide variety of PI disputes. Lauren Pasi has an excellent client manner and is personable but also very well organised behind the scenes.’

‘Very efficient and effective team. Responded to every request promptly and dealt with all matters thoroughly and to my satisfaction. The team all appeared polished and well-trained and were very receptive to the client’s needs and wishes.’

‘Lauren Pasi is a clear and effective communicator who managed to get a lot of things done which many other solicitors would have struggled to do.’

Key clients

Calio Claims

First Central Insurance Company Limited

Aegis Legal

Autoclaims Assist

Scotland Claims Limited.

LIM – Legal Expenses Insurers

Lindsays Alliance

First Accident Assistance

Nationwide Claims Management Limited

Total Claims Solutions

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a £1m claim for serious physical and subsequent psychological injuries sustained by a three-year-old child in a road traffic accident.
  • Acted for a client in a £1.5m child abuse claim involving complex psychiatric and educational psychologist evidence.
  • Represented a client in a claim following a 70mph head-on collision which led to severe physical and psychological injuries, with a projected value of £2.5m.

Thorntons Law LLP

Viewed as a ‘bit of a powerhouse when it comes to representing pursuers in the personal injury sector’, Thorntons Law LLP tackles 'everything from low-level personal injuries to highly complex traumatic injuries'. Gordon McBean shines in complex acquired brain injury and high-value catastrophic injury cases, while Clare Macpherson earns praise for her ‘in-depth knowledge of the sector’, taking ‘a real no-nonsense approach to cases’. Also active in this area, solicitor advocate Michelle Adam appears with regularity in the Court of Session, where she frequently negotiates significant damages on behalf of clients. At associate level, Kathleen-Erin Lawson provides key support in industrial disease claims in particular.

Practice head(s):

Gordon McBean; Clare Macpherson

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Adam; Richard Poole; Kathleen-Erin Lawson


‘Thorntons are a bit of a power house when it comes to representing pursuers in the personal injury sector. They will tackle everything from low-level personal injuries to highly complex traumatic injuries, and I have always been impressed with the depth of expertise that they will bring to each case alike.’

‘I am always particularly impressed with Clare Macpherson. She is extremely efficient but always pleasant to work with. She has an in-depth knowledge of the sector and a real no-nonsense approach to cases.’ 

‘I have worked closely with the team at Thorntons LLP for some time now. They are one of the best teams that I have had the privilege of working with. They are knowledgeable, patient, personable and professional.’

‘Gordon McBean is an absolute pleasure to deal with. Polite, driven and an absolute professional. It is clear that he has the best interests of his clients at heart at all times and duly earns their trust and respect in return.’

‘Gordon McBean has been excellent since the beginning of the claim process. He has explained the claim process with clarity from the outset and has kept us informed at all stages without having to be asked. All in all, an extremely thorough approach delivered with a excellent manner.’

‘I found Thorntons provided an excellent service and were always extremely polite and professional. ’

‘Richard Poole was extremely helpful and gave clarity throughout the whole personal injury claim process. He ensured I understood every aspect of the case as it progressed.’

‘Thorntons have a very experienced personal injury department. We find the team at Thorntons very good to work with and they always provide excellent client care.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a sawmill employee on a claim arising from life-changing hand injury sustained at work, securing a seven-figure damages settlement.
  • Advised a bereaved widow on a claim arising from her husband’s fatal road traffic accident.
  • Advised an individual on challenging an occupier’s liability claim arising from an accident at a family leisure facility.

Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern receives a steady flow of employer’s liability action referrals from the Royal College of Nursing, with which the team enjoys an exclusive relationship. Although workplace accidents and accidents abroad have stood as core areas of focus for the group, it also handles assault, industrial disease, and other health and safety cases. Robert Carr, Catriona Watt and Robbie Wilson spearhead the department, which also features director Gary Burton, who frequently acts on behalf of nurses.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Wilson; Catriona Watt; Robert Carr

Other key lawyers:

Gary Burton

Key clients

Harper, Robertson & Shannon

Martin & Company

Masson & Glennie

Quantum Claims


Wallace Quinn

Lynn Herbert & Co

Smith & Grant

Royal College of Nursing

Irwin Mitchell Scotland

At Irwin Mitchell Scotland, the personal injury team is regularly instructed in a broad array of complex serious injury and fatal cases. Recently, its coverage has been underpinned by expertise in military claims and fatal asbestos disease matters. Under the leadership of senior associate David Bell, who is singled out as a 'consistent performer, working at a high level with difficult cases', the group continues to stake out a foothold in Glasgow in particular.

Practice head(s):

David Bell


‘David Bell is a consistent performer, working at a high level with difficult cases, but he manages to stay on top of the problems in cases and focuses on the real issues that make a difference to the clients.’

‘This team is focused on the individual: seeing the client as a person and having an individual claim and relating to them well, not just as another file/case.’

Jackson Boyd LLP

Led by Alan Macdonald, Jackson Boyd LLP’s team is trusted by clients in an assortment of claims, exhibiting a ‘great understanding and knowledge of the sector’. Road traffic accidents, employer’s and public liability claims, workplace accidents, accidents abroad and industrial disease actions are focal points of the practice. Workplace accident expert Debbie Milne and ‘knowledgeable and reliable' associate Dave Berry are other key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Alan Macdonald

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Milne; Dave Berry; David McKinney


‘I felt comfortable in the knowledge that my case was being handled with due diligence.’

‘This was possibly the most horrible time of my life, yet they held my hand and had my back all the way through, and they were a solid team throughout, giving me no doubts and no troubles. Everything was easy, documentation was smooth and communication was first rate.’

‘ Very experienced, with a great understanding and knowledge of the sector and an integral understanding of the mechanics within it. Efficient and trusted. They simply get the job done.’

‘Debbie Milne is a highly competent and confident personal injury lawyer.’

‘Quickly get to grips with the key issues in a case.’

‘Dave Berry is a knowledgeable and reliable associate who always does the best for his clients.’

Work highlights

  • Recovering a six-figure sum for a motorcyclist who suffered a shoulder injury.
  • Recovering a six-figure sum for a woman who suffered life-changing physical and psychological injuries in a road accident.
  • Recovering a six-figure sum for the widow of an elderly man who died as a result of mesothelioma.

Morton Fraser

At Morton Fraser, the personal injury practice retains a fatal claims specialism, allowing the group to handle a whole host of road traffic accident, accident at work and abroad, and industrial disease claims. It is led by Jenny Dickson, who also advises on a raft of catastrophic claims. Providing key support to Dickson is senior associate Nicola Edgar, an accredited personal injury law specialist who has developed a strong practice in claims involving injuries to cyclists.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Dickson

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Edgar


‘Good communication and case preparation.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the families of two men killed in a road traffic accident.
  • Acting in a catastrophic injury case for a man who sustained a life-changing injury at work.
  • Acting in many cycling injury cases, including one where an individual suffered catastrophic injuries following a collision with a vehicle.

Slater and Gordon

Slater and Gordon's practice is led by the 'highly experiencedStuart Cochran, who, in acting for the Scottish Police Federation, has particular expertise in claims dealing with accidents involving police officers on duty. The team also focuses on road traffic claims, employer’s liability claims, fatal claims, asbestos cases and industrial disease claims. In addition to other private work, the department generates work from trade union clients.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Cochran

Other key lawyers:

Karyn McPhee


‘Stuart Cochran is a highly experienced partner and an excellent lawyer.’

‘Very good legal knowledge.’

‘Slater and Gordon are an extremely efficient firm who maximise technology to allow the customer experience to be streamlined. At the same time they do not allow that to diminish the personal contact with the customer, which is very important in this industry.’

‘Stuart Cochran and Karyn McPhee are both highly intelligent and diligent members of the Slater and Gordon Edinburgh team. Both demonstrate real understanding of client needs and how to achieve the best results for clients in the most efficient way.’