John Chalmers > Ledingham Chalmers LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland > Lawyer Profile

Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Work Department

Litigation department.


John obtained extended rights of audience (solicitor advocate) in 2008 and is the partner in charge of the firm’s Edinburgh office which undertakes exclusively litigation and dispute resolution work with an emphasis on work in Scotland’s higher civil court, the Court of Session. His team also deal with referral work in the Court of Session for solicitors outside Edinburgh. His practice is principally in the public sector and insurance fields and includes casualty – representing insurers, claim handlers, local authorities and other self-insured organisations in defending claims. He has acted in a number of high-value claims involving serious injuries. He also acts for insurers in recovery actions against third parties including fire and other serious damage claims. He has expertise in insurance law (advises insurers on issues affecting validity of insurance contracts, fraudulent claims and disputes with policyholders); health and safety prosecutions/fatal accident inquiries (has acted in a number of prosecutions arising under health and safety legislation); conducting FAIs for insured entities and local authorities; judicial review, principally for local authorities; and media law (acted as Edinburgh correspondent on behalf of News Group in the Sheridan v News of the World defamation action, currently under appeal). Advises media organisations on defamation and contempt of court issues. Deals with commercial litigation in the Court of Session and Sheriff Court in matters such as contractual disputes, high value performance bond enforcement, interdict/interim interdict applications and reduction actions. Carries out presentations to clients principally in the public sector and insurance fields. Principal clients include Direct Line Group, NIG, Gallagher Bassett, North Lanarkshire Council; referring solicitors. Notable cases include Sidey v Clackmannanshire Council (procurement/damages), United Central Bakeries v Spooner Industries (factory fire – sale of goods, misrepresentation), Cunningham v Cameron/British Gas (house fire-fault by neighbour and utility company), Liquidators of Scottish Coal Company for Directions (environmental liabilities, insolvency, property law). South Lanarkshire Council v Coface (performance bond enforcement).


Trained Cochrane & Blair Paterson SSC; qualified 1987; solicitor Cochrane & Blair Paterson SSC 1987-94; A&WM Urquhart WS 1994-2001; Ledingham Chalmers 2001 to date (partner since 2004).


Extended Rights of Audience (Civil) granted 2008; member Scottish Law Agents Society; member British Insurance Law Association.


Elgin Academy; University of Aberdeen (1984 LLB; 1985 Dip LP).


Modern history, Scottish art, golf, hill walking, skiing.

Lawyer Rankings

Scotland > Insurance > Personal injury: defender

Ledingham Chalmers LLP offers clients ‘a fantastic, knowledgeable, hardworking team dedicated to delivering excellence’, and has expertise dotted across fraudulent claims, catastrophic injuries and claims against local authorities. John Chalmers in Edinburgh, accredited specialist Graeme Edward in Aberdeen and Victoria Leslie in Inverness jointly manage the group. Sarah Morris has a specialism in dealing with stress-related issues at work.