Firm Profile > John Scott QC Solicitor Advocate > Edinburgh, Scotland

John Scott QC Solicitor Advocate

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 1

John Scott QC at the eponymous John Scott QC Solicitor Advocate is a highly regarded criminal defence and human rights lawyer, handling a wide range of criminal cases, including those involving the most serious offences. Since March 2020 he has also been chairing an independent advisory group to oversee the use of emergency coronavirus powers by Police Scotland.

Practice head(s):

John Scott QC


‘As Senior Counsel, John leads the defence team in all aspects of preparation right up to the Trial. John does not shirk away from any issue that requires to be dealt with. He can quickly highlight pertinent lines of inquiry and delegate accordingly.’

‘John is an exceptional leader, in and out of the courtroom. He commands any and all client meetings and is imposing when conducting court proceedings. He has an insatiable appetite for his work. He does not avoid the hard or difficult cases. That is why he is our “go-to” Solicitor-Advocate for the most serious, challenging cases. His ability to effectively control a case, manage the client and conduct a case to the highest of standards, is unrivalled. The reason he stands out is his ability to communicate effectively not only in Court but with the clients too. Managing their expectations is sometimes easier said than done, but John time after time delivers this in, sometimes, the most challenging of situations.’

‘Although there is now a large body of solicitor advocates practising in the criminal courts in Scotland, John is a rarity in that he is one of the few who have achieved the elevated status of Queen’s Counsel. There is a good reason for that: he is one of the outstanding lawyers of his generation. When you instruct John you know not only that he will provide a first class service to the client but equally important he will have the ear of the Court. As legal issues have become increasingly complex over the last number of years particularly with regard to the type of evidence that can be used in criminal trials it is good to have someone like John on your side to help you navigate through those choppy waters.’

‘John’s experience is second-to-none and his expertise in human rights law was crucially important for the matter in which we instructed him. He clearly has the ear of the very highest courts in the country as well has having a very personable and reassuring manner with clients of every background and type.’

‘John Scott QC is an extremely skilled advocate in court. His examination and cross-examination of witnesses is well prepared, focused and relevant. As is often the case, some witnesses say something unexpected. He thinks quickly on his feet and addresses any issues that arise. He is courteous and respectful to clients, witnesses, court personnel and to instructing agents.’

‘John Scott QC is one of the foremost most criminal practitioners in the Scottish legal profession. He has practised for over a decade as Queen’s Counsel in many high profile cases. His diligence and attention to detail are amongst the reasons he is consistently instructed in the Supreme Courts and is regularly requested to chair and report on various government justice system inquiries. John is undoubtedly a “ go-to” counsel for many of his colleagues in the profession.’

In practice for over 30 years, John set up on his own in 2018, offering his services as a QC to firms throughout Scotland, although still on occasion representing individuals in fee-paying matters.

Having established himself as one of the country’s leading QC’s, John has continued to work with some of the best law firms in Scotland. Instructions have included cases of murder, rape, historical sexual offences and the full range of matters prosecuted in the High Court of Justiciary.

John is especially strong in complex cases involving expert evidence.

Having appeared at the UK Supreme Court on three occasions as leader, John is one of only a handful of Senior Counsel to offer the experience and expertise required for that demanding forum.

Department Name Email Telephone
Court John Scott 07779328656
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr John Scott photo Mr John Scott Criminal defence; public inquiries
The European Criminal Bar Association