Firm Profile > Clyde & Co LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland

Clyde & Co LLP

Medical negligence: defender Tier 1

Following recent growth, Clyde & Co LLP boasts the largest clinical negligence defender team in Scotland. Experienced and well-respected solicitor-advocates Graeme Watson and Duncan Batchelor run the practice, which acts for a variety of medical defence unions as well as major corporations and individuals. The team also advises on fatal accident inquiries, criminal proceedings and internal disciplinary hearings and has expertise in defending complex multi-party claims. Watson is noted for his recent work defending manufacturers in high value product liability claims. Dual-qualified senior associate Claire Raftery assists partners with a broad caseload encompassing fatal accident inquiries and aesthetic surgery cases.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Watson; Duncan Batchelor

Other key lawyers:


‘The team at Clyde and Co is very experienced in the healthcare sphere and does a very good job.’

‘Associate Chris Dunn is definitely an up-and-comer in the field of medical negligence.’

Personal injury: defender Tier 1

Clyde & Co LLP acts for eighteen of the top twenty UK insurers and all of Scotland’s defence organisations, covering all types of claims. The practice has a track record of successfully defending high value road traffic accidents and fatal claims, and in recent years has established itself as a leading authority in historic abuse litigation, with partner Graeme Watson taking charge of these matters and giving evidence to the Scottish parliament on the crucial issue of limitation.

Practice head(s):

David Tait; Giles Graham; Mark Donaldson

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Watson; Andrew Constable


‘There is clearly a culture of trust at Clyde & Co which allows lawyers assisting the partners to flourish.’

‘Partners at Clyde’s offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh are extremely robust. If I want a case defended in the Scottish Sheriff Courts, I’m instructing Clydes.’

‘Mark Donaldson is a vastly experienced hand in the oil, gas and energy sector. He is uniquely placed to offer sound advice on both civil and criminal matters.’

Professional negligence Tier 1

Clyde & Co LLP's professional negligence practice defends insurers, legal professionals, surveyors and architects in high value claims involving complex elements including alleged fraud or breach of fiduciary duty. The team is led by the dual-qualified Gavin Henderson, who defends claims against construction professionals, accountants and surveyors, and has a strong track record on extremely high-profile cases, assisted by the 'knowledgeable and experienced' Anne Kentish, who specialises in defending claims against legal professionals.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Henderson

Other key lawyers:


‘Great capabilities, practical and commercial thinking. Ability to think outside the box when faced with a problem.’

‘Gavin Henderson maintains a good tactical and strategic overview of a case as well as investigating and analysing the details necessary for a successful outcome.’

Health and safety Tier 2

Clyde & Co LLP's 'pragmatic' team jointly led by Mark Donaldson and Gilles Graham has a fine reputation among insurers but it also acts for individuals and commercial entities in criminal prosecutions and associated civil claims. The group has been particularly active handling investigations and prosecutions arising from severe and fatal workplace accidents while environmental health investigations work constitutes another key area of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Mark Donaldson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Constable


Strong litigation firm with the breadth and depth of experience to handle health and safety prosecutions and any corresponding civil claims.’

Swift response times.

Mark Donaldson’s communication, advice and explanations of complex matters in a clear and sympathetic way is absolutely outstanding.

Employment Tier 3

Clyde & Co LLP has carved out a 'strong' practice defending clients, most notably from the public sector, against various claims brought before the Employment Tribunal; its contentious work typically concerns whistleblowing, discrimination, equal pay and unfair dismissal claims alongside mass holiday and equal pay litigation. The 'excellentStephen Miller heads the team, which includes 'very efficient' discrimination law expert Frances Ross.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Miller

Other key lawyers:

Graham Mitchell; Frances Ross; Robert King


Provides robust and efficient advice that’s easy to understand.

Excellent customer service.

The team are good communicators and always on hand to assist when required.’

Takes the time to understand the client’s business and provides tailored advice.

Approachable and very supportive.

Stephen Miller is balanced in his approach. He clearly has extensive knowledge of his field and delivers his advice in a way that is not only well presented for the in-house lawyers but is also readily understood by non-lawyers.

Robust in its commercial outlook when giving legal advice.

Graham Mitchell’s intellect, calm nature and vast experience help enormously when it comes to navigating through complex legal matters.

Key clients

Glasgow City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council

Scottish Police Authority

Malcolm Group

Devro Group

J & J Denholm

Scottish Ballet

Airth Castle Hotel

Argyll, Lomond & the Islands Energy Agency

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Commercial litigation Tier 4

Clyde & Co LLP is best known for undertaking commercial litigation as a result of instructions from insurers or direct from nominated corporates. As well as its insurance sector expertise, the team led by Gordon Keyden also handles various construction-related disputes as well as product and professional liability matters.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Keyden

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Henderson; Anne Kentish; Andrew Constable; Duncan Batchelor; Vikki Melville

Education Tier 4

Clyde & Co LLP has sector-specific contentious and non-contentious employment and discrimination law work at its core. The 'entirely committed' practice acts for higher and further education institutions, local authority education departments and other educational bodies and frequently defends against claims of unfair dismissal, race and age discrimination as well as various forms of abuse. Employment lawyer Graham Mitchell heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Graham Mitchell

Other key lawyers:

Frances Ross; Graeme Watson; Stephen Miller


Provides sound and timely advice.

Understands complex situations very quickly.

You can have complete confidence in their judgement.

Questions are answered promptly, often outside office hours.

Key clients

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


Argyll College

The University of Edinburgh

University of St Andrews

Forth Valley College

New College Lanarkshire

University of Glasgow

West College Scotland

The firm:  Clyde & Co is a leading global law firm, specialising in the sectors that underpin global trade and commercial activity, namely: insurance, transport, infrastructure, energy, and trade and commodities. It is globally integrated, offering a comprehensive range of contentious and non-contentious legal services and commercially-minded legal advice to businesses operating across developed and developing markets. Clyde & Co is committed to operating in a responsible way. This means progressing towards a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity of its communities and clients, using its legal skills to support its communities through pro bono work, volunteering and charitable partnerships, and minimising the impact it has on the environment. The firm has 440 partners, 1800 lawyers, 2500 legal professionals and 4000 staff in over 50 offices and associated offices worldwide.

Sectors: The firm hires the best people in its chosen core sectors – genuine specialists. This combination of sector expertise and legal excellence allows the firm to provide the most innovative and commercial solutions to clients. The firm’s long history of working with the world’s insurance markets has led Clyde & Co into advising on the many facets of its core sectors. These include trade and commodities, insurance, transport, infrastructure and energy. Its strategic aim is to be the best and most complete provider of legal services to businesses engaged in these core sectors. As patterns of global trade have shifted, the firm has actively invested in its international network to meet the evolving needs of clients and has always been an early mover into key hubs of international commerce, as demonstrated by its offices and associate offices. Mirroring clients across the spread of their operations, the firm views the world from the clients’ perspective, fully aware of their ambitions and mindful of the commercial realities of their markets. Clyde & Co’s reputation in disputes, and particularly international cross border disputes, is outstanding.

International work: The firm has the largest dispute resolution practice of any UK law firm and with its international spread it has become a specialist in international arbitration in both developed forum and emerging market centres. Clyde & Co has a significant US and Canadian trial capability; a specialisation in financial institutions, shareholder and other commercial disputes; as well as deep experience of bilateral treaty disputes. The firm specialises in assisting businesses when they enter, operate and grow in emerging markets, helping them access funding and transact in the world’s capital markets. The firm has one of the largest dedicated global corporate practices based in London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The commercial team has a particular focus on IP, franchising, technology and outsourcing. Clyde & Co also has one of the largest employment practices of any City law firm, and has dedicated employment expertise across its entire international network.

Key facts:
•One of the top ten largest firms in the City of London and 60 globally
•Over 4,000 staff in over 50 offices worldwide
•Senior Partner: Peter Hirst
•Number of partners: 440
•Number of fee-earners : 1,800 lawyers, 2,500 legal professionals
•Market Leader in MENA and other emerging markets
•Doubled in size twice over the last ten years
•The largest dispute resolution practice of any UK law firm
•Unrivalled in-depth sector focus and expertise across both contentious and transactional disciplines in its core and related sectors
•The highest concentration of leading practitioners of any insurance law firm
•One of the largest employment and pensions practices of any City law firm

International offices:  Over 50 offices and associated offices on six continents

Atlanta, Caracas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Montreal, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, San Francisco, Santiago*, São Paulo, Toronto, Washington DC

Asia Pacific
Auckland*, Beijing, Brisbane, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur*, Melbourne, New Delhi*, Perth, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Ulaanbaatar*

Aberdeen, Bristol, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guildford, Hamburg, Leeds, London, Madrid, Manchester, Nantes, Newcastle, Oxford, Paris

Middle East and Africa
Abu Dhabi, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Doha, Dubai, Johannesburg, Muscat*, Riyadh

*Associated offices

UK Office details:

Silver Fin Building, Orega, Office 106, 455 Union Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6DB, United Kingdom
T +44 (0)1224 624 924F +44 (0) 1224 626 590

10 Victoria St, Bristol, BS1 6BN, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 117 313 5600

28-32 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
T +353 (1) 234 2515

EH1 3QR, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 131 557 1545F +44 (0) 131 525 8651

144 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 2HG, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 141 248 2666F +44 (0) 141 248 9590

1 Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4HW, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 20 7876 5000F +44 (0) 20 7876 5120

5th Floor, 2 Wellington Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AP, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 113 234 1775F +44 (0) 113 318 8718

St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AR, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 20 7876 5000F +44 (0) 20 7876 5111

Royal Exchange Building, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7EF, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 161 829 6400 F +44 (0) 161 829 6401

Central Square South, Orchard Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3AZ, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 191 249 5400

3140 Rowan Place, Oxford Business Park South, Oxford, OX4 2WB, United Kingdom
T +44 (0) 1865 336 600F +44 (0) 1865 336 611

Department Name Email Telephone
Aviation Maria Cetta
Aviation finance Mark Bisset
Clinical negligence and healthcare Chris Burdett
Clinical negligence and healthcare Neil Jamieson
Commercial Nick Purnell
Commercial Mark Williamson
Commercial litigation Chris Burdett
Commercial litigation Neil Jamieson
Commodities Marko Kraljevic
Commodities Michael Swangard
Commodities John Whittaker
Competition John Milligan
Construction and infrastructure Liz Jenkins
Construction and infrastructure John Morris
Corporate insurance Stephen Browning
Corporate insurance Ivor Edwards
Employment, pensions and immigration Jonathan Chaimovic
Employment, pensions and immigration Rob Hill
Energy and natural resources David Bennet
Finance Chris Lenton
Finance Andrew Foster
Fraud James Dadge
Health, safety and environment David Leckie
Health, safety and environment Chris Morrison
Insolvency and reorganisation Andrew Foster
Insurance Simon Konsta
Insurance James Cooper
International arbitration Ben Knowles
International arbitration John Whittaker
International arbitration Maurice Kenton
Mediation Jane Andrewartha
Personal injury James Dadge
Police and emergency services Hugh Mullins
Police and emergency services Siobhan Mullins
Product liability Neil Beresford
Product liability Ian Plumley
Professional negligence Sarah Clover
Professional negligence Richard Harrison
Professional negligence Simon Konsta
Public international law John Whittaker
Rail Victor Rae-Reeves
Real estate and planning Ian Ginbey
Real estate and planning Robert Pilcher
Real estate and planning Graeme Taylor
Reinsurance Nigel Brook
Retail David Wyatt
Shipping Simon Culhane
Photo Name Position Profile
 Toni Ashby  photo Toni Ashby An accomplished lawyer in her specialist area, Toni has extensive experience of…
 Duncan Batchelor  photo Duncan Batchelor Duncan specialises in clinical and professional negligence (defender), professional discipline and product…
 Andrew Constable  photo Andrew Constable A specialist defender litigator, Andrew is a key member of the personal…
 Gordon Keyden  photo Gordon Keyden Gordon is a top lawyer, and a key player in both the…
 Charles McGregor  photo Charles McGregor Charles specialises in the defence of professional negligence claims directed against professionals…
 Vikki Melville  photo Vikki Melville Vikki is an experienced litigator acting for clients in personal injury, general…
 Graeme Watson  photo Graeme Watson Graeme specialises in medical and professional negligence and professional regulation and discipline.…

The Lex 100 Verdict

Clyde & Co is a growing City firm with impressive international reach, boasting a 'Silver Circle-chasing' calibre of work and prowess in the insurance field, all of which make it a highly attractive place to train. Popular with prospective trainees looking for a 'global reach, insurance capabilities and early responsibility' within the training contract, the firm's sector focus, say respondents, make the firm's training better than others. Clyde & Co's 'specialised industry focus means that you can tailor your training contract to your specific interests, whether that is shipping, aviation, construction or something else'. The training programme also allows for 'high levels of exposure to litigation' and a host of international and client secondment opportunities, all highly praised. Trainees consider the hours to be broadly better than at other similar firms, one added that 'there are very few trainees I know of that have worked weekends or past midnight and compared to our equals in terms of size and revenue that is quite impressive'. However, remuneration was a consistent concern for respondents, who feel that the pay is 'just not on par with our equals', particularly at NQ level. While the work/life balance is applauded, there were grumbles over office technology and perceived differences between regional and London offices. However, trainees present an overall positive feeling about the firm, saying 'there's a culture to support and help each other thrive no matter what level you are' and they feel welcomed. As one respondent said, 'Clyde & Co felt like a family during the vacation scheme and it still does'.