Digby Brown LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland > Firm Profile

Digby Brown LLP

Insurance > Personal injury: pursuer Tier 1

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.

Insurance > Medical negligence: pursuer Tier 2

One of the standout names in Scotland for complex, high-value medical negligence cases, the dedicated team at Digby Brown LLP brings to bear wide-ranging expertise in clinical negligence claims. The group is headed by Ruth Kelliher, an accredited clinical negligence specialist who displays particular expertise in pursuing cases involving birth injury and neonatal deaths, as well as dealing with delays in diagnosis, surgical errors and bile duct injury cases. At the associate level, Trish McFadden has a strong track record of assisting clients with prescription error, misdiagnosis, informed consent and brain injury cases.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Kelliher

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Acted in a £575,000 claim for the family of a patient who died after being wrongly discharged from hospital.
  • Acting in a £7m claim to recover damages for a patient who suffered a stroke after a CT scan was misinterpreted.
  • Acting in a £750,000 settlement for a woman who was scalded in a care home bath.

As the largest specialist personal injury practice in Scotland, acting almost exclusively for claimants, the firm is known for its expertise across personal injury and clinical negligence-related claims, as well as work on employment issues.

The firm: Digby Brown was named Law Firm of the Year and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Firm of the Year at the Scott & Co. Legal Awards 2018, the latest in a series of national awards reflecting its status and CSR work in recent years. Delivering results for clients is at the heart of the firm’s work. 2017/18 saw Digby Brown recover £105m on behalf of personal injury pursuers and gain a series of notable legal successes which will benefit pursuers throughout Scotland such as the Clutha helicopter and Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.

Independently verified statistics show that the firm has consistently achieved for clients, on average, more than three times the pre-litigation offers made by defending insurers. Digby Brown offers a complete funding and indemnity package through its litigation funding company, Compensate, giving clients access to justice and providing funding for all case expenses. Client service across the firm is consistently rated highly in independent reviews which is illustrated via Digby Brown’s five-star Trustpilot rating.

The firm continues to lead in successful civil litigation, including in the number of actions raised in the Court of Session and All Scotland Personal Injury Court. The Compensate Personal Injury Network now has over 500 members across Scotland and England who can refer cases to Digby Brown, ensuring that clients achieve the best possible outcome.

Digby Brown is one of only a small number of Scottish firms to have a professional support lawyer function, represented at partner level, particularly among firms specialising in personal injury litigation. November 2016 saw Digby Brown become the first law firm in the UK to achieve platinum level accreditation with Investors in People, having achieved gold level accreditation in 2014. The firm has been an accredited Living Wage Employer since 2014

Types of work undertaken: The firm has specialists in every area of personal injury, with each case managed by specialist departments broken down by type of accident, injury, location and/or nationality of clients. The departments are: serious injury; road traffic accident claims; accidents at work; foreign and travel accidents (including dedicated native Polish and Spanish speakers); motorcycle accident claims; cycling accident claims; oil, gas or shipping accidents; criminal injuries; and industrial and asbestos-related disease.

Noted areas of expertise include brain and spinal injuries. The foreign and travel law department meets the needs of Scots injured abroad and foreign nationals injured while either working or living in Scotland. Medical negligence work is undertaken by a well-regarded specialist department, with particular expertise in cerebral palsy claims. Industrial disease experience ranges from asbestos-related conditions and occupational asthma to dermatitis and vibration white finger. Digby Brown has solicitors specialising in non-accidental injuries, including helping victims of historic abuse.

More broadly, the firm has a leading-edge family law service focusing on financial provision on divorce, cohabitation claims and child law as well as continuing its long-standing work in adoption. An employment private client offering helps clients with claims relating to discrimination in the workplace, unfair dismissal and redundancy, settlement agreements and disputes where representation at employment tribunals is necessary.

Other offices: Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy, Ayr

Chief executive Fraser Oliver
Gordon Dalyell  photo Gordon Dalyell Gordon joined Digby Brown in 1998, and heads up the network department.…
Graeme Garrett  photo Graeme Garrett Graeme has specialised in personal injury litigation on behalf of trade union…
Sue Grant  photo Sue Grant Sue is a graduate of Aberdeen University and joined Digby Brown in…
Simon Hammond  photo Simon Hammond Simon became a partner in Digby Brown’s insurance litigation department in 2015,…
Kim Leslie  photo Kim Leslie Kim is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde and joined in…
Number of UK partners : 24
Number of other UK fee-earners : 166