Digby Brown LLP > Edinburgh, Scotland > Firm Profile

Digby Brown LLP

Insurance > Personal injury: pursuer Tier 1

Described as a ‘force to be reckoned with’, market leaders Digby Brown LLP works exclusively for claimants and fields a practice spanning across Scotland, with offices in Edinburgh, Inverness and Kirkcaldy. Solicitor advocate Gordon Dalyell  oversees the group and has a proven track record acting in road traffic accidents and other fatal claims. In Glasgow, the core team features head of serious injury Chris Stewart, who covers catastrophic injury claims, Fraser Simpson, who manages industrial diseases, and David WilsonMark Gibson specialises in product liability matters, including defective medical product claims, while Kim Leslie is instructed on historical sexual abuse matters. On the litigation side, Moira Kay remains the key name. Over in Aberdeen, Neil Davidson leads the practice there and advises on claims arising from the oil and gas industry.

Other key lawyers:


‘Very efficient, great quality cases, highly knowledgable team.’

‘Moira Kay is a very robust litigator and knowledgeable about catastrophic cases.’

‘Digby Brown are bold and tenacious in fighting for their client’s interests.’

‘They are always a force to be reckoned with.’

‘There is a wealth of experience and knowledge within the firm as a whole. Clients should be aware they will always be in good hands.’

‘Gordon Dayell and his team are great to work with. Very calm and organised. Always prepared. Great with clients.’

‘The market leader for PI by a reasonable margin. Very strong approach to case management, which pushes cases to a conclusion. Cases are investigated thoroughly and the evidence presented well.’

Key clients

Spinal Injuries Scotland


Asbestos Action and Clydebank Asbestos Group


Members of the Compensate Personal Injury Network

A large proportion of our work now comes from our reputation as Scotland’s leading personal injury firm and the most recognised legal brand in the country.

Work highlights

  • Client suffered a stroke and brain injury following a minor RTA. The insurers offered just £1,000 pre-litigation. Case ultimately settled for £1.9m – and out of court.
  • Successful proof in high value EL case after man died in a workplace accident. Case settled for £922,000 following successful court judgment.
  • Successful proof in a fatal diving case which also followed a successful Supreme Court ruling. Diver died after walking on deck of vessel in flippers. We successfully held defenders accountable after they failed to have the case dismissed under Athens Convention.

Insurance > Medical negligence: pursuer Tier 2

Digby Brown LLP is ‘at the forefront of complex medical negligence for pursuers with excellent knowledge of experts’, and brings together expertise across complex claims in birth injury and neonatal deaths. Spearheaded by accredited clinical negligence specialist Ruth Kelliher in Glasgow, the team has demonstrable strength in cerebral palsy matters and major surgical errors. Trish McFadden was promoted to the partnership and continues to be the main contact for clients on prescription errors, misdiagnoses and brain injury cases; she is also highlighted for her ‘outstanding knowledge of complex areas of medical litigation.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Kelliher

Other key lawyers:


‘Digby Brown contains first-rate medical negligence lawyers. They are exceptionally experienced and able and are, rightly, regarded as leaders in this field.’

‘Trish McFadden is another exceptionally experienced and able medical negligence solicitor and is a worthy successor to Sue. Trish also has exceptional people skills and is very popular with clients.’

‘At the forefront of complex medical negligence for pursuers – excellent knowledge of experts, reliable assessment of the quality of the case, instructions are always comprehensive and knowledgeable.’

‘Trish McFadden – excellent skills with clients and experts, outstanding knowledge of complex areas of medical litigation, very experienced in the highest value catastrophic cases.’

‘The clinical negligence team are top class. Efficient, informed and organised. Perfect instructing Agents.’

‘Trish, Ruth and their team are excellent to work with. They really know their stuff legally and on the medical aspects in the case. They are tenuous in advancing their client’s cases but also very pragmatic and realistic.’

‘Working with them I always know I am fully supported with an awesome level of organisation and case preparation.’

‘As a whole, the firm thoroughly prepares cases, taking strong, pertinent statements and communicating well with clients.’

Work highlights

  • Acting in a £24m case for boy who was left suffering from cerebral palsy due to failures of labour staff.
  • Acting in a £875,000 claim for motorcyclist left with little feeling and movement in his foot after medical staff failed to spot and prevent compartment syndrome after routine surgery.
  • Acting in a £5m case for woman who suffered a stroke after specialists wrongly cleared her CT scan results.

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.

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

Chief executive Fraser Oliver
Gordon Dalyell photo Gordon DalyellGordon joined Digby Brown in 1998, and heads up the network department.…
Simon Hammond photo Simon HammondSimon became a partner in Digby Brown’s insurance litigation department in 2015,…
Kim Leslie photo Kim LeslieKim is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde and joined in…
Number of UK partners : 31
Number of other UK fee-earners : 166