Our Advocacy and Legal Opinions Unit, six months on…

  • Insight

30 November 2017

Our Advocacy and Legal Opinions Unit was launched in April and has proved a success from the start. We have received a range of instructions to appear in court and at hearings and to provide legal opinions in a number of different areas.

To find out what we could do for you and your clients, we are marking the first six months by reviewing the key work we have undertaken. We have a long history of excellence in oral and written advocacy and our eight Solicitor Advocates can represent clients in tribunals, the Sheriff Court, the Sheriff Appeal Court and before the Sheriff Principal, in the Court of Session and in the UK Supreme Court. In addition, as a law firm with specialists in every area, our accredited experts are recognised for the excellence of their legal opinion work. 

The Unit, which groups our Solicitor Advocates and Accredited Specialists together in a one-stop-shop for advocacy and specialist opinion services, has been instructed to provide representation in courts at all levels of the Scottish civil justice system. The team has also been instructed by existing clients and other firms of solicitors to provide legal opinions on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters.

Advocacy

  • Robert Carr presented a case for a regulatory body where the evidence was sufficiently sensitive for it be held in private. The hearing lasted for over 20 days; a vulnerable witness gave evidence from behind a screen; and over 40 authorities were referred to.
  • Dominic Scullion represented the Scottish Children’s Reporter in an appeal to the Inner House  of the Court of Session in CV v MF [2017] CSIH 44, 2017 SLT 945. Dominic’s submissions (and paragraphs from his Note of Argument) were narrated throughout the opinion of Lord Malcolm.
  • Robert Carr appeared for the Parole Board for Scotland in a four day debate in Aberdeen Sheriff Court where senior and junior counsel represented the other two defenders and where the pursuer was seeking damages of over £1m;
  • Dominic Scullion juniored to David Johnston, QC, in an appeal to the Second Division of the Inner House for the Scottish Information Commissioner brought by Police Scotland: http://www.scottishlegal.com/2017/06/26/police-scotland-loses-foi-challenge-over-number-of-intelligence-sources/
  • Robert Carr appeared for the Risk Management authority in a debate before Sheriff Mackie in Alloa Sheriff Court. The written pleadings of the pursuer, another party litigant, ran to over two hundred pages and the pursuer had lodged 119 productions amounting to over 1800 pages. The sheriff was referred to over 179 legal authorities including case law and legislation.
  • Dominic Scullion has conducted three Fatal Accident Inquiries, including an inquiry with 13 days of evidence, including expert evidence, before the Sheriff Principal of Glasgow & Strathkelvin;
  • Robert Carr, Jonathan Guy and Dominic Scullion have been instructed in / conducted seven substantive appeals before three judges in the Sheriff Appeal Court;
  • Appeared in numerous procedural hearings and opposed motions in the Sheriff Court, Sheriff Appeal Court, Outer House of the Court of Session and Inner House of the Court of Session;
  • urgent summonses, petitions and defences. 

Legal Opinions

Our unit also focuses on our 19 accredited specialists. In the last six months, our accredited specialists and solicitor advocates have been instructed to provide Opinions on:

  • Statutory interpretation;
  • the prospects of successfully challenging a decision by an insurer to cancel a policy from inception;
  • the duties incumbent on employers to provide health surveillance to employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974;
  • prospects of successfully petitioning for judicial review;
  • prospects of defending a stress at work claim.

In addition, we were asked to conduct an internal  review after a College was on the receiving end of a tribunal decision which was critical and which received unwelcome publicity in the national press. The work involved a careful balancing of parties’ positions, and a reflection on how the situation had arisen which allowed the College’s review group to be able to determine  next steps and to avoid a repetition.

Whether a prospective client, an existing client or another firm of solicitors, please contact either Robert Carr or Dominic Scullion to discuss whether our Advocacy and Legal Opinions Unit could provide a service you require.

For more information about the Unit, click here.

For further information on our Legal Advocacy & Opinions Unit, contact