Litigation since 1880

In a world where businesses are heavily regulated compliance with health and safety legislation stands out as a critical obligation for companies and company directors. Failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to severe consequences, as highlighted by Ray Gribben, Legal Director.

Prosecution Risk:

At its most severe consequence, a company failing to comply with health and safety legislation can face prosecution by the Crown. The burden of proof lies on the company, requiring them to demonstrate that they took all reasonably practicable measures to prevent non-compliance. However, successfully defending such charges is rare, with the onus on the company to prove it took all the preventive steps it could reasonably have been expected to .

Personal Accountability:

Beyond corporate liability, company directors and managers can also be held personally liable for any non-compliance. Through their acquiescence, connivance, or neglect, they risk facing prosecution alongside the company. This potential personal liability underscores the gravity of ensuring adherence to health and safety regulation at all levels of an organisation.

Director Disqualification:

In cases where directors are convicted of health and safety offences, director disqualification will also be on the horizon. This too is a stark reminder of the individual repercussions which can arise from failure by directors to ensure compliance with health and safety laws.

Financial and Reputational Fallout:

The repercussions of non-compliance extend beyond companies and individuals facing possible unlimited fines or even imprisonment. Reputational damage on conviction will go hand in hand with legal penalties through publication by the HSE in regulatory registers and reporting in the wider Press and on social media. Such damage can be wide-ranging and long lasting with companies requiring to report any convictions in tendering processes, which will clearly count against them in an already competitive market.

If you require legal advice on any of the matters raised in this article please contact Ray Gribben .

Our Chairman to Represent Levy & McRae at the Legal Netlink Alliance Meeting in Malta 2nd-4th February 2024.

We’re delighted to once again be atttending the upcoming Legal Netlink Alliance meeting, taking place in Malta this weekend.

Our Chairman Bill Macreath will be representing our firm at this prestigious gathering, where the focus will be on discussing the most pressing legal topics of our time, including the evolving role of AI in the legal sector.

Our Chairman’s participation in this international gathering underscores our commitment to staying at the forefront of legal topics and global collaboration. The meeting as ever will be a melting pot of ideas, with colleagues from diverse legal backgrounds across Europe and the globe sharing their insights and expertise in various practice areas and jurisdictions.

We are eagerly looking forward to the comprehensive agenda prepared by our hosts, GTG Advocates. This gathering promises to be an enriching experience, offering unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities within the legal landscape.

After a very successful 2023 for our Criminal Defence Private Crime department, the new year commences with our Partner Neil Hay being recognised as Lawyer of the Month in Scottish Legal News.

Neil was also recently awarded The Legal 500 Scottish Crime Solicitor of the Year.

Looking ahead, our focus is clear. We aim to continue to grow our criminal defence practice, building upon our solid foundation of expertise and client service.

Neil continues to explore opportunities in Scotland and other jusrisdictions to provide sector leading criminal defence advice and representation for individuals and companies facing possible prosecution in Scottish courts.

Increasingly Neil and his team also advise companies on compliance with Scottish criminal law matters.

The full Scottish Legal News article can be read here:

Levy and McRae will attend the Legal Netlink Alliance meeting in Malta at the start of February to discuss the main legal topics of the day, including AI and more. Our colleagues in the Alliance will join from many different countries in Europe and around the world, bringing expertise across multiple practice areas and jusrisdictions.

We are looking forward to the agenda prepared by our hosts, the law firm GTG Advocates.

Levy and McRae mourns the passing of its former senior partner, Leonard George Murray, aged 90 years,  on 22 December 2023.

Levy and McRae could not have been built to its present status without Mr Murray’s inspiration, wisdom, and participation.  He was associated with Levy & McRae for over 40 years much of that time as senior partner. He was at the forefront of creating and developing the firm’s litigation practice in the 1970s and 80s. He was respected across the Scottish legal profession for his formidable intellect and eloquence and worldwide as a leading Burns scholar and after-dinner speaker.

He was extremely popular with his peers and those with whom he worked. We are indeed fortunate to have in our firm today members of staff who worked closely with Leonard Murray and remember him in his prime.

Bill Macreath, Chairman, said: “ I first met with Leonard Murray in the 1970s. He was already a towering figure in the profession and one of the leading court practitioners of his generation. I enjoyed a close professional and personal relationship with him over many years.”

David McKie, senior partner, said:  ‘He was so kind to me from the moment he met me when I was a summer student at Levy & McRae. I watched in awe as he commanded a courtroom with his eloquence and persuasive skills. He was always on the end of the phone when I had a difficult legal call to make and his calm authority was a source of great reassurance to me.’

We offer our condolences to his family – his sons, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, of whom he was immensely proud.

We are very grateful to our clients at STV and to Bernard Ponsonby for allowing us to post this obituary:

Levy and McRae wish all of our clients, staff and everyone a magical Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.

On Friday 8 December 2023, Evana Ferguson, Solicitor, from our Civil and Criminal Litigation team, judged the first round of the Alexander Stone Mooting Competition at the University of Dundee.

The Alexander Stone is one of Scotland’s oldest and most highly regarded mooting competitions. Two teams of students took on the role of litigators arguing points of law, simulating the experience of appearing in an appeal court.

The competition aims to help students advance their verbal and written communication skills in a legal setting.

Evana brought the experiences gained in her legal practice to the problem, which concerned the law of penalty clauses in contracts. She also talked to the students about her experience of mooting, which saw her speak in the UK Supreme Court and the International Court of Justice as a student. Evana’s moot in the UK Supreme Court was judged by Lord Hodge, who was at the forefront of a key decision on how and when car park operators can enforce charges against motorists (ParkingEye Limited v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67).

We were delighted to attend the inaugural The Legal 500 (Legalease) Scottish awards ceremony held in Edinburgh last night. It was an excellent evening made all the better by our Criminal Partner Neil Hay being awarded Crime Lawyer of the Year.

Neil brings excellence to the work that he does on behalf of our clients. This award rounds off a year where Neil has been ranked highly and commended in all the major legal sector directories for his area of work.

Neil Hay

Levy & McRae’s recent recognition by prestigious legal directories such as The Legal 500 (Legalease), Chambers and Partners Directory, Spears 500 and The Times Best Law Firms is a testament to our unwavering dedication to legal excellence and our capability to handle the most complex legal challenges.

We bring discretion, confidentiality, and quality to all of our work, aiming consistently to protect and manage our clients’ interests and reputations. This meticulous attention to client service is why individuals and corporations seeking strategic legal advice and representation repeatedly choose Levy & McRae.

Our lawyers have been recognised in the fields of Defamation and Reputation Management (David McKie, Senior Partner), Crime, Fraud and Licensing ( Neil Hay, David McKie, Callum Anderson, Andrew Seggie), Product Liability (Graham Craik, Carol Boyd) and Medical Negligence: Pursuer (Elizabeth Rose). In addition, Elizabeth Rose was awarded Lawyer of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards and the team of L&M Medilaw, a division of the firm, were recognised with the Excellence in Client Care award.

The Hub of Legal Expertise and Referral

Levy & McRae’s prominence is further solidified by our robust independent referral practice and network. When other legal firms or individual lawyers seek independent legal advice, we are often the first point of reference – “the lawyer`s lawyers”.

This not only speaks volumes about Levy & McRae’s legal acumen but also highlights the deep trust and respect we command within the legal community. The firm’s referral cases are not just local but span across the UK and internationally, including those from magic circle firms.

David McKie, Senior Partner commented: “Our staff are the lifeblood of the business. I want to thank everyone for their efforts and commitment to the firm and for helping us achieve this recognition from our peers, and best outcomes at all times for our clients.”

At Levy and McRae we are often asked to provide insight and analysis for media outlets, including advising them on media law. Our Partner Callum Anderson was invited to contribute to a recent live discussion on Scotland Tonight to discuss issues arising from press allegations involving comedian Russell Brand.

Callum discussed matters such as privacy rights, pre-trial publicity and with the spotlight on the alleged victims in the Brand situation, Callum commented on the changing landscape of the legal system. Privacy rights have undergone significant shifts in the past decade. Today, they are considerably stronger, providing better protection to individuals.

The Russell Brand situation offers a valuable lesson on the importance of understanding the multifaceted nature of media law. At Levy and McRae we we navigate these legal intricacies daily, ensuring our clients are well-informed and protected.

You can view the Scotland Tonight appearance here: