Litigation since 1880

We are proud to announce that our Criminal Law Partner Neil Hay has again been featured among the top legal advisers in the 2024 SpearsIndex, a Spears Magazine annual listing of the lawyers working in criminal and white collar crime for high new worth and ultra high net worth clients.

Neil is the only Scottish Criminal lawyer listed by this prestigious directory, and his recognition follows upon him being awarded Crime Lawyer of the Year in the inaugural Legal 500 Scotland Awards last year.

Neil commented: “I am pleased that our professionalism and expertise in Scottish criminal law matters has again been recognised, in particular around the work we do for high net worth individuals where discretion and strategy are so important”.

Neil`s full profile in the 2024 SpearsIndex can be read here:

Scottish Paralegal Association Glasgow Conference 2024

Neil Hay , Partner at Levy & McRae was delighted to take part in the Glasgow 2024 Scottish Paralegal Association conference last week. Neil spoke to delegates about the new legislation The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021.

Neil said “It was a pleasure to take part in this busy conference on the topic of the new Hate Crime legislation. This is an area of law which has been of great interest to the public and everyone in the legal sector. Overall the conference was a tremendous success. Congratulations to the organising Committee and many thanks for the kind invite to participate.”

Levy & McRae are delighted to sponsor what promises to be a fascinating talk in Grand Hall of The Merchants House of Glasgow this coming Friday 19th April.


The speaker is the incomparable Donald Findlay KC, who is going to speak about the notorious case of Oscar Slater (1872 – 1948), the victim of a notorious miscarriage of justice in Scotland. Wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Slater was freed after almost two decades of hard labour. His release came about through the efforts of several journalists, lawyers and writers, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


Senior partner, David McKie, said:


‘Although the legal landscape has changed and the death penalty thankfully no longer applies, we still see miscarriages of justice, and this case, although a century old, will highlight the importance of lawyers, campaigners and journalists in the fight to ensure justice is secured, something Levy & McRae have been involved in for many decades and which continues to run through our DNA. The talk is likely to be poignant for many connected our firm, having only recently lost our former senior partner, Len Murray, who represented Anthony Miller in the last ever capital murder trial in Scotland in 1960.


We are very proud to support this event in a wonderful venue and look forward to hearing from such a unique advocate and flamboyant speaker.’

At Levy & McRae we have a long history of being appointed by organisations requiring strategic legal advice and representation in Scotland. In the latest of such appointments, we are pleased to advise that we have been engaged by the Free Speech Union, a UK wide organisation, to act in cases involving its members arising from implementation of the recently introduced Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021.


This is a new statute which has attracted much scrutiny and public debate. It is anticipated that the legislation may lead to legal challenges in the courts, and it is for this reason that Levy & McRae has been secured to provide expert legal advice. Commenting on the appointment Neil Hay, Partner and Solicitor- Advocate commented: “ We are pleased to be appointed as solicitors to Free Speech Union, as we are with all appointments by organisations. Our reputation has been built on robustly examining legislation, taking legal challenges where appropriate, and providing a powerful defence for our clients. This appointment places us at the forefront of scrutinising this new and important area of Scottish criminal law.”


At Levy and McRae we pride ourselves on always being at the forefront of new legal developments, alongside playing a prominent role in the Scottish legal community.

Our Criminal Law Partner Neil Hay was delighted to be Chair at the CLT Scotland Criminal Law Conference held last week. Scotland`s premier criminal law conference featured a day of expert speakers and updates on case law and legislation. Neil also presented a talk on “Using prior statements in Trials” and fellow Partner Callum Anderson of Levy & McRae also delivered a talk on “Media Law for Criminal Court Practitioners”.

Levy & McRae was also represented at the conference by Hannah Fairbrother Hannah Baxter and Mark Maguire.

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:

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:

Levy & McRae Solicitors is proud to announce nominations in multiple categories for the Legal 500 Scotland Awards 2023. The firm has earned nominations for Boutique Law Firm of the Year, and Criminal Law Firm of the Year, while individual team members have also been shortlisted as Finalists.

Levy & McRae celebrate the recognition of their individual team members:

Spotlight on Team Members

“The Legal 500 recognition isn’t just a validation of the firm’s collective efforts, but also a spotlight on the exceptional talent we have within our team,” says David McKie, Senior Partner. “Andrew, Neil, and Elizabeth have displayed exemplary skills, dedication, and client focus, and we are thrilled to see their hard work being acknowledged at such a prestigious platform. We have always believed in setting the highest standards in legal practice, and these nominations affirm that we are on the right path. Our focus now is to continue this tradition of excellence and innovation, providing impeccable service to our clients.”

The Legal 500 Scotland Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 23rd November in Edinburgh.

Full details here: The Legal 500 Scotland Awards 2023.