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.
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: https://lnkd.in/e3UtmBbM
We are thrilled to share that L&M MediLaw, our dedicated medical negligence law practice, has been honoured with two prestigious accolades at the Scottish Legal Awards gala on September 29th.
At the event, L&M MediLaw was distinguished with the Excellence in Client Care award, a testament to our unwavering commitment to our clients. Adding to this accomplishment, the head of the division, Elizabeth Rose, was celebrated as the Lawyer of the Year.
David McKie, our Senior Partner, remarked: “It fills us with immense pride to see Elizabeth and her team’s dedication acknowledged. This recognition, especially in client care, encapsulates what Levy & McRae and L&M MediLaw stand for.”
Established in 2003, the Scottish Legal Awards seeks to highlight the pinnacle of Scottish law. An expert panel, with comprehensive industry knowledge, adjudicates the competition, ensuring the most notable accomplishments in Scottish law are celebrated.
Launched in early 2022, L&M MediLaw is steered by the exceptional Elizabeth Rose, accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in medical negligence claims, who commented: “A heartfelt thank you to our committed team and to the clients, counsel, and peers for their unwavering support and testimonials. This Excellence in Client Care award truly mirrors the effort we invest daily in looking after our clients.”
Positioned in the heart of Glasgow within the Levy & McRae offices, L&M MediLaw boasts its unique brand and an accessible website: www.landmmedilaw.com. The site offers an insightful video tour of our office, illustrative infographics detailing the client journey, and videos explaining the roles of an Advocate and expert witnesses. Moreover, Elizabeth hosts a weekly Virtual Clinic, extending a friendly platform for potential clients to engage with us.
David McKie further commented “At Levy & McRae we always look to work with exceptional lawyers and people with vision. We were delighted to back the idea that Elizabeth brought to us and now to see such rapid success and recognition for the offering.”
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:
“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.
We recently had the privilege of hosting an in-house Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training day at the Edinburgh office of Levy & McRae. The event, which focused on ‘Business Skills,’ was structured to provide expert insight on key topics of relevance to the Levy & McRae lawyers who were in attendance.
The day commenced with an inspiring talk delivered by Chairman Bill Macreath, who focused on Client Skills. The topic allowed Mr Macreath to draw upon his decades of experience as a leading lawyer in Scotland and to touch upon the many ingredients required to build a successful legal career and practice. Mr. Macreath articulated nuanced strategies for effective client communication, relationship management, and problem resolution. His insights offered actionable guidelines to enhance the quality of client interactions.
Robert Dunlop of Levy and McRae then spoke on the topic of Financial Skills for Lawyers with a focus on time recording practicalities. The importance of accurately recording time spent on a case and providing clear narratives for clients to ensure an understanding of the work carried out on their behalf was emphasised.
The morning concluded with a practical workshop and talk by Ally Thomson of Hey Legal on the topic of Winning Business Online with a focus on brand building and practical ways lawyers can strategically establish a strong personal online presence to enhance their careers through cultivating new business and help the firm overall. Focus was given to the multiple types of content Levy and McRae is now creating including podcasts, videos, audiograms, blogs, presentations and more.
Thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise and to all the attendees who participated so actively. Stay tuned for future CPD events that continue to broaden our understanding and sharpen our skills as legal professionals.
We are thrilled to announce Hannah Fairbrother as the latest addition to our Private Crime Team in Edinburgh.
A first-class graduate from Dundee University, Hannah joins us with an impressive academic background. Her two years of experience in criminal law as a trainee have given her a strong foundation in the field and a keen insight into the complexities of the legal system.
As a newly qualified solicitor, Hannah is looking forward to continuing honing her skills and knowledge at our firm. She is deeply committed to delivering valuable legal counsel to our clients, and we are confident that her fresh perspective will be an invaluable asset to our team.
From Neil Hay, Criminal Law Partner:
“We are delighted to have Hannah join our Private Crime Team. Her exemplary academic record and experience as a trainee make her a great fit for our team. We look forward to supporting her as she continues to grow and excel in her career.”
“I am honoured to join the talented team at Levy and McRae. It’s a privilege to work alongside such skilled professionals, and I am eager to contribute my knowledge to help our clients navigate the intricacies of the Scottish criminal justice system.”
L&M Medilaw’s Elizabeth Rose and Craig Christie assess the UK Supreme Court’s decision in McCulloch v Forth Valley Health Board and the impact of the decision on one’s consent to medical treatment.
The UK Supreme Court has finally answered the question on everyone’s lips since the landmark decision in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board: what legal test should be applied to the assessment as to whether an alternative treatment is reasonable and requires to be discussed with a patient?
The answer, “the professional practice test” under Hunter / Bolam.
The case was an appeal from the Inner House concerning the death of Mr Neil McCulloch who unfortunately suffered a cardiac arrest caused by cardiac tamponade. Between March and April 2012, Mr McCulloch was admitted to Forth Valley Royal Hospital numerous times with chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. After investigations of his symptoms, including three echocardiograms, the treating consultant, Dr Labinjoh, during a visit on the Acute Admissions Unit, noted his condition was improving and that he had no chest pain. She considered there was no clear diagnosis for pericarditis and therefore decided against prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (“NSAIDs”). Mr McCulloch was later discharged and died a day later.
Mr McCulloch’s widow and family brought a claim for damages stating that, amongst other things, Dr Labinjoh had breached her duty of care under Montgomery to advise Mr McCulloch that NSAIDs were an alternative treatment. Had he been advised of this, he would have taken an NSAID and survived.
The Health Board argued that the applicable test was Hunter / Bolam and while some doctors would have advised of and prescribed NSAID in the circumstances, there was a reasonable body of medical opinion that supported Dr Labinjoh’s decision.
Surprisingly, the Supreme Court considered only two decisions in their assessment of the case: Montgomery and Duce v Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust  PIQR P18.
In Montgomery, the Supreme Court made a “fundamental distinction” between a doctor’s role in 1) assessing potential investigatory or treatment options; and 2) their role in discussing with the patient any recommended treatment and possible alternatives, and the risks of injury involved. These were two separate duties of care where Hunter / Bolam applied to (1); and the test applicable to (2) was that stated in para. 87:
“The doctor is … under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments”.
The Court then noted the decision in Duce which confirmed this distinction. Here, the Court of Appeal confirmed that what risks are associated with a certain treatment is a matter for medical professionals; and whether the patient should be told about such risks is a matter for the court.
The Justices held that the applicable legal test to determine what is a “reasonable alternative treatment” was the “professional practice test”. They outlined six reasons:
For these reasons, the family’s appeal was dismissed.
The duty to disclose has now gone from a patient-centric haven to having medical paternalism burst back on to the scene. Montgomery was designed to put decisions about medical treatment firmly back in the patient’s hands as a reflection of not only societal changes in the provision of medicine and access to information online, but also the fact that patients are regarded as, “persons holding rights, rather than passive recipients of the care of the medical profession”. It seems the Supreme Court now considers that patients still need to be partly passive…
Levy & McRae is happy to announce we will be joining the Legal Netlink Alliance’s Global Meeting in #Paris, June 15-18.
Meeting friends and partners from 35 firms across 20 countries to reinforce the common values that unite us and learn from each other is an extraordinary opportunity we are genuinely excited about.
Our Chairman, Bill Macreath will be representing the firm. The conference in Paris follows last year’s event in Glasgow which we hosted. We very much look forward to catching up with our friends and partners in LNA whom we have been members of for 23 years’.
Our client’s conviction for a sexual offence, which was imposed after a summary trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, has been overturned and quashed by the Sheriff Appeal Court in Scotland, as per a recent decision. Our firm’s persistence in submitting CCTV footage for the Appeal Court to review was crucial in reaching this decision.
The trial took place on 11 July 2022. Following evidence, our client was found guilty as libelled. Submissions were made by Andrew Seggie, defending, that in the overall context the touching could not be seen to be sexual given that the accused had no prior contact with the complainer.
An application for a Stated Case was lodged timeously. This is the process whereby the Sheriff provides a written account as to the reasons for convicting the accused. Once received, after a period of adjustments, the Appeal against conviction and sentence was lodged with the Sheriff Appeal Court. The court initially “sifts” through all appeals to determine whether the appeal is of sufficient substance in law to merit an appeal hearing. At this stage the appeal was refused with the reasons given by the presiding Sheriff being:
At this stage we consulted further with Senior Counsel and consequently lodged a further appeal to the Second Sift. At this stage we took the step of seeking to lodge the CCTV footage from the original trial to assist the appeal process.
Lodging such evidence was not without its difficulties as it is the norm at this stage for the appeal process to focus solely on the Stated Case written material. We were, however, successful in doing so.
On 21 March 2023, the Second Sift allowed the appeal to proceed to a Hearing on the basis that “on viewing the CCTV, the appeal is arguable”.
On 18 April 2023, the Appeal Hearing took place. Edward Targowski KC was instructed to represent our client. After hearing submissions, including viewing of the CCTV evidence, the Appeal Court Sheriffs quashed the conviction and sentence on the basis that the Sheriff at trial had “erred in their failure to take into account all relevant circumstances” and thus sustained the appeal.
This was a particularly anxious matter for the accused, as it would be for any person faced with such an allegation. The conviction had been widely reported and we were pleased to see the quashing of the conviction also being covered by the media.
At Levy and McRae we tirelessly represent every client who entrusts us with the crucially important role of protecting their liberty and reputation. We will pursue every route and remedy available to us, as evidenced in the successful outcome achieved in this instance.
We have been instructed to look after members of our longstanding clients, the Scottish Police Federation, to pursue claims on behalf of police officers over the ‘Clean Shaven’ policy implemented in their departments. Our Head of Employment, Amanda Buchanan, speaking on BBC Scotland, said that protecting employees was a very important and legitimate aim but questioned the proportionality of the policy. We will continue to fight hard to represent their interests.