Professional information

  • 2020: Counsel to the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry
  • 2017-2019: Stable Director of Axiom Advocates
  • 2012: Took silk
  • 2006-2012: Standing junior to the Scottish government
  • 1999: Called to the Bar
Professional experience

Alastair has a broad civil practice that takes in most of the areas in which Axiom specialises. He is instructed regularly in commercial and public law cases. In those areas, and especially in professional liability and regulation, Alastair has been instructed in many of the leading cases in Scotland. He has a particular interest in professional discipline and regularly acts on behalf of solicitors and members of the Faculty of Advocates against whom complaints have been brought.

Notable cases


  • Grier & Others v Police Scotland and Lord Advocate [2020] CSOH 33: A series of commercial actions arising from the failed prosecution connected to administration and liquidation of Rangers FC.
  • A&E Investments v Levy McRae & Another [2020] SLT 133: Action to challenge the legality of a success fee charged by solicitors and client to a client.
  • Fife Council v Atkins [2019]: Action for breach of contract brought in connection with alleged defects with and delays in the creation of the Dunfermline flood prevention scheme.
  • Midlothian Council v Bracewell Stirling [2018] CSIH 1821: Interpretation of contract: whether an architect was strictly liable under its contract for work undertaken by others.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland v Carlyle 2015 SC (UKSC) 93: Action brought against Bank on the question of whether an oral exchange between property developer, customer and bank employee constituted a binding agreement of loan.

Professional Liability and Regulation

  • McManus v Scott Wilson [2020] CSOH 47: Action brought by residents of large housing estate against firm of engineers involved in investigation and remediation of contamination on the brownfield site on which the estate was built.
  • McLennan v GMC 2020 SC 305: Appeal against decision to strike off doctor for writing allegedly dishonest medical report.
  • NRAM v Steel 2018 SC (UKSC) 141: Whether a solicitor acting for a borrower owed a duty of care to the lender on the other side of a transaction.
  • DK v Investigating Committee of the General Dental Council [2018] CSOH 99: Judicial review of decision to discipline a dentist in connection with a conviction.
  • Heather Capital v Levy & McRae 2017 SLT 376: Breach of trust, prescription and other issues arising against the background of multi-million pound fraud of which the solicitors were unaware.

Clinical Liability

  • Scottish Hospitals Inquiry (2020): Inquiry into whether issues in the construction of two new hospitals in Scotland impacted adversely upon the health of patients including in particular children suffering from cancer.
  • Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Declan Hainey (2015): Inquiry into the death of an infant whose badly decomposed remains were found in the home formerly occupied by his substance addicted mother, and the role of health professionals in relation to his death.
  • Gair v Dumfries & Galloway Health Board 2020 SLT 253: Judicial review of decision to suspend dentist whose clinical practice was said to be incompetent.
  • Taylor v Dailly Health Centre 2018 SLT 1324: Action brought against GP by relatives of a woman who died of heart attack on the basis of alleged negligence and failure in relation to consenting procedure.

Administrative & Public Law

  • Inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh (2021): Appointed to represent the Lord Advocate in relation to decisions around whether to prosecute police officers following death in custody.
  • Short v Scottish Police Authority 2019 SLT 503: Judicial review of decision to refuse two police officers medical retirement pensions.
  • Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth v Scottish Ministers 2015 SLT 445: Judicial review of the appointment of the chair to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, and whether that appointment was tainted by apparent bias.
  • Main v Scottish Ministers 2015 SC 639: Judicial review of sex offender notification requirements.
  • Scotch Malt Whisky Association v Scottish Ministers [2016] CSIH 77: Judicial review challenging the introduction of a minimum price for units of alcohol sold in the off-trade in Scotland.
  • Chambers UK Bar – Recommended as leading silk in Clinical Negligence (Band 2); Professional Discipline (Band 2); and Professional Negligence (Band 1)