Professional information

  • 2023: Appointed to King’s Counsel Panel of EHRC
  • 2023: Appointed King’s Counsel
  • 2017: Appointed Advocate Depute to Proceeds of Crime Unit
  • 2013: Appointed preferred counsel to Equalities and Human Rights Commission
  • 2012: Appointed standing junior to Scottish Government
  • 2010: called to Bar
  • Devilmasters: Mark Lindsay QC and Tony Graham QC
  • 1999-2003: University of Edinburgh LLB (Hons)
Professional experience

Dan specialises in commercial and public law. He has been to the Supreme Court on five occasions as counsel. Dan has appeared in over 70 reported civil cases in the Court of Session. His expertise is recognised by Chambers and Partners where he is ranked in Public law, Immigration Law and Civil Liberties and Human Rights. He is instructed in important cases of general or strategic importance, whether for local authorities, companies, government or individuals.

He was standing junior to the Scottish Government from 2012 to 2023, specialist Advocate Depute to the Proceeds of Crime Unit from 2017 to date, on the King’s Counsel panel of the EHRC and undertakes a multitude of instructions ranging from competition law to professional regulation.

He is instructed in the Sheku Bayoh Inquiry (on behalf of three officers) and the Covid (UK and Scottish) Inquiries.

Notable cases

Civil Liberties and Human Rights

  • Ali v Serco 2020 SC 182. Inner House, acted for successful respondent. The lead case dealing with systemic challenge to programme of enforcement of evictions of asylum seekers.
  • Gough v United Kingdom [2015] 61 EHRR 8 (European Court of Human Rights) (“The Naked Rambler”). Acted for successful respondent. Public nudity as a form of expression. ECHR Articles 3,5,6,7,8,9,10.
  • A v BBC (Secretary of State for the Home Department Intervening) [2014] 2 WLR 1243; [2014] UKSC 25 UKSC. Acted for successful respondent. Reporting restrictions Freedom of expression. ECHR Articles 10 and 3.
  • IA (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKSC6 [2014] 1 WLR 384. UK Supreme Court. Meaning of UNHCR’s refugee recognition process in domestic procedure.
  • N v Advocate General [2014] 1 WLR (UKSC) – successful challenge in Supreme Court to UK Governments systematic use of linguistic analysis to dispute country origin of refugees.

Public and Administrative Law

  • KL v Principal Reporter 2021 SC 146 (First Division). Acted for successful respondent. Secure accommodation. Definition of child.
  • Terri McCue v Glasgow City Council [2020] CSIH 51. Acted for successful respondent local authority. Equality Law and alternative remedies.
  • Cunningham v Pensions Ombudsman 2019 SLT 1361. Successful application under dispensing power of court under rule 2.1. Rule’s meaning explained.
  • Bilfinger Construction v Edinburgh Tram Inquiry 2018 SLT 92. Acted for petitioner in first Judicial Review of a Scottish statutory Inquiry.
  • AB v The Lord Advocate, Clan Child Law intervening 2017 SLT 401. Acted for intervener, held that s39(2)(a)(i) of Sexual Offences Scotland Act 2009 is incompatible with article 8; Human Rights, article 8, quality of law, in accordance with the law, compatibility of Scottish legislation, acted as junior for intervener
  • Beggs v Scottish Ministers [2017] CSIH 62. Acted for successful respondent. Inner House. Meaning of new judicial review provisions on reclaiming and appealing; whether court had a discretion under s27D of the Court of Session Act 1988.
  • Graeme Donaldson v The Scottish Legal Aid Board [2014] CSIH 31; 2014 SC 689; 2014 SLT 459. Acted for successful respondent, applications for legal aid to the ECtHR whether falling within the legal aid regulations and whether required to render vindication of rights effective.
  • KP and MRK in the application for leave to appeal [2012] CSIH 38.  (Acted for successful appellant. Inner House. Rule of Court introducing second appeal test held ultra vires)

Competition, EU and Public Procurement

  • VS (Lithuania) v The Advocate General for Scotland [2017] WLR 2926 (UKSC). Acted for successful appellant. First UKSC sitting Scotland – sham marriages/EU law/Treaty.


  • Patersons of Greenoakhill v Glasgow City Council [2020] CSOH 43. Waste contracts; contractual interpretation; implied terms.

Planning Law, Environmental and Energy

  • Nokingsford v Aberdeen City Council [2019] CSOH 19. Acted for successful respondent. Planning – Aberdeen – new football stadium – acted for Aberdeen City Council.
  • The John Muir Trust v Scottish Ministers [2016] CSIH 61 (first division). Acted for successful respondent. Windfarms, planning, Protective Expenses Orders, EU law, judicial review.
  • Loch Hill Wind Farm for Appeal [2015] CSIH 37. Acted for successful respondent. Wind farms, structure plan, visual impact, statutory appeal, planning.


  • Makombo-Eboma v Glasgow City Council 2019 SLT 1137. Acted for successful respondent, scope of statutory and alternative remedies.
  • Quisongo, for judicial review, CSOH [2016] 135. Acted for successful respondent. Housing policy and law, judicial review, delay and acquiescence.

Prison Law

  • Gilday v Scottish Ministers [2019] CSOH 103. The role, status and necessity of affidavits in judicial review.
  • Campbell v Scottish Ministers; Sedexo Limited; Tasco Services Ltd; and G4S Care and Justice Services UK Ltd [2017] CSOH 35. Acted for successful respondent, with senior counsel. Whether Scottish Ministers liable for alleged convention violations of third party contracting parties.
  • Wang v Scottish Ministers 2017 SLT 1256. Acted for successful respondent. Whether the Court can entertain amendment before permission where the Court of Session Act 1988 precludes ‘proceedings’ anterior to the determination of permission.
  • Beggs for Judicial Review, [2016] CSOH 61. Acted for successful respondent. Prison discipline, common law prescribed procedures, fairness, article 6 ECHR.
  • Penman for judicial review, 2015 SLT 597. Acted for successful respondent. Outer House, prison law, natural justice, discretionary remedies in judicial review, practical purpose.

Mental Law

  • Scottish Ministers v Mental Health Tribunal and JMM [2012] CSIH 18.  Acted for JMM where an appeal taken against the MHT was refused. Inner House. Mental health law and interpretation of the 2003 act.

Proceeds of Crime

  • HMA v Younas [2018] CSOH 9; 2018 SLT 227. Powers of an enforcement administrator; whether concluded missives constitutes an interest in property which a party is entitled to retain or recover for the purposes of variation of an administrator’s statutory powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • HMA v Colin Coates [2017] HCJ 89. Acted for Crown. Proceeds of crime; benefit from criminal conduct; extortion.
  • Chambers – Recommended as leading silk in Public Law (Band 2) ; Immigration Law (Band 1); and Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Band 2)


Select publications