Professional information

  • 2020: Treasurer of Faculty of Advocates
  • 2008: Appointed silk
  • 2002-2008: Second standing junior to Scottish Ministers
  • 1993: Called to the Bar
Professional experience

Ruth’s excellent reputation in public and administrative law, procurement and planning and environment extends to commercial dispute resolution. She is ranked in those practice areas in Chambers & Partners. Ruth combines a thorough understanding of these areas of practice with a sound grasp of the commercial realities. She is accustomed to addressing important strategic matters at stake for the client. Ruth is regularly instructed by national and local Government and other public authorities. She has experience of the Courts at all levels.

Notable cases

Competition and Procurement

  • Gigaclear v Scottish Ministers [2020]. Challenge to £354M contract for superfast broadband provision in North of Scotland alleging, inter alia, an impermissible change to the contract.
  • Calmac Ferries Ltd v Scottish Ministers [2020]. Challenge to award of £135M contract to provide Northlink ferry services on ground that there had been unfair treatment favouring the incumbent provider.
  • Pentland Ferries v Scottish Ministers [2019] CSIH 41; [2019] CSOH 39. Challenge to decision to seek tenders for lifeline ferry services alleging breach of state aid rules and that market failure had not been established.
  • R J Macleod Ltd v Scottish Ministers [2019]. Award of contract to construct Maybole Bypass, challenged on basis that successful bidder no longer met the selection criteria.

Public and administrative law

  • Trees for Life v NatureScot [2021]. Judicial review of NatureScot’s licensing of lethal control of beavers, said to be contrary to EU and domestic law as other “suitable alternatives” existed.
  • Greenpeace Ltd v Advocate General and OAG [2020]. Statutory appeal challenging decisions relative to consent to drill for oil in the Vorlich oilfield, construction of the relevant Regulations, publication of ES and whether climate change is a relevant factor.
  • Bruce Taverns and Sharp Petrs v Scottish Ministers [2020] CSOH 74. Scottish Ministers relief package for retail, hospitality and retail sector in respect of the Covid19 pandemic did not breach petitioners’ legitimate expectation and was not discriminatory.
  • For Women Scotland Petr v Scottish Ministers [2020]. Challenge to the legislative competence of Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018 and its definition of “woman”, arguing that the subject matter is reserved and that there has been an unlawful conflation of sex and gender.
  • Anwar v Secretary of State for Business 2020 SC 95. Case held that the failure to provide the Employment Tribunal with the power to grant diligence on the dependence was not a breach of EU law nor of ECHR.
  • Axa General Insurance v Lord Advocate and Advocate General 2011 SLT 1061; [2011] 3 WLR 871; [2011] UKSC 46. Supreme Court. Legislative competence of Acts of the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998 and at common law, and standing of petitioner.

Planning and environment

  • Graham’s the Family Dairy and Elan Homes v Scottish Ministers [2021] CSOH 74. Judicial review of Scottish Government’s amendments to SPP 2014 relating to the consultation process.
  • Community Windpower Ltd v Scottish Ministers [2020] CSIH 17. Proper interpretation of enforcement notice and conditional planning permission, and issues of procedural fairness.
  • No to Kingsford Stadium Ltd [2019] CSOH 17.  Judicial review of grant of planning permission for new football stadium for Aberdeen FC on greenbelt, proper approach to the construction of development plan policies.
  • Graham’s the Family Dairies and another v Scottish Ministers 2019 SLT 258; [2019] CSIH 3. Appeal against refusal of planning permission for a large housing development on greenbelt in light of an emerging Development Plan and housing land allocation.
  • Gladman Developments Ltd v Scottish Ministers [2018] CSIH 17. Appeal against adoption of Clydeplan, its policies relative to housing land supply and the presumption of sustainability
  • Public Inquiry into roads Orders for A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn [2018]. Public inquiry regarding scheme to construct and dual the A96 between Inverness and Nairn, issues raised included need for the new road, impact on landscape, noise and WHO guidelines, agricultural impact and transport assessment.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Instructed to act in claim arising from breach of Share Purchase Agreement and warranties where sum sought was over £50M, alleging breach of IP rights and proper construction of the SPA [2020].
  • Instructed to advise leading hotel chain regarding possible irritancy of its leases in Scotland, and steps to avoid irritancy, arising from the impact of Covid19 and and subsequent insolvency event [2020].
  • Instructed to advise a property company regarding the avoidance of non-domestic rates where it leases unoccupied property with the sole purpose of avoiding NDR, leases being challenged by local authorities [2020].
  • Peart v Promontoria (Henrico) Ltd [2018] CSIH 35. Grant of interim interdict in bankruptcy proceedings, whether remedy was competent failing which whether a test of exceptional circumstances should apply
  • Chambers & Partners – Recommended as leading silk in Public and Administrative law (Band 1); Planning and Environment (Band 1); Public Procurement (Band 1) and Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 2)
  • Who’s Who Legal – Recommended for Government Contracts


Select publications
  • Greens Planning Encyclopaedia – Section 75 Agreements