Expertise - Public Law

Our team are leading practitioners in public and parliamentary law. Acclaimed by legal colleagues and, more importantly, clients, our advice is informed by a detailed knowledge and understanding of government and its processes. We are co-founders of the Scottish Public Law Group, which brings together everyone concerned with the development of public law in Scotland for topical and informed debate.

Our expertise extends from legislative drafting and constitutional questions through to public sector governance and judicial review challenges. We don't just act in Scotland but provide advice in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The advice we offer is full, focused and practical.

We regularly provide training for clients on a range of topics incorporating good decision making, judicial review challenges to public bodies, key recent legal measures and a general overview of the Scottish legal system.

For more information on how our public law solicitors can help you please get in touch. 


"They are responsive, have good working knowledge of the law and a particularly strong understanding of the personalities of judges, so their advice is strategic." – Chambers, Administrative and Public Law


 

Key People

Experience

EU Public Law Challenges
We have previously acted for clients in lodging a complaint with the European Commission in respect of breaches of public procurement obligations by a number of local councils resulting in infringement proceedings being raised against the UK under Article 258 of the EU Treaty. In response the UK authorities introduced measures aimed at rectifying existing infringements and preventing future infringements including early termination of the contract and the issuance of guidance by the government to contracting authorities.
Strategic Advice in Regulatory Investigations
We act for a major UK utilities business in respect of their contentious regulatory matters; in particular, we have acted for them in respect of a significant CMA investigation and a number of Ofgem regulatory enforcement actions. Alongside our specialist utilities regulation knowledge, we deploy our public law skills to ensure our client understands fully their rights and options in face of significant regulatory intervention.
Judicial Review of Regulatory Decision
We successfully acted for the cross-border regulator of the electricity market on the island of Ireland in defending two concurrent judicial review actions. These have been brought against the regulator by power generators who challenged its decision to prevent an increase in their charges. We are provided regulatory advice in this complex case and also project-managing it, co-ordinating input from a cross-border multi-disciplinary team and ensuring information is relayed with the client's project teams in a targeted and timely way.
Challenges to Scottish Parliament Legislation
We regularly advise on the legality of Scottish Parliament legislation. We advised a major tobacco manufacturer on the legality of various pieces of anti-smoking legislation, and the prospects for successful challenges against these. We have also advised an NGO on the robustness of draft land reform legislation and supported them in successfully advocating for changes to this legislation before it was passed.
Supporting Regulators
We act for a number of bodies with regulatory functions and advise them on their powers and the conduct of regulatory changes, investigations and enforcement action. We are long standing advisers to Scotland’s water regulator and have advised them on a variety of public law matters. We also regularly advise the Standards Commission (the conduct regulator for Scotland’s local councillors) on its statutory powers and processes.

Clients