About Us

Compass Chambers is a welcoming set of leading Advocates with a long-standing reputation for excellence.

Our ethos is simple: to demonstrate excellence at all times while working with you to achieve the best possible outcome. Our membership, based exclusively on merit, embraces this ethos and is central to our well-deserved reputation.

Compass advocates have vast experience of representing parties in all Scottish Courts and in the UK Supreme Court.

Our advocates and clerks are all professional and hard-working but at the same time noted for their friendliness and helpfulness. We pride ourselves in striving to deliver a high quality service across our practice areas and look to add value by, among other things, hosting regular conferences and providing bespoke training programmes.

Areas of Practice

Compass Chambers is recognised as the pre-eminent stable in Scotland for work in the fields of Reparation and Regulatory Crime.

Reparation

Compass is recognised by the market and the leading Legal Directories as the “pre-eminent stable in Scotland for Reparation work” and “One of the leading sets in personal injury and medical negligence”. Compass is the only set to be ranked Band 1 for Personal Injury by Chambers UK Bar and is also ranked Band 1 for Clinical Negligence.

Regulatory Crime

Compass is unique in having the only specialist regulatory crime team at the Scottish Bar. Our regulatory crime advocates include the leading practitioners in the field with the Legal Directories confirming Compass as the “go-to stable for the defence in regulatory crime cases” with “highly experienced individuals who are the go-to advocates in their specialist areas and are held in the highest regard."

Dispute Resolution

Compass Chambers is aware of the increasing interest in Scotland in both Arbitration and Mediation as methods to resolve issues.

This is all the more so with the Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) 2021 arriving in Edinburgh and the Scottish Year of Mediation (2020). 

The long term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individuals, businesses and insurers who are trying to recover from the impact of lockdown cannot be underestimated, particularly when one factors in the expected delays in resolving disputes.  As restrictions are now slowly being lifted, the doubt about the ability of the courts to handle the predicted backlog is causing growing concern. 

For those looking for a clear path through these uncertainties, it is essential to draw together the right legal team.  All legal practitioners, Solicitors and Commercial Attorneys, can be confident that instructing counsel from Compass Chambers will place them and their clients in an excellent position to secure the detailed, pragmatic advice and assistance they need to help their client make the right decisions about which method of dispute resolution is in their best interests. 

Compass Chambers is recognised as providing a source of expert assistance across the full range of our practice areas. That assistance can be provided to clients and their legal advisers not only when litigation is ongoing, but at any stage in proceedings.  A key part of our expertise is assisting those advisers who wish to provide detailed advice about all the methods of dispute resolution; and explaining to clients what the differences are, in order to assist that client in making a decision about what method is in their best interests.  Our members are always willing to assist when decisions have to be made about the options open to the client and even at a later stage to consider whether that remains the best way for the client to settle or resolve their claim. 

We have long recognised the importance that ‘alternative dispute resolution’ has in that process. With that in mind, we are excited to discuss the potential that arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution options have for resolving disputes in any of our core areas of practice.

If you would like more information about instructing one of our members, whether as an Arbitrator, Mediator, Counsel for an Arbitration or Mediation or to advise or assist otherwise with the resolution of a dispute, please contact a member of the Clerking Team.

Direct Access

Our members can accept instructions direct from a wide range of individuals and organisations without the requirement for the instruction of a solicitor in Scotland.

There are four principal categories of individual/organisation who may instruct members of Compass Chambers directly: (i) legal professionals; (ii) other professionals; (iii) public authorities; and (iv) a wide range of other individuals and bodies.

There is specific provision made in the Faculty of Advocates’ Direct Access Rules for direct instruction of our members by solicitors and other lawyers outside Scotland, insurers, trade unions, public authorities, legal service divisions of the Armed Forces, public limited companies and recognised voluntary organisations and charities. The Faculty of Advocates may, on request, recognise other individuals and organisations beyond those already identified in the Rules as having capacity to instruct counsel directly.

If you are interested in instructing one of our advocates directly, or are uncertain about whether you may be entitled to do so, our clerking team will be able to assist.

Information on the Faculty of Advocates’ Direct Access process and applicable Standard Terms of Instruction can be found here.

Charity

Beatson Cancer Charity

Compass Chambers recognise the vital role that charities play in society and each year we are proud to nominate a charity to support. For 2020 we have chosen the Beatson Cancer Charity.

Beatson Cancer Charity supports people affected by cancer, every step of the way. They make the journey easier by transforming the way cancer care is funded and delivered. Beatson Cancer Charity provide services, as well as funding specialists, research and education to invest in a better future for cancer patients and their families.

From the hospital wards, right to the heart of the communities that The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre serves, they believe everyone should experience cancer with care, with love and with hope. Beatson Cancer Charity are with their patients and their families for every step of the journey.

You can find out more on their website here.

Feedback and Complaints

Compass Chambers is dedicated to demonstrating excellence at all times and working together with you to achieve the best possible outcome.  We are determined to provide the highest level of service and welcome feedback from all our clients in striving to achieve that goal.

Should any of our clients consider that they have cause for complaint, they are invited to make contact by email with either of the Chambers’ Co-Directors, Astrid Smart QC and Steve Love QC.  They will deal with your complaint on a strictly confidential basis and provide a detailed response within 14 days in the hope that the complaint may be resolved. 

A copy of the Faculty of Advocates Disciplinary Rules for 2015 and 2019 may be found here and a link to the website of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission here.

Contact Us

  • Compass Chambers
    Parliament House
    Edinburgh
    EH1 1RF