David McNaughtan KC

Year of Call 2003 Year of Silk 2021

“Super-efficient, always of a high calibre and always very good in a team. He’ll get the work done and get to the heart of the matter.” “An advocate who is highly organised and very up to date with the changes in the law. He really is at the top of his game.” - Chambers UK

David is experienced in a wide range of civil litigation. Prior to coming to the Bar, he was a solicitor for 8 years. He also prosecuted crime whilst working for the Director of Public Prosecutions in Fiji.  He is qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in the High Court of Fiji.

David specialises in reparation cases in both the Court of Session and Sheriff Courts. In his personal injury practice, he deals with cases involving all aspects of personal injury law, including employers' liability, occupiers' liability, road traffic accidents, industrial disease, and product liability.

In the professional negligence field, David is instructed regularly in clinical negligence cases including high value birth trauma and spinal cord damages.  He has also acted in solicitors’ negligence claims.

David has spoken at training events on topics such as the Package Travel Regulations, the Brussels Regulation (on jurisdiction) and the Rome II Regulation (on applicable laws).  In April 2017 and March 2019 he conducted training for Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on the role of the professional witness in the courtroom.  In January 2019 David attended an advanced advocacy course in Stellenbosch, South Africa on handling financial experts.  He also teaches advocacy skills in the Faculty of Advocates’ Foundation Course. 

Representative Cases

Whitehouse & Clark v Lord Advocate  2019 SLT 1269
A 5-judge bench heard arguments in relation to (i) the existence, nature and extent of the Lord Advocate's immunity at common law; and (ii) alleged breaches of the pursuer's rights under Art. 8 ECHR. Submissions made on whether the Inner House decision in Hester v MacDonald 1961 SC 370 (i) was correctly decided; and (ii) should still stand.  I drafted the Note of Arguments for Paul Clark, and contributed to the written submissions on prosecutorial immunity in Commonwealth and other jurisdictions.  I carried out research on the principles underlying the immunity claimed by the Lord Advocate, including consideration of Roman Law and Mackenzie's "Law & Customs of Scotland in Matters Criminal" (1687) (following upon a suggestion from the Lord President).

Lowdean & Fairley v City of Edinburgh Council   2019 SLT 819
Two cyclists had accidents at different locations on Edinburgh tram tracks. Senior counsel (Simon di Rollo QC) and I pled their case on the basis that the layout, road markings and traffic conditions at the location of each accident were such that cyclists were required, encouraged and guided to cross the tram tracks at an acute angle, which created a hazard and posed a foreseeable risk of an accident, of which the defenders were aware.  Following proof, Lady Wolffe agreeing with that approach and finding in favour of pursuers.  Consideration of local authority's duties of care in terms of the Inner House decision of MacDonald v Aberdeenshire Council 2014 SC 114. Agents (Thompsons) have over a hundred such cases.  

Pocock v Highland Council [2017] CSIH 76
A tripping accident.  Representing pursuer in reclaiming motion.  Consideration of Macdonald v Aberdeenshire Council 2014 SC 114 etc. on the content of the duty of reasonable care; and McGraddie v McGraddie 2014 SC (UKSC) 12 etc. on powers of appeal court to review first instance decisions.

Smith v Sabre Insurance Co. Ltd. [2012] CSOH 14
Defenders’ plea of res judicata in respect of credit hire charges claimed on behalf of pursuer/Accident Exchange Limited.  Previous action for personal injuries had been raised in Stirling Sheriff Court in respect of the same road traffic accident.  It was settled on tender and acceptance in sum of £4550.  Pursuer then raised further action in Court of Session for around £30,000 of credit hire charges.  Lord Bannatyne upholding plea of res judicata.

Vaickuviene v J. Sainsbury plc [2012] CSOH 69
Fatal claim.  Deceased was employed by defenders.  He was murdered at work by a fellow employee, following a number of incidents of racist abuse.  Case pled under Protection from Harassment Act 1997.  Defenders argued that they could not be vicariously liable for the criminal act of their employee.  Lady Clark of Calton allowing the case to proceed to proof before answer.

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