Murdo MacLeod KC

Year of Call 1994 Year of Silk 2008

"An oustanding advocate" "Murdo is fantastic with a jury - he is able to break down very complex technical matters into concepts jurors understand, and he is very persuasive'" Legal 500, 2024  (Ranked as a Leading Silk)

 "He brings a wealth of experience and a warm and approachable manner with clients" "Our number-one choice for health and safety cases"  Chambers UK, 2024  (Ranked as a Star Individual)




Murdo MacLeod KC is a leading practitioner in the fields of financial, regulatory and health and safety law, where he is ranked as a "Star Individual" in the Chambers UK Bar Guide.

He has acted for major clients in the energy, construction, healthcare and transport sectors. He has also been instructed by numerous public authorities, including: Police Scotland, His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Scottish Prison Service, the NHS, the Care Inspectorate and various local authorities and health boards. In the field of financial crime he is regularly instructed to represent individuals, and to assist companies with reporting obligations and investigations. 

Murdo has appeared in many significant statutory public inquiries and fatal accident inquiries, including: the Billy Wright Inquiry in Northern Ireland (serving as Counsel to the Inquiry between 2005 and 2010), the Superpuma Inquiry, the Queensferry Crossing Inquiry, the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, the Scottish Hospitals Inquiry, the Scottish and UK Covid inquiries, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the "M9" Inquiry and the Sheku Bayoh Inquiry.

He previously served as Crown Counsel and Senior Crown Counsel, between 2001 and 2005.

Murdo represented the second accused, Lamin Fhimah, in the Pan-Am/Lockerbie bombing trial in the Netherlands. Other notable acquittals include Andy Coulson in his High Court perjury trial, and Yousif Badri, a medical student charged with terrorism offences. In 2021 he defended the Chief Constable of Police Scotland in a landmark High Court prosecution following a missed '999' call.

Since 2012, he has been a UK delegate to the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). He has served on various Faculty committees and has chaired its complaints committee. As lead for criminal justice on the Faculty's Law Reform committee, he authored and co-authored numerous responses to Government consultations, and the House of Lords EU committee on UK government 'opt out' proposals.  He has given evidence to the Scottish Parliament on two occasions. 

Murdo is also a practising barrister in England and Wales (Temple Garden Chambers), and was appointed a part-time Sheriff in 2011.



Representative Cases

Financial crime

HMA v JA, 2023: Representing company director in major embezzlement/fraud inquiry

HMA v BB, 2021: Represented major property developer charged with VAT fraud

In re Q, 2020: Represented middle-eastern steel importer in substantial fraud case

HMA v R&G, 2019: Represented accused in HIgh Court prosecution for insurance fraud

HMA v R, 2018: Represented partner in law firm in suspected legal aid fraud

HMA v Shetland Catch Ltd, Freshcatch Ltd, Klondyke Ltd, 2012-2014: Represented three companies, and four directors in landmark series of  proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act

Statutory Public Inquiries

UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry, 2023:  Representing Care Inspectorate

Sheku Bayoh Public Inquiry, 2021: Representing Assistant Chief Constable 

Scottish Hospitals Public Inquiry, 2020: Representing Arcadis/IBI architects 

Scottish Covid Public Inquiry, 2021:  Representing Care Inspectorate

Undercover Policing Public Inquiry, 2022: Representing core participant

Edinburgh Tram Public Inquiry, 2016: Represented Siemens in Public Inquiry into delay and over-spend on major construction project

Billy Wright Public Inquiry, 2005 - 2010: Counsel to the Inquiry in Public inquiry (the first under the Inquiries Act 2005) into alleged state collusion in the murder of a prominent paramilitary prisoner, and the management of the Maze prison. Vetted to highest level (DV)

Fatal Accident Inquiries

"M9" Fatal Accident Inquiry, 2023: Representing the Chief Constable in inquiry into fatalities following missed 999 call

'Kilgallioch' Fatal Accident Inquiry, 2023: Representing energy company in Inquiry into death at wind farm

Whitchester Fatal Accideint Inquiry, 2024: Representing rail company in Inquiry into workplace fatality

Cameron House Fatal Accident Inquiry, 2022: Represented hotel group head of health and safety in inquiry following fatal fire in luxury hotel

Alan Marshall Fatal Accident Inquiry, 2021: Represented Scottish Prison Service in high-profile inquiry into fatal restraint of prisoner

Queensferry Crossing Fatal Accident Inquiry 2017: Represented FCBC bridge-building consortium in inquiry into fatality on new Forth bridge

'Super Puma' Fatal Accident Inquiry, 2014: Represented Airbus in inquiry into the deaths of sixteen passengers and crew in North Sea helicopter accident

JP Fatal Accident Inquiry, 2017: Represented local authority in Inquiry into death of care provider

Health and Safety/Regulatory

HMA v BP, 2023: Defended multi-national oil company in HSWA trial

HMA v Andrew Grant, 2023: Represented company owner in High Court gross negligence culpable homicide/HSWA trial following fatal road traffic accident

HMA v Lothian Health Board, 2023: Representing health board in two fatal HSWA cases 

HMA v Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board, 2023: Represented health board in fatal HSWA case 

HMA v D, 2023: Representing hotel group in HSWA matter involving legionella-related fatalities

HMA v Exxon, 2023: Representing multinational oil company in various HSE/SEPA matters

HMA v Akela, 2022: Represented construction company in fatal HSWA case on buiding site

HMA v Chief Constable, 2019 - 2021: Represented Chief Constable in landmark fatal HSWA prosecution arising from missed '999' call

HMA v BAM Nuttall, 2021: Represented construction company in fatal HSWA case

HMA v J Murphy and sons, 2021: Represented construction company in HSWA case involving major gas leak on M9

HMA v HC-One, 2019: Represented care home provider in fatal HSWA prosecution following death of resident 

HMA v The North British Distillery, 2017-2019: Represented distillery in HSWA prosecution legionella-related offences

HMA v Dow Management Services , 2017-2018: Represented director of waste management company in environmental pollution case

HMA v Dandara Homes, 2017-2018: Represented property developer in unusual property misdescription prosecution

Geddes v Johnson, 2017: Represented health and safety advisers in commercial court action

HMA v Siemens, 2016: Represented multintional energy company in HSWA case involving workplace fatality at windfarm

General crime

HMA v Andy Coulson, 2014-2015: Represented former newspaper editor in High Court perjury trial.  

HMA v Yousif Badri, 2015: Represented medical student in High Court terrorism trial. 

HMA v Whyte, Withey etc, 2013-2015: Represented law firm in High Court prosecution involving purchase of Rangers Football Club

HMA v Megrahi and Fhimah, 1999-2001: junior counsel (to RS Keen QC) for second accused in Lockerbie/Pan-am bombing trial in the Netherlands. Responsibility for various technical aspects of case, including cause and location of explosion. 

HMA v Adam Clark, 2023: Represented director of major family-owned car dealership prosecuted for various road traffic offences 

PF v CM, 2022: Represented police officer in trial for perverting the course of justice

HMA v AA, 2022: Represented hospital consultant in trial for assault and domestic abuse

PF v Gillian Bayford, 2020: Represented lottery winner in assault case

PF v CB, 2019: Represented entrepreneur in assault trial

HMA v MF, 2019: Represented company director charged with Section.1 RTA offence

HMA v PR, 2019: Represented tennis player charged with rape

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