Murdo Macleod QC

Year of Call 1994 Year of Silk 2008

"A Public Inquiries specialist, careful and thorough with good client skills." "His main strength is the way he acts with his clients." "He is very emphatic in tough situations and does not shy away from having to give difficult advice." - Chambers UK 2020

"He has a terrific intellect." "A fearless and tenacious cross-examiner." "He is an impressive figure in court." - Legal 500 2019

Murdo Macleod QC specialises in health and safety, corporate financial and other regulatory prosecutions, where he is instructed for trials and in an advisory capacity.

He has acted for major clients in the construction, healthcare, aviation, oil & gas and marine industries. He has also been instructed by numerous organisations, including the Scottish Prison Service and various police forces and local authorities. 

Alongside his regulatory practice, he has appeared in many significant statutory public inquiries and fatal accident inquiries, such as: the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry (for Siemens), the Superpuma Inquiry (for Eurocopter), the Queensferry Crossing Inquiry (for Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors) and the Billy Wright Inquiry in Northern Ireland (as Counsel to the Inquiry between 2005 and 2010). 

Notable acquittals in criminal trials include Andy Coulson in his trial for perjury and Yousif Badri, a Doctor charged with terrorism offences. He has served as Crown Counsel and Senior Crown Counsel and, as junior counsel, represented the second accused, Lamin Fhimah, in the Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands.

He is joint UK delegate to the CCBE’s criminal law committee, sits as a part-time Sheriff and is also a practising barrister (Temple Garden Chambers). 

Representative Cases


Re Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, 2017-2019: Representing consortium partner in Public Inquiry (under the Inquiries Act 2005) into delay and over-spend on major construction project

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

Re Super Puma Inquiry, 2013-2014: Represented core participant in inquiry into the deaths of sixteen passengers and crew in North Sea helicopter accident

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

Re Billy Wright Inquiry, 2005 - 2010: Public inquiry (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)

Health and Safety/Regulatory

HMA v H, 2019: Representing care-home provider in s.3 prosecution following death of resident

HMA v JMS, 2020: Representing construction company in s.2 case involving major gas leak

HMA v NBD, 2017-2018: Represented Distillery charged with various s.2 and 3 legionella-related offences

HMA v DMS Ltd, 2017-2018: Represented director of waste management company in environmental pollution case

HMA v D, 2017-2018:Defended major building company in landmark property misdescription prosecution

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

HMA v S, 2015: Defended company in H&S s.2 case involving workplace fatality at windfarm

HMA v Shetland Catch Ltd, Freshcatch Ltd, Klondyke Ltd, 2011-2012: Represented three companies in a series of prosecutions for breaches of EU fishing regulations and proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act

Fraud/business crime

HMA v R, 2017-2018: Represented partner of law firm charged with fraud

HMA v Goldstein, 2018: Represented accused charged with arson and insurance fraud

Re Rangers FC, 2013-2015: Advised City law firm in major financial crime investigation re recovery of documents, execution of warrants and privilege


HMA v Andy Coulson, 2014-2015: Defended former newspaper editor charged with perjury. Numerous pre-trial debates on admissibilty, search warrants, recovery of documents, privilege etc (and successful appeal). The accused was acquitted.

HMA v Yousif Badri, 2015: Defended medical student charged with terrorism offences. The accused was acquitted.

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. The accused was acquitted.

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  • Compass Chambers
    Parliament House
    EH1 1RF