Murdo Macleod QC

Year of Call 1994         Year of Silk 2008

'Top of the list for regulatory issues and complex business crime... a highly skilled advocate; robust when required but unfailingly courteous... he has an impressive work ethic.' - Legal 500

'Very personable and approachable. He is really quite superb on his feet.' - Chambers UK

Murdo MacLeod QC is an advocate specialising in financial crime and health and safety matters where he is instructed both for trials and in an advisory capacity.

He also specialises in fatal accident and public inquiries. In 2014, he represented a core participant at the "Super Puma" inquiry in Aberdeen and he is currently instructed in the ongoing Sumburgh helicopter investigation. He recently represented a major construction company in the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry and acted for the bridge-building consortium in the Queensferry Crossing Inquiry. Between 2005 and 2010 he served as Counsel to the Billy Wright Inquiry, a major public inquiry into the murder of a prominent paramilitary prisoner and the management of HMP Maze. 

Murdo has considerable experience in criminal law having served as Crown Counsel and Senior Crown Counsel. In 2015 he successfully defended Andy Coulson in his trial for perjury and Yousif Badri, a Doctor charged with terrorism offences. Other recent acquittals include a building company charged with property misdescription, the owner of an equestrian centre charged with assault and a solicitor charged with fraud. Current instructions include the defence of a major care-home operator and a distillery charged with various legionella related health and safety contraventions.

In 2012 he was appointed UK delegate to the criminal law committee of the European Council of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and in 2014, to Lord Bonomy's review group on post-corroboration safeguards. He also sits as a part-time Sheriff and is a practising member of the Bar of England and Wales (Temple Garden chambers).

Health and Safety/Regulatory

HMA v H Ltd, 2018: Representing care-home provider in s.3 prosecution following death of resident

HMA v Murphy and son Ltd, 2018: Representing construction company in case involving major gas leak

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

HMA v Dandara Ltd, 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 Siemens plc, 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


Re Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, 2017-2018: Representing consortium partner in Public Inquiry into delay and over-spend on tram project

Re Sumburgh helicopter accident, 2018: Representing core participant in ongoing police inquiry

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

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

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

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. Acquitted after 'no case to answer submission'. Numerous pre-trial debates on admissibilty, search warrants, recovery of documents, privilege etc (and successful appeal)

HMA v Yousif Badri, 2015: Defended medical student charged with terrorism offences 

HMA v Magrahi and Fhimah, 1999-2001: junior counsel (to RS Keen QC) for second accused in Lockerbie/Pan-am bombing trial in the Netherlands

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