Ranald was a solicitor in private practice for more than twenty years before coming to the Bar. As a solicitor, his practice included complex personal injury and other reparation work, as well as work in the field of public law including judicial review. He has continued that practice at the Bar. He is instructed in fatal accident inquiries, as well as reparation and medical negligence cases.
Ranald became a solicitor advocate in 2004. He exercised his rights of audience regularly, appearing both in the Outer and Inner House of the Court of Session in a wide range of cases.
Ranald has represented clients in a number of high profile fatal accident and other public inquiries, including the Fingerprint Inquiry (2011) and the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (2017 onwards).
Ranald also acted since 2010 for the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, presenting complaints raised against Councillors to the Standards Commission.