Susan Duff

Year of Call 2003

"She is highly personable, professional and very effective in negotiations." "She is the criminal trial advocate everyone wants on their team. She has a fantastic knowledge of criminal procedure and law and how it affects health and safety cases. She is relaxed, professional, and the courts and the juries love her." - Chambers UK 2021

“An incredibly skilled advocate whose decisive manner inspires complete confidence." - Legal 500 UK 2020

Susan Duff specialises in defending organisations and individuals in regulatory prosecutions and enforcement proceedings and in representing participants in Fatal Accident Inquiries.

She appears in the High Court of Justiciary and Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland and in proceedings before the Traffic Commissioner and the Employment Tribunal in enforcement proceedings. She is highly experienced in conducting trials, adversarial evidential hearings and inquisitorial hearings such as fatal accident inquiries.

She is recommended in the Legal 500 in which she has been described as having “an encyclopaedic knowledge of health and safety law” and in Chambers UK Bar where she is ranked as Band 1 in Health and Safety. She has been described in Chambers as “a tenacious advocate and fearless in her approach” and “extremely impressive, vigorous and effective in her advocacy”.

Representative Cases

Health and Safety cases

2020/2021. HMA v S Ltd 

Representing S in relation to solemn proceedings for contraventions of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (ongoing)

2021 HMA v Young

Representing a company director in relation to his role the death of an employee during a demolition when a wall fell on him. Prosecution in terms of section 2 and 37 of HSWA

2020/2021 H Limited v Dunford
Representing H in an appeal against an improvement notice.

2020/2021 L Group

Representing L in relation to a health and safety enforcment action and Fee for Intervention

2020/2021 Stevenson Brothers (Avonbridge) Limited v Munro
Representing SB in a successful appeal against the service of an Improvement Notice

2020 HMA v The LS Starrett Company Ltd

Representing LS Starrett in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 2 of the HSWA in relation to an employee suffering an amputation 

2020 PF v SCB Vehicle Dismantlers
Representing SCB in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 3 of the HSWA in relation to a fall from height during a construction project.

2020 PF v W & A Strachan
Representing W & A Strachan in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 2 of the HSWA in relation to the collapse of a trench during an excavation

2020 HMA v JR Scaffold Services Limited
Representing JR in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 2 of the HSWA in relation to the collapse of a scaffold.

2020 PF v Brebner and Williamson Limited
Representing B & W in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 3 of the HSWA in relation to a fall from height during a construction.

2019 PF v Timber Solutions Limited

Representing TSL in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 2 of the HSWA in relation to an employee suffering an amputation 

2019: HMA v Nazareth Care Charitable Trust
Representing Nazareth in health and safety prosecution in terms of section 3 of the HSWA 1974 in relation to the death of a resident in one of its care homes. The court was persuaded to treat Nazareth leniently because of its charitable status.

2018: HMA v Robert Purvis Plant Hire Limited
Representing RPPH in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 2 of the HSWA in relation to the death of an employee. RPPH was acquitted after trial of causing the employee’s death.

2018: PF v Clackmannanshire Council
Representing the council in a health and safety prosecution in terms of section 2 of the HSWA where an employee was injured and suffered amputation. The court was persuaded to treat the council leniently because it was a public body.

 2018: P Limited v Helen Diamond, HSE Inspector
Representing P in an appeal against an improvement notice served in relation to work on a construction site. The notice was withdrawn without the need for an appeal hearing.

 2018: B Limited v HSE
Representing B in relation to its dispute of a fee for intervention arising out of an explosion where 2 employees were injured.

Fatal Accident Inquiries

2021 FAI re the death of James Darren Kerr
Representing an individual and company in a maritime crane collapse on the vessel Carol Anne investigated by the Maritime Coastguard Agency and MAIB

2021 FAI re the death of Xi Biao Huang 
Representing Geo Group (ongoing)

2020/2021 FAI re the death of Christopher Black
Representing his employer. Unexplained fall resulting in death

2020 The Sumburgh Fatal Accident Inquiry
Multiple fatalities following a helicopter crash into the North Sea near Shetland

2018: FAI Death of Kenneth Monk
Representing Serco Ltd in the inquiry into the death of a prisoner in Kilmarnock prison run by Serco.

2017: Snowman Rally and Jim Clark Rally Fatal Accident Inquiry
Representation of the stage commander of the stage of the JCR where the accident giving rise to the deaths of a number of spectators occurred.

2017: FAI Death of Rachel Cassels 
Representing the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited, the employer.

Road traffic cases

2021 HMA v Blaire

Representing B in a prosecution for a contravention of section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988

2020 HMA v Verdigi
Representing V in a prosecution for an alleged contravention of section 1A of the Road Traffic Act 1988

2019: HMA v A Zanre
Representing AZ in a prosecution in the High Court for a contravention of section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1998

2019: HMA v C McCole
Representation of CM in a prosecution for a contravention of section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1998

2019: HMA v Ronald Bridges
Representation of RB in a prosecution for a contravention of section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1998

2016: K Burke v Procurator Fiscal 
Representing KB in an appeal against sentence when he received  a custodial sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Persuading the Sheriff Appeal Court to apply the Definitive Guidelines on Death by Driving to a case involving serious injury.

Financial crime

2020: HMA v D
Representing D in relation to allegations of money laundering.

2019: HMA V JP Currid
Representing JPC for his part in a banking fraudulent scheme.

2019: KK V Scottish Ministers
Representing KK in proceedings for civil recovery in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Environmental cases

2018: HMA v Muirhouse Landfill Limited
Representing Muirhouse in a prosecution in respect of the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations and the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 regarding a landfill site and its control of leachate levels

2017 PF v G 
Representing G in relation to a prosecution for an alleged contravention of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in relation to the death of a hen harrier

2016 PF v M
Representing a company director in a prosecution brought in terms of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for contamination in a quarry.

Contact Us

  • Compass Chambers
    Parliament House
    Edinburgh
    EH1 1RF