Susan Duff

Year of Call 2003        

"Encyclopaedic knowledge of Health and Safety Law" - Legal 500 2015

“Susan is a tenacious advocate and fearless in her approach." "Extremely impressive, vigorous and effective in her advocacy." - Chambers UK Bar 2018

Susan receives a significant volume of instructions in mainstream criminal cases but specialises in defending corporate clients and individuals charged in regulatory and enforcement proceedings.

She appears regularly in the High Court of Justiciary and Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland and in the Employment Tribunal in Health and Safety enforcement proceedings. She also appears in the Court of Session in civil proceedings related to Proceeds of Crime and confiscation cases and in the Sheriff Court in civil proceedings relating to regulatory enforcement.

Her regulatory practice includes financial and computer crime as well as complex food safety and environmental offences. She is regularly instructed in criminal prosecutions, both in the High and Sheriff Courts, arising from fatal road traffic accidents.

Her particular specialism is in the defence of charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and related Regulations. In a field where, because of commercial reality, few clients plead not guilty and proceed to trial, she has conducted a number of defences at trial where the allegations have involved the death of an employee.

Solicitors instructing Susan find her to be highly experienced in her chosen fields of expertise and someone who establishes good and understanding relationships with their clients.

The most important aspect of her relationship with any client is mutual trust. This means that she is not afraid to give the right advice even if it is difficult, initially, for the client to accept. Clients and solicitors quickly recognise her skill and judgment and accept her advice as offering the best solution in a difficult situation.

In many of the cases in which Susan is instructed the charges are strongly disputed and there is no prospect of the case resolving without a trial. Susan is highly experienced in conducting trials and evidential hearings contesting, on average, in excess of 15 per year.

Susan also appears regularly in Fatal Accident Inquiries arising out of a range of circumstances including deaths in prison and accidents.

She is recommended in both Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar (Band 1) in Health and Safety.  

(Current year and last year only)

2017 FAI re deaths at the Jim Clark Rally 2014 (representing a core participant)

2017 PF v Gordon (Alleged contravention of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981)

2017 HMA v Waculicz (POCA s.327)

2017 HMA v Blair (POCA s.327 and 329)

2017 FAI re the death of Rachel Cassels (representing her employer, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited)

2016 PF v McMaster (prosecution of a company director for alleged EPA breach)

2016 Representation of a national distribution company in proceedings before the Traffic Commissioner

2016 PF v The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited (prosecution for alleged breaches of product labelling regulations)

2016 HMA v Woodman (RTA s.2B)

2016 HMA v Flynn (RTA s.2B)

2016 HMA v Coveris (HSWA s.2)

2016 Burke v Procurator Fiscal (RTA s.1A- Appeal against sentence in which the Sheriff Appeal Court was persuaded to apply the Definitive Guidelines on Death by Driving to a case involving serious injury)

2016 HMA v Mitchell (Alleged money laundering offences POCA s.329)

2016 HMA v Ahmed (Alleged Immigration Act offences)

2016 Procurator Fiscal V Stewart and Shields (HSWA s.2)

2016 Provision of advice to a national restaurant chain on a Food Safety Issue

2016 HMA v Downie (RTA s.1)

2016 HMA v Blyth (RTA s.2B)

2016 - HMA v Merit Projects Ltd (Alleged breaches of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations and HSWA s.3)

2016 - HMA v John Sisk & Sons and Hemsec Ltd (HSWA s.3 for Hemsec Ltd)

2016 - PF v Wilson (RTA s.2)

2016 - HMA v Cresswell (RTA s.2B)

2016 - HMA v Graham (RTA s.2B)

2016 PF v Tinto (Environmental Protection Act 1990 s.34)

2016 – Provision of advice to food supplier and distributor (re ongoing HSE investigation into alleged HSWA s.2)

2016-2015 - FAI re death of Sarah Mitchell (representing her family)

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