Stable Director of Westwater Advocates, Calum H S MacNeill QC has been with the Westwater stable since he called in 1992. In that time he has developed a successful, busy practice in a wide range of civil litigation with emphases on commercial law, professional negligence, employment law and construction. He is a founder member of the Westwater Advocates Commercial Resolution and Medical Law Groups and has addressed the Law Society of Scotland’s prestigious Employment Law Group Conference on the subject of restrictive covenants.
For three years (1998 – 2001) he was an Advocate Depute prosecuting serious crime in the High Court and for another three years (2003 – 2006) he was Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Ministers. He has been appointed by the Lord President to the panel of chairpersons of the Police Appeals Tribunal which hears appeals in disciplinary cases for the Scottish Police Service.
What the directories say.
He has been named as one of the “leaders at the bar” in commercial dispute resolution by Chambers Directory. The 2015 edition says, “He gets to grips very quickly with the technical aspects of a case.” The 2014 edition said, “He is very adaptable and very adept; he’s great to bring in for a variety of commercial cases.” The 2013 edition said he is “praised for his high level of experience, and for the fact that he ‘provides careful and well thought-out advice.’” The 2011 edition described him as, “a very modern and responsive barrister who appreciates the commercial imperatives behind cases and is consequently well-liked by clients.” The 2009 edition described him as, “a well-known figure across the commercial spectrum; he elicits praise from peers and solicitors for his ‘fantastic analysis and opinions.’”
Chambers 2015 recommends him for employment law (Band 1) quoting from its research, “If you wanted a commercial counsel you would use him.”
In the Legal 500 2014 said, “Calum H S MacNeill QC is a respected presence in the courts” and as having “very strong advocacy skills.” In 2012, he was recommended in commercial litigation. The 2011 edition described him as “a ‘real all-rounder’, who is ‘very bright, thorough in his research and preparation and good on his feet.’” The 2010 edition described him as “recommended for paper-heavy cases in which he ‘drills down to essentials with impressive ease.’” His cross-examination of a claimant was described by an Employment Tribunal as, “one of consummate skill.”
The Legal 500 2016 ranks him in the employment, commercial litigation and property, construction and agriculture categories.
Selected cases since taking silk:
- Scottish Widows Investment Partnership Group Ltd v Cordatus Ltd  CSOH 7 – petition seeking recovery of evidence to substantiate allegations of breach of confidence under service agreements.
- Matthews v Hunter & Robertson  SCOH 88 – negligence claim by executry against deceased’s solicitors for not evacuating a special destination at time of divorce.
- Chrysalis Scotland Ltd v Clydesdale Bank Insurance Brokers Ltd  CSOH 144 – claim against Independent Financial Adviser for negligent investment advice.
- Cyrus Energy Ltd v Stewart; Xyrex Ltd v McTurk  CSOH 53 – interim interdict – worldwide restrictive covenant against use of fuel-conditioning products and other highly technical chemicals.
- Glasgow City Council, Petitioners  CSOH 157 – judicial review of sheriff principal’s purported appointment of an arbiter.
- Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd v National Appeal Panel  SCIH 55 – reclaiming motion in petition for judicial review of a decision relating to adequacy of existing pharmaceutical services in a particular neighbourhood.
- Lloyd’s Pharmacy, Petitioners  CSOH 86 – petition for judicial review of a decision of the National Appeal Panel to refuse permission for relocation.
- Primary Healthcare Centres (Broadford) Ltd v Humphrey  CSOH 129 and  CSOH 92 – liability of former partners of a dissolved partnership for rent and the effect of their rights of relief inter se on their individual liability.
- Cramaso LLP v Viscount Reidhaven’s Trustees  CSOH 62 – action for reduction of the lease of a grouse moor on grounds of negligent misrepresentation as to the grouse population. Liability ultimately decided by the UK Supreme Court in 2014: see  UKSC 9.
- Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Erin Casey, Dundee Sheriff Court, 24 August 2011 – duties of neurologists and neurosurgeons when providing advice to patients about Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (“SUDEP”).
- Holmes v Greater Glasgow Health Board, UKEATS/0045/11 – unlawful deduction of wages and res iudicata when a previous claim for alleged unlawful deductions had been settled.
- RMSPumptools Ltd v Shotter (Outer House, 17 April 2012) – interim interdict – worldwide restrictive covenant against use of designs for electrical submersible pumps used in offshore oil fields.
- Appeal by JC  SCIH 77 – appeal from the Additional Needs Support Tribunal relating to the provision of special educational needs.
- Foley v Greater Glasgow Health Board UKEATS/0007/12/BI – equal pay claims and the operation of time-bar after a TUPE transfer.
- Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Trevor Smith, Glasgow Sheriff Court, 30 August 2012 – paracetamol toxicity.
- St Leonard’s School v Taylor (Inner House, 14 February 2013) – appeal from Sheriff Principal in a claim for recovery of school fees on withdrawal of pupils from a private school.
- Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Sharon Harkin, Stirling Sheriff Court, 5 April 2013 – care of patient who died from undiagnosed cancer in custody.
- The Scottish Ministers v Stirton and Anderson  CSIH 81; 2013 SLT 1141 – reclaiming motion against a recovery order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 on various grounds including standard of proof, apparent bias and the definition of the alleged criminal conduct.
- Tods Murray LLP v MacLennan  CSOH – recovery of documents under 1972 Act, section 1 and enforcement of post-termination restrictions contained in LLP agreement.
- Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Declan Hainey, Paisley Sheriff Court, 3 September 2014 – child protection.
- Clark v Greater Glasgow Health Board – successfully resisting a £15 million claim for cerebral palsy caused at birth during what was alleged to have been the negligent management of labour. A motion to amend the pursuer’s pleadings while the case was at avizandum was refused:  CSOH 176 (refusal of amendment motion);  CSOH 24 (addendum to opinion on amendment);  CSOH 25 (decision on the merits).
- McBride v Scottish Police Authority  UKSC 27 – successfully represented in the UK Supreme Court a fingerprint officer who had been unfairly dismissed at the end of a lengthy period of restricted duties following the Shirley McKie fingerprint saga. An employment tribunal ordered reinstatement of the claimant but the EAT and Inner House replaced that remedy with compensation. The Supreme Court unanimously restored the original order. https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2014-0235-judgment.pdf
- MacDonald v Glasgow City Council – successfully represented a group of women claimants in an appeal against the decision of an Employment Tribunal dismissing their claims based on the pay protection arrangements made by Glasgow City Council when it introduced a new pay and grading structure. The council protected the pay of higher-paid employees for three years but did not raise the female employees’ pay to match it. UKEATS/0008/14/BI; UKEATS/0009/14/BI; UKEATS/0011/14/BI. (The claimants Calum represented did not participate in the unsuccessful challenge to the Job Evaluation Scheme.)
- Dryburgh v Fife Health Board  CSOH 116 – represented a health board resisting a petition for judicial review of its decision not to allow legal representation at disciplinary and appeal hearings.
- Clark v Greater Glasgow Heath Board  CSIH 17 – represented the Health Board again in the Inner House when the pursuer appealed against the decision not to allow the Minute of Amendment to be received after the close of the proof. The appeal was refused.
- Glasgow City Council v Unison, HBJ and GMB Claimants  CSIH 34 – successfully represented the GMB-backed claimants in the Council’s appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session against the EAT decision in MacDonald (above).
Dispute-resolution outside litigation.
In June 2017, Calum became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), having completed a module at Dundee University in International Commercial Arbitration and the CIArb’s Module 3 (Practice and Procedure of International Commercial Arbitration) and Module 4 (Award-Writing). He has completed his first arbitration as arbitrator, a major building contract dispute based in Northern Ireland.
He is also a mediator accredited with the London-based Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). His skill as a mediator in contentious matters has been employed in cases including a high-value solicitors’ negligence claim, a tripartite employers-contractors-structural engineers dispute, a boundary dispute and a commercial lease dilapidations claim. He is a member of the Faculty’s Dispute Resolution Service for arbitration and mediation and has addressed the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Scottish Branch) on the topic “Mediation in professional negligence claims” and the 21st Century Bar Conference of the Faculty and the Law Society of Scotland’s In-House Lawyers Group on “Exploring Alternatives to Litigation.”
Passing on skills.
His ability in teaching advocacy skills has been recognised by the Faculty for several years. He is an instructor on the Foundation Course for Intrants to the Faculty and an Assessor of eligibility for entry to the Faculty. He has also accepted invitations to lead courses for litigators in firms of solicitors in Scotland and England.
Follow Calum on twitter! @calum_macneill
Mobile: 07801 257878
Email: Calum H S MacNeill QC