Alasdair has a broad practice in all main areas of Chambers’ work, with a particular interest in public law, employment and equality, human rights and clinical negligence. He appears regularly before a wide variety of courts and tribunals including County Courts, the High Court, Employment Tribunals, the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal. He is also regularly instructed in drafting and advisory work.
Employment & Equality
Alasdair has extensive experience of acting for both Claimants and Respondents in a wide variety of employment and discrimination matters. His recent cases have involved issues as diverse as rolled-up holiday pay, whistleblowing, TUPE compliance, the definition of ‘employee’, redundancy/restructuring and constructive dismissal. He is instructed in complex discrimination claims and has particular experience in dealing with workplace problems arising in the education and healthcare sectors.
Public Inquiries, Public Law and Human Rights
Alasdair acted as junior counsel to the Metropolitan Police in the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. He represented a large number of soldiers in the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry into allegations of mistreatment and unlawful killing of prisoners in Iraq. Most recently, he has represented AWE plc and the MOD in the Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. Most recently, he is instructed as junior counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, working on the Cambridge house, Knowl View and Rochdale investigation.
Alasdair regularly appears in judicial review proceedings on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants, and has experience in a wide variety of fields, including immigration, unlawful detention, prisons, social security, defence/national security, education and healthcare. He was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel in 2014.
“He is a first-rate, unflappable junior barrister with an incisive, analytical mind.” (Legal 500 2015)
Clinical Negligence and Healthcare Law
Alasdair is regularly instructed by Claimants and Defendants in clinical negligence cases, drafting pleadings and appearing before the County Court and High Court in applications and trials. He has dealt with a broad range of cases including birth injuries, surgical problems, errors in diagnosis and dental negligence. He also represents families and other properly interested persons at inquests, with particular experience of inquests arising out of deaths in prisons or mental health institutions.
Regulatory and Disciplinary Law
Alasdair has experience of General Medical Council proceedings (including judicial review of GMC decisions) and of representing Registrants before the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. He previously acted as a Clerk to the Bar Disciplinary Tribunals run by the Council of the Inns of Court and he has been appointed to the Legal Services Board’s Panel of External Legal Advisors.
Alasdair has also undertaken work on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading (now the Competition and Markets Authority) in several regulatory and consumer protection cases in relation to markets as varied as private healthcare, furniture and time-share holiday homes.
Alasdair has a keen interest in environmental issues, particularly the regulation of renewable energy and the protection of consumers in this rapidly growing area. He has experience of matters involving windfarms and solar photovoltaic technology. He has been instructed in litigation involving waterways and fishing rights. He has also advised on planning disputes and appeared in planning inquiries, including those into major projects.
Alasdair has a First Class degree in law from the University of Oxford. He was awarded a Thouron scholarship to undertake an LL.M. at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated top of his class, specialising in international law, comparative constitutional law and administrative law. During his LL.M. he was a researcher for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (analysing US media as part of a project on human rights and democratisation in Iran), worked on immigration cases and an application to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning the rights of undocumented migrant workers, and taught an undergraduate course in comparative politics.
Before coming to the Bar, Alasdair was a research fellow for the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law in Washington DC where he contributed to a textbook on international civil society law. Following this, he worked for International Justice Mission in Kigali, Rwanda assisting in cases of land rights violations and sexual violence against children. He also acted as a consultant to the Rwandan Government on the revision of their legislation regulating charities and NGOs.
He retains an interest in both public international law and civil society law, and has advised charities and NGOs on various issues, including cross-border employment matters and the enforcement of human rights obligations.
Alasdair is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and is happy to consider acting pro bono for individuals, campaigning groups or charities.
"A very good junior with a bright future ahead." Legal 500 (2016)
Inner Temple Princess Royal Scholarship
Thouron Scholar, University of Pennsylvania
LLM, Award for Excellence (summa cum laude) - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2007)
Gluckstein Scholar and Hanbury Scholar, Lincoln College Oxford
BA (Hons) in Jurisprudence, First Class- Lincoln College, Oxford (2006)
“Recent Developments (and Problems) in the Law on Bias”  JR 80 (with Philip Havers QC)
'Police Inquests' and 'Deaths in the Workplace' chapters in The Inquest Book (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2016)
Alasdair is a regular contributor to the UK Human Rights Blog – his articles can be accessed here.
Legal Services Board Panel of External Legal Advisors (2012)
Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (2014)
Alasdair has Developed Vetting (DV) clearance.
Advocates for International Development (A4ID)
Constitutional and Administrative Bar Association (ALBA)
Bar European Group (EAG)
Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)
Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF)
Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL)
Significant cases include the following
FB v. Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 334 - junior counsel for the Defendant hospital trust, led by John Whitting QC, in an appeal concerning whether or not the standard of care to be applied in relation to history-taking differs depending on the post of the doctor concerned.
R (Bent) v. Cambridgeshire County Council  EWHC 1366 (Admin) - represented the Claimant in a judicial review of the grant of planning permission for a significant extension to a quarry, where there was insufficient consideration of the National Planning Practice Guidance on noise levels.
M4 Relief Road inquiry (2017) - acted for the Gwent Wildlife Trust, objecting to the proposal to build an M4 relief road in South Wales which would destroy part of the Gwent Levels, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and an area of wetland which is a crucial habitat for many species of bird, animal and insect.
Wake (A Child) v. Johnson  EWHC 276 – acted as junior counsel for the Defendant GP, led by Angus McCullough QC, successfully defending a claim arising out of failure to diagnose pneumococcal meningitis in a four-year-old boy.
Orwell v. Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 3245 (QB) – acted for the Defendant hospital trust successfully defending a claim arising out of compartment syndrome following abdominal surgery.
Swanbridge Hire and Sales Ltd v. Butler & others UKEAT/0056/13/BA – acted for the Claimant trade union in an appeal concerning the meaning of the “single specific event or task of short-term duration” exception to service provision change TUPE transfers.
Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust v. Sesay UKEAT/0004/13/MC – acted for the Claimant successfully resisting the employer’s appeal against the exercise of discretion by an employment judge on time limits, amendment of the claim form and a deposit order application in a complex and lengthy race discrimination and harassment claim.
Williams v. Ystrad Mynach College  EqLR 89 - acted for a Claimant suffering from hydrocephalus in a successful claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
Schafer v. Royal Holloway and Bedford New College  EqLR 429 – acted in a three-week equal pay claim for the Claimant, who was a female university professor claiming ‘like work’ with male professors. This was a test case in respect of the issue of ‘like work’ and some elements of the ‘genuine material factor’ defence in the context of higher education.
The Leveson Inquiry
The Al-Sweady Public Inquiry
The Litvinenko Inquiry
VAT Registration No: 986 5339 63