(368) NEGLIGENCE CLAIM AGAINST ADVOCATE
The Sunday Mail for 4 July 2004 reported that Alexander Elliot was suing his former counsel Gordon Jackson QC for £500,000 damages as compensation for negligence in handling Elliot’s defence to a charge of raping his two young daughters. Elliot was initially convicted but his appeal (reported as E v HM Advocate 2002 SLT 715) was successful, its main grounds having been the inadequacy of his defence, and that it had not been conducted in accordance with his express wishes. The case appears to be the first of its kind in Scotland since the House of Lords in Arthur J S Hall & Co v Simons  3 WLR 543 removed barristers’ (and by implication advocates’) immunity from suit for the way in which they conduct cases in court. It is worth noting that one of the issues possibly still in doubt after the Hall case is the liability of advocates in criminal cases. Gordon Jackson is also well known as a Labour MSP and as a leading legal aid lawyer.