Paul is a very experienced commercial litigator and Solicitor Advocate with Extended Civil Rights of Audience. Building upon his experience gained as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in the early 1990s, Paul has always made extensive use of his Scottish Rights of Audience since gaining them in 1998. He is mentioned for Data Protection work in Chambers UK (Band 4 UK ranking) and for both Commercial Litigation (Tier 3) and Technology/Media/Telecoms disputes (Tier 3) in Legal 500.
Paul has a special interest in data protection as well as technology and intellectual property issues as well as FOI/FOISA. Paul heads three BTO teams: Data Protection, Online Reputation and Technology & IP team. Clients have praised him for being a lawyer who “...understands the legal process and how to influence it.”
In 2013 Paul teamed up with BTO’s criminal Solicitor Advocate, Laura Irvine (Associate), and successfully overturned a £250,000 data protection fine imposed on Scottish Borders Council. This case has attracted widespread interest as it is the only successful appeal against a fine under the Data Protection Act 1998. This was a four day appeal before the First Tier (Information Rights) Tribunal, in which the Information Commissioner was represented by counsel from 11KBW chambers.
As well as appearing in his own right, Paul often appears in court alongside senior counsel. At the time of writing he is currently appearing as junior counsel in a £5m public procurement dispute, due for eleven days of trial beginning 23rd March. This may not proceed due to a lengthy During 2013 Paul acted as junior counsel to leading planning Seniors, or as principal solicitor, in a series of judicial review decisions involving the new Scottish Protected Expenses Orders regimes. One of these cases is also the first appeal against a Local Authority’s planning Local Review Body.
Paul has litigated domain name disputes under both the ICANN-UDRP and Nominet DRS procedures and has a current Nominet case.
Paul has frequently had adverse comment taken down from social media, from Facebook and Twitter in 2014, and from Twitter and Tripadvisor in 2015.As early as 2010 he was involved in a case concerning false “reviews” of a company’s services and obtained a court order requiring an ISP to disclose the owner of the internet IP address they had been posted from. He also acted in a very serious internet defamation case where Prevention from Harassment Orders were obtained against a couple who had posted allegations on numerous blogs and social networking websites.
In 2009 Paul appeared as Solicitor Advocate for the Pursuer in a £25 million intellectual property case about inventive ideas and confidential information, in the context of offshore wind farm technologies. He initially acted as sole Solicitor Advocate and later took on the role of junior counsel to a QC.
In 2008 he appeared as Solicitor Advocate for the Defender in the first Scottish case about “Derivative” actions by disgruntled minority shareholders under the new Companies Act 2006. This case was appealed to the Inner House in May 2009 when Paul appeared as junior counsel to a QC.
In 2007 he appeared as Solicitor Advocate for a Public Authority in the first Scottish public procurement case, involving an eight day trial.
He has experience of "Dawn Raids" in commercial and IP cases involving seizure of computers and mobile phones. He has conducted a large number of cases involving urgent applications for interdict orders such as internet harassment, intellectual property infringements, breaches of restrictive covenants, trade mark infringement, passing-off and removal of confidential information/ trade secrets.
In addition to all the above, Paul’s practice also includes non-contentious IP/IT matter such as contracts, service level agreements, licensing and providing IP input in corporate deals.
Convenor of the Law Society of Scotland's Technology Committee, 2000 – 2016.
Director of Recycle to Cycle Limited a charity trading as “The Bike Station”, November 2012 – date.
Secretary then Civil Vice President to the Society of Solicitor Advocates, 2002 – 2011.
Board Member and immediate past Chairman of the Scottish Society for Computers and Law, 2005 – 2011.
Cycling, running, DIY, travel, Scottish Region representative of 'Vulcan to the Sky' aircraft project: "XH558 - Honouring the Past/ Inspiring the Future."