Clare is a Partner and Criminal Solicitor Advocate ranked band 1 (Health and Safety) by Legal 500 and Chambers UK and is described as a Notable practitioner. She has specialised in the field of health & safety for over 13 years and is recognised as one of the leading lawyers in Scotland in this area.
Her particular area of expertise is in the defence of Health & Safety, Environmental, Marine, Road Traffic and other regulatory prosecutions, in both summary and solemn proceedings. Clare also appears regularly on behalf of clients at Fatal Accident Inquiries.
Clients find her a “very useful ally, combining gravitas, excellent subject knowledge and clear, analytical thinking.” Clare is noted for her “calm professionalism and empathy at times of exceptional stress for clients” during which she puts “staff and directors at ease” (Chambers UK). She is also praised for her sensitivity to public relations issues that frequently follow widely reported incidents: "She just 'gets' the reputational issues”.
Clare is regularly instructed by her clients in the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident and her expert knowledge, considerable experience and sensitive approach to each case allows her to guide her clients as smoothly as possible through the process from initial attendance at site through to any prosecution or Fatal Accident Inquiry. Her strong links to those in the HSE and the Health & Safety Division of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are invaluable in helping her bring about resolution of cases that find themselves subject to prosecution, and prosecutors and clients alike praise her proactive and reasoned approach to dispute resolution.
Prior to joining BTO, Clare spent a number of years as a Procurator Fiscal Depute at Crown Office and two busy Procurator Fiscals’ offices, prosecuting crime and conducting Fatal Accident Inquiries, including those of a health & safety nature. During this time, she gained considerable court experience, including Sheriff and Jury appearances, particularly with reference to health & safety prosecutions, some of which raised complex legal and Human Rights issues.
As well as being a member of the Society of Solicitor Advocates and Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers, Clare is a member of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association, and sits on their Scottish Committee.