Lesley qualified as a solicitor in 1995, and has spent most of her career focusing on public sector, third sector and blue light issues, having trained and initially practised as an in-house local authority solicitor.

Lesley represents insurers and their insured in relation to a wide range of liability matters, including employer’s liability, public liability and motor claims, with particular focus on catastrophic claims and on claims related to historic abuse and safeguarding issues. She has acted for and advised local authorities, providers of care services to children and adults, educational organisations and charitable organisations. Lesley has assisted and supported clients with complex claims involving issues related to human rights, and the Equality Act 2010, and has considerable experience in claims related to stress and harassment in the workplace. She has represented clients from all three emergency services, and has a wealth of experience in representing such clients in relation to claims for injuries sustained while on operational duties.

Lesley has substantial experience of representing clients in sensitive and complex historic abuse claims, and has represented clients in responding to and appearing at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. She has a particular interest in the field of freedom of information, and is certified by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in Data Protection Law. Lesley has represented clients in commercial disputes and health and safety prosecutions, and has represented and appeared for clients in numerous long-running and high profile fatal accident inquiries, regularly thereafter continuing to advise clients on all aspects of the civil claims arising from those fatal accidents.

Lesley was a member of the steering group which produced the Institute of Highway Engineers’ publication, ‘Well Managed Highway Liability Risk’ in 2019, and is the Scottish representative on the Federation of Insurance Lawyers’ Sector Focus Team for the Public Sector and Blue Light. She regularly provides training to and speaks at events organised by clients, and has spoken at numerous events hosted by external agencies, including the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers in Scotland.


  • Qualified in Scotland in 1995
  • LP, University of Glasgow, 1993
  • LLB (Hons), University of Glasgow, 1992

Work highlights

  • A J Allan (Blairnyle) Limited And Another v Strathclyde Fire Board - Lesley advised the Defender in this Court of Session action in which, on appeal, it was established that, in Scotland as in England, the duty of a fire service in responding to an emergency is limited to taking reasonable care not to make the situation worse than it would have been had the service not intervened.
  • A C Whyte v Renfrewshire Council - Lesley advised the Defender in this commercial claim, in which it was established at proof on liability that the local authority had appropriately exercised its discretion when assessing a bidder’s reliance on third parties to satisfy minimum turnover requirements in a public procurement exercise.
  • Fiona Molloy v North Ayrshire Council - Lesley successfully defended this stress at work claim, establishing at proof that the local authority had not breached its duty of care to the claimant neither before sick leave began or during the management of that leave.
  • Advising clients in numerous high profile and complex fatal accident inquiries, including representing the social work authority in the inquiry into the death of a toddler, representing the foster agency in the inquiry into the death of foster carer as a result of a stabbing injury inflicted by a foster child, and appearing for the local authority in the inquiry into the death of a peripatetic local authority worker, who was fatally injured in a motor accident involving three vehicles and their occupants.
  • Advising clients in three separate case studies at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, a public authority established to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland in the whole period of living memory to 2014.
  • Advising clients on potential involvement in and contribution to the financial redress scheme for survivors of historic abuse in care established in 2021 by the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021.
  • Advising local authority, third sector and religious organisations on numerous high value and complex claims related to historic abuse of children.