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Portrait of Graeme MacLeod

Graeme MacLeod


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Saltire Court
20 Castle Terrace
United Kingdom
Languages English, French

Graeme MacLeod is a partner in our Disputes Team in CMS Edinburgh, which is recognised as a market leader in Scotland.  He specialises in commercial litigation and professional negligence claims, and advises banks, corporates, public bodies, professional firms and insurers about a variety of disputes across both fields.

A lawyer with the firm since 2002, Graeme acts for clients in high value commercial disputes in Scotland's Supreme Court, Court of Session and Sheriff Courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation and arbitration. He is well regarded for his expertise in banking, regulatory, commercial contract and fraud-related matters, and for his knowledge of insolvency litigation. His wide-ranging practice encompasses claims ranging from judicial review of regulatory bodies to intellectual property infringement and from international asset recovery to defamation.  He has a particular interest in the developing area of class actions and the related area of data breach claims.

His work in the professional indemnity sphere involves the defence of claims for professionals and their insurers across a broad spectrum of both traditional and emerging professions. He is particularly recognised for his expertise in claims against solicitors and advocates.  

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"Ranked as a leading individual for Commercial Litigation."

Legal 500, 2020

"An “excellent negotiator”, he has "great intellectual acumen and ability to cut through complex data" "

Legal 500

Relevant experience

  • Defence of high profile class action in Court of Session against Scottish company for work-related injury claims by employees and former employees working overseas. 
  • Defence of GBP 60m claims brought in Court of Session by liquidators of insolvent company against former directors for breach of fiduciary duty and alienation of assets.
  • GBP 12m claim for breach of contract and negligence arising from an alleged customer fraud for a major Scottish retail bank.
  • Successful defence in Supreme Court of ground-breaking claim against solicitor by non-client third party.
  • Multi-million pound damages claim for fraud for listed offshore services company.
  • Defence of USD 220m claim against solicitors for fraudulent conspiracy.
  • Obtained sanction for Premier Oil plc of a substantially opposed creditors’ scheme of arrangement in Scotland, for liabilities of USD 2.56 billion.
  •  Negligence claim and process improvements arising from failures under a key IT outsourcing contract for a major international retail bank.
  •  Cyber breach response management and follow-on claims advice for a major insurer under cyber liability policy.
  • Substantial claim against former directors for misappropriation of assets and wrongful trading for administrators of an insolvent retail company.
  • Disciplinary proceedings by SPL and SFA relating to player registration issues for Scottish Premier League football club.
  • Comprehensive review of disciplinary procedures for The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
  • Defence of substantial breach of trust and dishonest assistance claim against solicitors arising from USD 460m hedge-fund fraud.
  • GBP 3m contractual rectification claim for charges arising from disposal of waste to landfill against waste services company.
  • Panel Solicitor for insurers,  solicitors and advocates under Law Society of Scotland Master Policy and Faculty of Advocates PI Scheme, defending claims against solicitors and advocates with a particular focus on complex and/or high value claims.
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Lectures list

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  • 2002 – Law, Dip LP, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
  • 2001 - Law, LLB (Ord) (with Distinction), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
  • 1999 - BA (Hons) (First Class), Worcester College, Oxford                                         
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Post-pan­dem­ic de­vel­op­ment of Scot­tish civil justice con­tin­ues down di­git­al...
Over the last two years, we have writ­ten a num­ber of up­dates on ac­tu­al and pro­posed changes to how civil lit­ig­a­tion is con­duc­ted in the Scot­tish courts. Some of these changes have been promp­ted by the...
ICCA 2022
The ICCA 2022 Con­gress, the largest ar­bit­ra­tion con­fer­ence in the world will take place in Ed­in­burgh on 18-21 Septem­ber 2022. CMS Scot­land is de­lighted to sup­port the con­fer­ence as plat­in­um spon­sors. 
Dis­putes 101: Com­mu­nic­at­ing in a Con­ten­tious En­vir­on­ment
Wel­come to the Dis­putes 101: CMS Au­tumn We­bin­ar Series for 2022 This series will take place over 11 weeks, every Tues­day from 6 Septem­ber – 29 Novem­ber at 2pm - 3pm. Part­ners and as­so­ci­ates from CMS’...
The word is out: The De­fam­a­tion and Ma­li­cious Pub­lic­a­tion (Scot­land) Act...
The De­fam­a­tion and Ma­li­cious Pub­lic­a­tion (Scot­land) Act 2021 (“the Act”) was passed un­an­im­ously by the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment on 2 March 2021 and re­ceived Roy­al As­sent on 21 April 2021. After a long...
Auto­mated Driv­ing: The Jour­ney Con­tin­ues
With a lot of re­cent de­vel­op­ments in re­la­tion to autonom­ous vehicles (“AVs”) across Asia and the US, this art­icle fo­cuses on what the drive home may look like as the next steps are taken in ad­van­cing...
Class Ac­tions Law Re­view, 6th Edi­tion 2022: Scot­land
Class ac­tions and ma­jor group lit­ig­a­tion can be seis­mic events, not only for the parties in­volved but also for whole in­dus­tries and parts of so­ci­ety. That po­ten­tial im­pact means they are one of the few...
Scot­land’s dir­ec­tion of travel re­mains to­wards di­git­al civil justice: but...
Last year, the Scot­tish Civil Justice Coun­cil (SCJC) launched a con­sulta­tion on pro­posed new rules which would res­ult in vir­tu­al hear­ings be­com­ing the de­fault ap­proach of the Scot­tish courts for the ma­jor­ity...
It’s time we got on the right track with self-driv­ing’ cars
Any­one who has spent hours on long mo­tor­way jour­neys will re­spond to the idea of an Auto­mated Vehicle (AV) do­ing the work for you. In the real world, AVs have been de­veloped more with an eye on im­proved...
Scot­tish court re­fuses ap­plic­a­tion by in­struc­ted law­yers to act as the...
In­tro­duc­tion In Ju­ly 2020, a new class ac­tion pro­ced­ure, termed “group pro­ced­ure” came in­to ef­fect in Scot­land (see our pre­vi­ous art­icles here and here). The first re­por­ted de­cision on Scot­tish group...
Class ac­tions in Scot­land
See the Over­view of the Rep­res­ent­at­ive Ac­tions Dir­ect­ive >> 1. Do you have a spe­cif­ic pro­ced­ure or pro­ced­ures for bring­ing “opt-in” class ac­tions?  If so, please out­line such pro­ced­ure(s) and...
Pan­dem­ic prompts pro­pos­als to per­man­ently shift civil justice in Scot­land...
A con­sulta­tion has been launched by the Scot­tish Civil Justice Coun­cil (SCJC) on pro­posed new rules which would res­ult in vir­tu­al hear­ings be­com­ing the de­fault ap­proach of the Scot­tish courts for the...
Scot­tish Court re­jects ar­gu­ment that Quince­care duty ex­tends bey­ond in­tern­al...
In the re­cent de­cision of Sekers Fab­rics Ltd v Cly­des­dale Bank plc [2021] CSOH 89, a bank cus­tom­er (“Sekers”) that had fallen vic­tim to an au­thor­ised push pay­ment (“APP”) fraud sought to re­cov­er...