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Portrait ofGraeme 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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Class Action Risk in the Food and Drink Sector
Class action claims are a reality and are only growing in number. The risks to food producers and suppliers come in many forms, whether it be employees, consumers or even shareholders. In this session...
CMS Class Actions video series
Data-driven insights into class action risk across Europe
The Scottish Court gives important guidance on management of Scottish class...
The Scottish Court of Session has recently issued a decision that provides important guidance on the management of Scottish class actions. In particular, the court made it clear that it will not un­ques­tion­ingly...
Scottish QOCS case law for 2023 – the lessons learned so far
It is two and a half years since Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) was introduced to personal injury claims in Scotland. There has been much interest in how case law will develop the application...
CMS Disputes 101 - Autumn Webinar Series 2023
CMS’ popular Disputes 101 annual webinar series returns in Autumn 2023. This series will take place over 11 weeks, every Tuesday from 5 September – 28 November at 2pm - 3pm. Partners and associates...
Class Actions Law Review, 7th Edition 2023: Scotland
Scotland’s first formal class action mechanism, known as ‘group procedure’, was introduced on 31 July 2020. Primary legislation was required to introduce the new procedure. The Civil Litigation...
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’...
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. 
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...
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...