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Whitehouse v. Lord Advocate

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At the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, the client sought advice on a malicious prosecution claim against the Crown, along with a related wrongful arrest claim directed against the police.  An immediate issue was the long-standing immunity enjoyed by the Lord Advocate, the head of Crown Office, Scotland’s public prosecution service.  It was also noted that the Scottish disclosure legislation, unlike the English equivalent, did not provide a mechanism to extend the purposes to which disclosed evidence could be put, thereby preventing it being relied upon in civil proceedings.

Guided by Stuart Munro and the team, the client petitioned the noble office of the High Court in order to secure access to the disclosed evidence for the purposes of bringing civil proceedings.  An action was brought, and the Lord Advocate’s immunity successfully challenged in a full bench reclaiming motion (appeal) to the Inner House of the Court of Session.  The hearing included analysis of the international position (in the Commonwealth, US and Europe) and arguments about public policy. The court confirmed that all aspects of the client’s claim could proceed to proof.

The UK Supreme Court has repeatedly noted that ‘no wrong should be without a remedy’.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of Stuart and the team, the client has been left with a remedy where none previously existed.  It is now possible to bring an action for malicious prosecution in Scotland.


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Livingstone Brown is a leading firm of Scottish solicitors. Based in Glasgow, but dealing with cases around the country, the firm has been at the forefront of legal service provision for over thirty years.

If you have a legal problem, getting good quality legal information at the earliest stage can be invaluable. The firm offers a free initial enquiry service; all you have to do is call in, telephone, or e-mail. You won't be charged for your enquiry; we'll let you know by return whether we can help, what we can do, and how much it's likely to cost. We can also offer legal aid where available.

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Led by former senior partner Gerard Brown CBE, who continues as a consultant, the firm has built up an enviable reputation for quality of service and client care.

The firm has won various awards over the years. In the 2019 edition of the prestigious Legal 500 rankings Livingstone Brown was ranked as a 'top-tier' firm for general criminal work, and is also recommended for fraud cases. Stuart Munro and Gerard Brown were named as 'Recommended Lawyers'. In the Chambers directory the firm has a Band 1 ranking for criminal work, and Stuart Munro is a ranked financial crime lawyer. The firm was named Criminal Defence Firm of the Year and Family Law Team of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards 2019.

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  • Chambers UK 2021 Livingstone Brown 121x102
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  • Legal 500 Leading Firm 2022 Livingstone Brown 71x103
  • Scottish Legal Awards Winners 2021