Job Title

Partner and Manager of the firm’s road traffic accident department. 

About Derek

Derek is based in Thompsons' Edinburgh Office. He supervises case handlers, the admin team, and other support staff - a total of 27 people. Having worked in personal injury litigation since joining Thompsons as a trainee in 2003, Derek has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field; in particular in Court of Session and Sheriff Court litigation. He derives great satisfaction from assisting victims by securing maximum compensation for their injuries and losses as quickly as possible.


A main area of interest for Derek is in helping victims of road traffic accidents to seek compensation and justice. He deals with higher value cases whilst also providing guidance and support to the solicitors and legal executives within the team.

Derek also has considerable experience in dealing with cases involving a foreign element.  In particular he has handled road traffic claims arising from accidents abroad and also accidents in Scotland involving drivers from overseas.  He is the Thompsons representative for the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL), a not-for-profit network of European lawyers dedicated to improving and promoting judicial co-operation and mutual knowledge of legal and judicial systems throughout Europe in the field of personal injury law.  Cases with a cross-border element can involve difficulties in respect of jurisdiction, limitation periods, etc, and Derek has particular expertise in this sub-specialty of RTA work involving foreign and travel claims.

One of Derek's many success stories for clients relates to a case which he took over from another firm who had the client’s file for seven years. The solicitors for the third party insurers had made a “final offer” of £50,000. Immediately after taking on the case Derek raised proceedings in the Court of Session and within a matter of months his client’s claim was settled for £100,000.

What Clients Say About Derek

“Not long after I retired my wife and I were on a motorcycle when a car crossed onto our side of the road, resulting in a head-on collision. I was hospitalised for eight months, suffering multiple injuries, some of which have left me with permanent disability. A union referred our case to Thompsons and Derek McLean took charge of my part of the case. He stood with me at every step of the process during the two years until resolution, explaining how the system worked and encouraging me if progress stalled for any reason.  Regular phone calls and email updates continued throughout the period and I can now happily call Derek not just an advisor, but a friend.  His efforts on my behalf resulted in a settlement of £250,000 and I am extremely grateful to him”.  Mr P L, Fife

“Having been seriously injured in a traffic accident I contacted Thompsons Solicitors on the advice of a friend. From the outset Mr McLean treated me with the utmost respect and understanding. Not only was he very approachable, everything was explained clearly, queries were responded to quickly and his most thorough and efficient handling of the case resulted in me receiving over £40,000 in compensation – a most satisfactory result. Thank You.” Mr A P, Aberdeenshire.

"I can't rate Thompsons and Derek McLean highly enough.   I was referred to Thompsons Edinburgh through my Union's legal service after a serious road traffic accident in January 2015 and my case was dealt with by Derek.   He was always available by email and he made arrangements for regular phone calls and always phoned when he said he would.  He was so professional and took total control which put my mind at ease. He helped and guided me every step of the way.  It has been a long lengthy process and although I have been unable to get back to work full time as my injuries were  life-changing, Derek has ensured that I have financial security for my family. I was delighted with the £357,500 settlement he secured for me."  P, Ayrshire

"Being a pedestrian who suffered serious and life changing injuries following a road traffic accident, a good friend recommended Thompsons as a reputable firm of solicitors to help me with my case.  I was put in contact with Derek McLean who ensured I fully understood the complex legal nature of my case in order to allow me to make the right decisions about compensation. Derek was fantastic, he was down to earth and very approachable, he was always quick to respond to any emails and was a great support to me throughout the two and a half year process.  I received a settlement of £120,000 plus recoverable sick pay of £16,000 to go back to my employers".  Ms R.T., Portlethen


LL.B Law Degree (2002) University of Strathclyde

Diploma in Legal Practice (2003) Glasgow Graduate School of Law

Certificate in Advanced Advocacy (2006) American National Institute of Trial Advocacy

Certificate in Management for Lawyers (2015) Central Law Training in Conjunction with University of Strathclyde.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

Member of the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injuries Lawyers (PEOPIL)

Thompsons Representative - Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS); a national association of solicitors representing the victims of road accidents. The society is non-profit making and all members are experts in road traffic and personal injury claims. Among other things, MASS lobbies the Government to ensure and protect the rights of accident victims.

Contact Details

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone numbers:

0131 473 6480 (direct dial)

0131 225 4297 (Edinburgh Office Switchboard)

07745 287579 (mobile)

Social Media details: Member of Linkedin 


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