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Patrick McGuire
Solicitor Advocates | Serious and Fatal Injury Unit | Mass Litigation Team | Inquiry Team
Miscellaneous Information

Job Title

Solicitor Advocate, Patrick is a partner at Thompsons Solicitors.

About Patrick

Patrick has worked exclusively in the field of personal injury and health and safety law since his legal career began and is recognised as an expert in both areas.

Patrick's dedication to the rights of victims of accident and disease and to workers' rights is beyond question. His professional goal is to dispel the myth of the compensation culture; a notion that serves the insurance industry and encourages employers to ignore their duties to health and safety. Instead, he wishes to create a safety culture, wherein employees can attend their work safe in the knowledge that they will return home to their loved ones in the same physical and mental state of health each night.

Patrick started his traineeship in 1997 shortly after the introduction of a radical set of legislation known as the Six Pack Health and Safety Regulations. These regulations provided a statutory framework for health and safety and were introduced into UK law through a combination of European Union Directives.

An early part of Patrick's career was spent in pursuing cases that tested these laws. Several of his notable cases confirmed the boundaries of the Six Pack regulations in terms of how they should inform the attitude of employers when seeking to ensure employees and members of the public are kept safe. A number of these cases are still referenced today in law text books.

Notable Cases

In Patrick Davidson v Lothian & Borders Fire Brigade, the Scottish Appeal Court (the Inner House of the Court of Session) established that, despite the need to ensure that fire-fighters are properly and fully trained, fire-fighters still have the same rights under health and safety legislation as any other employee. Accordingly, the fire brigades must ensure fire-fighter health and safety in the same way as any other employer would be required.

In the cases of Clement v Scottish Ambulance Service and Skinner v Scottish Ambulance Service, Patrick established that use of traditional needles by branches of the NHS can be considered a breach of the country's health and safety legislation. In light of these appeal cases, the Health Minister at the Scottish Parliament, Andy Kerr, announced a review of the use of needles across the entire NHS.

In McFarlane v Scottish Borders Council a road worker who was building a passing place suffered injury when his vehicle rolled down a steep embankment. The case tested the parameters of the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

In McGowan v W & JR Watson the claimant injured his hand while using a band saw as part of his employment. The defender's position was that the guard was functioning as it should have been, but Patrick argued that the regulations state dangerous parts must be guarded and there was strict liability in this regard.


As his career has progressed Patrick has worked extensively on behalf of groups of people who have been affected by mass wrongs. He has had significant input into a number of high-profile Public Inquiries and mass litigations.

Patrick is a leading expert in the field of Public Inquiries. Since the sweeping changes to the Inquiries procedures, introduced in the Inquiries Act 2005, there have been six Public Inquiries held in Scotland and Patrick has served as Recognised Legal Representative in four of them:

  • The Stockline /ICL Joint Public Inquiry (commenced 2004)
  • The Penrose Inquiry (infected blood products causing Hepatitis C and HIV) (commenced 2009)
  • The Vale of Leven Hospital Public Inquiry (C-difficile) (commenced 2009)
  • The Scottish Hospitals Inquiry (ongoing – Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow and Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh)] (commenced 2020)

In terms of mass litigation relating to the rights of victims of accidents and disease, he has represented mass litigants in the following claims:

  • PiP breast implants
  • DePuy hip replacements
  • Cyclists injured as a result of Edinburgh's tram works
  • Edinburgh City Council’s handling of baby ashes at Morton Hall Crematorium (which has subsequently led to claims throughout Scotland.)
  • Vaginal mesh implants
  • Clutha public house helicopter crash

Patrick was the first solicitor in Scottish legal history to bring a 'class-style' group action claim to court – he is lead solicitor in the VW NOx Emissions claim in which Thompsons is representing more than 2,000 claimants.

Following the lifting of the time-bar which prevented survivors of historic child abuse from making claims through the civil courts, Patrick has worked with survivors who experienced abuse in a number of different settings, including while participating in youth football and while in the care of children's homes run by religious orders and local authorities.


It is Patrick's long-held view that the law does not always hold the answers to all legal issues and whenever he feels the law is questionable, unclear, or does not serve the public as it should, he feels it is his duty to campaign for change.

He has been actively involved in the campaign for a review of the country's civil justice system. He has also been a key adviser to the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and many of the country's largest trade unions in relation to the important issue of corporate homicide. In recognition of this fact, Patrick was appointed as the STUC's legal adviser to the panel of experts set up by the Justice Minister, Cathy Jamieson, to consider the issue of corporate killing in Scotland. He also serves on the law Society of Scotland's Access to Justice committee.

Find out more about Patrick's campaigning and how he has effected legal change on his Wikipedia page. In the video below, Patrick speaks about his role as a personal injury solicitor in Scotland and why he enjoys working at Thompsons. He explains why he feels claiming compensation from negligent parties is necessary and just, and describes his pride in working on cases which help to change legislation and government policy.

Patrick recognises that each client's claim for justice and redress is likely to be one of the most important issues in their life and he is therefore 100% committed to ensuring they receive a 100% dedicated service from Thompsons. This service puts the client at the centre of the case and aims to make sure the client is able to receive the fullest compensation possible as just recompense for their injuries.

For his individual clients, Patrick aims to ensure that they receive a dedicated, professional and personal service.

Patrick McGuire in the press

Patrick frequently appears in the press and on TV and Radio news media. Some of Patrick's interviews have gained tens of thousands of views and his commentary regularly features in major news articles relating to high-profile cases of Historic Child abuse, the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the vaginal mesh implant scandal, Scottish court backlogs during the coronavirus pandemic and many, many more.


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