Clara Smeaton

Year of Call
Devil Masters
Rosemary Guinnane
David Nicolson
Dan Byrne
Grant Markie

Contact 07977 704237

Practice Profile

Clara called to the Bar as the Lord Reid Scholar for 2022.

Clara trained as a solicitor at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. She worked in busy local courts across Scotland for a total of three years. After qualifying as a solicitor, Clara worked in the jury trials team, and the domestic abuse prosecution team at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Clara also worked on extradition cases whilst at the COPFS.

Clara was seconded to work at Eurojust in The Hague, The Netherlands, where she was the COPFS representative and assisted on cases involving mutual legal assistance and the transborder prosecution of organised criminal groups.

In 2019, Clara began working in immigration and asylum law. She gained extensive experience in asylum and human rights appeals at the First-tier Tribunal. Clara frequently instructed Counsel in appeals to the Upper Tribunal and judicial reviews and worked on stopping removals and deportations from the UK.

Latterly, Clara worked for Burness Paull LLP (ranked Tier 1 for immigration in the Legal 500), on complex post-Brexit European Union applications and appeals, corporate immigration applications, and Appendix FM appeals to the First-tier and Upper Tribunals.

Clara has a particular interested in appellate work, both in immigration and criminal cases.

Education & Professional Career to Date

Before studying law, Clara worked as an English teacher and a translator in Spain. As a lawyer, Clara trained at the COPFS and worked as a procurator fiscal depute for a further two years after qualifying as a solicitor. Clara then began working in immigration and asylum law, at Jones Whyte, McGill and Co, and Burness Paull.


  • Trustee of the Scottish Legal Action Group (ScoLAG). (2023–present)
  • Faculty of Advocate's FSLU Committee Member (2023–present)
  • Scottish Junior Bar Association Committee Member (2023–present)

Publications & Seminars

20 June 2023 – “The Illegal Migration Bill: the end of human rights for Migrants?” talk for AM Advocates

29 June 2022 – “The Rwanda Policy, and the UK Bill of Rights” – talk for Lawyers Without Borders

Additional Information

Prior to studying law, Clara obtained a Master of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies and Music. Clara lived and studied in Spain and Portugal. She speaks fluent Spanish and conversational Portuguese.