Hugh Olson

Year of Call
Devil Masters
Frances J McMenamin KC
Iain WF Ferguson KC
Peter A Grant-Hutchison

Contact 0131 260 5824 (Practice Manager)

Practice Profile

Hugh is ranked in four practice areas by Legal 500.

• Property, construction and agriculture leading juniors
2014 “A reliable source of clear and pragmatic advice in relation to property disputes”
2015 “A first-rate lawyer”
2016 “Experienced in property and construction disputes”
2017 "Recommended for property disputes"

• Civil liberties, human rights, public inquiries, and public and administrative law - leading juniors
2015 “A first rate lawyer who combines a deep understanding of legal processes with a sharp eye”
2016 “He has an excellent grasp of practicalities and a sound understanding of legal principles”
2017 "A dexterous advocate"

• Personal injury, medical negligence and professional negligence
2015 “At the top of the junior tree”
2016 “Professional, approachable and easy to deal with”
2017 "Very personable and easy to work with"

• Employment
2016 “He is measured, immensely hardworking and good with clients”
2017 "Experienced across a range of employment matters"

Hugh has a broad commercial and civil practice specialising in commercial, employment and public law litigation. His commercial and employment cases have included claims arising out of the purchase of a football club, defamation of product, company disputes, disputes with directors and termination of employment, minority shareholdings, discrimination, director disqualification, commercial leases and construction disputes. In public law, as a standing junior Hugh is instructed by the UK Government, and the Scottish Government. He is also instructed by local authorities and other public bodies. He has acted for the DVLA in numerous Fatal Accident Inquiries. He has also acted in cases involving a midwife's right of conscientious objection to abortion, roads, contempt of court, confidentiality of public health and marine accident investigations, privacy, immigration and social security.

He is a trained mediator and has acted as a mediator in disputes between a commercial cleaning company and a provider of cleaning supplies and services, between parties that had a lengthy personal and business relationship that turned sour, and a bank and a customer who had guaranteed company debts.

He has been involved in mediations in the areas of partnership, professional negligence, employment and commercial disputes. Hugh is a member of the Faculty Dispute Resolution Service.

Hugh became the Director of the Faculty of Advocate's Training & Education programme on 1st July 2021.

Education & Professional Career to Date


LLB (Hons); Diploma in Legal Practice


  • General Standing Junior to the Advocate General for Scotland (2021–present)
  • Director of Training and Education, Faculty of Advocates (2021–present)
  • Deputy Traffic Commissioner for Scotland (part time) (2017–present)
  • Standing Junior to the Ministry of Defence (2012 –2021)
  • General Standing Junior to the Advocate General for Scotland (2009–2012)
  • Standing Junior to the Department of Transport (2005–2009)
  • Ad hoc Advocate Depute (2011 –present)
  • Assistant Director of Training and Education, Faculty of Advocates (1998 –2000)
  • Instructor, Faculty of Advocates Training Programme (1999 –present)
  • Member of Faculty Council (1996–1998)
  • Member of Dean’s Council (1997–2011)
  • Member, Training and Admissions Committee, Faculty of Advocates (1998–2011)
  • Secretary, Advocates Human Rights Law Group (2000–2002)
  • Member, Faculty of Advocates Equal Treatment Working Group (2000–2001)
  • Secretary, Faculty of Advocates Personal Injury Law Group (2002–2004)
  • Steering Committee Member, Faculty of Advocates Free Legal Services Unit (2003–present)
  • Member, Faculty of Advocates Investigating Committee panel (2004–present)
  • Member, South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee (medical research) (2004–present)

Selected Cases

Publications & Seminars

Advocacy skills training for Northern Irish Bar Council: newly called barristers course (November 2010, January 2011, February 2011); instructor training course (April 2011); and advanced advocacy course (August 2012 & March 2013)

Advocacy skills training for solicitors

Arnot Manderson Advocacy Skills Workshop in association with SYLA (November 2011, 2012 & 2013)


Recommended in The Legal 500 UK Bar Guide since 2014

Recommended in Chambers & Partners 2024 - Employment

Additional Information

Faculty of Advocates Instructor in Advocacy Skills Training (1999–present)
NITA certificates in teaching advocacy skills: Harvard (2000), Boulder (2003)
CORE-accredited mediator (2002)
Member of Faculty Dispute Resolution Service