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 Public, Administrative & Constitutional Law

Public, Administrative & Constitutional Law

Our public, administrative and constitutional law specialists work with our many clients who grapple, on a daily basis, with a constantly changing and developing legal, commercial and political landscape. The advice we give our clients regularly requires us to examine whether a proposed approach or decision taken is lawful and to represent those clients in cases where grey areas and the boundaries of the law are examined and tested.


Our services

  • Advising on the interpretation and application of legislation, statutory and regulatory regimes, guidance and case law;
  • Engaging with public bodies and regulators on public and administrative law decisions;
  • Representing clients in disputes arising from the exercise of public functions, including where state authorities are challenged.

Harper Macleod’s public, administrative and constitutional law team is one of the leading practices of its kind in Scotland. As a firm, we are politically neutral, so do not take up political positions. We act for clients in central and local government, public bodies, regulatory and regulated bodies, commercial, third sector and individuals, bringing this rounded experience, insight and 360 degree perspective to the bespoke advice and representation we provide to each of our clients.

We provide guidance, advice, support and representation to our clients when they are navigating complex public, administrative and constitutional law issues. Our team advises clients at both strategic and operational levels. Many of the issues we engage with our clients on have a political angle and are subject to intense public and media scrutiny, in a constantly changing landscape. We always act with the utmost discretion and objectivity and work actively with our clients to manage risk and reputational issues. The work we do has led to us building well-respected professional-adviser relationships with those working in government, policy makers and shapers (including political parties and lobbying groups), as well as interacting day-to-day with commercial operators and individuals engaging with (and sometimes looking to challenge decisions of) the state. Our experienced and well-respected lawyers advise on legal and regulatory issues. Our extensive network means we have the ability to identify practical and inventive solutions to help our clients address the issues they face.

We regularly advise our clients in litigation, from Judicial Review challenges and Statutory Appeals to large-scale public inquiries. Our public law disputes team handle cases throughout Scotland, in tribunals, Sheriff Courts and the Court of Session. We have also represented clients at the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union and Competition Appeals Tribunal.

Our public, administrative and constitutional law disputes team is led by Partner Jennifer Jack, one of the leaders in her field, who deals with court challenges and disputes, undertakes investigations and provides representation at public inquiries. Our advisory team is led by Partner James McMorrow, also a leader in his field, who regularly advises clients on complex, high-value and high-profile projects, regulatory and governance issues and compliance with statutory obligations. Between them, Jennifer and James ensure that a seamless and fully-integrated advisory and representation service is provided to our clients.

Our team provides advice and representation in courts in relation to a wide-range of functions of the state, including: public procurement; competition law and subsidy control; planning and environmental issues (including climate change obligations); social housing and homelessness; asylum and immigration; education; healthcare; equalities, human rights and civil liberties; administrative decision-making; and data protection, freedom of information and environmental information laws. We also advise and assist clients in dealing with regulatory compliance, governance issues and investigations.

“Jennifer makes difficult work look easy. She’s got a steady and unthwartable quality, meaning that in the face of immense pressure she has the ability to keep a well-guided hand on things.”

Legal 500 2023


  • Judicial reviews and statutory appeals
  • Parliamentary and public affairs
  • Legislative drafting
  • Parliamentary advice and support
  • Statutory interpretation
  • Local government practice
  • Civil liberties and human rights


Meet the team

Our team of specialists has an in-depth experience of public inquiries, and advising clients to protect their interests and reputations.


“Jennifer makes difficult work look easy. She’s got a steady and unthwartable quality, meaning that in the face of immense pressure she has the ability to keep a well-guided hand on things.” “Jennifer always provides excellent advice appropriate to our organisation.” “She is a trusted and incredibly reliable adviser in whom we have complete confidence.” “She is a dedicated and knowledgeable practitioner who is the consumate professional.”

– Chambers UK 2023

“Calum is one to watch and he has a stellar career ahead of him.” “He is emotionally intelligent and a pleasure to work with.” “Calum works really hard, and has excellent analytical skills and attention to detail.”

– Chambers UK 2023

“She is a leading light in the human rights world.”

– Chambers UK 2023

“Calum is really efficient and easy to deal with.” “Calum provides an excellent service.”

– Chambers UK 2023

“Jennifer always provides excellent advice.” “She is a good public law litigator who is very good and capable at what she does.”

– Chambers UK 2023



Glasgow Edinburgh Inverness Elgin Thurso Shetland
Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.

Speak to us today on 0330 159 5555

Get in touch


Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.