Duncan Hamilton

Year of Call
Devil Masters
Robert Milligan QC
Roddy Dunlop QC
Mathew Jackson


duncanhamilton@amadvocates.co.uk 07971 032150 Check Faculty diary

Practice Profile

Duncan has a busy civil practice, principally focused in the areas of reparation, media, clinical negligence and public law.

Ranked for his expertise in media law by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Ranked as a Band 1 media practitioner by Chambers & Partners, Duncan is instructed regularly on behalf of a range of national newspapers, broadcasters (including the BBC) and high profile individuals. Recently Duncan has appeared in a number of important cases in the area of contempt of court and media coverage of court proceedings.

Duncan has also developed a strong practice in reparation, acting both for individuals and also for insurers. He is regularly engaged in the defence of clinical negligence actions and also in Fatal Accident Inquiries.

In the area of public law, Duncan acts for the Scottish Ministers in matters of judicial review, having been appointed Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government in January 2013.

Education & Professional Career to Date

Bar Traineeship, Simpson & Marwick
Part-time Special Adviser to the First Minister of Scotland (2007–08)
Member of the Scottish Parliament ('MSP'), serving on six Parliamentary Committees including the Justice Committee (1999–2003)

MA (Hons); LLB; Diploma in Legal Practice; Kennedy Scholarship to study at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard


  • Standing Junior to the Scottish Government (2013–present)

Selected Cases

Publications & Seminars

Scots Law for Journalists, Rosalind McInnes (Ed.), contributor to 8th edition

‘The legal implications of the future expansion of the powers of the Scottish Parliament’, Scottish Public Law Group Annual Conference 2010

Seminar, Glasgow University School of Law 2011

‘The Rule of Law, Democracy, Media and Constitutional Change’ – 2012

‘Can the Union Survive?’, Royal Society of Edinburgh seminar, 2012


Duncan is ranked as a Band 1 practitioner by Chambers and Partners 2018. The Chambers Directory says of him:
"He has a sound understanding of the law and a good court presence"

"A very able junior who has an excellent grasp of media law"

Recommended in The Legal 500 in 2016 & 2017
"He has a sharp eye for the issues in a case"
"He wears his considerable intellect with remarkable humility"

Quotes from previous editions of Chambers and Partners:

"He has a media savvy other advocates struggle to match, and has a real gravitas in court"

"He has a good knowledge of the issues and he knows exactly when to argue and when not to."

"An excellent junior, one of the few at the Scottish Bar to have a good deal of media law experience."

“Duncan Hamilton of Arnot Manderson is developing an impressive practice in privacy and defamation law. He has received instructions from a broad range of clients, including broadcasters, newspapers and notable individuals. Sources view him as one to watch in this area.”

“…he has built up a solid reputation for media and privacy disputes, and now represents key media clients such as the BBC. Sources agree that he is 'fluent and persuasive in his oral submissions', and that he exhibits 'a very good knowledge of media law'."