Kay Springham KC

Year of Call 1999 Year of Silk 2016

"She's so bright, calm, knowledgeable and pragmatic. She's also not afraid to get into court and argue the points."

"Tremendously experienced and very good with clients." - Chambers UK Bar 

Kay is a very pragmatic silk who is always on top of her papers and a pleasure to work with. She is a strong negotiator and effective in court, and her client skills are impressive too.’ - Legal 500

Kay’s main fields of practice are Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, Public Law and Professional Discipline.

Kay accepts instructions for both sides in personal injury and clinical negligence matters. In the personal injury field, her recent practice has included claims for serious head injuries and for catastrophic injuries, fatal claims, historic abuse cases, stress at work claims and accidents at work, including industrial diseases. In clinical negligence, Kay has experience in various areas, but particularly in birth injuries.

In the area of public law, Kay had a wide public law practice as a Standing Junior then Second Standing Junior for the Scottish Ministers. Since taking silk, she has continued to act on behalf of government, but also on behalf of those challenging government and other public bodies. She has a particular interest in human rights and equality issues, having obtained a post-graduate qualification in human rights in Strasbourg prior to coming to the Bar.

In the regulatory and disciplinary context, Kay has advised on and represented solicitors in disciplinary matters, both before the Scottish Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and the Inner House of the Court of Session. She was appointed as amicus curiae to the Supreme Court in an appeal by a pharmacist. Kay also has experience of determining complaints, having been a Board member of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission for 5 years (2016-2021) She is a legal chair of the Fitness to Practice Panels of the Scottish Social Services Council (which regulates social workers and social care workers). She is Chair of the Appeals Tribunal of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.



Representative Cases

A v XY Limited 2021 SLT 399

Alleged historic rape of female school pupil by assistant teacher. Acting for Defender, arguing substantial prejudice were action allowed to proceed. Court accepted there would be substantial prejudice due to the change in the law of vicarious liability post - Lister v Hesley Hall, but considered pursuer's interest in pursuing proceedings outweighed that prejudice.  First decision on new limitation provisions on childhood abuse which considered whether change in law of vicarious liability post - Lister could constitute substantial prejudice.

Grubb v Finlay (2017) CSOH 81

Minor RTA allegedly causing chronic pain disorder - proof and motion to dismiss case on basis of "fundamental dishonesty".

David T Morrison Ltd v ICL 2014 SC (UKSC) 222 

Whether action raised more than 5 years after explosion damaging property had prescribed – correct interpretation of s 11 (3) of the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973.

Fair Play for Women v Scottish Ministers 2022 SLT 300

Acting for Equality Network – sought and obtained permission to intervene in judicial review petition. Petition brought in relation to the Scottish census question on ‘sex’ and the proposed guidance to transexual persons on how to answer that question. Represented intervener in written submissions covering legal arguments based on equality and human rights grounds.

Avaaz Foundation v Scottish Ministers 2021 SLT 1063

Judicial review of Scottish Ministers’ failure to seek an unexplained wealth order in relation to Donald Trump and his acquisition of various golf courses in Scotland. Acting for petitioner in permission hearing – whether the time limit should be extended, having regard to the importance of the legal questions raised.

X v Judicial Office Holder 2022 SLT 157

Judicial review of decision of Tribunal into fitness for office of a Sheriff. Sheriff alleged to have sexually assaulted petitioner. Petitioner alleging flaws in process of investigation of complaint which led to case against Sheriff being dismissed. Acting for the Lord Advocate who intervened in the proceedings in order to represent the public interest.

Khan v General Pharmaceutical Council [2016] UKSC 64 

Appointed as amicus curiae – professional regulators’ powers of sanction – whether it (or Inner House) had erred in law – whether sanction imposed was excessive and disproportionate.

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