Christine O'Neill is Chairman of Brodies LLP and a recognised expert on public and constitutional law issues in Scotland. She is, uniquely in Scotland, rated by Chambers and Partners as a Star Individual in administrative and public law and is also ranked in Band 1 for parliamentary and public affairs. Her hallmark is developing strong client relationships in the public and private sectors and providing clear, practical advice.
Christine advises clients on legislation and statutory interpretation, the powers and duties of public bodies including the Scottish Parliament, and freedom of information laws and data protection. She acts for a range of Scottish and UK clients including BBC Scotland, the Gambling Commission, the Scottish Courts Service, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and a range of local authorities.
Recognised for her experience and expertise in handling litigation, Christine is regularly instructed in judicial reviews, statutory appeals and public inquiries. She currently leads the team acting for the Scotch Whisky Association and European drinks producers in their challenge to the Scottish Parliament's legislation on minimum pricing of alcohol.
A graduate of the University of Glasgow and of Harvard Law School, Christine is an accredited mediator and a solicitor advocate. Since 2009 she has been a member of the Scottish Government's panel of Standing Junior counsel and has represented the Government in the Court of Session and Sheriff Court in cases involving public procurement, children's hearings, legal aid and human rights. She is currently instructed by the Government in the defence of an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the 'named person' provisions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
Christine led Brodies' Public Law & Regulation team until 2013, when she was elected Chairman of the firm. She works closely with Bill Drummond, Managing Partner of Brodies, in contributing to the continued success of Brodies through her membership of the firm's strategic board. As Chairman her responsibilities also include representing the partnership internally and externally, communicating the values of the firm, upholding professional standards and supporting the personal well-being of her colleagues.
She is acclaimed for her "excellent ability to articulate complex legal issues to a lay audience" as well as for being "a skilled litigator who is focused and direct." Chambers & Partners 2015