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Susanne Tanner KC (Scot)

Call 2000 (Scot); 2019 (E&W) • KC 2016 (Scot)

"Susanne is a highly skilled litigator both at first instance and in appellate matters, who is comfortable in front of a jury, is always thoroughly prepared and has a keen eye for detail."

Criminal Regulatory & Environmental

Susanne is an experienced criminal litigator, holding an appointment as an Advocate Depute (High Court prosecutor) to the Lord Advocate, Scotland’s senior Law Officer. In that role, she has prosecuted numerous high profile and complex High Court trials for murder, fraud, conspiracy, death by dangerous driving, serious and organised crime, rape and other serious sexual offences. She is a specialised sexual offences prosecutor.

She has also acted as defence counsel in High Court trials for murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and serious sexual offences.

She is adept at dealing with vulnerable witnesses in court.

In appellate work, she has appeared for the Crown in the Supreme Court and the High Court of Justiciary Appeal Court (Scotland) for both the Crown and defence.

She was instructed in the only modern Bill of Criminal Letters to the High Court of Justiciary Appeal Court seeking authority to bring a private prosecution on behalf of the families of two young ladies who were killed by a driver who passed out at the wheel of his car and collided with them.

She has been appointed as a Legally Qualified Chair by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). In this role, she will chair panels with social service and lay members to decide whether social service workers’ fitness to practise is impaired. Her appointment has increased the work that she undertakes in the regulatory field.

She is a part-time lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in criminal law and the law of evidence.

Selected Cases


  • O’Neill v HM Adv 2013 S.C. (U.K.S.C.) 266 – Supreme Court. Instructed for the Crown. The court determined the date two appellants had been charged with murder, for the purpose of their right to a trial within a reasonable time under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6(1); and the compatibility with their art.6(1) right to a trial before an independent and impartial tribunal of a decision to proceed with the trial following adverse comments made by the trial judge regarding their character.
  • Stewart v Payne 2017 J.C. 155 – represented the families of Ms Convy and Ms Stewart in their “Bill of Criminal Letters” application to the High Court of Justiciary Appeal Court to bring a private prosecution against the driver who killed them after becoming unconscious at the wheel of his vehicle and colliding with them.

First instance

  • HMA v Baxter, Kirton and Cameron (2017). High Court trial. Senior Counsel (Advocate Depute) for the Crown. Multiple charges including armed robbery, and Road Traffic Act offences.
  • Cemetery client (2015). Civil health and safety advisory work (leader) for board of directors of cemetery in relation to potential liability for accidents on the premises.
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  • LLB (Hons) First Class Hons, University of Edinburgh (1996)
  • Dip LP, University of Edinburgh (1997)
  • Lord Reid Scholarship, Faculty of Advocates (2000)
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2019)
  • Diploma in Advanced Trial Skills, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, 2011
  • Advocate Depute (High Court Prosecutor), Crown Office, Scotland – 2011-ongoing
  • First-tier Tribunal chair (legal member) – Housing and Property Chamber (2016-)
  • First-tier Tribunal chair (legal member) – Health and Education Chamber (2018-)
  • Lecturer, LLM in Sexual Offending and the Law, University of Edinburgh
  • Lecturer, Criminal Law, Delict (Tort) and the Law of Evidence, LLB, University of Edinburgh
  • Stable Director (Head of Chambers), Ampersand Advocates, Scotland, 2019-
  • Board Member, Faculty Services Limited, 2019-
  • Executive Editor of Green’s Scottish Education Manual, Thomson Reuters, 2014-


  • Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Global Ambassador for the Scottish Arbitration Centre
  • Member of the Faculty of Advocates’ Dispute Resolution Service (Arbitration)
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Member of Women in Law Scotland
  • Member of Women in the Law UK
  • Member of ‘Spaces for Voices’ (a network for gender equality in law)


“Susanne is a great advocate who doesn’t miss a trick.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

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