Our Team



Ian H. Cruickshank- LL.B(Hons), Dip.LP, NP

Our founding partner is a solicitor advocate with extended rights of audience in the High Court of Justiciary. Having spent over 25 years working in the legal profession, Ian has extensive experience in all criminal matters, having represented clients charged with crimes ranging from murder to traffic offences.

Ian  also has wide and varied experience in civil litigation in the Sheriff Court.  He is on the panel of Curators Ad Litem providing reports for the assistance of the Court at Elgin.  In addition, he is one of only a few Scottish solicitors with experience representing military personnel in courts martial proceedings in venues throughout Scotland, England and Germany.

Ian is a former council member of the Law Society of Scotland.  He continues to be a member of several Law Society Committees. Presently, he is the Convener of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland.

He has written a number of articles published in legal journals on a range of topics.

Published articles include:-

  1. Article entitled “The Development of Reckless Injury – Small Step or Giant Leap” published in The Scottish Law Gazette 1994, page 46.
  2. Article entitled “Out for Blood – The Crown’s right to seek samples for forensic analysis” published in The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland 1996, page 179.
  3. Article entitled “Do not Cross” (disclosure in criminal proceedings) published in JLSS October 2011, page 18.
  4. Article entitled “But you said…” (prior witness statements) published in JLSS April 2012, page 16.
  5. Practice Note on Prior Statements published in JLSS February 2014, page 25.

Our founding partner is a tenacious and motivated lawyer who has a proven track record of representing clients effectively and successfully.


Matthew D. O’Neill – BA, LL.B (Hons) Dip.LP NP

Matthew graduated from The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in May 2008 and carried out his training with a large, award winning Aberdeen firm. During his traineeship he was provided with invaluable experience within the criminal department at that firm and from that date onwards his main focus has been the criminal courts.

Matthew became a Partner with the Cruickshank Law Practice in February 2014 having returned to his home area in joining the Practice in June 2010. He represents clients in a wide range of criminal matters ranging from serious High Court matters including rape, sexual assaults and serious drug matters to Road Traffic cases in the Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Courts and everything in between. He has gained significant experience appearing in Sheriff & Jury trials and he has forged a winning reputation in these matters at trial. His preparation for trial, honest assessment of cases and approachability receives regular positive comment from clients and colleagues.

Aware of the constant changing nature of the legal world, Matthew regularly attends at continuing professional development events to ensure that clients benefit from up to the minute legal advice and representation. He is happy to accept instruction in all criminal matters.


We have a number of qualified paralegals who support and assist our qualified lawyers.  Michelle Donaldson assists in her capacity as a paralegal qualified in criminal law.  Jayne Bell holds paralegal qualifications in domestic conveyancing and Rachael Colville has considerable experience in progressing and assisting in the completion of conveyancing transactions.

Jayne Bell

Jayne Bell has been with The Cruickshank Law Practice since 2002.  She has over 24 years experience of working in solicitors offices.  She ensures the smooth running of the cashroom and oversees all matters in relation to this.  She is SOLAS qualified and also has Paralegal Qualification in Residential Conveyancing.  Jayne regularly assists with Executry work.


Michelle Donaldson

Michelle has been with the practice since 1999.  She has experience in all matters undertaken by the practice.  She has a Specialist Paralegal certificate in Criminal Law, which she achieved in 2009.  She regularly accompanies clients attending for Viper proceedings.  She also assists Mr Cruickshank and Counsel whilst attending at High Court cases.


Rachel Colville

Rachael started with The Cruickshank Law Practice in 2007.  She started off as a receptionist/junior typist.  She has now worked her way up to being a Secretary for Ian Cruickshank and Matthew O’Neill. She has experience in assisting and progressing conveyancing transactions and all criminal matters.