Terry Gallanagh

LLB(Hons), DipLP, DipFMSc, NP
Director

Terry Gallanagh

Terry Gallanagh studied Law at Strathclyde University achieving a LLB 2:1 Honours Degree and subsequent Diploma in Legal Practice. He was also awarded The Diploma in Forensic Medical Science by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London and is a Notary Public. Terry also served as Dean of the Royal Faculty of Procurators of Paisley and played an active role in representing the Legal Profession in Governmental Discussion on issues of Criminal Legal Aid. He is also a Peer Reviewer of other Criminal Defence Practioners on behalf of the Scottish Legal Aid Board to ensure their standard of work is appropriate.

He joined McCusker McElroy & Co in December 1997, having elected to specialise in Criminal Defence work, and rose to become the youngest partner in the firm’s history in April 2000.

During his career Terry has successfully represented thousands of clients in every forum of Scotland’s courts. He has been instrumental in law changing appeals within the Supreme Court and High Court to the Sheriff and District courts. He has appeared in cases from Lerwick to Dumfries and successfully represented people accused of Organised Crime, Murder, Rape, Drug Supply and Importation through to Drug possession, Assault and Road traffic cases.

Terry Gallanagh has gained a reputation as a well respected court practitioner and audacious orator, a tenacious fighter and forensically fierce cross examiner. He has always been respected, within the profession, as a tireless worker in his clients’ interest. He has raised numerous novel legal points bringing success for his clients in unexpected and, on the face of it, hopeless cases.

This success has not gone unnoticed. The press have described Terry Gallanagh as “a pugnacious litigator” and the “Speeding Loophole Lawyer.” He has represented many High Profile Alleged Criminals, Celebrities, Sporting Stars and most telling other members of the Legal Profession, including many lawyers, who have been impressed with his preparation and court presence.

Terry Gallanagh has been instrumental, along with his partner Charlie McCusker, in growing McCusker McElroy & Gallanagh into one of the largest, most successful and high profile Criminal Defence firms in Scotland.

David Nicholson

LLB, GDL, DipLP, NP
Director

David Nicholson

Another graduate from Strathclyde University, David originally joined McCusker McElroy & Gallanagh as a trainee in 2009. Having completed his traineeship with our firm, he qualified in 2011 and became a partner in 2015.

David specialises in all aspects of Criminal Law. He has extensive experience of appearing daily in jurisdictions throughout Scotland representing clients in all manner of criminal cases.

David is a Notary Public and also presently sits on the Royal Faculty of Procurators of Glasgow’s TANQ committee.

Charlie McCusker

BA, LLB, DipLP, NP
Consultant

Charlie McCusker

Charlie graduated from Strathclyde University in 1983. He was a trainee with Tilston MacLaurin in Glasgow from 1983 to 1985. He qualified as a solicitor in 1985. After a year as an assistant solicitor with the same firm he moved to Cockburn & Co in Bridge of Weir as an associate solicitor in 1986. He quickly excelled in this role and was made a partner in 1987. 1987 was the year that Charlie set up in Johnstone, initially based at 8 Rankine Street. The Johnstone based operation grew quickly and soon became the offices of McCusker, Mackie & Co.

In 1997 Charlie joined forces with John McElroy and founded McCusker, McElroy & Co. The firm was immensely successful and quickly moved into two new offices at 61 High Street, Johnstone and 9 St James Street, Paisley where the firm remains to date.

Charlie is renowned for his tenacious approach to court work and his unwavering dedication to clients. He has represented accused in many high profile cases in his 29 years of practice. He is a former Dean of the Royal Faculty of Procurators of Paisley and is a tutor to post graduate students of the Diploma in legal practice at Glasgow University. He has been a tutor since August 2010.

As well as being a skilled lawyer Charlie is a highly regarded philanthropist. He is the founding trustee of the Beanfeast Charity for Children which has donated over £700,000 to many childrens charities including CHAS, Barnardos, Scottish Society for Autism, Task Brazil and Yorkhill Children’s Hospice to name a few. Charlie has personally raised a lot of that sum through various endurance challenges. He has run the Marathon des Sables, the Amazonian Jungle Marathon and swam from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran. He has completed the Norseman (reputedly the hardest Iron Man in the world) and Iron Man Austria. He has completed the West Highland Way Race ( 96 miles ) twice for charity as well as completing various Olympic length triathlons. He is a keen cyclist and is heavily involved in the Scottish Road Racing circuit.

Charlie moved from Director to Consultant in 2018 and remains based in our Johnstone office.

Alastair Gray

LLB(Hons), DipLP, NP
Solicitor Advocate

Alastair Gray

Alastair is a Solicitor Advocate and Notary Public based in our Johnstone office. He studied law at Aberdeen University and graduated in 2008. He thereafter gained his diploma in legal practice in 2009. After a year spent in Canada he joined the firm in 2010 as a trainee. He became a fully qualified solicitor in 2012 and gained rights of audience in the High Court of Justiciary in 2018.

Alastair is renowned by colleagues within the firm and across the country for his meticulous case preparation, forensic attention to detail and immaculate administration. He has prepared and conducted thousands of cases at all levels of prosecution in courts from Wick to Dumfries. He has prepared the defence case in several notable High Court acquittals, in the face of near overwhelming evidence, in drug supply and attempted murder cases respectively. He has been instrumental in many high profile appeal cases including the 2013 full bench decision on the Moorov Doctrine (MR v HMA). He has also gained press recognition for his handling of a Dundee Sheriff Court prosecution under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 in which he successfully argued that a football fan who made a sectarian remark towards a former old firm player did not breach anti-bigotry laws.

Alastair is the firm’s proceeds of crime specialist and has achieved excellent results in this field. He also manages our road traffic defence department. He practices in all aspects and levels of criminal work and criminal court practice with particular interests in High Court cases, appeals, proceeds of crime, road traffic, regulatory defence, extradition and international criminal law.

Waqqas Ashraf

MA(Hons), LLB, DipPLP
Assistant Solicitor

Waqqas Ashraf

Waqqas graduated with a MA (Hons) in Management with Business Law from Heriot Watt University in 2009 and went on to complete his Law degree at Edinburgh University in 2011. He completed his Diploma in Legal Practice in 2012 at Glasgow University and joined McCusker McElroy & Gallanagh that year.

Waqqas was a Winner at the Law Awards of Scotland in 2013 which saw both clients and the profession recognise his work.

Waqqas was instrumental in the 2013 campaign against the Scottish Government in their plans of cutting the legal aid budget. Recognising the potentially grave consequences for the public, Waqqas was a figurehead in the “Protest For Justice” movement which saw campaigns and protests outside the Scottish Parliament.

Waqqas specialises in both Road Traffic Law and Criminal Defence. Hailing from the East Coast, Waqqas reaches out to individuals in need of help in Edinburgh, the Lothians and further afield. He, along with his colleagues, can arrange to meet you at a scheduled place and time across the central belt.

Jackie Jobson

BA, LLB, DipLP, NP
Assistant Solicitor

Jackie Jobson

Jackie joined the firm in 2013 and appears daily in all courts in Scotland. She has prepared the defence in several High Court trials since joining and regularly conducts road traffic pleas, debates and trials in all courts across Scotland.

Gordon Nicol

LLB, NP
Assistant Solicitor

Gordon Nicol

Gordon Nicol graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1976 with a Degree of LL.B. After serving his apprenticeship with Patten & Prentice in Greenock, he qualified as a solicitor in 1978. Gordon also became a Notary Public the same year. Upon qualifying he joined Lyons Laing & Co in Greenock. Gordon rose to become a partner in that firm in 1981, where he remained until setting up his own firm, Gordon Nicol Solicitors in 2001.

Despite being very successful, Gordon closed the firm in 2006 due to personal reasons and joined Blair & Bryden until leaving Scotland to live in the United States between 2008 and 2010. Upon returning home Gordon joined McCusker McElroy & Gallanagh, and has worked here since.

Throughout his legal career Gordon has worked as a criminal defence lawyer, dealing with cases at District Court (JP Court), Sheriff Summary, Sheriff and Jury and High Court level. Gordon has attended most courts from Wick to Dumfries and from Oban to Aberdeen during his 33 years practising law.

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