Unless otherwise specified, a Man should allow a Lady to go first. The intention to give way can be confirmed by Taking hands: if the Lady is on the Man's left, he Takes her right hand in his and guides her in front of himself towards his right; if the Lady is on the Man's right, he Takes her left hand in his and guides her in front of himself towards his left. Taking hands in this way is almost always appropriate in a Strathspey, where it adds elegance to the dance; in some Quick tempo Figures, such as Double figures of eight across, it may not be practical.
Precedence must be regarded as a pragmatic solution to a problem of Timing as it arises when an affected Figure occurs in a particular dance. There is no sense that any Dancer or Partner group always takes Precedence over others; even the natural rule of the previous paragraph is broken in a few dances, for example in bars 55-56 of Schiehallion.
Considerations of Precedence also arise with Arches; who should make the Arch and who should go under? See Arches in Figures.