Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

United Kingdom > Scottish Bar > Market overview > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Advocates in Scotland are governed by the Faculty of Advocates, an independent professional body housing more than 400 members, the majority of which have an affiliation with one of nine stables, although there are some members who have no stable affiliation, referred to as non-clerking members of faculty. The faculty provides a framework for the stables to coexist and acts as a regulatory body for the advocates. Stables have historically been named after their chief clerks, although this convention is changing, with five of the nine stables no longer being branded in such a fashion. The most recent of these changes took place upon the retirement of Banny Mackinnon, whose formerly eponymous stable is now known as Optimum Advocates. Clerking teams are generally smaller than in England and Wales, while the stables themselves also generally house fewer advocates than comparable non-boutique offerings south of the border. Marketing and self-promotion also tends to be handled at an internal level. Glasgow-based Optimum Advocates' and Black Chambers’ core expertise lie in mainstream criminal law, and both draw upon this key strength to act for clients in other matters such as health and safety prosecutions and fatal accident inquiries. Arnot Manderson Advocates and Hastie Stable also have expertise in criminal law, as well as civil disciplines. Other stables cover a broad spectrum of practice areas, often with one or more key areas of specialisation. For example, Terra Firma Chambers is particularly notable in planning law; Westwater Advocates is renowned for its strong family contingent; Compass Chambers has deep strength in clinical negligence and personal injury work; while Axiom Advocates has a great reputation in commercial litigation. Other areas such as public law are more evenly contested, though members of Ampersand Advocates has been instructed on several of the year’s most prominent cases in this area. The Scottish courts have seen two of the year’s most important constitutional and public law cases of recent times. In Andy Wightman MSP and others v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU , Scottish judges in the Court of Session were asked to consider whether the UK government could unilateral revoke Article 50; the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) eventually ruling that such a decision was possible. The other Brexit-related case of note is Jolyon Maugham QC's Good Law Project's challenge (Ampersand Advocates' and Matrix Chambers' Aidan O’Neill QC instructed) to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue the UK parliament ahead of the 31 October 2019 Brexit deadline; in September 2019, Scottish appeal court judges declared the prime minister's decision to suspend parliament to be unlawful. Maugham QC and Scottish National party MP Joanna Cherry QC have since launched a separate legal challenge in Scotland aimed at compelling the prime minister to seek an extension to Article 50.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to