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United Kingdom > Scottish Bar > Civil liberties, human rights, public inquiries, and public and administrative law (including local government) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

  1. 1
    • Ruth Crawford QC - Axiom AdvocatesShe gives careful and considered advice in public procurement matters.
    • James Findlay QC - Terra Firma ChambersThorough, approachable and good with clients.
    • Mark Lindsay QC - Axiom AdvocatesVery experienced in a wide range of public and administrative law matters.
    • Aidan O'Neill QC - Ampersand AdvocatesIntellectually impressive and creative in his approach to dealing with issues of public law.
    • Douglas Ross QC - Ampersand AdvocatesHighly intelligent and tenacious, with good common sense
    • Morag Ross QC - Axiom AdvocatesCombines a sharp intellect with a measured approach and first-rate written and oral presentation skills.
  2. 2
    • Dorothy Bain QC - Ampersand AdvocatesHighly recommended for civil liberties work.
    • Jonathan Barne QC - Axiom AdvocatesA swaggering and debonair presence in the courtroom.
    • Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC - Westwater AdvocatesA notable figure in complex judicial review petitions.
    • David Johnston QC - Axiom AdvocatesParticularly recommended for legal opinions on complex public law matters.
    • Kenny McBrearty QC - Axiom AdvocatesDiligent and knowledgeable in civil liberties work.
    • Jonathan Mitchell QC - Arnot Manderson AdvocatesHis practice includes high-profile judicial reviews.
    • James Mure QC - Axiom AdvocatesHis practice includes both advisory and litigation work in public law cases.
    • Stephen O'Rourke QC - Terra Firma ChambersA good communicator and a confident advocate.
    • Janys Scott QC - Westwater AdvocatesShe has a real depth of knowledge, as well as excellent preparation and delivery.
    • Andrew Webster QC - Hastie StableInstructed on a wide range of public law and human rights matters.

Leading Juniors

  1. 1
    • Scott Blair - Terra Firma ChambersHe has strong analytical and communication skills.
    • Ewen Campbell - Axiom AdvocatesVery bright, with a good eye for detail.
    • Lesley Irvine - Axiom AdvocatesKnowledgeable, pragmatic and meticulous.
    • David Welsh - Axiom AdvocatesIntellectually impressive and unflappable in court.
    • Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen - Ampersand AdvocatesA first-class legal mind who deals well with complicated cases.
  2. 2
    • Alasdair Burnet - Terra Firma ChambersHis practices includes judicial reviews and major public inquiries.
    • Dan Byrne - Axiom AdvocatesInstructed in a wide range of public and administrative law cases.
    • Alan Caskie - Hastie StableNoted for his expertise in immigration matters.
    • Julius Komorowski - Terra Firma ChambersFrequently instructed on behalf of the government in public law cases.
    • Stephen Winter - Terra Firma ChambersSpecialises in asylum and immigration matters.
    • Timothy Young - Ampersand AdvocatesTechnically excellent in public procurement matters.

Key areas of work at Ampersand Advocates include EU law, judicial review, and procurement matters. Aidan O’Neill QC recently lead on behalf of the petitioners in Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, an Court of Justice of the European Union case concerning if it was possible for a member state to revoke its notification of intent to leave the European Union under Article 50.

Arnot Manderson Advocates is home to Jonathan Mitchell QC, who is regularly instructed on a wide range of civil liberties and judicial review cases.

According to one client, Axiom Advocates is home to 'the strongest collection of expertise at the Scottish Bar in relation to public law,' with particularly strong expertise at the senior level. Ruth Crawford QC and Ewen Campbell recently acted for the Scottish Ministers in a judicial review challenging the proposed subsidy for ferry services to the Northern Isles. Campbell also acts as junior to Morag Ross QC for one of the defenders in a case concerning £35m of alleged state aid awarded to Global Energy Group.

Hastie Stable is particularly experienced in immigration and asylum cases, along with judicial review and human rights matters. Andrew Webster QC took silk in 2018.

Terra Firma Chambers houses a wide range of advocates specialising in public law cases. Key areas of work include asylum and immigration, judicial review, and public inquiries such as the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, in which Roy Martin QC and Alasdair Burnet act for City of Edinburgh Council.

Westwater Advocates' public law barristers are particularly specialised in complex judicial review cases, with members appearing in Supreme Court cases. Janys Scott QC represented the anonymised benefit claimant in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v MM, a case concerning the calculation of Personal Independence Payment when some impairments are caused by mental health issues rather than physical disabilities. In the Inner House of the Court of Session, Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC represented six farming limited partnerships in the McMaster v the Scottish Ministers concerning the Human Rights Act compatibility of 2014 changes to land law.

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