Leading Silks

Garry Borland QC - Axiom Advocates 'Garry is widely recognised as one of the brightest commercial QCs in Scotland. His key strengths are in his clarity of thought and his ability to convince those he is addressing of the strength and undeniable logic of whatever argument he is advancing.'
Roddy Dunlop QC - Axiom Advocates 'A stand-out silk for commercial and professional negligence work.'
Roisin Higgins QC - Axiom Advocates 'Roisin has excellent knowledge on IP matters and recovery of documentary evidence.  She brings a clarity of thought and attention to detail in all aspects of her work. '
Roddy McIlvride QCTerra Firma ChambersVery persuasive in court and economical with his arguments - this means everything he does say is measured and compelling.
Steven Walker QC – Themis AdvocatesSteven is a formidable advocate, who exercises exceptional strategic judgement in international litigation. His cross examination style is concise and precise, and he executes it like a skilled surgeon.
Andrew Webster QC – Themis AdvocatesHe has a no-nonsense approach to things. In court he is able to put forward his position in a refreshingly concise way.'
Jonathan Barne QC – Axiom AdvocatesJonathan has a very measured, considered approach, which works well with clients and is also well received in court. A pragmatic, quick thinker with an excellent working knowledge of Scots commercial law.
Mark Lindsay QC – Axiom AdvocatesMark has a great eye for detail and a fantastic manner with the court, clients and the opposition, but his real strength lies in his ability to break down information and make complex legal, technical and evidential issues understandable to the fact finder, allowing him to challenge the real issues in dispute.
Kenneth McBrearty QC - Axiom Advocates 'He has hugely impressive advocacy skills and is able to articulate a focused, persuasive and well considered response / submission, in relation to even the toughest of points. A silk who is fearless in his representation of clients.'
Iain G Mitchell QC - Arnot Manderson Advocates 'A leader in legal issues concerning open source technology, and one of the world-leading authorities on it and public sector.'
Stephen O’Rourke QC - Terra Firma Chambers 'Exceptionally good at dealing with clients in difficult sets of circumstances - he has a hands-on style which gives confidence in his engagement with the case.'
Morag Ross QC – Axiom AdvocatesMorag is an extremely able silk.  She is very client and solicitor friendly, highly respected by the court, and always extremely thorough and well prepared.  She gives the client an eloquent and persuasive voice in court. She would be my first choice as a public law silk.’

2020 Silks

John MacGregor QCAxiom Advocates ‘John is one of the stars of the commercial Bar in Scotland. He is meticulous in his preparation, incisive in his execution of advocacy and always retains the ear of the court.’
Paul O’Brien QCAxiom AdvocatesPaul’s attention to detail and encyclopedic knowledge of the law is unrivalled at the Scottish Bar. He is tactically astute and has the ear of the Court.

2021 Silks

Duncan Hamilton QC – Arnot Manderson AdvocatesAn excellent advocate who solicitors go back to time and time again for media law. He is reliable and thorough, and can be relied upon to fight in court when that is required.’
Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen QCAmpersand AdvocatesA busy and very capable advocate, quick to understand complex points and a good team player.

Leading Juniors

Ewen BrownTerra Firma ChambersEwen is a strong and capable advocate. He listens closely to clients and offers pragmatic and clear advice. His drafting is precise and clear, as are his advocacy skills.
Eoghainn MacLean - Ampersand Advocates 'He handles unusual challenges for advocacy very well.'
Susan Ower – Axiom AdvocatesAn accomplished and confident advocate who is respected by the bench. She is very user-friendly, and works well with instructing agents to deliver results for clients.
Chris PatersonAxiom AdvocatesHe is diligent and great on his feet in court. Judges listen to him. An extremely persuasive advocate.'
Usman Tariq – Ampersand AdvocatesUsman is very knowledgeable on all elements of intellectual property work. Excellent on his feet, and has the ear of the court.'
Christopher WilsonAxiom Advocates ‘A very strong technical lawyer whose accountancy training is particularly useful in cases involving financial analysis.
Ewen Campbell - Axiom Advocates 'Very knowledgeable on all areas of commercial law and very painstaking and analytical in his approach to cases. He also has one or two areas of deep specialization such as competition law and intellectual property.'
Brian CrookTerra Firma ChambersBrian’s commercial awareness and business sense is excellent, and he really brings this to the table when providing legal advice.’
Scott Manson – Axiom AdvocatesA first class advocate with an impressive skill set which allows him to analyse even the most complex of cases and to advise promptly in a digestible manner. He is incredibly approachable and friendly, which makes him a pleasure to work with. Clients like him.
David MassaroAxiom AdvocatesA user friendly advocate who delivers excellent pragmatic commercial advice.
Adam McKinlayAxiom AdvocatesIncredibly bright and thorough, he provides actionable and commercial advice and his submissions to the court are invariably sensible, practical and impeccably researched – he can persuade a sceptical judge through his presentation of the arguments.’
Elisabeth Roxburgh - Axiom Advocates 'Elisabeth is a confident advocate. She is always meticulously well-prepared, has excellent technical knowledge and is also extremely personable. She is solutions-focused and practical, and relates well to both clients and instructing solicitors. '
Murray SteelAxiom AdvocatesMurray’s written work is excellent, with an equally strong advocacy style. Clients love him.'
David Turner – Arnot Manderson AdvocatesA fierce litigator who is quick to pick up on challenges or opportunities that arise throughout the lifespan of a case. He can break down complex legal disputes into bite-size, easy to follow, and logical points for clients to consider.'
Gordon Watt - Terra Firma Chambers 'Very focused and quick to respond with clearly expressed advice.'
Helen Watts - Axiom Advocates 'Efficient and capable, she fights her clients' corner.'
David Welsh - Axiom Advocates 'David's skill is in distilling complex legal issues in such a way that they are accessible to both parties and the Court. In both consultations and appearances he is excellent at making clear and succinct points, while remaining mindful of the client's objectives in the litigation.'
Timothy Young - Ampersand Advocates 'Very strong on case analysis, he is excellent at assimilating detail and has a great ability to get the essence of a case down on paper in pleadings and written submissions. '

Rising Stars

Mark Boni – Ampersand AdvocatesIn both his written and oral advocacy, he is measured, careful and precise. Clients like him for his accessible manner and the ease with which he can unpick complicated legal problems.
Michael Way - Ampersand Advocates 'Michael's advocacy skills are beyond his years. Across a large number of cases, he has demonstrated an ability to have the ear of the bench. In advising, Michael also exhibits an understanding of the commercial realities of the client and is able to advise in that context. He is one to watch at the junior Bar.'

Commercial disputes in Scottish Bar

Axiom Advocates

Axiom Advocates' team includes commercial litigators instructed in Scotland’s largest commercial cases, including professional liability matters, company law and challenging banking disputes. Garry Borland QC – also an associate member of 4 Pump Court in London – represented a syndicate of banks in Premier Oil’s scheme of arrangement, while Mark Lindsay QC represented the defender in Derek Macleod v Highland Fuels, a commercial dispute over an alleged joint venture to supply petrol to the Outer Hebrides. Among the junior ranks, Ewen Campbell is notable for his professional negligence expertise, as is Elisabeth Roxburgh in the company law space. The stable includes a number of notable arbitrators, including Lord Glennie, who served in the Inner House of the Court of Session until December 2020. In October 2021 Euan Duthie QC was appointed to the Perth Sheriff Court.

Testimonials

Stables

Axiom Advocates is, in my view, the strongest stable of commercial litigators and I often instruct a range of the advocates due to their skill sets, experience and commercial focus.’

‘Axiom is the go-to stable for professional indemnity matters. There are a number of excellent advocates and QCs who specialise in professional indemnity. I have found them all to be commercial and accessible. Axiom provides various training sessions and holds events of interest to solicitors in this field.

‘Axiom has strength in depth in commercial disputes of all types, and is particularly well resourced with senior counsel and senior juniors.’

Axiom has a strong pool of advocates for commercial law. It always has someone available to meet your needs. The advocates are very professional and experts in their particular field. ‘

Axiom is considered by many to be the go-to stable for commercial advocates in Scotland. There is a certain security in knowing that if an advocate is needed at short notice – and those who are already tried and trusted aren’t available – you won’t get anything other than a top-drawer advocate from Axiom.

Clerking

All the clerks are friendly and helpful, though simply because the nature of our work, again we deal most often with Axiom, and Lesley Flynn there particularly whose standards are particularly high.

The clerks are very responsive.  I particularly like working with Cheryl Wilson.  If there are issues with availability and rates, Cheryl will pick up the phone to discuss rather than sending an email.

The clerks are quick to respond to e-mails and generally easy to deal with.  They are very knowledgeable when it comes to seeking their opinion on appropriate advocates to instruct for particular matters.

The stable is very professionally run by clerks who know their members well and are able to offer advice on suitable counsel depending on the nature/value of the dispute.

The service is always of a high level. The clerks are very proactive and are always quick to respond. There is a definitely a focus on service and attention to detail which is much appreciated. I get the impression that Lesley Flynn runs a very well-ordered stable.

Ampersand Advocates

Ampersand Advocates is home to a team of civil litigation advocates adept at advising on a range of commercial disputes and IP/TMT-related work. Unled, Eoghainn MacLean represented Rangers in its dispute with the SPFL as to the termination of the 2019-20 season. Elsewhere in the stable, Paul Reid has notable expertise in professional negligence work, while Usman Tariq continues to excel in technology-related work – in one matter, he acted for Sony concerning leaked images, originally hacked in Scotland, of then-upcoming AAA video game The Last of Us 2. Recent news includes the elevation of Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen QC to silk in the 2021 round; Craig Sandison QC (as was) is now a Senator of the College of Justice; and Dorothy Bain QC was appointed Lord Advocate (the chief legal officer of the Holyrood government).

Testimonials

Stable

‘I have the highest regard for Ampersand as a stable. Interacting with all members of chambers, I have the sense I was dealing with advocates at the top of their game, in terms of their grip on the law and sheer insight.’

‘I only use commercial litigation advocates as that is the focus of my practice, but in so far as Ampersand offers commercial litigation advocates, they generally have a range of possible candidates of varying levels of experience.’

‘Ampersand as a stable is, in my view, second to none in Scotland for breadth of expertise. The advocates at the stable cover a broad range of knowledge and advocacy styles. The clerks are always able to recommend suitable counsel and are willing to help in any way they can. Their extra-curricular programme of events such as CPD sessions are genuinely informative and helpful to practitioners.’

Clerking

‘They provide a fantastic service, a quick response to our questions, and good advice on alternatives within different price ranges. Sheena Hume is very easy to deal with and responsive by phone and email, and is very clearly in close discussion with the advocates.’

‘Ampersand are an extremely impressive stable with highly efficient and personable clerks. Alan Moffat leads a great team of clerks. Most of my contact recently has been with Kathryn Ferguson who is always able to assist.

‘Extremely helpful in identifying alternative counsel on occasion when new counsel has had to takeover the instruction. There has been no disruption to the preparation of cases and other senior counsel have plainly been able to grasp the issues no doubt because of the stellar work of the clerk in communicating the key details about the case.’

‘Alan Moffat is very approachable and goes out of his way to provide assistance. He is one of, if not the, best clerk at the Scottish Bar to work with on a case. ‘

‘Very efficient and helpful.’