Axiom Advocates ranked band 1 in construction law by Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018Back to News Listing
THE SET – Construction Law (Band 1)
Axiom Advocates houses what is roundly regarded as the leading group of construction advocates in Scotland. It handles a breadth of work that is unmatched in the region, including some of Scotland's most significant construction and engineering disputes. Cases undertaken by the stable's advocates include contractual disputes and claims of defects, damages and professional negligence, in which they represent both pursuers and defenders from a range of industries. Heavyweight disputes in the energy sector are a particular area of strength; seven members have recently acted in high-profile cases surrounding the collapse of a tunnel at the Glendoe hydroelectric scheme. Instructing solicitors call the stable "the first port of call" for construction.
Client service: Practice manager Lesley Flynn heads up the clerking team. "The clerks are always happy to help, and our experiences with the stable have always run smoothly."
Garry Borland QC
Highly reputed silk with a broad-based practice running the full gamut of construction and engineering. He has acted in some of the most high-profile cases in Scotland, including complex defect and damages claims, and disputes over major city centre developments.
Strengths: "He brings a weight of experience and a speed and accuracy of analysis to the most difficult case which few can match." "He is very organised and efficient, understands clients' needs and is commercially aware."
Recent work: Defended Lagan Building Contractors in a major dispute regarding the construction of a large oil-related facility.
Heriot Currie QC
Hugely experienced senior counsel with an internationally recognised construction practice.
Strengths: "A heavyweight silk, who is an astonishingly able counsel."
Jonathan Lake QC
A leading silk in the Scottish construction market who can boast a history of appearances in the country's most sophisticated and significant cases. He has recently been acting as senior counsel to the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry.
Strengths: "Very good on his feet." "He's excellent: Great with clients and very commercial."
Martin Richardson QC
Widely respected advocate who is recognised for his commercial nous. A regular feature at the Court of Session, he is frequently instructed by top-flight industry players and public sector bodies in high-value construction and engineering disputes.
Strengths: "Martin is one of the most impressive juniors at the Scottish Bar. He is accomplished well beyond his years." "Extremely able, extremely efficient and extremely pleasant to work with."
Recent work: Defended HOCHTIEF Solutions and HOCHTIEF Construction in a complex, multimillion-pound dispute concerning the tunnel collapse at the Glendoe hydroelectric scheme.
Gavin Walker QC
Former solicitor and leading junior in the sector, he is regularly instructed by contractors in heavyweight construction disputes with employers. He acts across professional negligence-related matters, contractual disputes and defects claims, and is highly commended by instructing solicitors for his commerciality.
Strengths: "He always looks at the bigger picture, and is a real team player." "He gets straight down to the nitty-gritty, and his experience in construction makes him very approachable for clients."
Recent work: Defended Aecom against a negligence claim by a housing association, concerning the design of a roof which blew off a high-rise building occupied by vulnerable elderly inhabitants.
Jonathan Barne QC
Well-regarded advocate with an impressively broad practice encompassing the professional negligence, insolvency and administrative elements of construction law. He is often instructed in multimillion-pound, reputationally sensitive disputes, and is particularly active in cases concerning renewable energy projects.
Strengths: "Intellectually very strong, methodical and thorough."
Recent work: Represented the pursuer in a claim for damages arising out of a design and build contract for a wind farm.
David Thomson QC
Respected advocate with expertise in construction and engineering disputes, as part of a broader commercial practice. He represents both contractors and employers in substantial cases involving claims of defects and professional negligence.
Strengths: "A quick thinker who gives clear, practical advice." "His analysis of complex issues and expert reports is first-rate, and his ability to translate into plain English is impressive."
Recent work: Represented a housing association in a multiparty dispute about defects in the development of a listed building, including the retention of its facade.
Experienced practitioner in the field of construction who offers particular expertise in matters with a professional negligence overlap. He acts for both employers and engineering contractors. As director of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, and as a former solicitor, he is also well versed in all forms of ADR.
Strengths: "A specialist construction advocate, he is approachable and easy to work with." "Very hard-working, with excellent construction knowledge after many years in private practice." "Highly intelligent and innovative."
Recent work: Defended seven-figure damage claims caused by a broken agitator arm at a sludge treatment centre, allegedly due to defective welding.
An in-demand advocate, who regularly appears on behalf of contractors, subcontractors, employers and professional individuals. He exhibits aptitude across various forms of ADR and has broad experience in judicial review proceedings.
Strengths: "His great strength is attention to detail in very large cases." "Very approachable and diligent, with a good commercial sense."
Transform Schools (North Lanarkshire) Limited v Balfour Beatty Construction Limited & Anr  CSOH 19
David Whitehouse and Paul Clark v The Chief Constable and The Lord Advocate  CSIH 52
Axiom the “go-to” stable, “boasting an unrivalled bench of experienced commercial advocates”
Home to ‘the strongest collection of expertise at the Scottish Bar in relation to public law”’