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Axiom ranked tier 1 set: Legal 500

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Axiom ranked tier 1 set: Legal 500

14 October 2021

Axiom is delighted to be ranked a tier on set in the recent edition of the Legal 500 in our core practice areas, details as folllows along with those identified as leading counsel:-

Axiom Advocates – Administrative and Public law

Axiom Advocates includes members instructed across the public law piece, including members of all levels of seniority who act for and against public bodies. James Mure QC – working with Christine O’Neill QC of Brodies LLP – represents the Scottish Government, which argues the case should be dismissed on procedural grounds, in the Keatings case, while Roddy Dunlop QC and Adam McKinlay represented a former administrator of Rangers FC in a malicious prosecution and wrongful arrest case brought against the Lord Advocate and Police Scotland – the matter settled in December 2020.



‘Axiom are highly regarded by me and the team I work in due to the vast range of specialisms covered by their respected Advocates.  My first choice stable.’

‘I mainly use Axiom for administrative law questions. They have a good selection of senior and junior counsel who are highly competent in this area. This represents both strength in depth and availability."

Roddy Dunlop QC -  'In demand as a robust advocate of the highest quality.'
Mark Lindsay QC - 'Mark combines top quality, crystal clear advice with an approachability that clients really value. He is meticulous but also very pragmatic, and his written and oral submissions are always of the highest quality.'
James Mure QC 
Ruth Crawford QC - 'Ruth is rightly an extremely highly respected silk in the field of public law in Scotland.  She is extremely robust - if not to say fearless - both in her submissions in Court and in her advice to clients.  She is respected by the Court particularly in judicial reviews and statutory appeals and is extremely focused.'
Euan Duthie QC - 'Euan is able to identify the key legal issues involved very quickly, which indicates a good grasp of the subject area - he is able to identify the key practical and commercial issues for the client and what potential solutions to those there might be; the ability to see beyond the legal is definitely one of his strengths.'
Morag Ross QC -  'She gives her clients an eloquent and persuasive voice in court - a first choice as a public law silk.
John MacGregor QC - 'A first rate court lawyer; hard-working and intelligent, very focussed, with a firm grasp of the possible angles, difficulties and booby-traps in complex litigation. Being on the other side is no soft option but is always a pleasure given his candour and focus. One of the most capable advocates practising in public law in Scotland.'

Dan Byrne -  'He has excellent knowledge of his subject matter, and wears his learning lightly - he gives straightforward and practical advice, and his courtcraft is excellent.'
Ewen Campbell - 'Intelligent, thorough and candid.'
Lesley Irvine -  'Lesley is very clever - she grasps the legal points very quickly - and extremely hard working with a strong grasp of the detail of every case. She is also very ambitious to achieve the best result for her clients.'
Adam McKinlay - 'His excellent advocacy skills mean he achieves a level of respect from the court often only reserved for more senior counsel.'
David Welsh - 'He is exceptionally bright, so is able to specialise in very technical areas of work, such as tax litigation. His written work and oral advocacy illustrate this intelligence. He is very precise and thoughtful when approaching each new piece of work.''


Axiom Advocates – Commercial Disputes

Axiom Advocates includes commercial litigators instructed in Scotland’s largest commercial cases, including professional liability work, 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 Elizabeth 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.



‘Axiom Advocates are, in my view, the strongest stable of commercial litigators and I often instruct a range of their Advocates due to their skill sets, experience and commercial focus.  Pre-Covid I would regular attend their excellent legal updates.‘

‘Axiom are 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 provide various training sessions and hold events of interest to solicitors in this field. ‘

Garry Borland QC -  '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 -  'A stand-out silk for commercial and professional negligence work.'
Roisin Higgins QC -  '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. '
Jonathan Barne QC -  'Jonathan has a very measured, considered approach, which works well with clients and is also well received in Court. He is a pragmatic, quick thinker and an excellent working knowledge of Scots commercial law. '
Almira Delibegovic-Broome QC 
Alistair Duncan QC 
Euan Duthie QC –  'Euan is very well received by clients, who appreciate his ability to speak plainly and breakdown complex legal arguments in a digestible fashion. He has impressive knowledge of the intricacies of Scottish insolvency law.'
Mark Lindsay QC -  'Mark  has a great eye for detail and a fantastic manner with the Court, clients and the opposition but his real strength lies with his ability to break down information and take complex legal, technical and evidential issues understandable to the fact finder allowing him to challenge the real issues in dispute. '
Kenneth McBreaty QC 
Gerry Moynihan QC 
Morag Ross QC -  'Morag is an extremely able silk.  She is very client and solicitor friendly, is highly respected by the Court and is 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.'
David Thomson QC  
John MacGregor QC –  ‘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 QC –  ‘Paul’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.‘

Susan Ower - 'Susan is pragmatic and possesses a good awareness of commercial and other pressures that affect insolvency practitioner  and clients in general. She is very user-friendly and works well with instructing agents to deliver results for clients.'
Chris Paterson –  'He has a good ability to anticipate the key points and is a strong advocate in his own right as junior counsel, particularly for submissions and appeals.'
Christopher Wilson –  ‘A very strong technical lawyer whose accountancy training is particularly useful in cases involving financial analysis.‘
Ewen Campbell -  '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.'
Scott Manson -  'A 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 is friendly which makes him a pleasure to work with. Clients also like him. '
David Massaro –  ‘A user friendly advocate who delivers excellent pragmatic commercial advice.‘
Adam McKinlay –  ‘Incredibly 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 skeptical judge through his presentation of the arguments.’
Elizabeth Roxburgh -  'Elisabeth is a confident advocate. She is always meticulously well-prepared, has an excellent technical knowledge and is also extremely personable. She is solutions-focussed and practical and relates well to clients as well as instructing solicitors. '
Murray Steel -  'Murray's written work is excellent, with an equally strong advocacy style and clients also love him'
Helen Watts -  'Efficient and capable, she fights her clients' corner.'
David Welsh - '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.'


Axiom Advocates – Property, planning and construction

Members of Axiom Advocates are active across work involving the built environment, from planning through to post-completion disputes. In addition to members being involved in major disputes concerning some of Scotland’s most significant infrastructure projects, Garry Borland QC and Miranda Hamilton represent Glasgow City Council in a dispute with the architects of a number of new care homes in Glasgow, which were found to have failed to meet fire standards. Ruth Crawford QC represented the Scottish Ministers in judicial reviews concerning the “tilted balance” planning policy. The stable also features expertise in matters relating to rural life, from renewable energy through to farmland. Martin Richardson QC, as was, is now a Senator of the College of Justice.



‘Axiom clearly have a large number of excellent construction senior and juniors.  They are the go to stable for construction counsel.’

‘Axiom are a leading stable with a strong offering of advocates in both the junior and senior ranks across a variety of practice areas. Their offering for public law and planning is particularly strong and includes some of the most impressive advocates in this area.’

Garry Borland QC - 'Quite simply, Garry is the pre-eminent construction counsel in Scotland.  His attention to detail is second to none, he is thorough in terms of preparation and his legal arguments are always beautifully crafted - and his cross-examination is sublime.'
Mark Lindsay QC -  'Mark is an exceptional advocate and is always top of the list for recommended senior counsel. He is thorough and measured in his advice to clients, and is able to analyse complex legal issues and arrive very quickly at the key issues in hand. Mark is excellent in his presentation of advice to clients with his views and advice administered in a clear, unambiguous fashion.'
Jonathan Barne QC -  'He is good with forensic detail and the technical aspects of the litigation, considered and clear in his advice, persuasive and robust when advocating in court and affable and good company generally which makes him good to work with. Very much a go-to.'
Ruth Crawford QC - 'Ruth Crawford QC is an impressive and highly regarded advocate. She is one of the leading seniors at the Scottish Planning Bar. She has exceptional advocacy skills and provides valuable and strategic advice on the most complex matters.'
James Mure QC  
Gavin Walker QC 
Scott Manson -  'Scott is very commercial and gets the bigger picture - this is always considered alongside the legal points. His drafting is excellent and he gets to the nub of the issue very quickly."
David Massaro  - 'An astute and skillful advocate who combines a client friendly and pragmatic approach with perspicacious analysis of legal problems and highly effective representation in court.'
Adam McKinlay -  'He has extreme attention to detail, whilst mastering the overall picture and the required direction of travel.'
Miranda Hamilton 
Ross McClelland - 'Ross  really understands the nuances of solicitor negligence claims and insurer claims. He is responsive, always up to speed with the claim, reliable and most importantly, gives well thought out advice.'
Murray Steel -  'A technically very bright advocate, good on detail and taking a commercial approach for clients. He has particular expertise in construction professional indemnity cases.'