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Axiom the “go-to” stable, “boasting an unrivalled bench of experienced commercial advocates”

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Axiom the “go-to” stable, “boasting an unrivalled bench of experienced commercial advocates”

11 October 2019

Axiom is delighted to observe that the set has been ranked as a band 1 set in 12 different practice areas with members receiving an outstanding 119 rankings.

Administrative and public

Axiom Advocates is a stable distinguished by its extensive ranks of esteemed public law advocates. Members routinely act in judicial review and public inquiry proceedings in the highest courts of Scotland and the UK, including those examining human rights, immigration rules, procurement and constitutional law. It is seen as the go-to stable to defend the Scottish Government and local authorities, and is also highly sought after to represent commercial and individual petitioners. Key recent instructions include a judicial review challenge to a decision of the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, instructions for various parties in the Wightman reference, and acting for both the petitioner and respondent in a challenge to Serco's policy of issuing lock change notices to those denied asylum. One solicitor remarks: "Axiom Advocates have rather cornered the market in my area and I would tend to go to them in the first instance." Another comments: "It is the leader in the public law field, including judicial review and human rights. Its advocates are highly intelligent, diligent and approachable."

Client service: "Their clerking team is the most dependable at the Scottish Bar." "The stable is very professionally run and is extremely efficient." "They are always very quick to respond." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Civil liberties and Human Rights

Axiom Advocates stands at the forefront of human rights and civil liberties in Scotland. Its members demonstrate excellent capabilities across UK and EU law, often appearing in the Supreme Court and the ECtHR on behalf of individual claimants, governments and public bodies. Recent work highlights include the defence of the police in Dickson v Police Scotland, a judicial review involving misconduct proceedings against a serving police officer.

Client service: Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Clinical negligence

Axiom boasts an impressive bench of medical negligence advocates who primarily act for defenders, including NHS health boards and MDDUS, although they do also act on behalf of claimants. The stable deals with high-profile group actions, such as the pelvic mesh case, as well as matters concerning cerebral palsy birth injuries and numerous fatal claims stemming from missed diagnoses. The advocates here are also well versed in issues concerning consent and dental negligence matters.

Client service: "The clerking services are always impressive. The clerks are helpful, practical and always willing to assist." "The clerking is very good and slick. You can always get through to them, they are responsive and they have a good understanding of the people who would fit the work." Lesley Finn is the practice manager.

Commercial dispute resolution

Boasting an unrivalled bench of experienced commercial advocates, Axiom Advocates is widely regarded as the go-to stable for the most complex, high-value and important commercial disputes in Scotland. The stable's advocates are regularly instructed to act on behalf of a range of clients, including several local government entities as well as financial institutions and major corporations, in all manner of commercial disputes. Areas of expertise for the stable include commercial property, banking and finance, professional negligence and company law, while its members also have experience handling contract and pensions disputes, compulsory purchase orders and insolvency claims. Instructing solicitors describe Axiom as "clearly the leading commercial stable in Scotland," adding that "it is the first choice for corporate and commercial work."

Client service: "Practice manager Lesley Flynn and her team are very good at what they do and provide a very user-friendly service." "The clerking service is second to none." "The clerks are all very responsive and helpful." "There's always someone available to take a call and the clerks know the strengths and weaknesses of their own advocates, so we have a lot of confidence in who they suggest."

Company Law

Axiom Advocates has a well-earned reputation as the top stable in Scotland for company law matters, and has complementary strengths in restructuring and insolvency work and commercial dispute resolution. Its members handle the full range of contentious company law cases and also have strong advisory practices. The stable's ongoing instructions include Wesubsea UK v Anderson, a substantial breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful conspiracy case.

Client service: Lesley Flynn is the stable's practice manager, and leads the team in the clerking room.


Axiom Advocates is a clear leader for construction disputes in Scotland. "Axiom is the go-to stable for me as it has a number of excellent advocates at senior and junior level in the discipline of construction law," says one interviewee, echoing the voice of many others. The stable skilfully handles claims arising from construction projects in the transport and energy sectors. Members have recently been involved in the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry and litigation stemming from the new Queensferry Crossing, among other high-profile cases. The advocates have vast experience handling construction defect, damage, delay and negligence claims, and regularly represent engineers and contractors, among a range of other industry professionals.

Client service: "Practice manager Lesley Flynn and the team are very good at what they do – they provide a very user-friendly service." "Axiom understands the pressures that solicitors have and work to make it easy for all concerned."

Intellectual Property

Widely regarded as the leading stable for intellectual property in the Scottish market, Axiom boasts an impressive bench of specialists. Members of the stable regularly appear in the Court of Session and sheriff courts, acting in complex patent and trade mark infringement cases. The stable is sought after to represent corporate clients across a range of sectors, including life sciences, higher education and technology. A source confirms it is "certainly the go-to stable for any commercial litigation," and adds: "I don't look anywhere else for commercial and IP work."

Client service: "Clerking arrangements tend to be superior." Practice manager Lesley Flynn leads the clerking team.

Product Liability

Remains a leading stable for product liability proceedings in Scotland, with members being regularly called upon to defend manufacturers in high-stakes claims. The advocates at Axiom are especially well versed in handling group actions involving allegedly defective medical devices.

Client service: Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Professional Discipline

Possesses unparalleled depth of experience in the more complex aspects of the Scottish professional regulatory frameworks. The advocates' expertise covers a range of professions including medicine, teaching and the law, and they are well placed to accept instructions in related appeals in the courts, as well as in misconduct proceedings themselves. They are also called upon to provide advice to the professional bodies on their disciplinary procedures. Solicitors say: "They really are our go-to for professional regulation: absolutely excellent."

Client service: Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Public Procurement

Axiom Advocates continues to be regarded as the leading stable in Scotland for procurement matters. The set boasts a deep bench of procurement experts alongside extensive commercial litigation capability. Members act for clients on all sides of cases, assisting public bodies as well as private sector clients in high-stakes procurement challenges. A solicitor says: "We find them good to work with - they are constructive, know their stuff and are quick at turning around documents within aggressive timescales."

Client service: "The clerks at Axiom are very efficient and approachable." Practice manager Lesley Flynn leads the clerking team.


Axiom Advocates retains its reputation as the pre-eminent restructuring and insolvency stable at the Scottish Bar. It boasts an unrivalled bench of experienced senior and junior advocates offering representation to insolvency practitioners, distressed companies, landlords and directors. Tenants here are noted for their adroit handling of administrations and liquidations, and also offer expertise in cases concerning fraudulent transfers and directors' disqualification proceedings. Standout recent instructions for the stable includes Liquidators of RFC 2012 v Whitehouse and Clark, a high-profile application brought by the liquidators of the former Rangers FC against its former administrators on the basis of allegations of professional negligence.

Client service: "The clerks are very responsive and they provide a personal service." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Professional negligence

Provides the most complete set of professional negligence experts north of the border, and its advocates are regularly remarked upon for their thoroughgoing commitment to the pursuance and defence of claims arising in the construction, legal and financial sectors. Members handle negligence and contractual cases involving the largest construction and engineering projects in Scotland, such as the Queensferry Crossing and the Glendoe Hydro Scheme. They also acted in the Supreme Court hearing of Steel and another v NRAM, an important case on the question of liability in negligence for economic loss in the absence of a contract. Other notable cases have related to the actions of insolvency professionals, such as the litigation surrounding the 2012 administration of Rangers FC.

Client service: "The clerks are efficient and get back to us very quickly. They seem to have everything we are looking for and are happy to assist if we need an advocate urgently." Lesley Flynn in the practice manager.


Clients turn to the advocates at Axiom for advice and representation in a host of tax issues involving Scots, English and EU law. The advocates have recently been particularly active in addressing difficult questions on VAT.

Client service: "A very organised and responsive clerking service." "The clerks are very friendly and efficient, and always recommend the right advocate." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager at the stable.

Details of full rankings including those of individual members can be found at:-