Chambers UK 2016 - Axiom Advocates set the pace at the Scottish BarBack to News Listing
Axiom Advocates are delighted to announce another outstanding set of rankings in this year’s Chambers UK Bar Guide. Axiom members have obtained 105 rankings across 18 different practice areas. Furthermore, 11 of the 16 Stars at the Bar come from Axiom Advocates, a distinction reserved for C ounsel that have proved their excellence across a range of practice areas. The clerking team also receive extensive praise in the 2016 guide.
Axiom Advocates maintains its standing as the prem ier administrative and public law stable in Scotland. It offers unrivalled strength in depth and its members are to be found acting in the most complex public law challenges. The individuals here are well regarded for their work acting for pursuers and respondents and their clients include the Scott ish Government, local authorities, public bodies and companies. Members have been heavily involved in the judicial review challenge to the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012, which sets a minimum price per unit of alcohol in Scotland. Market sources praise the "intellectual ability of the members of Axiom and the quality of the advice received."
Client service: "The clerks are responsive and approachable." Lesley Flynn leads Axiom's clerking team.
David Johnston QC
Maintains a first-rate reputat ion on a range of administrative and public law matters. He has notable expertise when it comes to questions of statutory interpretation.
Strengths: "He offers a consistently high standard of advice and extremely effective advocacy in court."
M ark Lindsay QC
An established public lawyer who regularly handles complex judicial reviews. He is recommended for his work challenging the decisions of regulatory bodies.
Strengths: "He produces excellent written work and turns around instructions promptly." "Responsive, assured, with a solid knowledge of his subject area. He is an extremely good performer in court."
Recent work: Acted for Tarves Health in a petition for judicial review on the legislation and procedures by which the Health Board authorised GPs to dispense certain prescriptions.
A seasoned specialist in public law who acts for respondents in judicial reviews against legislation. He is notably capable where the challenge concerns public interest arguments or compatibility with EU law.
Strengths: "A persuasive advocate who is pleasant to appear against."
Recent work: Represented the first respondent in a judicial review challenge to the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012.
James Wolffe QC
Well-regarded counsel who frequently acts for the government and public bodies in a wide range of public law cases. He is adept at handling proceedings with a human rights element and is also well versed in commercial disputes.
Strengths: "He is thorough, conscientious and lovely to work with." "A very affable man who is always on top of his brief and who makes complicated things simple."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Government in Feakins v Scottish Government. The case concerned the validity of legislation relating to the payment of agricultural subsidies on the basis that it infringed the principle of equality under EU law.
Ruth Crawford QC
An experienced public law practitioner who acts for government, corporate and non-corporate bodies in a range of proceedings. She offers extensive knowledge on regulations and judicial reviews of the decisions of local authorities.
Strengths: "She is good at big-picture public law. She is well prepared and strong in court." "Her knowledge and attention to detail are both exceptional."
Recent work: Represented the FCA in a challenge against its sanctions policy in cases of mortgage fraud by brokers.
James Mure QC
Acts for local authorities, public bodies and the government in administrative and public law cases. He is regarded for his expertise in judicial reviews arising from breaches of EU law and those concerning planning decisions in the energy sector.
Strengths: "Very rigorous, intelligent and good with clients." "Has a thorough and measured approach."
Alistair Clark QC
An experienced litigator with notable expertise in public procurement as well as commercial challenges involving public bodies. He regularly acts for local authorities and companies.
Strengths: "We rate him very highly as a hard-working and pragmatic senior counsel."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Ministers defending a claim by the Christian Institute, who sought to find that an Act of Parliament was incompatible with fundamental rights and handled non-devolved issues.
A respected junior who acts for petitioners and respondents in the full range of administrative and public law cases. She is recommended for her skill in handling judicial reviews and statutory appeals.
Strengths: "She is incredibly able technically, dependable and creative." "One of the most effective and talented junior counsel at the Scottish Bar, she is a top choice for administrative and public law work."
Recent work: Acted on the judicial review of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012, which imposes a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland.
Advises clients on a host of cases across the interface between commercial and public law. He is well known for his work for the government and local authorities concerning challenges to legislation and procedure.
Strengths: "He is good to deal with, very clever and can handle his cases."
Recent work: Represented the Lord Advocate in the challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association against the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol.
Axiom Advocates is at the forefront of public and human rights law in Scotland, regularly challenging the actions of both the Westminster and Edinburgh governments and holding public bodies to account. The stable's deep bench allows it to provide expert advice in all areas of human rights law, and it regularly receives instructions relating to immigration and mental health issues.
Client service: "They do have excellent people and their clerks are very professional. They are always available and willing to help." The clerking team is led by practice manager Lesley Flynn.
James Wolffe QC
Scotland's Dean of Faculty, James Wolffe QC is a public law expert whose practice has seen him appear before the highest courts both domestically and in Europe. His recent work has included complex Article 8 ECHR considerations.
Mark Lindsay QC
Recognised for his expertise in administrative and public law, Mark Lindsay QC's human rights practice is weighted towards acting in immigration issues for asylum seekers and refugees. He is frequently instructed to act for the government.
Anna Poole QC
Has a broad human rights practice and regularly takes on cases that involve mental health law, child protection and freedom of information issues. She also has strong experience of Article 8 ECHR litigation, often acting on cases where family rights and public law social services duties come into play.
Recent work: Acted in O'Neill v Glasgow City Council and Lord Advocate, a judicial review of the decision to de-register a foster carer.
Has a strong mental health and immigration slant to his human rights practice. As a result, he has developed particularly strong expertise in deportation cases and routinely appears before the Mental Health Tribunal.
Recent work: Acted for the UK Government in an appeal to the Supreme Court providing clarification on the granting of refugee status in domestic asylum cases.
A highly respected advocate whose broad public law practice has led to her instruction in a number of human rights matters.
Strengths: "She is excellent in her preparation and provides high-quality representation. She effortlessly understands and handles all the issues." "The court immediately takes her seriously as she always leads with a strong point."
Recent work: Counsel to the claimants in Eggermont and Cooper v Lord Advocate, proceedings brought by two teachers relating to defamation, misuse of private information and breach of rights under Article 8 of the ECHR.
A standing junior to the Scottish Government and a preferred counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He is recommended for his expertise in prison law and asylum cases and represents both claimants and respondents.
This stable's members are often instructed in high-value cases by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland and the NHS Central Legal Office. They are also instructed to act on behalf of pursuers, and regularly handle legally aided claims.
Client service: "They pride themselves on professionalism and will always call you back." "I'd say they are approachable, proactive, responsive and polite." Lesley Flynn is the stable's practice manager.
Roddy Dunlop QC
Highly praised for his defender work, Roddy Dunlop QC has extensive experience in court and is frequently instructed by the NHS Central Legal Office on cases that go to proof.
Strengths: "He is extremely good counsel both in terms of advice and appearing in court. He has a good knowledge of clinical case work and does a lot of cases. Very robust, pragmatic counsel you'd be confident running any case with."
Iain Ferguson QC
Experienced in professional and clinical negligence, his practice covers cases relating to GPs and hospitals. He undertakes high-value obstetric, cerebral palsy and neurosurgical claims.
Strengths: "His attention to detail and commitment to cases he is instructed in is exceptional. He is someone I would trust with the most complicated of cases in the knowledge that no stone would be left unturned."
Alastair Duncan QC
He is instructed by, amongst others, the NHS Central Legal Office and the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland to handle negligence cases and fatal accident inquiries.
Strengths: "He is very bright, very pragmatic, very approachable and happy to do things." "He is incredibly well prepared and a smooth performer. He's a very easy counsel to deal with and always willing to assist with cases without any hesitation."
A former solicitor who has extensive clinical negligence experience. His expertise includes the representation of healthcare professionals at fatal accident inquiries and in obstetric claims.
Strengths: "His wider interest in professional negligence matters generally stands him in excellent stead for clinical negligence." "He has a good knowledge of clinical cases and is really good for accident and inquiry work."
Axiom maintains its profile as the most prominent commercial stable in Scotland, with members routinely appearing in leading contract, company, insolvency, banking, intellectual property and real estate disputes. Recent highlights include the Royal Bank of Scotland v Derek Carlyle appeal concerning collateral warranties, which was mentioned in parliament, and also received substantial media attention. As well as businesses and banks, Axiom members often act for public bodies, insolvency practitioners and financial institutions. Commentators praise the fact that it possesses "a large number of specialists in all areas of commercial dispute resolution. Members have a breadth of experience and they're all capable so if someone you want is unavailable, you can be certain you'll get an alternative who is equally good."
Client service: "The clerks are very helpful, friendly, and prompt. They provide an efficient service and are always quick to help." "The clerks organises everything really well. They provide appropriate back-up for counsel in every regard, are good at getting back to you and are very helpful in facilitating the agent to counsel relationship." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager and leads the clerking team.
Roddy Dunlop QC
Breadth of expertise includes contractual disputes, media law and professional liability. In particular, he receives high praise for handling disputes concerning commercial property and public procurement.
Strengths: "A very robust lawyer, both in court and in negotiations. He takes no prisoners." "He is user-friendly and pragmatic. He is sensible and has a good rapport with the bench. He doesn't waste words in his submission." Recent work: Represented the Strathclyde Fire Board in a dispute with A J Allan (Blairnyle) Limited over the duties of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and the possibility of any liability for property damage.
Jonathan Lake QC
Advises on litigation involving complex commercial contracts. He is especially noted for his expertise in disputes involving intellectual property law.
Strengths: "Jonathan is especially good for complex arguments. He has the ear of the court and a real ability to present complex arguments comprehensively." "Jonathan is very sharp and understands the issues, swiftly getting to the heart of the dispute. He is one of the best Scottish silks around and has a great rapport with clients as well."
Recent work: In the last year, he acted for Capgemini in a contractual dispute with NHS 24 over clarifying or rectifying the obligations contained in the contract for the provision of NHS out of hours software.
Garry Borland QC
Acts for big-name clients in a range of commercial disputes, including contractual litigation, commercial insolvency, construction and commercial property litigation. He is renowned for his knowledge and attention to detail.
Strengths: "One of the most technically gifted advocates around. His eye for detail and clarity of delivery are superb." "Meticulous in preparing for cases, court appearances and meetings. He is also user-friendly and flexible."
Recent work: Representing Sandringham Court (Glasgow) Limited in a contractual dispute with Thomas Johnstone Limited over a Glasgow residential development.
Alistair Clark QC
Represents both businesses and local authorities in litigation and mediation. His expertise encompasses a wide range of commercial issues, including commercial contracts, corporate, competition and commercial property.
Strengths: "He is an excellent commercial senior - very effective in court, very well liked and respected by clients." "Hugely intellectual, he is very quick to pick up on the issues in dispute. You can pick up the phone to him and he'll respond very quickly. He is also very good with clients, explaining issues in a succinct, concise way, getting to the nub of issues quickly."
Recent work: Represented the pursuers in a dispute with BP Exploration Operating Company over the relocation of T in the Park over a potentially dangerous oil pipeline.
Heriot Currie QC
Extensive experience makes him a strong choice for a variety of commercial, corporate and construction disputes. He is especially acclaimed for acting in intellectual property litigation and remains active in the alternative dispute resolution arena.
Strengths: "He is well known and has a good practical approach. He has the ear of the court." "He's very experienced, one of the most senior people at the Bar. A heavyweight QC."
Recent work: Defended Ticon Insulation in a complex dispute with Deck-Rite Flooring over a subcontract involved in the procurement of guided missiles for the Navy.
Gerry Moynihan QC
Noted for handling a wide range of commercial litigation, including contractual, corporate and construction disputes. He is also experienced as an arbiter.
Strengths: "He is able to take a huge complex case and can get to the nub of it overnight. He can drill down to the key issues really quickly." "He has that self-assuredness which inspires confidence in clients."
Recent work: Represented the Trustees of the Strathclyde Pension Fund in bringing a claim against Aberdeen Asset Management, alleging breach of its discretionary investment mandate.
James Wolffe QC
A seasoned silk who serves as Dean of the Bar, James Wolffe QC is very highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the law. He regularly represents business clients and public bodies in the highest courts, including the UK Supreme Court, the ECJ and the ECHR.
Strengths: "His legal analysis is always first-class; he is a very clear thinker and good at distilling difficult points into a client-friendly narrative." "Outstanding in terms of intellect but combines that with a pragmatic approach. He's also very user-friendly - he will move heaven and earth to find you time. He is very willing to help."
Recent work: Represented Glasgow City Council in a pensions dispute with the members of a board that managed a school.
Alastair Duncan QC
His expertise in professional liability and public law complement his flourishing commercial practice. In particular, he is noted for his experience representing companies and individuals in corporate, partnership and banking disputes.
Strengths: "He is commercially aware and client-friendly." "A very hard-nosed negotiator when dealing with him as an opponent. He is willing to push hard for the best deal he can get."
Recent work: Involved in the class action against engineering firm Scott Wilson and land developers City Link Development, whereby 42 residents alleged poisoning as a result of incorrectly decontaminated land.
Kenneth McBrearty QC
Highly recommended by solicitors for his client-friendly manner and practical approach to litigation. He acts in all manner of commercial contractual disputes and his recent experience has led him to become increasingly active in the sports industry.
Strengths: "One of the most approachable, pragmatic counsel to work with. High-quality advice and easy to connect with too. He's very willing to work with clients at all levels to get resolutions to problems." "A safe pair of hands, fantastic with clients, down-to-earth and very, very clever."
Recent work: Representing pursuer Pinnacle Cloud Solutions in a dispute with Braveheart Technology concerning fraud, breach of confidentiality and breach of covenants.
Mark Lindsay QC
Maintaining a broad expertise, Mark Lindsay QC handles complex commercial and corporate disputes, particularly in relation to directors' and shareholders' duties. His responsive and user-friendly approach is a particular source of praise among solicitors.
Strengths: "Mark has a very approachable style and is easy to contact. He always replies promptly to e-mails and telephone calls. The advice is pragmatic, sensible and presented in a way clients can understand." "He has a very steady and reassuring manner for clients, which is very much appreciated as a solicitor."
Recent work: Acted in defence of RBS in litigation involving a personal guarantee by the pursuer, a former director of a company that entered into administration in 2012.
Lord Davidson of Glen Clova QC
A strong silk in this area, he is widely respected by peers at the Bar as well as others in the legal profession for his strong, tactical take on cases. He specialises in contractual, company and competition disputes.
Strengths: "He is very good on his feet, very commercial in terms of providing practical advice and anticipating what the court would see in a case. A good tactician, in terms of steering a case towards advantageous outcomes." "He is a senior who has wide-ranging experience in the commercial field. He is accessible and pragmatic and commercial in his style."
James McNeill QC
Well known for his expertise in complex commercial, charitable and private trusts disputes as well as pensions, tax and insolvency matters. As a mediator, he is also active in alternative dispute resolution.
Strengths: "He is very user-friendly, provides good advice and is good on his feet too."
Recent work: Represented the defenders in Smyth v Rafferty and others, a challenge to the deceased's testamentary capacity in amending her will to leave a large sum of money to trustees with the intention of refinancing her company.
James Mure QC
Works on high-value commercial litigation, particularly in relation to commercial property and construction. He is praised by sources for his broad expertise, which also includes public law and procurement disputes.
Strengths: "He is an intellectual power. He is hard to beat for academic excellence."
Recent work: Involved in the litigation following the liquidation of Scottish Coal.
Possesses a diverse dispute resolution practice with notable skill in corporate matters including insolvency cases. She has a special focus on complex evidential hearings.
Strengths: "She has a particularly astute brain when it comes to cases with strong technical questions. Good for any mind-bending cases." "She is knowledgeable, user-friendly, bright and pleasant."
Recent work: Acting unled in defence of financial advisers Sesame Limited in a claim brought by Rosemary McKay in respect of investment advice provided in the past by the defenders.
Well liked by sources for his thoroughness and his ability to delve into the finer details of a case. In particular, he has a strong profile for construction litigation.
Strengths: "His ability to relate to clients and their concerns is a great strength." "He is extremely sought after for his careful analysis and effective court performance."
Recent work: Instructed by Zurich in a dispute over a restoration bond granted to the pursuers, the East Ayrshire Council.
Especially active in the banking and financial services industries, he is also proficient in insolvency litigation and professional liability disputes connected with the administration of pensions. He is also known for his proficient handling of construction and commercial property disputes.
Strengths: "A junior counsel who's very able and good in court. He's very confident." "Very conscientious and diligent. You know he'll be meticulous in preparing cases and getting stuck into the fight."
Recent work: Acted as junior counsel on behalf of Ted Jacob Engineering Group in a litigation launched in an attempt to trace funds removed from a Dubai accountant by respondents Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall and Partners.
Handles cases involving contractual, corporate, property and shareholder disputes. He is also active on the professional negligence market, representing architects, accountants and solicitors in disciplinary matters.
Strengths: "He is particularly user-friendly with a good grasp of the law." "He consistently does a good job."
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for McGivney Construction in a dispute with a former director over breach of fiduciary duty.
As well as regularly litigating in the Court of Session, she has experience representing clients in arbitration. Alongside her broad commercial practice, which includes appearing in contractual, property and construction disputes, she is considered a leading authority for intellectual property litigation.
Strengths: "She has the ear of the court. She is able to convince judges in the Commercial Court that her points carry weight." "She is user-friendly and good at delivering what she promises. She's very switched on too."
Has extensive experience in commercial dispute resolution, including appearances before the Inner House and the Supreme Court. He focuses his practice on commercial contractual and intellectual property disputes.
Strengths: "Paul’s ability to quickly grasp technical issues is impressive. He gives robust legal advice, but at the same time is pragmatic and approachable." "A real rising star whose intellectual and technical abilities are second to none. He is also very client-friendly and commercial."
Recent work: Instructed as the junior counsel by the winding-up board of Icelandic bank Landsbanki in a billion-pound dispute with the administrators of its subsidiary, Heritable Bank.
Praised in particular for her client-friendly manner, Susan Ower has an outstanding reputation for her expertise in complex contractual disputes as well as insolvency litigation.
Strengths: "Susan’s enthusiasm and robust approach is liked by clients. She is attentive and quick to respond." "She's very personable and can work with any client. She is also very good on her feet and good at examining witnesses."
Recent work: Represented Merson Signs Limited, the defenders in warranty and indemnity claims brought by Williams & Co Limited, following a sale and purchase agreement.
Continues to be a leading figure for commercial litigation in Scotland, with extensive experience in the UK Supreme Court as well as the Commercial Court in the Court of Session. His workload includes contractual, corporate and insolvency disputes.
Strengths: "He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of insolvency and commercial disputes. He is someone you want for difficult cases - he's not frightened to run a case to the end." "He is pragmatic, robust and a safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Instructed by the liquidator of Letham Grange Development in appeals for the reduction of a gratuitous alienation security.
A public law specialist with complementary experience in contractual and public procurement disputes. She is highly praised by peers and solicitors alike for her analytical and pragmatic approach to disputes.
Strengths: "She is excellent in all respects; she's very good at giving balanced and well-reasoned verbal opinions, very good at handling clients and her written pleadings were also excellent." "She is really effective and quite innovative. She's open to thinking about things in a new way."
Recent work: Acted for the pursuer, Nationwide Gritting Services, in a procurement dispute brought in the Commercial Court against the Scottish Government over the contract for the provision of de-icing salt.
Becoming an increasingly prominent player on the commercial dispute resolution market. He acts in a range of commercial matters, including contractual disputes, insolvency and construction litigation.
Strengths: "A good man for a crisis, he has a very good brain and is hard-working. Everyone likes working with him because he gets the job done." "An excellent team player, good on his feet, calm and measured in his approach and very presentable to clients."
Recent work: Defended procuring authority The Common Services Agency in a dispute with BT over the procurement for the Scottish Wide Area Network.
Best known for his expertise in construction disputes. His respectable commercial dispute resolution offering is complemented by additional strength in insolvency, insurance and professional liability.
Strengths: "He is very experienced for his year of call. He brings a commercial, real-world expertise." "He is very helpful on the day and very strong on his feet. He gives very persuasive and well thought out arguments and strong submissions."
Recent work: Assisted on the high-profile dispute between RBS and a property developer debating the existence of a collateral warranty.
Professional liability forms the core of his practice, with a client base that includes accountants and clinicians as well as other lawyers. He also has a buoyant commercial litigation practice, with experience of complex commercial contract disputes.
Strengths: "He has a considerable degree of experience dealing with matters from a solicitor's point of view - he knows issues from both sides of the profession." "A pretty robust negotiator."
Recent work: Represented Joseph Sheehan in a petition for the withdrawal of a European Enforcement Order that resulted in the petitioner's assets being frozen.
Gavin Walker's commercial thinking attracts considerable praise from interviewees. His practice focuses on contractual and construction disputes and he is also well versed in property and intellectual property issues.
Strengths: "He is very user-friendly and easy to get on with. He is approachable and good to discuss and debate issues." "He gets to the heart of a problem and figures out practical advice."
Recent work: Acting for Dunbar Bank, the defendants in a petition to withdraw a European Enforcement Order which was granted against the petitioner, Joseph Sheehan.
Advises upon and litigates in a wide range of complex commercial claims, particularly in relation to commercial property and professional negligence. He is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.
Strengths: "He is careful in his style and considered in his oral and written presentation. A hard worker who considers every angle." "His attention to detail is second to none. He cuts through complex legal issues quickly and with ease."
Recent work: Acted without a senior in the Edinburgh Sheriff Court in a dispute between the University of Edinburgh and Vodafone. The pursuers sought the enforced removal of apparatus to allow major redevelopment work to take place.
Axiom Advocates retains its reputation as the leading commercial stable in Scotland. Its members are well versed in all manner of company law matters and possess broad expertise in related areas of work, including insolvency and commercial dispute resolution. The stable frequently represents individuals and institutions across all industries, serving both the public and private sectors.
Client service: "Lesley Flynn's clerking team is always excellent. You get a response quickly and they always know what an advocate is up to. They are really clued up."
Alistair Clark QC
Specialises in advising private organisations and local authorities on commercial litigation matters. He is frequently instructed in the Court of Session and the Commercial Court.
Strengths: "He is an experienced, shrewd and erudite QC." "We are extremely impressed by what Alistair has done for us, and the turnaround time has been pretty incredible despite it being some pretty unusual law."
Heriot Currie QC
He handles commercial contracts and other commercial dispute matters for both companies and individuals. Some of his broader areas of expertise include intellectual property and construction.
A very well-regarded junior who frequently receives instructions on the most prominent commercial litigation cases in Scotland. His strong reputation in company law is complemented by his expertise in property disputes and insolvency.
Strengths: "There is no one better in Scotland for personal insolvency work. He gets results when you want them. I can't stop showering him with praise."
Recent work: Acted for the liquidator of Letham Grange Development in the UK Supreme Court and Inner House of the Court of Session appeals.
The leading construction stable in Scotland, Axiom Advocates has the strength in depth to cover the full range of construction law matters. One solicitor noted that "they always have the highest quality of advocates and a good range of people and specialisms." The stable provides expert counsel across engineering, energy and construction-related professional negligence matters.
Client service: "The advocates are responsive and commercial in the way they give their advice, as well as user-friendly." Practice manager Lesley Flynn leads the clerking team.
Garry Borland QC
A noted construction expert who acts for clients from across the construction sector in high-value cases, including time, defect and expense claims.
Strengths: "He is incredibly bright and inspires confidence in clients." "He really is as good as it gets for complex construction cases."
Recent work: Instructed in Dumfries and Galloway Council v Kier Construction, a £5 million defects dispute concerning a leisure facility.
Heriot Currie QC
A vastly experienced silk who is instructed in the most substantial cases in the construction sector.
Strengths: "He is very persuasive, on top of the detail and a vastly experienced practitioner." "He is an extremely capable court practitioner with a heavyweight reputation."
Recent work: Acted for the defenders in SSE Generation v Hochtief, a high-value claim which concerned the collapse of a tunnel.
Jonathan Lake QC
An expert on both contractual and professional negligence matters, Jonathan Lake QC's standing in the market is underlined by his role as counsel to the inquiry into the Edinburgh Trams Project. He acts for a range of major clients in litigation and arbitration and also has a strong advisory practice.
Strengths: "He has a very commercial grasp of matters and strong knowledge of Scottish construction law."
Recent work: Acted for the defenders in Fern Trustees v McLaughlin & Harvey. This £10 million dispute had multiple facets, including related proceedings against subcontractors and professionals.
James Wolffe QC
The Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, James Wolffe QC is a prominent figure in the Scottish legal market. He acts in various high-profile matters for major names in the construction industry.
Strengths: "His legal analysis is always exemplary." "He's a very clear thinker who is good at distilling difficult points into a client-friendly narrative."
Recent work: Instructed in Fern Trustee v McLaughlin & Harvey, a substantial dispute which concerned cladding failure.
An outstanding junior who draws praise for his expertise in construction-related professional negligence cases. He is regularly instructed by high-profile developers and contractors.
Strengths: "He can see the bigger picture." "He gets to heart of a problem and gives practical advice."
Recent work: Acts for the pursuers in Vital Energi Utilities v Bouygues. The claim involved £6 million in claims and counterclaims relating to completion costs and unlawful termination.
A former solicitor who receives instructions across a range of construction and construction-related professional negligence disputes.
Strengths: "He provides advice that is easily utilised; he is able to really think like the client." "He is thorough, analytical and hard-working."
Recent work: Advised the pursuer in SGL Carbon Fibers v Stork Technical Services, an arbitration concerning a multimillion-pound engineering contract.
Advises clients ranging from contractors to professionals and employers on significant contractual and professional negligence disputes within the construction sector.
Strengths: "He has good court skills and an easy manner which appeals to solicitors and clients alike."
Recent work: Instructed by the defender in Marshall Construction v Northern Asbestos Services. The matter involved a claim and counterclaim over the scope of agreed works.
Acts on a broad range of construction disputes, on behalf of both defendants and pursuers.
Strengths: "He's thorough, down-to-earth and not afraid to get his hands dirty." "He brings commercialism and a real-world expertise."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Finlayson v Crichton and Simpson, a complex defects claim against an architect.
A former solicitor with considerable experience in the construction sector. He acts for major contractors and subcontractors in high-profile cases. Has a strong complementary practice in professional negligence cases.
Strengths: "He is very experienced and good with clients." "He provides very sound advice."
Recent work: Advised the claimant in Martifer v Lend Lease, a large claim relating to the roofing of the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow.
Axiom Advocates remains the leading intellectual property stable in Scotland, and has a strong bench of advocates who consistently prove themselves on the most complex and high-level cases in the area. Its members are well versed in handling the gamut of IP disputes including those arising from trade mark infringement and passing off, patent infringement and breach of confidence from former employees. The stable wins particular praise for its commercial awareness and the technical prowess of its members across all aspects of IP law.
Client service: The clerks, led by Lesley Flynn, provide "very good service; they respond quickly and accommodate urgent client demands."
Heriot Currie QC
A leading light of the Scottish IP Bar, boasting enviable experience in some of the most significant intellectual property cases of recent times.
Strengths: "He has huge and largely unrivalled experience and is excellent in and out of court."
Jonathan Lake QC
Renowned for his commercial and incisive approach to advocacy, he is as highly regarded for his fluent courtroom manner as for his skill in arbitration. He is frequently engaged in matters for major corporate clients from various sectors including technology, media and pharmaceutical businesses.
Strengths: "He is one of the best Scottish silks around and has great rapport with the clients also."
Recent work: Represented Sky Broadcasting Group in a case concerning the owners of licensed premises showing satellite broadcasts.
A highly regarded junior at the Scottish Bar who brings to her practice recognised experience in a range of intellectual property matters including trade marks, passing off and design rights.
Strengths: "Always willing to go the extra mile and is excellent in and out of court."
Noted as an "extremely intelligent deep thinker on IP issues." He acts on the full array of intellectual property matters including contract disputes, trade mark and copyright cases.
Strengths: "A real rising star whose intellectual and technical abilities are second to none."
Recent work: Appeared for BSkyB in a case concerning an interdict application against bar owners using illicit decoders to show football matches.
An intellectual property advocate whose practice is complemented by his experience in commercial contracts and construction law.
Strengths: "Easy to work with and very good at forming a relationship with clients."
Axiom Advocates remains a market-leading stable that stands out for its unique professional discipline offering in the Scottish market. Impressed interviewees consider it to be "a really excellent stable," adding that they have "been happy with everything it's done." It offers its expertise to both individual professionals and their regulatory bodies across a number of areas, including the legal, accountancy and medical sectors.
Client service: "The clerks, run by Lesley Flynn, are really helpful and responsive."
Roddy Dunlop QC
Well known for his representation of regulatory bodies across various sectors, including the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council (GDC) and the Law Society of Scotland. He wins particular praise for his advocacy style and his depth of knowledge of the regulatory sphere.
Strengths: "He is fantastic, incredibly knowledgeable, efficient and thorough. Just incredible." "He is a leading light in the Scottish Bar for professional discipline."
Recent work: Acted for a dentist in an appeal against a GDC decision to strike him off due to his lack of insurance.
Mark Lindsay QC
Held in high esteem for his meticulous approach to complex matters in the regulatory sphere. Areas of expertise include the legal, health and public law sectors.
Strengths: "He gives excellent-quality pleadings and is very good with difficult clients. His confidence and calmness is inspiring." "He is forensic, skilled and persuasive."
Recent work: Appeared before the Inner House of the Court of Session in an appeal against a GDC decision to strike off a dentist.
Alastair Duncan QC
Regarded for his prowess in professional discipline matters pertaining to the legal sector, he acts for both professional individuals and their regulatory bodies.
Strengths: "He's very senior, very well known and has a good reputation."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the Law Society of Scotland in an appeal before the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC). A solicitor sought to overturn a judgment finding him guilty of embezzlement.
A well-known and respected junior who offers a broad skill set covering both professional discipline and professional negligence work. He focuses his practice on solicitors' regulation.
Strengths: "He's an excellent advocate."
Recent work: Acted for solicitors in an appeal brought before the Inner House regarding the SLCC's previous judgment regarding advice that might legally be given on pension sharing.
Axiom Advocates' members are particularly well regarded for their experience in defending claims against a wide range of professionals, especially solicitors, accountants, surveyors and insurance brokers. The stable also acts for counsel, actuaries and financial advisers, and its advocates are noted for their recent work in disputes arising from property transactions and alleged fraud, such as Frank Houlgate Investment Co Ltd v Biggart Baillie LLP.
Client service: "The clerks know their members well and will give honest advice and make sensible recommendations on the most appropriate counsel for a particular instruction. They are highly efficient and helpful." The clerking team is led by Lesley Flynn.
Alastair Duncan QC
Particularly well regarded for his expertise in representing solicitors in negligence claims. He has also recently been active in claims against financial advisers, surveyors and construction professionals.
Strengths: "He is very accessible, commercially aware, a team player and provides pragmatic and effective advice on strategy."
Recent work: Acted in Russell v MBM, successfully defending a firm of solicitors against a professional negligence claim.
Roddy Dunlop QC
Has considerable experience in defending professionals against claims. He is well regarded by both insurers and insured individuals for his wide range of expertise.
Strengths: "His particular strength is that clients have faith in his ability to defend their position robustly."
Recent work: Acted in HJ Banks v Dundas & Wilson, defending a seven-figure claim for alleged solicitors' negligence.
Jonathan Lake QC
Specialises in commercial disputes and is noted for his expertise in pursuing and defending professional negligence claims against surveyors and solicitors.
Strengths: "He has a fine intellect and is an admirable advocate who can sway a judge who has previously given every indication that his or her mind is already made up."
Kenneth McBrearty QC
Well respected for his experience in professional negligence and professional discipline. He is particularly active in cases concerning solicitors', advocates' and surveyors' negligence.
Strengths: "He is very thorough but also prepared to listen. He is quick and responsive and excellent on his feet in court."
Recent work: Acted on Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Ltd v Holmes Mackillop, a solicitor's negligence claim concerning an alleged failure to advise on time limits regarding the enforcement of a warranty.
Focuses primarily on defending claims in the property and construction sectors. He acts for a broad range of legal and construction professionals.
Strengths: "He's extremely helpful and approachable, with a wide range of expertise; a pleasure to deal with."
Recent work: Represented the third and fourth defenders in a long-running dispute concerning alleged fraudulent and negligent handling of a deceased’s estate by the executors.
Highly regarded for his extensive experience in defending construction-related claims. He has also recently been active in brokers' negligence matters.
Strengths: "He's undoubtedly one of the best juniors in Scotland. He provides advice that is easily utilised, in terms of thinking like the client."
Recent work: Acted in Arthur Simmers v Knight Frank LLP, defending a large claim against a surveyor regarding significant loss recovery and application of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
Predominantly focused on pursuing and defending construction-related claims, having previously practised for many years in that sector as a solicitor.
Strengths: "He's detailed, thorough, helpful and exceptionally busy - a sign of someone who's well regarded."
Recent work: Defended Halcrow Waterman against a claim for losses, allegedly due to design failures in respect of the Gemini Building in Edinburgh.
Has broad experience of both pursuing and defending claims in the construction sector, acting for contractors and subcontractors, and other professionals.
Highly experienced in defending claims for solicitors and surveyors, as well as various construction and medical professionals.
Strengths: "He is a very safe pair of hands. He's pretty much steeped in professional negligence work."
Recent work: Defended DTZ in a case regarding an allegedly negligent valuation for the pursuers of the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow in 2006.
Well regarded for his expertise in pursuing and defending claims in construction and engineering. He has also been active recently in pursuing valuation claims for financial institutions.
Strengths: "He is highly accessible and adaptable to different working practices."
Recent work: Pursued a claim for the Bank of Scotland, against DM Hall, for alleged negligent valuation advice regarding a commercial development site.
Axiom Advocates houses experienced counsel who are often the first port of call for instructing solicitors faced with significant procurement disputes in the Court of Session. Besides advocacy, its members are also called upon in various advisory capacities, working with both defenders and pursuers. The stable is the standout choice for procurement matters due to its strong bench of silks and juniors and their diverse experience.
Client service: "They always have people on hand and are very professional and helpful." The clerking team is led by Lesley Flynn.
Alistair Clark QC
Remains a go-to silk for local authorities and private sector clients. He is experienced at handling cases in the Court of Session and has also appeared before the House of Lords and in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "His knowledge is second to none. For such a highly regarded counsel, he is very straightforward and no-nonsense; a pleasure to deal with."
Recent work: He successfully acted for the defendant in Healthcare at Home v The Commons Services Agency, a case alleging breaches of procurement law in the award of a public contract.
Roddy Dunlop QC
Has an excellent reputation for his client-friendly approach in procurement law matters. He has recently been involved in several significant procurement challenges, acting both for defenders and pursuers.
Strengths: "There aren't many advocates with experience of procurement litigation, and he has a lot of experience. A very, very determined advocate on his feet - very good in court."
Recent work: Acted for the defenders in BT v CSA, a procurement dispute concerning the implementation of a Scotland-wide public services network.
Ruth Crawford QC
A well-regarded advocate who is also regularly sought out for advisory work. She is enjoying a rising profile in procurement law matters and often acts for local authorities and private companies.
Strengths: "She is experienced in procurement law and is able to give effective and practical advice. She is responsive and thorough. Ruth is respected by clients and has also been willing to share her experience in client seminars which have been well received."
Recent work: Acted for the pursuers in Healthline Medical v Common Services Agency.
James Mure QC
Regularly called upon by governments, local authorities and other public bodies. He is a well-respected silk whose expertise covers planning, environmental and constitutional law.
Strengths: "He is hard to beat for academic excellence." "He is really impressive and very clear. He has one of the biggest brains I've come across and has real clarity of thought."
Recent work: Advised the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on responding to an unsuccessful bidder in a procurement exercise.
Regularly instructed on behalf of procuring authorities and unsuccessful bidders. He has a wide-ranging practice stemming from his expertise in administrative and civil liberties work.
Strengths: "He is easy to work with; his advice is clear and user-friendly." "He provides fantastic procurement advice."
Recent work: Acted for the pursuer, led by Ruth Crawford QC, in BT v CSA, concerning the introduction of the Scottish Wide Area Network.
An experienced junior with a broad public law practice that involves instructions from contracting authorities and economic operators. She regularly acts on contract challenges.
Strengths: "Hugely experienced and knowledgeable in this area. She is great to work with." "She gets a very good grasp of extremely complicated matters very quickly. She is hard-working and frequently takes on big cases."
Recent work: Acted in Nationwide Gritting Services v Scottish Ministers, a case concerning contracts for de-icing salt.
Axiom Advocates' skilled practitioners act across the full range of restructuring and insolvency cases. The stable is the go-to for businesses and individuals seeking advice and representation in relation to receiverships, debt repayments and the winding-up of insolvent entities.
Client service: "The first stable one should go to. It's a very efficient chambers with excellent advocates - you always find what you're looking for." The clerking team is led by practice manager Lesley Flynn.
Garry Borland QC
A noted commercial counsel who is instructed in a range of cases in the restructuring and insolvency fields. He is particularly noted for his expertise in the construction and energy sectors.
Strengths: "He is very approachable, methodical and can do things last minute."
Recent work: Acted in FM Developments Ltd v Milne and Others, a £27 million claim against the directors of an insolvent company.
Senior junior with an insolvency-heavy caseload. She currently occupies the position of standing junior to HMRC.
Strengths: "She is a very bright advocate who has the ear of the court."
An experienced commercial litigator who undertakes a broad range of insolvency cases.
Strengths: "He is experienced, knowledgeable and a determined counsel with a good knowledge of insolvency law." "No one works harder."
Recent work: Acted for the liquidators of Rangers FC.
Experienced advocate who tackles the full gamut of restructuring and insolvency matters. She is regularly instructed by lenders, insolvency practitioners and financial institutions and is standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government’s Legal Directorate.
Strengths: "She is very user-friendly and pragmatic and has a great grasp of insolvency work."
Recent work: Acted in two separate actions on behalf of Clydesdale Bank, in respect of debts in the region of £13 million.
A former commercial solicitor who has handled a wide range of contentious insolvency cases since being called to the Bar.
Strengths: "He has an extremely impressive intellect; he provides well thought through written advice and shows a great understanding of the commercial issues at stake."
Acts on behalf of both businesses and individuals in distressed and insolvent situations. He is noted for his expertise in directors' disqualification disputes and in cases concerning administration.
Strengths: "He's really good. He's very accessible, thorough and well prepared. His advice is very clear, concise and to the point, and easy to understand."
Acts on behalf of creditors and insolvency practitioners in a range of matters, including recall of sequestration, advice on cross-border insolvency and all types of procedural applications.
Strengths: "She combines excellent technical insolvency knowledge with a practical solution-based approach."
Axiom houses a bench of members who offer top-quality corporate tax advice and have great litigation capability. The stable is highlighted as a standout by its peers due to the strength of its bench, particularly at the senior level.
Client service: Lesley Flynn is the stable's practice manager.
Julian Ghosh QC
Highly praised as a standout tax specialist, he has a long history of representing clients in complex European and corporate tax matters.
Strengths: "Absolutely excellent. A fine advocate as well as being strong technically."
James McNeill QC
Highly experienced at handling tax cases as they relate to pensions and trusts. He is singled out for his private client tax prowess.
Strengths: "Exceptionally bright and provides clear and commercial advice."
Mark Lindsay QC
He is vastly experienced in all areas of immigration law and is regularly instructed in judicial reviews.
Recent work: Acted in FZ v SSHD, an appeal before the UK Supreme Court.
A recognised expert in human rights matters who has substantial expertise in immigration and asylum claims.
Strengths: "He is very approachable, always well prepared and thoroughly researched."
Alistair Clark QC
Highly experienced commercial litigator with a diverse practice, incorporating intellectual property, defamation and media work. He has an impressive track record of being involved in particularly high-profile media disputes.
Strengths: "He is quite measured and very thorough. He is very understated but incredibly effective." "Has a very good breadth of understanding of a case and he sees the whole picture rather than getting lost in the detail."
Recent work: He represented News Group Newspapers in a defamation case which led to a jury trial.
Roddy Dunlop QC
Veteran media advocate, noted for his depth of expertise across defamation, contempt and privacy work. He acts for both pursuers and defenders, but is most renowned for his extensive work with newspaper clients.
Strengths: "Very able, very thorough and one of the leading practitioners at the Scottish Bar in media law." "Top-notch, a very forceful character and very good on technical detail."
Has a flourishing reputation at the media bar, benefiting from his prior experience as a soli
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”’