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Chambers UK: “An outstanding stable to instruct”

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Chambers UK: “An outstanding stable to instruct”


31 October 2013

Following the recent publication of Chambers UK 2014, Axiom is delighted to have secured 98 recommendations over 17 practice areas. Axiom achieved a Band 1 ranking in 8 of the practice areas achieving a further Band 2 ranking in a further 3.

Reviewers were high in their praise for Axiom stating "Solicitors widely praise Axiom Advocates as "an outstanding stable to instruct" and value the ability of its members to turn work around very quickly".

Full details as follows:-


Administrative & Public Law - Sc otland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates enjoys an unrivalled presence in public law litigation in Scotland. The stable is invariably the first port of call for solicitors instructing in the most cutting-edge of commercial and non-commercial cases. Market sources affirm that the stable has "a collection of very good advocates" and note that "it is particularly strong in terms of the number of silks who handle public law matters."

Client service: "They are highly professional and provide good, clear and commercial advice."
SILKS
James Wolffe QC
Receives plaudits for his handling of both commercial and non-commercial public law cases.
Expertise: "He has great analytical ability." "He is very good to work with: knowledgeable, diligent, and clients like his appro ach."
Recent work: In KP and MRK v Home Secretary, Wolffe successfully acted on behalf of two asylum seekers on a challenge to a decision to enact restrictive criteria for permission to appeal from the Upper Tribunal.

David Johnston QC
Foc uses his practice on public and commercial law, and has been involved in a number of the most ground-breaking cases of Scottish public law.
Expertise: "He is understated but not to be underestimated. He is concise and brings a very tailored approach to each case."
"He is a very bright an d technical guy."

Richard Keen QC
Enjoys a stellar reputation amongst his peers, as reflected by his position of Dean of Faculty. He handles commercially slanted public law cases, and has extensive experience across a range of industry sectors.
Expertise: "He gets very high-quality work and is very well regarded by everybody. I admire his tenacity in any particular cause. He has the ability to be very strong in presenting his client's position while bearing in mind his duty to the court." "He can take a few straws of information and present them as a beautiful bouquet of an argument."
Recent work: He acted in Imperial Tobacco v Lord Advocate and Advocate General, a flagship challenge to the primary legislation of the Scottish Parliament concerning the display of tobacco products.

Mark Lindsay QC
Has gone from strength to strength since taking silk in 2011. As former standing junior to the Home Secretary, Lindsay's work often involves the representation of the Scottish Government in public law cases.
Expertise: "He is very bright and a good tactical lawyer with considerable experience in the Administrative Court."

 
Anna Poole QC
Focuses on a range of commercial and non-commercial public law cases, often handling matters with components of EU law and human rights law.
Expertise: "She is extremely diligent and always well prepared for court." "She is incredibly thorough and, whilst having a keen eye for detail, is also able to see beyond the complications in order to provide clear and practical advice."
Recent work: Poole acted opposite stablemate Richard Keen QC, defending the Scottish government on the Imperial Tobacco case.

Lorna Drummond QC
Her broad public law practice encompasses areas such as constitutional law, immigration, mental health and commercial law.
Expertise: "Her ability to properly understand arguments, frame written pleadings and get to the essence of highly detailed legal arguments cannot be overstated. She is a highly impressive individual."
Recent work: Drummond acted in Walton v Scottish Ministers, the challenge to the Aberdeen bypass.

Alistair Clark QC
Handles public law cases on behalf of companies and local authorities as part of a wider commercial litigation and public procurement practice.
Expertise: "He is very approachable and able to deal with complex issues in a straightforward manner."
Recent work: Clark acted for North Lanarkshire Council on a challenge by Lightways (Contractors) to a public procurement decision.

Ruth Crawford QC
Receives regular instructions from the Scottish and UK governments in administrative and public law cases across a range of areas.
Expertise: "She is a very smooth operator in court." "She has a very good grasp of detail and is always highly familiar with her brief. She presents clearly and concisely."
Recent work: Crawford was instructed by the Lord President of Council to defend a challenge to the ban on prisoner voting rights. The challenge revolved around the question of whether the ban breached EU law.

Gerry Moynihan QC
Moynihan is acclaimed by peers for the strength of his advocacy. He handles public law matters as part of a wider commercial and civil practice.
Expertise: "He is outstanding. A very nice man and very, very competent." "One of the most experienced people at the Scottish Bar."

James Mure QC
Receives particular applause for his handling of judicial review, planning and environmental law work. Mure is regularly instructed by government, local authorities and public bodies.
Expertise: "He is undoubtedly a professional performer in court, and has a good understanding of issues arising in judicial review."
"I rate him very highly. He is very focused and calm and has great attention to detail. He is a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Mure acted for the Scottish government on the highly publicised judicial review application by Imperial Tobacco which challenged legislation on the display of tobacco products.

Sarah Wolffe QC
Handles a range of public law matters including judicial review, planning and environmental matters.
Expertise: "She is a tenacious opponent and always presents a very good case very competently."
Recent work: Wolffe acted on Portobello Park Action Group v Edinburgh Council, a judicial review challenge to the council's appropriation of parkland to build a new school.

JUNIORS
Morag Ross
Receives widespread praise for her commercial and public law practice. The public law component of her practice sees her representing both claimants and defendants in a range of judicial reviews, statutory challenges and appeals.
Expertise: "She has great attention to detail, she's unflappable and she's excellent with clients."
Recent work: She acted on behalf of the Scotch Whisky Association on judicial review proceedings concerning the Scottish government's implementation of minimum pricing for alcohol.

John MacGregor
Increasingly focuses on administrative and public law matters since his appointment as standing junior counsel to the Home Office.
Expertise: "He is professional and has a good understanding of the areas in which he works. I would have confidence instructing him in anything I needed doing."
Recent work: MacGregor acted on behalf of the Scottish government on a Supreme Court appeal following an extradition request from the USA. The appeal rested on the question of whether the extradition contravened the individuals' rights under Article 8 of the ECHR.

Daniel Byrne
Byrne is considered a rising star of the public law sphere in Scotland, and has garnered significant approval from market observers. His areas of focus include immigration law and mental health matters.
Expertise: "He has a good analytical brain and loads of common sense – the ingredients of a good advocate."


Civil Liberties & Human Rights - Scotland (Bar)


Band 2 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates offers advice and representation to petitioners and respondents in a considerable range of human rights matters. The stable regularly attracts instructions from government departments, and its advocates demonstrate particular strength in cases concerning deaths in custody, mental health, access to legal advice, detention and extradition. Additional areas of interest include the rights and the welfare of children.

SILKS
Anna Poole QC
Handles human rights matters involving the rights and liberties of mentally ill offenders, and the rights of children and students. She offers additional expertise in public and EU law, and is experienced in cases concerning the rights of commercial organisations.
Expertise: "She is extremely diligent and well prepared for court."
Recent work: She acted for an alcohol charity in a case concerning an attempt to bring the health aspects of alcohol-pricing legislation before the court.

Lorna Drummond QC 
Focuses the human rights component of her practice on a range of areas including immigration, extradition and mental health.
Expertise: "She is undoubtedly one of the most approachable and personable individuals at the Scottish Bar." "She is always well prepared and the courts trust her."
Recent work: She acted on RM v Scottish Ministers in the Supreme Court, successfully establishing the right of appeal for mental health patients.


Clinical Negligence - Scotland (Bar)


Band 2 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates fields an impressive group of medical negligence practitioners. Its advocates represent a variety of organisations including health boards and the ambulance service, and they also frequently act on behalf of pursuers against medical professionals.

Client service: "The clerking team is impressive and efficient."

SILKS
Roddy Dunlop QC
A vastly experienced and revered advocate widely recognised for his expert advocacy across a range of matters including medical and professional negligence, commercial dispute resolution and media law.
Expertise: "He is first-rate, absolutely top-notch. He is responsive and very knowledgeable."
"He is a very good clinical negligence advocate, but then he is just a great advocate full stop."

Iain Ferguson QC
Focuses his practice on professional and clinical negligence, and is especially highly regarded for his expertise in complex and high-value obstetrics cases.
Expertise: "He is exceedingly thorough with great attention to detail. His cross-examination is second to none." "He is extremely thorough and very user-friendly."

Alastair Duncan QC
Predominantly focuses on professional negligence cases, but has also developed a strong medical negligence practice.
Expertise: "He is an excellent counsel. He is very straightforward to deal with." "He is very experienced and well versed in the whole practice area."

JUNIORS
Chris Paterson
Is swiftly developing a strong profile at the Bar for his work both in commercial disputes and in clinical negligence, building on the experience he gained as a solicitor in his previous career. He has acted on a wide variety of clinical negligence claims, on behalf of a range of clients including clinicians and dentists.
Expertise: "He has a very good courtroom presence; he could be a future star of the Bar."


Commercial Dispute Resolution - Scotland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom has forged a formidable reputation at the Scottish Bar for its strength in commercial litigation. Its advocates are equipped to deal with disputes spanning a wide range of sectors, including financial services, energy, real estate and insurance. Sources praise members of the stable for their capability in complex high-value commercial litigation. Solicitors widely praise Axiom Advocates as "an outstanding stable to instruct" and value the ability of its members to turn work around very quickly.

Client service: "It is a brilliant chambers; its clerking team knows exactly who you need and who can do the work in the time available." "The market leaders in Scotland for commercial work; all members of the stable are very strong technical lawyers and good on their feet."

SILKS
Richard Keen QC
The Dean of Faculty, highly regarded for his advocacy skills. He is a top choice for high-value, complex commercial litigation, and has developed a reputation for expertise in cases containing expert evidence in areas such as science or economics.
Expertise: "He is extremely tactically astute and is continually coming up with new angles of attack."
Recent work: He was instructed in the high-value directors' breach of fiduciary duties case, FM Developments v Milne.

Alistair Clark QC
Receives praise for his persuasive advocacy and commercially astute advice. His practice is centred around commercial litigation and he regularly appears in the Court of Session.
Expertise: "He is very approachable and able to deal with complex issues in a straightforward manner." "He can present highly complex arguments to the judge in a way that commands the attention of the court; a very courteous but formidable opponent."
Recent work: He successfully defended RBS in the high-profile Grant Estates claim relating to an interest rate swap agreement.

Heriot Currie QC
A leading commercial silk and trained mediator, he has a broad commercial litigation practice that encompasses professional negligence and intellectual property. He also has a notable reputation for his expertise in construction disputes.
Expertise: "He's very commercial, very thorough in terms of preparation and arguably one of the best advocates at the Scottish Bar."

David Johnston QC
Centres his practice around commercial, public and human rights law.
Expertise: "He is extremely clever and has a fantastic reputation."
Recent work: He acted on an action for damages arising from the wrongful termination of a drilling rig contract.

James McNeill QC
Receives instructions across the full range of commercial litigation, although he is best recognised for his extensive experience in trusts and pension scheme-related disputes. He is also an accredited mediator.
Expertise: "James McNeill QC has unrivalled knowledge of complex trust and tax disputes."

James Wolffe QC
The Vice Dean of Faculty, with significant experience in both administrative and public law and commercial disputes.
Expertise: "His presentation is clear, concise and very well respected by the judges; he always has an excellent grasp of the legal concepts and facts involved in the case."
Recent work: He was instructed by Pinsent Masons in relation to the interpretation of a non-recourse syndicated loan agreement.

Jonathan Lake QC
Well respected for his considerable advocacy abilities and technical skill. He represents commercial clients across a wide range of contentious issues, including disputes relating to property, construction and intellectual property. Expertise: "He is a natural in court; very bright and very tough."
Recent work: He acted on a number of arbitration applications challenging an arbiter's decision under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010.

Gerry Moynihan QC
A skilled silk whose deft advocacy impresses both peers and instructing solicitors. He has substantial experience in commercial disputes relating to property, planning, construction and engineering matters.
Expertise: "His cross-examination is fantastic. He's very courteous to deal with and absolutely first-class on his feet."

Sarah Wolffe QC
An accredited mediator with a strong advisory practice supplementing her considerable courtroom experience. She has a broad commercial practice and is regularly instructed on a range of disputes, including shareholder remedies, contractual matters and insolvency-related actions.
Expertise: "She is a strong technical lawyer who gets on well with clients and has an eclectic commercial practice." "One of her real attributes is an ability to take a great deal of information and process it in a short time."
Recent work: She advised on the high-profile administration of Rangers FC.

Lord Davidson of Glen Clova QC
A widely praised advocate, whom peers class as an astute legal tactician. He has extensive experience in commercial litigation, mediations and arbitrations.
Expertise: "He is exceptionally effective and extremely user-friendly, and doesn't shirk from giving the direct and clear advice clients need, rather than the advice they might want to hear."

Alastair Duncan QC
He has a broad commercial and public law practice, and is particularly highly regarded for his expertise in professional liability claims.
Expertise: "He is a very good team player whose input in relation to strategy is invaluable. He is pragmatic and commercially minded, and has this great ability to command the attention of the court."
Recent work: He acted on a class action brought against engineers, a planning authority and developers, relating to the contamination of residential land.

Roddy Dunlop QC
Has a busy commercial practice and has developed a strong reputation for his tenacious and effective advocacy. He also has significant experience in public procurement claims.
Expertise: "He's very good on his feet; very effective and very commercial."
Recent work: He represented Amey LG in a large public procurement claim brought against Scottish Ministers on maintenance contracts for the Scottish motorway network.

Mark Lindsay QC
Draws praise from clients and instructing solicitors for his technical abilities and approachable manner. His practice encompasses commercial law, public law and professional discipline.
Expertise: "His manner in dealing with the courts and clients is impressive – he has an understated but extremely effective delivery." "He impresses clients with both his quick grasp of the issues and his pragmatic advice."

James Mure QC
Has considerable expertise in commercial and public law, and a good reputation for judicial review work. His commercial litigation practice encompasses a wide range of issues, including construction, engineering, contractual and property disputes.
Expertise: "He has an intellectual approach but can really command the attention of the court."

JUNIORS
Almira Delibegovi?-Broome
A highly rated junior who has a significant commercial practice. She is praised by instructing solicitors for her in-depth preparation and vast intellect. She has considerable experience of handling insolvency-related disputes.
Expertise: "She is a highly intelligent individual with outstanding ability." "She has a keen grasp of legal issues and takes a practical view at all times; she is able to explain complex matters in a manner that can be easily understood by clients."
Recent work: She acted on legal issues arising out of the high-profile administration of Rangers FC.

Garry Borland
A highly regarded junior whose broad commercial practice encompasses contentious issues concerning contracts, property, company law, construction and insolvency.
Expertise: "He is a standout junior for commercial cases of particular complexity."
Recent work: He acted for a group of defendants on a multimillion-pound breach of fiduciary duty claim against the directors of a group of companies in administration.

Martin Richardson
Recognised for his ability to handle large and complex commercial matters. He has considerable experience in construction disputes.
Expertise: "He is one of the most impressive senior juniors at the Scottish Bar, accomplished well beyond his year of call." "He has the full set of skills: commercial acumen, great on his feet, and brings astute analytical skills to the case."
Recent work: He represented the defendant in a high-value fraud action brought by Prosafe Offshore, an oil services company.

Jonathan Barne
Has a wide-ranging commercial and public law practice. His experience covers disputes across a variety of areas, including construction, insolvency and property.
Expertise: "He provides very quick and very clear opinions; he's excellent in consultations and excellent in court too."
Recent work: He acted as junior counsel, alongside Alistair Clark QC, on a high-value action seeking enforcement of a contract for the sale of land.

Roisin Higgins
Praised for her client-handling skills, skilled advocacy and capacity for handling complex disputes. She is noted for her specialist expertise in intellectual property.
Expertise: "Roisin Higgins is one of our advocates of choice in all IP and commercial matters. She is exceptionally bright and works as a team player."

Kenneth McBrearty
Recommended by clients for his commercial awareness and pragmatic approach to contentious issues. He has a broad commercial disputes practice and also handles public law cases.
Expertise: "He is a really bright guy and is refreshingly plain-spoken; he's personable, good in court, and won't let you down on complex matters."
Recent work: He represented RBS in a Commercial Court action relating to the enforcement of a personal guarantee.

Morag Ross
Has extensive experience in commercial and public law. She is noted for her specific expertise in public procurement.
Expertise: "We highly value her exceptional legal knowledge and the practical approach she brings to complex situations."
Recent work: She was instructed by the claimant in a public procurement dispute regarding the award of a contract for school transport services.

Paul O'Brien
Has a broad practice encompassing commercial litigation, insolvency and intellectual property disputes.
Expertise: "He is very good on his feet in court, and is extremely responsive – he is constantly willing to make himself available."
Recent work: He acted together with Alistair Clark QC on representing the claimant in Farstad v Enviroco, an action for damages resulting from a fire onboard a ship.

David Thomson
Noted for his extensive knowledge of insolvency law and his expertise in complex commercial litigation. Praised for his technical ability and strong advocacy.
Expertise: "He is a first-class junior who can be trusted to give 100% to any case. He combines a clear analytical mind with a committed and diligent approach to the case."
Recent work: He acted on MacDonald v Pollack, a case involving a breach of contract relating to the sale of a fishing boat.

Gavin Walker
Praised for his practical approach and strong client-handling skills. He has a broad commercial litigation practice, and is noted for his considerable expertise in dealing with professional negligence claims and construction disputes.
Expertise: "He is extremely approachable, highly knowledgeable and very user-friendly. He also has a very firm grasp on the commercial needs of his clients in dispute resolution."
Recent work: He defended a civil engineering contractor who was sued for damages in relation to waste deposited on the pursuer's land.
 
Chris Paterson
Has a wide-ranging commercial practice, and is particularly highly rated for his clinical negligence expertise. He is experienced in both public law and judicial review proceedings.

Alasdair McKenzie
Has a broad commercial litigation practice, and is praised for his work on contentious construction claims. He also handles contractual disputes, property litigation and insolvency matters.
Expertise: "He is one of the best young juniors; hard-working and adept at immersing himself in the detail of complex cases."

Euan Duthie
Has a broad commercial practice that covers a diverse range of areas, including professional negligence claims, contractual disputes and insolvency litigation.
Expertise: "He is proactive, grasps the central issues really quickly, and adds a lot of value to the action – he is also very good with clients."
Recent work: He was instructed by the administrators of Heritable Bank in a complex dispute with the winding-up board of the bank's parent company, Landsbanki.


Company - Scotland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates is the clear leader of the Scottish Company Bar. The stable is engaged in some of the most complex company disputes and transactions in Scotland. Its members regularly act in shareholders' and directors' duties disputes, as well as in contentious matters arising from post-completion issues in company acquisitions and disposals.

Client service: "The clerks are very helpful; they are always on top of deadlines and never let anything slip through the cracks."

SILKS
Richard Keen QC
Richard Keen QC is a respected and highly regarded advocate frequently instructed in company law matters, as well as in insolvency and fraud proceedings. Within the Company Bar he has considerable experience in disputes relating to shareholders' and directors' duties.
Expertise: "He is a highly accomplished court practitioner and a tenacious cross-examiner."

Heriot Currie QC
With a broad practice which embraces commercial disputes, construction and company law matters, it is of little surprise that Heriot Currie QC is widely regarded as one of the most experienced commercial silks at the Scottish Bar.
Expertise: "He is very well respected and has the ear of the court."

JUNIORS
David Thomson
An experienced junior with a strong commercial litigation practice. He is most frequently instructed in property and general commercial disputes.
Expertise: "He has a great knowledge of commercial litigation and is a very good guy to have at your back."
Recent work: He was involved in an action by a liquidator for the reduction of a standard security as a gratuitous alienation.


Construction - Scotland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates is the standout stable for construction-related instructions in Scotland. The stable is home to a number of outstanding construction specialists, and its members receive instructions across the full breadth of construction law, including engineering and professional negligence-based disputes.

Client service: "The stable has a consistent level of quality; its members are all highly intelligent practitioners, and its clerks are helpful and efficient."

SILKS
Heriot Currie QC
Construction forms a core part of Currie's broad-based practice, and sources say he is "one of the top QCs in the country." His considerable expertise and notable advocacy skills ensure that solicitors consider him to be a top pick for the most difficult cases.
Expertise: "He is very experienced and has an exceptionally analytical approach to complex cases."
Recent work: He was instructed on behalf of HOCHTIEF Solutions in a high-value dispute relating to the tunnel collapse at the Glendoe hydroelectric scheme.

Richard Keen QC
Regarded as one of the best advocates in the market, Richard Keen QC is praised by sources for his "outstanding advocacy skills." Instructing solicitors value his skill in court, but also highlight his ability to be "a great team player" in complex disputes.
Expertise: "His ability to grasp the details and consume vast amounts of expert evidence at very short notice is impressive."
Recent work: He was instructed on a multimillion-pound claim relating to the construction of the Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow.

JUNIORS
Garry Borland
"One of the standout junior counsel for construction disputes in Scotland." He has considerable expertise in this sector, and combines a truly forensic attention to detail with superb advocacy skills.
Expertise: "He has an exceptional depth and breadth of expertise in relation to construction law."
Recent work: He acted for insurers in an £11.7 million claim against a contractor as a result of the late completion of a luxury hotel.

Martin Richardson
Has a growing reputation in the construction sphere, and is especially noted for his representation of insurers. Before being called to the Bar he practised as a solicitor, and sources believe that this informs his highly practical approach to litigation. 
Expertise: "He provides concise advice and is highly focused and commercial in his approach."
Recent work: He was instructed by the defenders on a multimillion-pound dispute relating to the collapse of a tunnel at the Glendoe hydroelectric scheme.

Gavin Walker
A highly experienced construction practitioner whose knowledge of the sector is informed by his prior career as a construction solicitor at McGrigors. His principal focus is on commercial and construction disputes, although he is also increasingly instructed in professional liability and product liability claims.
Expertise: "He is an excellent commercial lawyer who really understands construction cases."
Recent work: He acted for McLaughlin & Harvey in a complex claim relating to the refurbishment of a high-rise office complex in Glasgow.

Jonathan Barne
Makes his debut in this year's rankings. His broad practice encompasses a variety of commercial and public law disputes, and he has considerable experience in construction litigation.
Expertise: "He has an ability to quickly grasp the subject and suggest new commercial ways of tackling the issue."
Recent work: He was instructed by Dunwoody LLP in a complex claim against The Townhouse Company concerning the non-payment of fees in the development of a luxury hotel.

Alasdair McKenzie
Focuses his practice almost exclusively on construction litigation. He has handled a wide range of claims, and is noted for his expertise in those concerning extensions of time, liquidated damages and entitlement to payment.
Expertise: "He has good experience in the construction sector, which he applies well in litigation."

Jonathan Broome
Was called to the Bar in 2012 and, despite his relatively junior status as an advocate, he is able to draw upon his previous career as a specialist construction solicitor.
Recent work: He acted for Pihl UK in the Court of Session enforcement of an adjudication which concerned challenges relating to breach of natural justice and inadequacy of reasons.


Immigration - Scotland (Bar)


Daniel Byrne A public law specialist who is developing a strong reputation for his aptitude for immigration law.
Expertise: "He is highly experienced in immigration judicial review work, and provides straightforward advice - he is undoubtedly one to watch at the Scottish Bar."

Mark Lindsay QC A former standing counsel to the Home Secretary, he is adept at handling some of the most complex immigration matters. He receives instructions from both petitioners and the government.
Recent work: He was instructed in LM v Home Secretary, a petition for judicial review relating to the petitioner's Article 8 rights to remain in the UK.


Intellectual Property - Scotland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates is without doubt the pre-eminent stable for IP expertise in Scotland. It features advocates with outstanding ability and experience in the area, among both silks and juniors. Its members feature in virtually every case of note in the courts and in many matters both pursuer and defender are represented by counsel from Axiom. The advocates cover the full range of IP matters, including patents, copyright and trade marks.

Client service: "The clerks provide an absolutely top-notch service."

SILKS
Heriot Currie QC
A commercial advocate who has a strong practice in IP. He is particularly adept in patent matters and his depth of experience in the area makes him the first choice for many clients.
Expertise: "He has huge experience in patent cases, an astute commercial outlook and commands respect in court." "He's really an excellent cross-examiner - a real heavy hitter."

Jonathan Lake QC
A relatively young silk who is already one of the leading lights for IP work in Scotland. He impresses sources with his intellect and strategic skill, particularly in cases involving patents.
Expertise: "He is a very bright guy who is good at getting a grasp on the technological issues. He has an excellent eye for detail and very good legal instincts."
Recent work: He acted for Naxos Rights International in a copyright infringement case against Project Management Ltd and Keith Salmon.

JUNIORS
Roisin Higgins
Recognised as an experienced senior junior who is able to take on the full gamut of IP work, with significant recent experience in copyright, design right and confidential information cases. She is highly rated for her commercial awareness.
Expertise: "One of the best and most experienced junior Scottish counsel on all IP matters." "She is exceptional in court."
Recent work: She acted as sole counsel for Lisini Pub Management in a case brought by the Scottish Premier League related to satellite broadcasts of football.

Paul O'Brien
Brings his previous experience as a solicitor to bear on his IP practice, which covers the spectrum of IP rights, including patent, copyright and trade mark cases. Along with Roisin Higgins, he is considered the leading junior IP advocate in Scotland.
Expertise: "He is technically bright and deals with a lot of very complicated matters, and is always very persuasive in court."
Recent work: He acted, as junior to Jonathan Lake QC, for Total Waste Management in a case brought by a Cypriot company, Total Containment Engineering, for patent infringement.

Gavin Walker
A junior advocate of ten years' call who is developing a niche in IP work to go alongside his main practice in commercial dispute resolution and construction. Sources call him an "up-and-coming" IP practitioner.
Expertise: "He takes a commercial, pragmatic approach - he's done an excellent job."


Media Law - Scotland (Bar)


Alistair Clark QC is noted for both the strength of his advocacy and his magisterial understanding of defamation and privacy law. He has a stellar record in high-profile cases, and represents both pursuers and defenders of defamation claims.
Recent work: He acted for News Group Newspapers in its motion for a new trial with respect to Tommy Sheridan, who was awarded £200,000 in damages following a successful defamation action but was later convicted of perjury.

Roddy Dunlop QC is one of the Scottish Bar's leading advocates for defamation, privacy and contempt of court cases. He is a formidable practitioner, with "a powerful physical and intellectual presence."
Expertise: "He really understands this area of the law." "He is one of the top three advocates at the Scottish Bar for defamation and privacy." 
Recent work: He successfully defended The Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers against a defamation claim made by former MSP Frances Curran.


Pensions - Scotland (Bar)


James McNeill QC has cemented his reputation as one of the leading advocates for pensions issues in Scotland. He is renowned for his specialised knowledge of trusts and occupational pension schemes.
Expertise: "He is one of the immediate first choices when you need a senior advocate in Scotland."


Personal Injury - Scotland (Bar)


Roddy Dunlop QC receives considerable praise for his experience and skill in high-value and complex personal injury work, in which he acts primarily for defenders.
Expertise: "He's a very credible heavyweight legal brain - you know he'll back the views he puts forward in court and not be put off by judicial interference."


Planning - Scotland (Bar)


Ruth Crawford QC has vast experience in relation to both planning and environmental law. She is regularly instructed by both the Scottish government and local authorities, and a number of instructing solicitors speak highly of both her vast expertise and her "no-nonsense approach."
Expertise: "She is quietly spoken, but speaks with great authority; she's highly impressive in court."
Recent work: She was instructed on behalf of the Scottish Ministers against Greenland Developers in an appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission.

James Mure QC has a broad commercial and public law practice, and planning is just one of his areas of expertise. He regularly receives instructions from public bodies and local authorities.
Expertise: "He is highly respected for his knowledge, but also for his incisive intellect; he speaks with such conviction that everyone stops to listen when he talks."
Recent work: He was instructed in a challenge to the decision of Scottish Ministers to make road orders for a major motorway around Aberdeen.


Professional Discipline - Scotland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates acts both for and against professional regulators. Its members have considerable expertise across the full range of professional discipline cases, and are particularly experienced in handling issues concerning either solicitors or healthcare professionals.

SILKS
Roddy Dunlop QC
Recognised for his extensive experience in the professional discipline field. He receives instructions from a range of professional regulators, including the Law Society of Scotland, the GMC, the General Dental Council (GDC) and the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).
Expertise: "He is a notch above everyone else in the market – he is first-choice silk for the GDC and NMC."
Recent work: He successfully acted for the Law Society on resisting an appeal against a finding of professional misconduct.

Mark Lindsay QC
Well established within the fields of commercial law, public law and professional discipline. He is frequently instructed to act on behalf of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC). Expertise: "He is skilled in analysing a situation and providing practical ways to move forward."
Recent work: He acted for the SLCC on an appeal which considered the commission's ability to refuse a complaint on the grounds that it is without merit.

Alastair Duncan QC
Focuses his practice on professional liability and professional discipline cases. He is regularly instructed on behalf of the Law Society of Scotland and the SLCC.
Expertise: "He has the ear of the court. He gives very sound advice on objectives and legal points."


Professional Negligence - Scotland (Bar)


Jonathan Barne is frequently involved in complex professional negligence cases, although his broad practice also covers commercial and construction-related disputes.
Expertise: "He is a real standout who has a phenomenally good grasp of the law."

Alastair Duncan QC handles professional negligence work across a wide range of industries, although he is particularly highly regarded for his experience in cases concerning solicitors.
Expertise: "He is absolutely excellent; very down-to-earth, very able in terms of his legal thinking, very personable and easy to deal with."
Recent work: He represented a law firm, which had been sued for professional negligence, in a claim which concerned the responsibility of solicitors in relation to fluctuations in the property market.

Roddy Dunlop QC has a broad practice which covers a range of legal disciplines, although sources are particularly keen to pay tribute to his expertise in professional negligence claims.
Recent work: He acted on the defence of a claim for professional negligence made against a creator of road maps and notes for the Scottish Rally Championship.

Iain Ferguson QC has considerable experience in the professional negligence field and is often engaged in high-profile cases across a variety of sectors, including healthcare.
Recent work: He was involved in the defence of a development company that suffered losses due to its solicitors' negligent advice.

Kenneth McBrearty
Frequently instructed in matters relating to solicitors' negligence, McBrearty draws praise from commentators for his client service skills.
Expertise: "He is a very good advocate, extremely diligent, and very good with clients."
Recent work: Acted as sole representative on a solicitors' negligence case related to property development.

Alasdair McKenzie One of the rising stars of Axiom Advocates' younger generation of advocates, McKenzie has a broad practice which is principally focused on contentious construction law. He is recognised by peers for his increasing work on professional negligence claims relating to the construction sector.

Martin Richardson has a broad practice which is focused on commercial and construction disputes, and professional negligence claims.
Expertise: "He is an impressive advocate who is very bright, and very quick to grasp the issues."
Recent work: He was involved in a high-value case brought against engineers relating to the plan of an office building.

Gavin Walker has a broad practice which covers commercial and construction disputes, alongside his professional negligence practice.
Expertise: "He's a very good advocate; calm, sensible and very concise."
Recent work: Defended a group of engineers in a high-value matter involving the alleged infringement of the timescale agreed for construction.


Public Procurement - Scotland (Bar)


Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates offers a strength in depth of expertise in procurement law which is unparalleled at the Scottish Bar. The stable is home to a number of Scotland's leading commercial and public lawyers, and the strength and depth of expertise on offer ensures that Axiom's advocates are regularly instructed in the leading procurement cases.

Client service: "They are very responsive, they work to our time scales and they are accessible, supportive and empathetic."

SILKS
Alistair Clark QC
Is frequently instructed in large commercial litigation matters with a significant procurement element. He is typically instructed to defend contracting authorities, although he also represents clients from the private sector.
Expertise: "He is a safe pair of hands and he instils a lot of confidence in the client."
Recent work: He acted for the council on Lightways v North Lanarkshire Council, a challenge to the decision to award a public contract.

James Mure QC
Gains plaudits for his expertise in both commercial and public law, and particularly for his knowledge of procurement challenges. He also has considerable experience of handling judicial review proceedings.
Expertise: "A specialist in public procurement work who is very meticulous in his preparation and has a thorough understanding of the legislation."

JUNIORS
Morag Ross
Lauded by clients and fellow advocates alike for her in-depth understanding of the procurement regulations and her impressive skills as an advocate. Commentators are particularly keen to praise her efficiency of action on complex and time-sensitive work.
Expertise: "She's a master at guiding clients through the procurement regulations."
Recent work: Represented the council in Farrans Construction v Glasgow City Council.

John MacGregor
Primarily acts on commercial disputes and has significant experience in long-running procurement challenges. Instructing solicitors appreciate his extensive preparation and knowledge of European case law.
Expertise: "His technical capability is great and he is exceptionally intelligent. He works very, very hard."
Recent work: He acted for NHS 24 in its attempt to challenge a procurement exercise for telephone and online medical advice services.


Restructuring/Insolvency - Scotland (Bar)

 
Band 1 | Axiom Advocates
Axiom Advocates contains the largest collection of insolvency experts at the Scottish Bar. The stable is widely recognised for the highly commercial nature of its service, which is characterised by a quick turnaround of work and highly competitive pricing. Its expert advocates are well versed in both corporate and personal insolvency issues, and are regularly instructed to both advise and litigate on complex insolvency matters.

Client service: "The clerks are always helpful."

SILKS
James McNeill QC
Is a respected senior silk with a specialism in insolvency law, particularly where the matter involves trusts.
Expertise: "He is thorough, fastidious and gets the detail right. He is a well-respected senior."
Recent work: He was instructed in a dispute between opposing creditors of Scottish Lion Insurance.

Sarah Wolffe QC
Highly regarded for technical and complex matters, she has developed a strong reputation for her depth of expertise in insolvency matters. She is also noted for her experience of judicial reviews and government-led matters.
Expertise: "She is a well-established and well-regarded QC with a genuine specialist interest in insolvency work." "She is a technically excellent and determined advocate."
Recent work: She was instructed in the high-profile and complex Landsbanki insolvency. She acted on behalf of the joint administrators of the Scottish subsidiary of the largest of the failed Icelandic banks; this matter turned on whether the client was entitled to rely on insolvency proceedings available in Scottish law.

JUNIORS
Garry Borland
A very accomplished junior who has developed a strong practice principally focused on commercial and construction disputes. Commentators believe that the advocacy skills he has honed on that side of his practice, added to his considerable experience in insolvency and restructuring matters, combine to make him a go-to for contentious insolvency matters.
Expertise: "He is one of the best juniors in this practice area." "He has a keen attention to detail and offers a good analysis of the issues."
Recent work: He was instructed in FM Developments (In Administration) v Milne and others, acting on behalf of the defendants on a £23 million claim concerning breach of fiduciary duty against the directors of a group of companies in insolvency.

Almira Delibegovi?-Broome
Runs a busy commercial practice and is frequently instructed in insolvency cases, especially in her capacity as a standing junior to HM Revenue & Customs. Commentators believe that her previous career as a corporate solicitor is one of the factors behind her strong client handling skills.
Expertise: "She is robust and fearless on her feet, and is also highly intelligent and diligent."
Recent work: She advised on the administration and subsequent liquidation of Rangers FC. She also acted on the long-running liquidations of Weir Group companies.

Paul O'Brien
Has built a strong commercial practice since being called to the Bar in 2004 following a previous career as a solicitor. He has become recognised for his strong expertise in insolvency matters.
Expertise: "He has an impressive knowledge of insolvency law, and gets to grips with complex legal questions very quickly."
Recent work: He appeared as junior to Heriot Currie QC, opposite Sarah Wolffe QC, on the Landsbanki case. Also instructed in a contested application for an administration order for W J Harte Construction.

Susan Ower
Regularly acts on insolvency matters for a variety of clients, including banks, financial institutions and insolvency practitioners. She has been appointed as standing junior counsel to the Scottish government's Legal Directorate.
Expertise: "She is a very experienced insolvency advocate who is good on her feet and has dealt with some major insolvency cases in the past year." "She is developing a niche in insolvency and is one to watch."
Recent work: She acted for the joint administrators of Questway on successfully bringing a claim of gratuitous alienation against one of its directors.

David Thomson
Due to his previous career as a commercial litigator, David Thomson has a wealth of experience which belies his relatively junior year of call. His practice is focused on a wide range of commercial litigation, and he is particularly noted for his expertise in contentious insolvency cases.
Expertise: "His knowledge of insolvency law is encyclopaedic."
Recent work: He was instructed in The Liquidator of Letham Grange Development v Foxworth Investments, an action brought by the liquidator to bring about a reduction of the standard security as a gratuitous alienation.

Euan Duthie
He has built upon his previous experience as a solicitor, and since coming to the Bar in 2006 has successfully carved out a practice in insolvency law, where he is particularly highly regarded for his expertise in administrations.
Expertise: "He gives clear, thorough and highly effective advice."
Recent work: He was instructed in the Landsbanki insolvency, and was also instructed by the directors of W J Harte Construction, in relation to an application for an administration order which was contested by the creditors.


Tax - Scotland (Bar)


Band 2 | Axiom Advocates
This stable fields a strong set of veteran advocates who are renowned tax law experts. Its members have a strong track record in both advising and litigating on complex commercial and private tax matters, including shareholder disputes, acquisitions and disposals, international tax, and trusts and pension issues.

SILKS
James McNeill QC
Is a vastly experienced silk whose broad practice includes advice on the tax issues relating to trusts and occupational pensions. He is well regarded by market sources for both the strength of his advocacy and the high quality of his documentation and submissions.
Expertise: "A superb advocate with a considerable depth of tax expertise."

Heriot Currie QC
Is one of the Scottish Bar's most prominent commercial silks. His tax practice forms part of his wider practice in public law and planning, and commentators are keen to highlight his expertise on VAT matters.

Sarah Wolffe QC
An experienced public and commercial law practitioner, with a substantial background in tax law. She has advised on issues relating to taxation following devolution, and is highly regarded for acting for HMRC on both VAT Tribunal cases and First-tier Tribunal cases.
Expertise: "She provides hugely thorough and practical tax advice."

David Johnston QC
A public and commercial law practitioner who has considerable expertise in relation to tax law. Commentators are quick to acknowledge his expertise in both insurance company taxation and issues concerning the legality of forward tax agreements.

 

Market Perception

Commentary on the market's perception of Axiom was also very favourable. Details as follows:- 

Administrative & Public Law

"a collection of very good advocates"
"it is particularly strong in terms of the number of silks who handle public law matters."
"They are highly professional and provide good, clear and commercial advice."

Clinical Negligence

"The clerking team is impressive and efficient."

Commercial Dispute Resolution

"an outstanding stable to instruct"
"It is a brilliant chambers; its clerking team knows exactly who you need and who can do the work in the time available."
"The market leaders in Scotland for commercial work; all members of the stable are very strong technical lawyers and good on their feet."

Company

"The clerks are very helpful; they are always on top of deadlines and never let anything slip through the cracks."

Construction

"The stable has a consistent level of quality; its members are all highly intelligent practitioners, and its clerks are helpful and efficient."

Intellectual Property

"The clerks provide an absolutely top-notch service."

Public Procurement

"They are very responsive, they work to our time scales and they are accessible, supportive and empathetic."