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Chambers UK: Axiom Advocates offers a first-class bench of advocates

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Chambers UK: Axiom Advocates offers a first-class bench of advocates

21 October 2021

Axiom is delighted to be ranked a band 1 set in 13 practice areas in the recent Chambers UK publication.  Individual members feature prominently with 126 rankings amongst the membership and our core practice areas. The service provided by the clerking team also receives high praise.

Public and Administrative

Axiom Advocates possesses numerous prominent public law advocates who routinely act in the highest courts in Scotland and the UK. Members are instructed in judicial reviews involving a range of issues, from immigration rules and human rights to procurement and constitutional law. The advocates count the Scottish Government and many local authorities among their clients. The stable fielded counsel on both sides of Joanna Cherry's landmark prorogation judicial review in 2019. In addition, the advocates have represented parties in various recent challenges regarding welfare provision for asylum seekers or the homeless.

Client service:

"The clerks are friendly, helpful and efficient." "The whole team are good at picking things up and have continued to run efficiently through lockdown." Lesley Flynn leads the clerking team.

Daniel Byrne draws on his deep expertise in human rights law to represent petitioners and respondents in administrative and public law challenges. He is particularly strong in the context of immigration and asylum appeals. Other recent mandates include cases concerning planning, housing and criminal justice. He is frequently instructed by local authorities.
"He has an in-depth knowledge of the area but is also able to clearly explain complex matters to clients."

David Johnston QC maintains an active public law practice and regularly represents the Scottish Government and other public bodies in legislative and regulatory challenges. His public law practice is wide-ranging, and past instructions include cases concerning professional discipline, nationality and costs litigation. He is also experienced in media law and human rights matters.
"He's intellectually able and a very impressive advocate who has the ear of the court."

David Welsh is sought after by prominent solicitors to handle complex, high-profile challenges at an impressively early stage in his career. He acts for petitioners and respondents in judicial reviews involving questions of constitutional and commercial law, or the regulation of the professions.
"A standout at the Bar in relation to Scottish public law." "The quality of his advice, his knowledge and his skills are way beyond his years."

Ewen Campbell is a standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government and regularly appears in the Court of Session as well as Sheriff Courts. He draws on his background as a solicitor to provide expert advice and representation to ministers, public bodies and commercial clients in a wide range of public law matters.
"He's methodical and can break legal problems down in a fairly straightforward and concise way." "He's very strong technically and also good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Transport Scotland in the successful defence of a judicial review, including on appeal, of a proposed subsidy to be paid under a Public Service Contract to provide ferry services to the Northern Isles.

Gerry Moynihan QC offers a breadth of administrative and public law expertise which includes commercial, human rights and regulatory challenges. He represents the Scottish Government, local authorities and petitioners in judicial reviews and related civil proceedings before domestic and European courts. He is also experienced at acting in public inquiries.
"He's a heavy hitter in public law."

James Mure QC receives instructions from the Scottish Government, local authorities and other clients in the public sector. He has handled public law claims involving environmental, constitutional and human rights law.
"He's very able, confident and a true public law specialist. The court respects him."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Ministers in successfully resisting a judicial review of their decisions on trading restrictions in the hospitality sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

John MacGregor QC acts for petitioners, respondents and interveners in a wide range of judicial reviews and regulatory appeals. Recently, he has been active in public law disputes involving police and local government law. He has particular depth of knowledge in mental health matters.
"He has great client skills alongside his incredible knowledge of the law. He also works collaboratively with juniors." "He is unendingly helpful and on top of every detail."

Kenneth McBrearty QC operates a varied public law practice. His strong common law background makes him particularly suitable for judicial reviews with some commercial, property or professional negligence aspect. He is also active in challenges with an immigration or human rights crossover.
"Kenneth is everything you need counsel to be - very approachable, a team player - and I really appreciate and value his input." "He plays it straight and to the point."

Lesley Irvine is a go-to advocate for complex judicial reviews. She acts on behalf of petitioners and respondents in a wide array of public law challenges, regularly appearing before the UK Supreme Court. She is particularly active in matters involving human rights, EU or election law.
"She's clever, hard-working and has excellent attention to detail." "She's extremely sharp and creative in her thinking."

Mark Lindsay QC has extensive experience of acting for petitioners and respondents, including government departments, in high-profile public law challenges. He advises on state aid and public procurement issues, and additional areas of expertise include professional discipline, education, environment and data protection.
"He's an incredible, strategic and user-friendly advocate." "He is very able and pleasant to deal with."

Morag Ross QC continues to build on an already sterling reputation for public law. She has a strong track record of being involved in important judicial reviews challenging government policy. She acts on behalf of respondents and petitioners in a wide range of matters, including regulatory and human rights challenges. She is also experienced in EU law.
"She is an acknowledged expert. Her presentation in court is excellent and she's good with clients as well." "She is technically excellent, marshals all the arguments and delivers strong written opinions."
Recent work: Acted for Perth and Kinross Council in a judicial review of Ministers’ decision to call in for review the council’s decision to implement a closure proposal for a rural school.

Roddy Dunlop QC is the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. He operates a celebrated practice which includes a number of high-profile instructions in administrative and public law. He regularly appears for the Parole Board for Scotland and a wide variety of other defendants, including professional and sporting associations. He also acts for petitioners in commercial judicial review.
"An extremely good and capable advocate, a leader all the way through to conclusion and a first-rate performer."

Ruth Crawford QC is often seen in challenging and complex judicial reviews and regulatory appeals. She represents petitioners and respondents in a range of public law cases, including those relating to professional regulation, human rights, procurement and commercial matters. She is also frequently instructed to advise public bodies on legislative interpretation.
"She can cut through huge amounts of information to focus on the key issues. She's also not afraid to take on difficult cases." "She is outstanding - one of the silks I aspire to be like."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Ministers in a challenge to the Scottish Government's package of relief measures for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in respect of lockdown restrictions.

Civil liberties and Human Rights

A frequent choice for government departments and public bodies in Scotland and the wider UK, Axiom Advocates is respected for its broad expertise in civil liberties. The advocates regularly act across immigration matters, healthcare disputes and judicial reviews. Recently members of the stable advised on the case of Shelter v Glasgow City Council, a judicial review challenging the council's policy and practices on homelessness.

Client service:

Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Daniel Byrne represents a variety of petitioners and respondents, including public bodies, individuals facing deportation and the Scottish Government. He demonstrates expertise across diverse areas such as prison, mental health, energy and planning law. He has frequently appeared before the Supreme Court in significant human rights and civil liberties cases.
"Dan Byrne is clear in his views and is well respected." "He is intellectually strong but also approachable. In immigration-related matters, he is one of the few people I would go to for added value."
Recent work: Acted for the local authority in L v Principal Reporter and The Chief Social Worker of Renfrewshire Council. The judicial review concerned the lawfulness of the decision to place a 17 year old looked-after child in secure accommodation.

John MacGregor QC is a respected silk who has a strong track record of assisting local government and other public bodies with administrative appeals and judicial review proceedings. He possesses experience working on human rights issues deriving from immigration and criminal deportation matters. His broad client base includes institutions such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.
"He is responsive but also receptive."
Recent work: Successfully resisted judicial review in DXL v Secretary of State for the Home Department. The challenge concerned the approach to expert evidence, Article 8 ECHR and whether the Upper Tribunal had provided proper reasons for rejecting the grounds of appeal in an asylum and immigration case.

Lesley Irvine is skilled at appearing in human rights and civil liberties judicial review and appellate cases for both claimants and respondents. She has particular experience in equalities and EU law matters. She is regularly instructed by government and has been appointed second standing junior.
"Lesley Irvine is very able in this area of law and is very well regarded." "Her work is very focused and she has a good grasp of the issues. She is able to come up with quite innovative arguments."
Recent work: Appeared in JS v Scottish Ministers, a challenge concerning the prosecution of serious sexual offences during the pandemic.

A market-leading silk with a well-established practice, Mark Lindsay QC is called upon to challenge the decisions of tribunals, regulatory bodies, and local and central government. Given the high calibre of his instructions, he appears before all levels of domestic court and the ECJ. 
"Mark Lindsay is very steady, very persuasive and very sound."

Morag Ross QC predominantly focuses her work at the intersection between public law, human rights and EU law. She routinely acts for both petitioners and respondents and has extensive expertise in government disputes. She also handles judicial review claims and statutory appeal proceedings.
"Morag Ross is really quite a phenomenal force at the Scottish Bar." "She is highly intelligent and able, and she has fantastic written work too." "She has an acute eye for detail and will pick up points that will be missed by others."
Recent work: Acted for the Children's Reporter in L v Principal Reporter and The Chief Social Worker of Renfrewshire Council. This judicial review concerned the lawfulness of the decision to place a 17 year old looked-after child in secure accommodation.

Clinical Negligence

Alastair Duncan QC is an experienced commercial silk who is entrusted by defenders with significant clinical negligence claims. He appears in fatal accident inquiries, cancer cases and misdiagnosis claims.
Strengths: "He is someone with encyclopedic knowledge, and doctors like his manner."

Iain Ferguson QC is an acclaimed silk who possesses substantial experience in clinical negligence, in addition to other areas of professional negligence law. He frequently appears in claims against clinicians and institutions regarding birth and spinal injuries, as well as psychiatric injury group actions.
Strengths: "He is meticulously prepared." "He has an eye for details and he's analytical."
Recent work: Represented the defendant in Henderson v Benarty Medical Practice, an amputation case involving complex causation issues.

Roddy Dunlop QC is an esteemed advocate who participates in challenging clinical negligence proceedings as part of an expansive civil practice. He predominantly acts for defenders in cases concerning failed diagnosis and medical product liability.
Strengths: "He is diligent and impressive on his feet." "A formidable opponent."

Chris Paterson is a well-established practitioner with a broad professional liability practice. He routinely defends medical professionals in negligence claims and fatal accident inquiries. His practice encompasses a wide spectrum of allegations including failure to diagnose and failure to treat.
Strengths:"He pays attention to details and offers sound advice." "He has broad expertise and he is a hard worker."

Ewen Campbell is a well-regarded advocate who enjoys solicitor experience and has notable experience of handling group actions regarding dental negligence and medical device liability. He is also well equipped to handle surgical error, failed diagnosis and fatal claims. He acts for defenders, who highlight his courtroom skills as one of his primary strengths.
Strengths: "He is very clever and well prepared."
Recent work: Represented the MDDUS in the group litigation against dentist Alan Morrison. This matter arose from the reuse of single-use medical equipment, which increased the chance of exposure to blood-borne infection.

Helen Watts handles complex, high-value professional negligence claims against legal, construction and tax professionals. She acts for both claimants and defendants.
Strengths: "She is business-minded and able to grasp the economic aspects of the case."

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Axiom Advocates offers a first-class bench of advocates possessing deep knowledge of commercial and legal issues of importance to various industry sectors. Its client roster includes the Scottish Government, major corporations and financial institutions. Advocates at the stable are instructed across a wide range of areas such as contract disputes, real estate, insolvency and company law, and professional negligence. Recent activity has seen members act in difficult, high-profile cases, including matters relating to the restructuring of Premier Oil.

Client service:

"The clerking service, led by Lesley Flynn, has set the standards for everyone else to follow. The whole clerking team is highly responsive and sympathetic to the needs and priorities of instructing solicitors." "Axiom Advocates is your first port of call in terms of senior and junior counsel. They have an experienced clerking team who are good at identifying suitable counsel and are transparent about fees." "The clerks are all very good; I know Cheryl Wilson particularly well and she is excellent. The stable is also good about letting you know if they can't accommodate a request, or picking up the pieces if an advocate becomes unavailable."

Alastair Duncan QC is a leading silk in the field of professional negligence, whose abilities are also in high demand for commercial contract disputes. He handles partnership and IT litigation, as well as disputes affecting sports clients and public law matters. 
"Very calm and focused, and he is very sensible but will fight your corner." "He is formidable to be against."

Almira Delibegović-Broome QC is frequently instructed by Scotland's leading law firms in matters covering the full spectrum of commercial disputes. She has developed an especially strong reputation in relation to high-value insolvency and company proceedings. Complex evidential hearings form a major part of her practice. She is also well versed in public law.
"She's intelligent and a fighter and she likes to think outside of the box."

Chris Paterson is best known for his expertise in the professional liability sphere, defending healthcare, legal and construction professionals, among others, in a range of high-stakes proceedings. He also has notable experience in contractual disputes and commercial property litigation. He is currently a standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government.
"He covers all the points and goes the extra mile." "He is extremely diligent, and his presentation of a case to the court is exceptional."
Recent work: Acted as junior counsel for the petitioners in the unfair prejudice challenge to the Scottish Premier League concerning its decision to relegate Hearts FC and Partick Thistle FC.

David Massaro is recommended by multiple sources as a strong advocate with an established commercial practice. He brings significant know-how to contractual, commercial property and insolvency disputes. He is also adept at handling professional negligence and construction cases.
"David is able to take a robust line when needed and is impressive with clients." "He provides succinct and punctual advice, and has an excellent manner with clients."
Recent work: Defended SSE and an LLP it formed with a landowner, in claims where the pursuer sought damages for the alleged breach of an LLP agreement and deeds of servitude.

David Thomson QC is an experienced advocate in particularly high demand for insolvency, real estate and company litigation. He comes recommended for especially difficult and complex commercial and contractual claims. He is also experienced in the handling of professional negligence and tax disputes.
"A robust practitioner, always busy and well instructed." "An absolutely excellent QC, he is highly intelligent and gets to the crux of the issue immediately. He has the ear of the court."

David Welsh is an advocate with a rising profile and an impressive client following. He is frequently instructed in a variety of commercial matters, including contractual disputes and cases touching on competition law.
"A very experienced junior who is exceptionally well prepared for anything." "Really bright and can be used for a broad range of cases."
Recent work: Acted in Glasgow City Council v VFS Financial Services and others, which formed part of litigation by all local authorities in Scotland against a number of vehicle manufacturers following findings by the European Commission of a breach of competition law.

Elisabeth Roxburgh is an up-and-coming advocate who has developed an impressive reputation among her peers. She is frequently instructed in a variety of commercial matters, including contractual and insolvency disputes.
"She is able to turn around high-quality work to tight timescales and has a real eye for detail." "She came across very well in court; she was very confident and knew what she was doing."

Euan Duthie QC has significant advocacy and advisory experience in a broad range of commercial litigation, especially in cases concerning complex contractual and shareholder disputes. He is also regularly instructed in relation to insolvency proceedings and professional negligence matters, and is experienced in the handling of property-related litigation.
"Really impressive, a safe pair of hands. He stands his ground and is very consistent and reliable." "Very astute and easy to work with as part of a legal team."
Recent work: Acted for the defender in OLM System v Fife Council, a procurement challenge concerning a social care case management system.

Ewen Campbell receives widespread praise from instructing solicitors and lay clients alike. He has a broad practice encompassing commercial, professional negligence and public procurement disputes. He is experienced appearing before the Commercial Court, the Inner House and the sheriff courts.
"An incredibly hard-working and capable junior." "He has great judgement, and is a strategist who constructs very good oral and written arguments."
Recent work: Acted for the defenders in Scottish Gas Networks v Bam Nuttall, a £3 million dispute surrounding gas pipes adjacent to a quarry.

Garry Borland QC comes highly recommended for complex, high-value commercial and contractual matters and is regularly cited as a standout advocate for construction and engineering disputes. He is also frequently instructed in insolvency, tax and professional liability proceedings. He has handled disputes arising across a number of industry sectors including financial services, energy and insurance.
"Garry was terrific - very well organised and thoughtful." "He's excellent - incredibly bright and very effective in court." "He is a very clear and analytical advocate who handles his matters sensitively and carefully." 
Recent work: Acted for a syndicate of international banks in their defence of of a scheme of arrangement in respect of Premier Oil's restructuring.

Gavin Walker QC has developed an excellent reputation in a number of areas, including construction, real estate, insolvency and professional negligence. He frequently represents surveyors, architects and engineers in complex professional liability disputes.
"He is flexible and clear in his advice." "A good all-rounder, very impressive on his feet."

Gerry Moynihan QC maintains a strong reputation in the market for his considerable experience in construction, planning, public law and professional liability matters. He is also well versed in dealing with purely commercial disputes.
"He seems to be able to pick up any issue quickly and deal with it in a very professional way." "He is excellent, and knows how to read the court."

James Mure QC acts for clients in major contractual and commercial property disputes. His expertise in these areas is complemented by in-depth knowledge of public law, procurement and planning issues. He is also well versed in environmental and constitutional law. His clients typically include local authorities, public bodies and the government.
"A very, very good advocate with lots of experience. A safe pair of hands."

John MacGregor QC maintains a broad commercial dispute resolution practice, complemented by his strong focus on public law. He is increasingly noted for his representation of financial institutions in disputes concerning financial products. He is also well regarded for his handling of high-value cases involving commercial contracts, shareholder disputes and professional negligence matters.
"An analytical advocate who delivers the highest-quality opinions and is also capable in the courtroom." "A very bright advocate who is user-friendly, very diligent and really helpful with witness statements."
Recent work: Acted for ARCM, a creditor of Premier Oil, in opposing schemes of arrangement in relation to Premier Oil and its trading subsidiary.

Jonathan Barne QC exhibits meticulous preparation and a robust style of advocacy. He has been instructed in a broad range of cases including construction and engineering contract disputes and commercial property matters. His clients typically include major energy companies, financial institutions and the Scottish Government. His practice also encompasses professional negligence, insolvency and administrative law.
"Excellent in more specialised and complex cases" "An incredibly sharp mind and strong client focus."
Recent work: Defended Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance in respect of a large claim under an insurance policy after a fire destroyed city centre premises.

Jonathan Brown is active in professional negligence cases, as well as contractual, partnership and shareholder disputes. He also represents clients in insolvency, professional discipline and commercial property matters. He impresses interviewees with the depth of his experience in a variety of complex commercial disputes.
"He is very reliable, unflappable and sees the wider analysis." "Highly competent, especially in relation to contentious professional partnership matters."

Jonathan Lake QC principally represents clients in real estate, IP and commercial contract litigation. He is also praised for his work in construction and professional negligence matters.
"He's razor sharp, pragmatic and experienced, and he handles clients very well." "He is good at taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, reducing a large volume of information into a workable amount." "Jonathan is one of the most polished advocates at the Scottish Bar in terms of his oral advocacy and his reassuring presence with clients."

Kenneth McBrearty QC has a breadth of expertise spanning a wide variety of commercial disputes, including partnership and IP cases. He is noted for his handling of major real estate and professional negligence matters. He is particularly experienced litigating in the Court of Session and the Supreme Court. He is also regularly instructed in cases concerning administrative and human rights law.
"After one day of cross-examination our clients described him as 'masterful'." "He is excellent on his feet." "A natural oral advocate who is both technically excellent and a pleasure to work with."

Mark Lindsay QC is able to call upon broad commercial litigation experience, including in several major shareholder and contractual disputes, in addition to offering expertise in professional discipline matters. He also possesses considerable experience in public and administrative law, having been a standing junior to the Home Secretary prior to taking silk. He has appeared before the ECJ, House of Lords and Supreme Court.  
"His advocacy skills are outstanding, and he evidently has the respect of the bench." "He is technically knowledgeable but pragmatic." "Extremely responsive and easy to work with."
Recent work: Defended a sheriff court claim for loss of profits brought against the Home Office by Galbraith Trawlers, after three vessels were detained for violation of immigration rules in respect of crew members.

Neil Davidson of Glen Clova QC is highlighted for his strong tactical sense and formidable cross-examination abilities. He is well known for acting in large international disputes covering a range of commercial matters. His experience covers litigation in the Court of Session and the ECJ, as well as the representation of clients in mediations and arbitrations.
"He has the ear of the court and advises with authority." "Knowledgeable and client-friendly." "Calm, detailed and a good tactician."

Paul O'Brien QC is consistently rated by sources as one of the most intellectually able performers at the Scottish Bar. His key areas of focus include IP and professional negligence. He has also been instructed in complex commercial property and insolvency matters. He has appeared in cases before the Inner House and the UK Supreme Court.
"Academically gifted, and very creative with how he deploys the law on behalf of his clients." "He is very responsive and proactive, and has an ability to grasp complex issues very quickly."
Recent work: Acted for the University of St Andrews in a claim challenging the defenders' marketing of its own version of the university's undergraduate gowns.

Roddy Dunlop QC is the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and generally held to be the most accomplished advocate in Scotland. He is noted for his breadth of practice, as well as his assertive and persuasive advocacy before the Bench. He can boast a strong track record in complex commercial and contractual litigation and in major banking disputes. He also receives plaudits for his handling of media and professional discipline matters.
"An extremely good and capable advocate, a leader all the way through to conclusion, and a first-rate performer." "His clarity and precision of advice is excellent, and he helped us to understand his advice fully so we could act upon it." "Roddy is excellent, and is not shy about giving frank advice when the client needs to hear it."

Roisin Higgins QC enjoys an impressive reputation as one of the Scottish Bar's leading authorities on IP-related issues. She has additional expertise in commercial contract, construction and property disputes. She has experience representing clients before the Court of Session and the sheriff courts and in arbitration proceedings.
"Roisin is a team player - great to work with and very responsive." "Great attention to detail and very thorough."
Recent work: Acted for MCR Oil Tools in petitioning the Court of Session to have two dissolved companies restored to the Register of Companies in order that they could be sued in patent and know-how proceedings in Texas.

Ross McClelland is a well-regarded junior recommended for a wide spread of commercial disputes, including contractual, commercial property and professional negligence matters. He has experience acting as sole advocate in both the Court of Session and Glasgow Sheriff Court. He is also known for his representation of clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings.
"An excellent junior - bright and user-friendly. Gets his sleeves rolled up and gets stuck into the case."
Recent work: Acted for Kildermorie Partnership in three claims seeking substantial damages in respect of the termination of a hydro-electric power scheme.

Ruth Crawford QC is highly rated for her work in public law and planning litigation, and is also recommended for handling difficult commercial and contractual disputes. Her clients include several local and national governments, as well as other public bodies. Commentators value her accessible and user-friendly manner. She has appeared in the courts and tribunals at all levels, up to and including the UK Supreme Court.
"Very good with her clients, formidable but also very human." "Ruth's attention to detail is unparalleled."

Scott Manson possesses a growing reputation for his handling of a wide range of commercial disputes, with particular experience in commercial contracts, professional negligence and construction-related matters. His clients include financial institutions, contractors and professional advisers, among others.
"Very commercially minded and an incredibly good advocate; he's smart on his feet." "Unusually experienced among junior counsel at presenting complex and difficult arguments."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a £1 million breach of warranty claim arising out of a share purchase agreement for the acquisition by an overseas company of a Scottish construction firm.

Susan Ower is a highly regarded advocate with substantial experience handling complex and high-profile commercial contract disputes, and is highly rated for her insolvency and banking and finance practice. She is currently standing junior counsel to the Scottish Government Legal Directorate.
"She has a very good balance of technical and practical expertise." "A very modern approach. She has a great way of dealing with complex issues and clearly explaining them to clients."
Recent work: Acted for the pursuer in two related actions arising out of the failure of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway.

Company law

Axiom Advocates is a leading stable in Scotland for company law and demonstrates extensive expertise in all manner of advice and disputes relating to the operation, sale and purchase of companies. The stable also has complementary expertise in insolvency matters. Axiom members are capable of handling complex issues regarding directors’ duties and schemes of arrangement and are well versed in the Companies Act 2006. Sources agree that Axiom is "the premier commercial stable in Scotland."

Client service:

"The clerks are very responsive and happy to discuss fee levels." Catriona Still is the deputy clerk for company law.

Almira Delibegović-Broome QC is an accomplished silk with expertise not only in complex insolvency matters, but also in a host of broader company issues. She advises on schemes of arrangement and other matters relating to takeovers and other corporate transactions. She handles disputes and appeals before all levels of the court system.
"She is really adept at handling the technical nuances of cases." "She very impressive, user-friendly and has a great rapport with judges."

David Thomson QC is held in high regard for his commercial litigation practice and he is regularly instructed by the Secretary of State to handle director disqualification claims. He complements his company practice with additional expertise in property and insolvency matters and offers further ability in professional negligence and tax-related cases. He has experience appearing before the Supreme Court and the Commercial Court, and is increasingly involved in international arbitration.
"He is a very strong in this area and a very strong at trial." "He is the go-to barrister for corporate restructuring."

Elisabeth Roxburgh is an experienced junior with broad experience of corporate and contractual matters and additional knowledge of insolvency and restructuring issues. Her work includes petitions under the Companies Act 2006 and other disputes relating to shares and schemes of arrangement.
"She really knows her stuff when it comes to the technical side of law and is very good on her feet." "She is hugely knowledgeable."
Recent work: Acted for SPEX Group Holdings in response to a petition to restore two Scottish companies to the Register of Companies so that the petitioner could commence litigation against the companies in Texas.

Susan Ower is a well-regarded commercial junior known for her impressive, wide-ranging practice. She has a focus on debt, insolvency and commercial contracts, and serves as a standing junior to the Scottish Government Legal Directorate.
"She always knows her stuff." "She is very experienced."
Recent work: Represented MCR Oil Tools, a US company, in its application to restore two Scottish companies to the Register of Companies.


Axiom Advocates remains the undisputed market leader for construction disputes in Scotland. One source says that the stable is "the go-to in Scotland." Advocates at the stable are highly adept at handing construction disputes arising in a plethora of sectors, including energy and transport. Members assist a broad client portfolio, including construction bodies and local authorities, with mandates such as disputes arising from development projects, engineering matters and professional negligence cases.

Client service:

Lesley Flynn is the practice manager. "The clerks are excellent." "Deputy clerk Cheryl Wilson is very good. She comes back to me and will chat something through and fix it."

Adam McKinlay boasts notable expertise in construction-relater professional negligence actions. He frequently acts in a variety of construction disputes for private companies and public sector clients. 
"He's commercial and detailed." "His written work throughout the case was excellent, and he is very approachable."
Recent work: Acted for the defender in Agro Invest v Stewart Milne Group, a case in which the claimant sought damages of £10 million relating to alleged defective design and construction at the Ben Alder Estate near Loch Etive, Dalwhinnie.

Alasdair McKenzie is an in-demand advocate who regularly appears on behalf of contractors, subcontractors, employers and professional individuals. He exhibits aptitude across various forms of ADR and has broad experience in judicial review proceedings.

David Thomson QC is a respected advocate with expertise in construction and engineering disputes, as part of a broader commercial practice. He represents both contractors and employers in substantial cases involving claims of defects and professional negligence.
"He has a pragmatic and commercial approach."

Garry Borland QC is a highly reputed silk with a broad-based practice running the full gamut of construction and engineering. He has acted in some of the most high-profile cases in Scotland, including complex defect and damages claims, as well as disputes over major motorway developments.
"His attention to detail is second to none."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant engineers in relation to one of several claims arising out of the fire which occurred at the Glasgow School of Art construction site.

Gavin Walker QC is a leading advocate in the sector and is regularly instructed by contractors in heavyweight construction disputes with employers. He acts across professional negligence-related matters, contractual disputes and defects claims, and is highly commended by instructing solicitors for his commerciality.

Gerry Moynihan QC
Gerry Moynihan QC is a well-reputed advocate handling construction disputes as part of a broader commercial practice. He has experience of representing parties in defect and disruption claims, as well as multimillion-pound commercial contract and professional negligence cases stemming from construction projects.

Jonathan Barne QC has an impressively broad practice encompassing the professional negligence, insolvency and administrative elements of construction law. He is often instructed in multimillion-pound, reputationally sensitive disputes, and is particularly active in cases concerning renewable energy projects.
Represented NHS Lothian in the public inquiry into the defects in the procurement and construction of the Royal Hospital for Children.

Jonathan Broome is an experienced practitioner in the field of construction who offers particular expertise in matters with a professional negligence overlap. He acts for both employers and engineering contractors. He is also well versed in all forms of ADR.

Jonathan Lake QC is an accomplished silk in the Scottish construction market who can boast a history of appearances in the country's most sophisticated and significant cases.
"His strategic advice and analysis is good." "He is excellent for construction in Scotland."

Miranda Hamilton is an experienced junior with expertise in construction disputes relating to adjudications and contract claims. She has particular experience in defective works cases, including those relating to healthcare developments.
"Miranda gives clear, persuasive submissions."
Recent work: Acted for subcontractor Mercury Engineering in disputes concerning defects in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Scott Manson is a highly sought-after junior. He offers particular expertise handling disputes arising from construction projects, including claims of negligence, delays and defects.
"Scott Manson is excellent. He is smart and very easy to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the project joint venture for the new Forth Crossing, which included Hochtief Solutions, in proceedings to enforce an adjudicators award against a subcontractor.

Intellectual Property

Home to talented advocates who are able to handle the full spread of intellectual property work. Areas of particular strength include patent actions, in which they have represented leading pharmaceutical companies. They are also instructed in trade mark, passing off and licensing disputes, as well as breach of confidence claims.

Client service:

"The clerking team is top class." Lesley Flynn directs the practice management.

Jonathan Lake QC is an exceptional IP practitioner who receives instructions in some of Scotland's most high-profile cases. He is a go-to silk for many major commercial entities.

Paul O'Brien QC is a well-regarded new silk known for his technical expertise and breadth of knowledge. He advises on the full spectrum of IP mandates, including trade mark, licensing and copyright matters. 
"Paul has a real and unique understanding of the issues. His advice is robust and well thought through."
Recent work: Acted for Chalana in a dispute with Gold Brothers Partnership concerning trade mark infringement, passing off and infringement of copyright in fabric designs.

Roisin Higgins QC is widely respected for her broad expertise and adroit handling of complex IP disputes. She is instructed by clients from the oil and gas, pharmaceutical and sports industries, among others. She commonly appears in the Outer and Inner Houses of the Court of Session.
"She is an expert in her field, very approachable and easy to work with."
Recent work: Defended Curotec against claims of patent infringement brought by its competitor Reactec in relation to vibration monitoring equipment.

Product Liability

Axiom Advocates retains its reputation as a go-to stable for product liability cases in Scotland. Its members are frequently called upon to represent product manufacturers across the medical device and automotive sectors, among others. The stable's advocates complement their strengths in this area with significant expertise in clinical and professional negligence law.

Client service:

Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Chris Paterson regularly represents manufacturers in significant product liability claims. Paterson also has noteworthy experience in matters of clinical and professional negligence.
"A very strong advocate. He prepares well and has a good analytical brain. He is not scared to fight a case."

Ewen Campbell is a former solicitor who regularly handles product liability cases as part of a wider commercial and public law practice. He has considerable strength in advising on matters involving medical devices and consumer products.
"Extremely analytical, persuasive and very good on his feet."
Recent work: Acted for the Norwegian manufacturer of a motorised wheelchair that was alleged to be defective and caused personal injury.

Kenneth McBrearty QC has an impressive commercial litigation practice, and is well regarded for his handling of product liability claims. He handles disputes involving medical device and automotive products.

Roddy Dunlop QC has a broad practice that encompasses product liability alongside professional discipline, professional negligence and broader commercial dispute resolution. He principally acts for defenders in large, complex product liability cases and is particularly experienced in mass tort claims. Recently, he has been active in significant medical device claims.
"He is really at the top of his game."

Professional Discipline

Axiom Advocates is a strong professional regulatory stable with a talented bench of advocates who regularly feature in notable cases. They are experienced in matters arising in an array of regulated professions, in particular medicine and law. Axiom is an excellent choice for challenges to the regulatory bodies through appeal or judicial review, as well as in tribunal proceedings. Among other prominent matters, members recently acted in Sutherland v GTCS, an Inner House appeal concerning the relevance of a teacher's autism when assessing fitness to teach.

Client service:

Lesley Flynn leads the clerking.

Alastair Duncan QC both prosecutes and defends in disciplinary hearings, and has particular strength in cases involving the legal profession and medical practitioners. His broad practice includes commercial and general professional liability.
"He has a good reputation as a very competent and skilled advocate." "His ability to present complex legal arguments with clarity is impressive."

John MacGregor QC is an experienced disciplinary practitioner who acts for the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, the HCPC and the police. He is frequently instructed to advise in FTP hearings before regulatory panels, and also adroitly handles challenges by way of judical review.
"A really excellent advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in defence of an appeal against a decision it had made.

Mark Lindsay QC is an accomplished advocate particularly well known for his work in the professional discipline and public law spaces. As a former solicitor, he brings a wealth of litigation experience and understanding of the commercial realities of professional discipline. His areas of expertise include cases concerning legal, medical and education disciplinary bodies. He has experience appearing before the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the ECJ.
"Very quick at getting to the nub of the issue." "Takes the extra effort to prepare for the hearing, which gives him an edge over other advocates."
Recent work: Acted for the General Teaching Council for Scotland in a First Division appeal regarding the statutory requirements for being a teacher in a public school in Scotland.

Morag Ross QC is a well-respected and talented civil and public law practitioner who possesses recognised expertise in professional discipline matters. She has experience representing a broad range of regulatory bodies and professionals.
"She is extremely pragmatic and an excellent advocate who has the ear of the court." "Detailed in her approach, fabulous on her feet, authoritative and persuasive."

Roddy Dunlop QC is a hugely impressive silk with a full command of regulatory and legislative considerations required for complex professional discipline litigation. He regularly appears in the appellate courts and represents both regulatory bodies and professionals.
"Leading silk in this field. Skilled, excellent on his feet and persuasive." "Has an excellent reputation and a broad, varied practice."

Professional Negligence

Axiom Advocates is a leading destination for a full suite of professional negligence matters. The stable regularly advises on claims arising in the accounting, construction and finance sectors, and has noted proficiency in disputes brought against legal services professionals. Its members are regularly called upon to advise on some of the most complex matters in the field, as evidenced by their appearances on behalf of SSE in claims brought against Hochtief Solutions following the collapse of a tunnel built by the defendants. Sources remark that Axiom Advocates is "the pre-eminent stable for commercial matters and professional negligence work."

Client service:

"The clerks are approachable and very good. If you need to find an advocate with no one in mind, the clerks will come up with suggestions." "The clerks are always personable, helpful and organise the involvement of counsel very well." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

Alasdair McKenzie is held in particularly high esteem for his deep understanding of professional negligence claims arising in the construction sector, where he acts on behalf of both pursuers and defenders in disputes brought against architects and engineers. He also offers solid capabilities in the accountancy and legal sectors, as well as handling wider commercial disputes.
"He is a very good, commercial advocate."

Alastair Duncan QC is recommended for his expertise in handling professional negligence matters pertaining to the legal sector, while also offering experience in matters concerning surveying and insurance.
"He has an excellent manner with clients and in court. He is good at framing the argument and leads the judge through it. He is a clear communicator and tactician." "Alastair is admirable in every way: he is thoughtful, careful in his presentation, and the court always has great respect for the propositions he advances."

Chris Paterson is a highly respected junior who excels in a broad array of commercial disputes, with notably strong capabilities in handling professional negligence claims. He is experienced in cases involving solicitors and surveyors, among other professionals.
"Chris is the number one person I would instruct in professional negligence matters as he knows the area incredibly well and has been doing this work for an incredibly long time. He is very capable at doing cases on his own." "He is a safe pair of hands and knows his stuff."

David Thomson QC handles a broad range of commercial litigation and is especially recommended for his handling of negligence claims pertaining to the legal profession.
"He is easy to work with, well prepared and commercial." "He is a very robust character in court."

Euan Duthie QC acts in professional negligence matters, as well as having a focus on both commercial and property litigation. He also offers expertise in insolvency matters.
"Euan is very easy to work with and very communicative. He is particulary good at managing client expectations." "He is very hard-working, has great command of detail and is a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Acted against a firm of solicitors in a claim by a professional footballer for failure to seek all sums due to the claimant being part of a claim before FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber.

Ewen Campbell enjoys a growing reputation for his abilities in the professional negligence field, particularly for his abilities in solicitor negligence matters. He also regularly appears in broader commercial disputes and procurement and public law claims.
"An incredibly hard-working and capable junior."
Recent work: Defended MBM Commercial in a claim relating to advice on litigation against a bank concerning the development of commercial property.

Gavin Walker QC enjoys a burgeoning reputation at the Scottish Bar for handling a broad range of complex commercial disputes. His professional negligence practice is particularly focused on matters involving construction professionals.
"Gavin Walker is very hard-working, combative in the right way and very effective in court."

Helen Watts handles complex, high-value professional negligence claims against legal, construction and tax professionals. She acts for both claimants and defendants.
"She is business-minded and able to grasp the economic aspects of the case."

Iain Ferguson QC is recommended for his expertise in handling professional negligence matters pertaining to the legal sector, while also offering experience in matters concerning the surveying and insurance spheres, and possesses additional expertise in clinical negligence matters.
"Iain has a forensic ability to grasp complex issues; he is very generous with his time to work with us or clients on issues and distils them down. He has a team spirit to make sure others' jobs are made easier too. They are never straightforward cases and he handles them incredibly well."

Jonathan Barne QC is well regarded for his professional negligence expertise. He handles claims involving legal and construction professionals, among others. He is also able to draw on his wider expertise in property law.
"He is hard-working, very user-friendly and accessible. Clients are happy to engage with him and he has a lovely combination of skills."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of Park Farms in a claim alleging that the design of reinstatement works for a flood embankment was negligent.

Jonathan Broome focuses on professional negligence issues in the construction sector. He is recognised for his experience and his client-friendly approach. He has a particular interest in alternative dispute resolution.
"Thorough and detail-focused."

Kenneth McBrearty QC regularly acts in professional negligence cases involving surveyors, legal professionals and financial advisers, among others.
"Kenneth is everything you need counsel to be: very approachable, a team player, and I really appreciate and value his input." "Kenneth is a formidable and effective advocate and very good with witnesses."

Kirsty Tyre is an up-and-coming advocate with a growing reputation in the professional negligence field, with expertise handling claims brought against accountants, engineers and surveyors. She draws on considerable experience as a former solicitor specialising in insurance litigation and professional indemnity matters.
"Kirsty is very knowledgeable about quite complex issues."

Roddy Dunlop QC continues to excel in the professional negligence sphere, handling matters relating to the legal profession. He handles such cases as part of a far broader practice that encompasses commercial disputes and clinical liability matters.
"Roddy is a supreme advocate. He has the ear of the court, he is very persuasive and you never have to chase him as he is very efficient." "Roddy is probably the finest advocate currently in practice in Scotland." "Roddy really is at the top of his game."

Scott Manson is a hard-working and detail-oriented advocate who operates a varied practice, handling negligence claims against professionals from the legal, financial and construction sectors.
"He is a brilliant advocate: he really relishes the detail and delights in complex issues, so you know there is nothing that will be too complex for him to deal with. He gets a good grasp of the issues, is willing to listen and will approach matters collaboratively." "He is an excellent junior and gets to the nub of the issue. He always tries to help you out and find a way to get things done despite being so busy."
Recent work: Acted unled in defending architects in a legally significant decision on the law of prescription, applying to professional negligence claims for economic harm in Scotland.

Public procurement

Leading Scottish stable for procurement disputes, which is highly esteemed among solicitors' firms. The advocates frequently represent the Scottish Government, local authorities and companies in these matters. Members have recently recently acted for the Scottish Ministers in a challenge brought by a private operator to the procurement of various routes across the Pentland Firth from mainland Scotland to Orkney and Shetland. A commentator reports: "It is up there with the best of stables. The quality of the advocates is first class."

Client service:

"The clerking service is excellent. They are all easy to deal with and call back when they say they will." "The clerks are fantastic. They are friendly, efficient and turn things round quickly."

Euan Duthie QC is a highly regarded lawyer with strong capabilities in public, local government and procurement law. He brings a wealth of advocacy and advisory experience to the Bar, and recent work involves advising on challenges under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.
“He is reassuring and authoritative with clients.” “He identifies the problems and quickly grasps the importance for the client and manages their expectations.” “He is absolutely first class.”
Recent work: Acted for Fife Council in a challenge under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 by an unsuccessful bidder in a procurement process for a new social care case management information system.

Ewen Campbell is a go-to junior for a host of commercial disputes, with notable strength in procurement litigation. He assists local authorities as well as corporations in complex procurement challenges.
“He has amazing capacity for this work but is also very personable, which is a formidable combination.” “He is a very able lawyer developing a good reputation in this area.”
Recent work: Acted for the respondent local authority in a judicial review of a decision to award contracts to a company in respect of the renovation project of Lews Castle.

John MacGregor QC is a talented new silk who has played a role in a number of high-profile public procurement cases in Scotland and internationally. His cases cover a variety of sectors including education. He brings to bear significant experience of administrative law and commercial litigation.
“He is very capable and has a strong reputation in procurement challenges. He is great to work with and clients love him.”
Recent work: Advised Renfrewshire Council as the defender on a public procurement challenge to the process of the award of a public contract for construction works and significant damages.

Mark Lindsay QC manages a broad practice encompassing both commercial and public law. He regularly represents pursuers in procurement challenges and is also sought out to advise public bodies on procurement matters.
“He has excellent knowledge of procurement law and is very effective in court.” “He turns things around very quickly and has fantastic knowledge of the law.”
Recent work: Advised AC Whyte & Co in a case concerning whether a local authority had failed to fulfil its duties under Regulation 19 of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.

Morag Ross QC is a highly respected silk at the Scottish Bar. Ross advises on a wide range of public law issues and offers significant experience handling procurement challenges on behalf of local authorities.
“She is hugely experienced and knowledgeable in this area.”

Ruth Crawford QC has an in-depth knowledge of public procurement issues and has frequently been instructed by contracting authorities and tenderers in need of procurement advice. Her procurement work relates to a range of market sectors including IT, transport and infrastructure. She has additional experience handling state aid matters.
“She has got fantastic analytical skills and is well respected by the courts. She is an exceptional litigator.” “She is excellent on procurement and public administrative law.” 
Recent work: Instructed by the Scottish Ministers in a challenge to the award of the lifeline NorthLink Ferries services. The contract value is estimated at £135 million.

Real Estate Litigation

Members of Axiom Advocates offer expertise in multiple areas, including real estate disputes touching on professional negligence and construction. They act for landlords, tenants and developers, as well as local authorities, and appear before courts of all levels.

Client service:

"The clerking is excellent and I always get a quick response. If you have something unusual or that you don't have experience dealing with, you can phone them up and they are able to recommend someone." Lesley Flynn is the practice manager.

David Massaro frequently appears before the Court of Session, the Sheriff Court and Sheriff Appeal Court in a wide range of property and contract disputes, in addition to construction and professional negligence cases. He is a standing junior to the UK government.
"An excellent junior counsel for property-related issues."
Recent work: Acted for BT in a case concerning the correct interpretation of BT’s registered title and whether it includes common ownership of an access ramp to a large office in Glasgow.

David Thomson QC is a go-to advocate who demonstrates notable strength in restructuring and insolvency-related property matters. His expansive practice also encompasses tax, insolvency, company and professional negligence law.
"Easy to work with, extremely good with clients and excellent in court." "He's phenomenal - superb on his feet." "A very reliable and valuable advocate."

Gavin Walker QC acts in a wide range of high-value property disputes as part of a broad commercial practice. He acts for commercial landlords and tenants and utility companies, among others.
"He's very impressive, always very well prepared and very personable."

Jonathan Barne QC is highly sought after for his expertise in professional negligence-related matters and construction cases. He is an experienced representative of local authorities in real estate disputes and routinely advises on statutory repairs matters. He also has strength in dilapidation claims.
"A versatile advocate with a keen intellect. He's a pleasure to work with and he can do things with commercial and non-commercial parties." "He's very client-oriented and a good communicator."
Recent work: Instructed by Coal Pension Properties as pursuer in a dilapidations claim with a novel point concerning the landlord surveyor's certificate and its status under the lease.

Jonathan Lake QC handles technical property cases in the context of a broad commercial practice. He has significant expertise relating to damages and lease claims.
"One of the finest silks in Scotland."

Kenneth McBrearty QC offers considerable strength in landlord and tenant disputes. His notable expertise encompasses dilapidations, lease issues and matters related to the Land Reform Act. He has appeared in numerous complex property matters in the Court of Session.
"A very impressive advocate. There's nothing he couldn't turn his hand to."

Mark Lindsay QC has built a strong reputation across a number of areas and brings his versatility to his real estate disputes practice. His recent work includes cases concerning rights of access and