‘Tis the season… for giving

The nights are drawing in and there’s a definite nip in the air. Winter is on its way, which means so is the season for giving.

And while many of us are already looking forward to the festive season, cuts in financial support and rising fuel and food costs mean vulnerable families will struggle to inject any Christmas cheer into their lives. This is why the annual Faculty Christmas Collection matters more than ever.

This is the seventh year that this has been spearheaded by Maria Maguire QC and every donation, no matter how small, will make a real difference.

All donations to the Faculty Christmas Collection are ring-fenced,” says Ms Maguire, “so all contributions will reach vulnerable families in Fife.

The generosity of Faculty members and staff, the bench and our solicitor colleagues, as well as friends and family last year, meant we managed to raise £12,290 before gift aid and received an astonishing number of gifts. I started this collection because I heard of the plight of the families and this continues – some parents starve themselves to provide for their children and save for Christmas and young parents have been driven to attempt suicide. The need for help cannot be underestimated.

Receiving last year’s donations the chair of the family support charity, Home-Start Glenrothes, Alison Cameron, remarked: “As we have said, year after year, your donation means a great deal for our families. It gives us so much flexibility, meaning that we can respond quickly, doing whatever a family needs, with no strings attached. It is enormously valuable and makes such a difference.”

Toys, books, games, new clothes, pyjamas, accessories or any fun presents for children of all ages, from newborns up to and including teenagers, would all be welcomed,” said Ms Maguire.

Second-hand items still in good working condition, such as bicycles, would also be fantastic. And let’s not forget the parents. About half of the families the charity supports have a parent with mental health issues. For some of them, the pressure of Christmas can be too much. Gifts for them are really important because they are also often young and vulnerable.

Other examples of items that could be donated include Christmas treats, such as selection boxes, tins of biscuits, sweets and savoury items, and Christmas wrapping paper or gift bags. Cash donations will be used to buy vouchers for food and also go towards an emergency fund for use throughout the year for items like beds, cookers, fridges and washing machines.

Presents can be handed in at Faculty Reception, Parliament House, Edinburgh, from Monday 13 December to Friday 17 December, and arrangements can be made to collect items from people’s homes during that period. On Saturday 18 December items can be dropped off at the Laigh Hall in Parliament House from 10 am to noon. Cash can be donated any time from now.

More information and how to make a cash donation can be found here.  Anyone wanting to contact Ms Maguire can email her at maria.maguire@advocates.org.uk


Court rules that definition of Woman in the GRPB Act should include transwomen

In the Petition for Judicial Review of For Women Scotland of the definition of “Woman” contained in the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 ‘GRPB Act’, Lady Wise has found that the Scottish Government acted lawfully in including transwomen in the GRPB Act. For Women Scotland challenged the legality of the GRPB Act amid concerns that the Scottish Government had “redefined” the word woman, and acted beyond its competence encroaching on reserved powers over equality legislation. In a highly significant ruling Lady Wise held the Sottish Ministers had acted lawfully under a “specific power” that enabled it to take equal opportunities measures and had not breached the UK Equality Act.  Lady Wise stated that GRPB Act did not offend against the fundamental principle of equality of treatment explaining that, “EU law confirms that discrimination against transwomen is sex discrimination about which member states can legislate”.

Lady Wise’s full judgment can be read here.

Aidan O’Neill QC of Ampersand represented the petitioners For Women Scotland and Dorothy Bain QC of Ampersand also represented Scottish Trans Alliance a Charity which is part of the Equality Network in their Public Interest Intervention.


Arbitrator appointment to all-female ODR panel for Stable Director, Susanne Tanner QC

Ampersand’s Stable Director, Susanne Tanner QC, is delighted to have been appointed as an arbitrator on the all-female panel of Squaring Circles, which aims to “do disputes differently”.

Founded by solicitor and mediator, Rachael Bicknell, the online dispute resolution business is aimed at providing an alternative to taking matters through the courts and is launched at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is driving demand for technology-led alternatives to traditional face-to-face dispute resolution and court processes. It uses purpose built ODR technology not previously available in the UK market.

Squaring Circles has signed the Arbitration Pledge to show its commitment to equal representation in arbitration. Susanne is joined on the panel by other dispute resolution specialists, Angela Grahame QC, former vice dean of the Faculty of Advocates; Gillian Carmichael Lemaire, a member of the Paris Bar; Sheila Webster, partner at Davidson Chalmers Stewart; and Pamela Lyall, Scotland’s Mediator of the Year 2014.

Susanne said: “Online dispute resolution is a natural evolution of alternative dispute resolution processes, rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the global pandemic. Once social distancing restrictions are lifted, ODR will be used in combination with face-to-face dispute resolution processes, to offer a unique, flexible and cost-effective solution tailored to the needs of the parties, even in high value and complex disputes.”

“I feel privileged to be appointed to the panel alongside the other distinguished specialists in this exciting opportunity, which champions female talent in online dispute resolution.”

Read the full story here: https://dailybusinessgroup.co.uk/2020/05/all-female-panel-offers-online-dispute-option/

Read Susanne’s full profile here: https://ampersandadvocates.com/people/susanne-tanner-qc/



Ampersand advocates appointed as Global Ambassadors for the Scottish Arbitration Centre

Ampersand’s Lisa Henderson QC and Susanne Tanner QC have been appointed as Global Ambassadors for the Scottish Arbitration Centre.

Find out more here  – https://www.cdr-news.com/categories/people-and-firms/9466-lidw19-flying-the-flag-for-scottish-arbitration


OAG announces Standing Junior Appointments

Ampersand are delighted to announce the reappointment of three of their members, Ross Anderson, Graham Maciver and Usman Tariq, and the new appointment of Jamie Gardiner as Standing Junior Counsel to the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland.

The full list of appointments can be found here.


Landmark case for Trade Union Law Firm and Ampersand’s Dorothy Bain Q.C.

On 8th February 2018 Ampersand Advocates Dorothy Bain Q.C. appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court for Unionline Scotland, winning a landmark case on behalf of a care worker for the rescission of a temporary suspension order imposed on him. The full article from the Scottish Legal News can be found here.