Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen has a civil practice with particular emphasis on commercial law, planning and environmental law and public law. She is listed in the Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners in various practice areas. Since calling to the bar in 2009 Laura-Anne has been instructed in a variety of general commercial matters including company and insolvency matters, contractual disputes and shipping matters. She has been instructed for developers and local authorities in planning disputes, for interested parties in fatal accident and public inquiries, and in relation to judicial reviews.
Laura-Anne has extensive advocacy experience. Before calling to the Scottish bar she practised as an advocate in South Africa and called to the bar of England and Wales in 2008. She has appeared in the UK Supreme Court, Court of Session, the Sheriff Court and a wide range tribunals and inquiries.
She was a Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government from 2015 to 2021. She is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel.
Laura-Anne was the winner of the Legal 500 UK Awards 2020 “Scottish Bar Junior of the Year” title, and was also shortlisted for the award in 2019.
Susanne Tanner QC FCIArb
Susanne Tanner QC took Silk in 2016, having called to the Bar in 2000. She is an experienced court practitioner who is always thoroughly prepared and has superb attention to detail.
She has built up and maintained a quality practice spanning:
- Reparation law, including personal injury and clinical negligence;
- Criminal law, both prosecution and defence, in first instance work and appeals, including appearing in the Supreme Court, as well as a complex private prosecution application;
- An interest in regulatory criminal matters, Health and Safety prosecutions, corporate financial crime and civil recovery proceedings;
- Fatal Accident Inquiries and public inquiries, including an appointment as Counsel on a high profile public inquiry;
- Property law and conveyancing;
- Commercial law; and
- Alternative dispute resolution, in particular arbitration, in which she holds professional qualifications and is working towards Chartered Arbitrator status. She is a Member of the Faculty Dispute Resolution Service and has been appointed as arbitrator for Motor Insurers’ Bureau cases for untraced and uninsured drivers.
She also sits as a tribunal chair in the First-tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber as well as the Health and Education Chamber, holds a number of academic appointments and is the Executive Editor of Green’s Scottish Education Manual.
Susanne is also a Door Tenant at Crown Office Chambers, London.
Alan Dewar QC
Alan Dewar QC was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1989 and took silk in 2002. He was the Treasurer of the Faculty of Advocates from 2007 to 2011. Over the years he has appeared in a wide range of civil and criminal cases, particularly in the fields of commercial, public law, and professional and clinical negligence. In addition, he has acted for and advised companies and public authorities on contractual and delictual disputes, public procurement, regulatory and licensing issues, as well as other agencies such as the Registers of Scotland, and professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). He is a legal adviser to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He has also represented companies, other corporate bodies and individuals in a number of public inquiries, planning inquiries, fatal accident inquiries, defamation actions, and intellectual property disputes. In the public law sphere he has extensive experience in the field of judicial review, human rights and immigration. Alan is also often appointed by the Court to act as Commissioner in Section 1 (“dawn raid”) petitions.
Alan has extensive advocacy experience arising from practising as a solicitor and advocate for more than 30 years. This includes Inner and Outer House experience in the Court of Session as well as a significant number of appearances in the House of Lords, Privy Council, the UK Supreme Court, the European Commission in Strasbourg and the UEFA Disciplinary Tribunal in Geneva. He was junior counsel to the Orkney Inquiry; standing junior counsel to a number of Government Departments including the Department of Trade and Industry and the Scotland Office; an Advocate Depute for three years; and also has extensive experience in planning and other inquiries, and before various other Tribunals. Between 2009 and 2011 he successfully represented the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Ministers in the AXA insurance case (which confirmed the validity of the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions)(Scotland) Act 2009), ultimately in the UK Supreme Court.
He also acted for the Scottish Ministers in the Clostridium Difficile Inquiry chaired by Lord MacLean: the Report of the Inquiry was published in 2014. In November 2013 he successfully represented the pursuer/appellant in Cramaso LLP v Viscount Reidhaven’s Trustees in the UK Supreme Court, a case concerned with the tenancy of a grouse moor in which the principal issue was whether there was sufficient proximity between an individual and a LLP such as to create a duty of care in the context of negligent misrepresentations. He also acted for the successful pursuers in Frank Houlgate Investment Co Ltd v Biggart Baillie LLP  CSIH 79 in which The Inner House upheld the decision of Lord Hodge after proof. The pursuers established that a solicitor and his firm were liable to the pursuers for facilitating a continuing fraud when the solicitor had continued to act for a fraudster even after he had confessed to the fraud. More recently he has acted for a number of asylum seekers in various challenges to the operation of the Dublin II and III Regulations, and for the successful petitioners in Ochiemhen and Menuba v SSHD  CSOH 179 and 180 (concerned with alleged breaches of visas granted to the petitioners to operate as entrepreneurs in the UK) and Alagoz v SSHD  CSOH 27 (concerned with the operation of the EEC – Turkey Association Agreement).
Archie MacSporran QC
Archie has a broad experience in civil litigation, having called to the Bar in 1992. Over the last 15 years he has specialised in highly complex, large value clinical negligence cases in the Court of Session. He is described as “renowned for his prowess in cerebral palsy cases” in the Chambers Directory.
Graeme Hawkes QC
Graeme Hawkes is an experienced commercial litigator, with a particular emphasis on commercial contracts, property and professional negligence. He was a solicitor in private practice for almost 10 years (Steedman Ramage and Brodies) and summer 2018 marks 15 years at the Bar. He also has a public law practice, having been a standing junior to the Scottish Government (2005-11) and regularly appearing in extradition cases on behalf of the Lord Advocate (including 2 recent Supreme Court appeals). As well as the high quality advocacy skills to be expected of a senior used to appearing regularly in court, he brings common sense and a ‘can do’ attitude to cases. Agents admire his intellectual rigour, an ability to focus on the issues which really matter in a case and a determination to achieve the best result for the client. Graeme makes regular appearances in Proofs, Debates and Appeals at Sheriff Courts and the Court of Session.
Malcolm Thomson QC
Malcolm Thomson QC has had a varied civil practice, including contractual disputes, reparation (including personal injury and professional negligence claims of all sorts), child care, Judicial Review, Fatal Accident Inquiries and discipline appeals for a major police force. He concentrates now on planning and related property matters acting for various developers, land owners, objectors, planning and roads authorities and the Scottish Ministers both at inquiries and judicial proceedings. Recently he has advised and represented at inquiries both promoters of and objectors to flood prevention schemes. He also sits as an arbiter in various construction and property related disputes and was a Temporary Judge in the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary from 2002 to 2017.
He is ranked by Chambers and Partners as a leading silk for Planning and Environmental law and Administrative and Public law.
Malcolm Thomson has extensive experience in the UK Supreme Court (and formerly in House of Lords), Court of Session (Inner and Outer Houses), Sheriff Courts and at numerous planning appeal inquiries, local plan inquiries, enforcement appeal inquiries, compulsory purchase and roads related inquiries and hearings, including proceedings before the Scottish Parliament and under the Transport and Works (Scotland) Act 2007. He has appeared in disputed compensation claims before the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. He has also appeared at a number of Fatal Accident Inquiries.