Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC

Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC has a civil practice with particular emphasis on commercial law, planning and environmental law and public law. She is currently ranked in five separate practice areas by Chambers UK and is Legal 500 Scotland Awards 2023 Silk of the Year. She was the Legal 500 Scottish Bar Junior of the Year in 2020.

Since calling to the bar in 2009 Laura-Anne has been instructed in a variety of commercial matters including company and insolvency matters, contractual disputes, shipping matters and tax appeals. She has represented both developers and planning authorities in planning matters, petitioners and respondents in a range of judicial review proceedings, and interested parties and core participants in fatal accident and public inquiries.

Laura-Anne has extensive advocacy experience. Before calling to the Scottish Bar she practised as an Advocate in South Africa and she called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2008. She has appeared in the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Session (Inner and Outer House), the Scottish Land Court, the Sheriff Court and various tribunals and inquiries.

She was on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel from 2015 to 2023 and was a Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government from 2015 to 2021.

In March 2022 Laura-Anne was appointed as Co-Lead Counsel to the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry.

Selected Cases

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Susanne Tanner KC FCIArb

Susanne Tanner KC 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:

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.

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Alan Dewar KC

Alan Dewar KC 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 [2014] 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 [2016] 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 [2017] CSOH 27 (concerned with the operation of the EEC – Turkey Association Agreement).

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Fiona Drysdale KC

Fiona Drysdale specialises in reparation, clinical negligence and public inquiries.  She has considerable experience in catastrophic injury, fatal cases and cases involving children and young people. She is an Ad Hoc Advocate Depute and was a Standing Junior to the Scottish Government. She is a Faculty Skills Instructor and Quality Assurance Assessor. Her regulatory work includes acting as a Legal Assessor for the General Teaching Council for Scotland and as clerk to the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Faculty of Advocates.  She is a member of both the Scottish Civil Justice Council and its Access to Justice Committee. She has served as acting Clerk of Faculty, Deputy Clerk of Faculty and Clerk to the Board of Examiners. Before calling to the bar, she worked as a solicitor in a large commercial firm, having trained there in Edinburgh and London.  She has also worked as a legal translator for the European Court of Justice. She is described in Chambers UK Bar 2023 as ”an experienced and extremely capable advocate with a thorough and practical approach to cases” and Legal 500 UK Bar 2023 “Fiona is very precise. She has the ear of the court, and is well respected by the bench.”

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Graeme Hawkes KC

Graeme Hawkes KC is an experienced commercial litigator, with a particular emphasis on commercial contracts, construction disputes, property and professional negligence. He was a solicitor in private practice for almost 10 years (Steedman Ramage and Brodies) and summer 2024 marks 21 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 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 at the Court of Session and sits as an Arbitrator.

Graeme is ranked in Chambers & Partners 2024 under Commercial Dispute Resolution.

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Marcus McKay KC

Marcus McKay KC has a specialist interest in planning and environmental law. He is regularly involved in all aspects of the consents process for major energy projects from initial advice on the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (including EIA Report work), to appearances at public inquiries and judicial review hearings in the Court of Session. Marcus has appeared at a wind farm inquiry in England and has experience of national infrastructure projects. He also acts for planning authorities and has successfully resisted applications for judicial review of planning decisions.

Marcus is listed in the Legal 500 where he is described as having “significant court experience, backed by sound commercial awareness.

Marcus is a ranked Band 1 silk in Chambers and Partners UK Bar guide, where he is “Noted for his deep planning experience and widely praised for his meticulous attention to detail. His particular focus lies in energy and environment work, and he is especially experienced in renewable energy matters. He has experience advocating in inquiries and at all levels of the court system, including the Supreme Court.” The Guide goes on to say “He is a very gifted advocate and extremely diligent. He is always extremely well prepared and imaginative. He is highly intelligent and can not only grasp very complicated detail with ease but has the skill to be able to explain complex matters in straightforward terms.” “He is a very competent advocate, enthusiastic and diligent.” “He is definitely one of the best at the Bar.”

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