Paul Reid K.C. appointed to Editorial Board of Public Law

Ampersand’s Paul Reid, K.C. has been appointed to the Editorial Board of Public Law and will join them from 1 January 2025.

Since its creation in 1956 Public Law has been, and continues to be, the leading forum for information and debate in the constantly evolving area of law and government.

Public Law – Journal | Administrative Law | Sweet & Maxwell (


Ampersand Advocates continues Top Rankings success in 2024 Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide

Ampersand Advocates has once again received top tier rankings across a number of areas of practice in the latest published guide to the legal profession, Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2024.

Ampersand and its members received 75 listings across 17 areas of practice, ranking as top tier (band 1) in Clinical Negligence and Planning & Environmental Law as a Set, and band 2 in Administrative & Public lawCivil Liberties & Human RightsCommercial Dispute ResolutionConstructionPersonal InjuryProfessional NegligenceReal Estate Litigation and Restructuring/Insolvency as a Set. 5 members are noted as “star individuals”. There are additional rankings for Susanne Tanner KC in the Independent Inquiries all circuits section and Aidan O’Neill KC in the European Law London Bar section. There is wide practice for our clerking team and client service too.

Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, “Ampersand Advocates retains its reputation as a market-leading stable for clinical negligence matters. Its advocates continue to provide expert legal advice and representation to both pursuers and defenders in a wide range of disputes, including claims relating to birth and catastrophic brain and spinal injuries. The members are well versed in cases arising from alleged failures in diagnosis and surgical errors, and regularly appear at fatal accident inquiries. The stable also houses considerable expertise obstetric negligence cases.” Our rankings include 2 “Star Individuals”, Maria Maguire KC and David Stephenson KC, with 13 further silks and 5 juniors also ranked – Simon Bowie KCJamie Dawson KCSimon Di Rollo KCUna Doherty KCLisa Henderson KCVinit Khurana KCArchie MacSporran KCEuan Mackenzie KCGeoffrey Mitchell KCGraham Primrose KCLauren Sutherland KC, new silks Fiona Drysdale KC and Paul Reid KCShane Dundas, Mark FitzpatrickJames McConnellJennifer Nicholson-White and Phil Stuart.

Ampersand’s Band 1 listing in Planning & Environment states “Ampersand Advocates is well regarded for the complex planning and environmental work undertaken by its advocates. Members of the stable regularly act in judicial reviews and challenges to planning permissions, and frequently act on behalf of developers, objectors, public sector bodies and energy companies. Members are regularly engaged in high-profile matters, including those relating to large renewable energy projects. One source notes that “the quality of advice and advocacy is at the highest level”. Rankings include Malcolm Thomson KC as “Star Individual”, and Band 1 ranked Marcus McKay KCAilsa Wilson KC and Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC.

Band 2 listings include Administrative & Public Law where Ampersand is praised “highly praised practitioners who are skilled at acting in public law cases involving significant constitutional and human rights issues. They frequently appear before the highest courts in the UK and the EU.” The rankings include “Star Individual” Aidan O’Neill KC, along with Ian Forrester KCDouglas Ross KCLaura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC, new silk Paul Reid KCUsman Tariq and Timothy Young.

In Civil Liberties & Human Rights Ampersand is noted as a “highly regarded civil liberties and human rights stable, known for representing both private individuals and public bodies in significant proceedings. Practitioners at Ampersand are regularly instructed by the government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.” The rankings include Aidan O’Neill KCDouglas Ross KC and Usman Tariq.

In Commercial Dispute Resolution Chambers state Ampersand is “admired for its skilful work in high-profile commercial disputes. The stable offers a large team comprising highly rated advocates at the senior and junior levels. The advocates are instructed on behalf of corporations and financial institutions and are involved in a variety of related areas of practice including intellectual property and insolvency.” The rankings include Robert Howie KCGraeme Hawkes KCLaura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC, new silk Paul Reid KC, Ross AndersonEoghainn MacLeanGiles ReidUsman Tariq, Tim Young and ‘up-and-coming’ Michael Way.

Within Personal Injury “Ampersand Advocates is a highly regarded stable for personal injury matters and houses a number of dedicated senior and junior advocates. Members act for both pursuers and defenders, including several major insurers, in the full range of claims, and offer considerable expertise in the handling of catastrophic injury cases arising from road traffic and workplace accidents. The team is also well regarded for its expertise in complex product liability and occupiers’ liability disputes and matters involving accidents abroad. Recent matters include acting for the defenders in a claim concerning tetraplegia as a result of a mountain biking accident. Interviewees report: “They have a rich talent of advocates available to instruct.”

Rankings include “Star Individuals” Maria Maguire KC and Graham Primrose KC with others ranked Isla Davie KCSimon Di Rollo KCLisa Henderson KCEuan Mackenzie KCDouglas Ross KCAlan CowanChris Marney and Jenny Nicholson-White.

The Set ranking in Professional Negligence declares “Ampersand Advocates is a leading stable for professional liability matters in Scotland. The advocates often advise and act in proceedings on behalf of and against a suite of professionals including solicitors, surveyors, architects and financial advisers.” The rankings include Paul Reid KC and Usman Tariq.

In the Set ranking for Real Estate Litigation, it exclaims “Ampersand Advocates offers a strong bench of well-regarded advocates who are active across a broad range of real estate litigation topics. The set demonstrates strong expertise in areas of overlap between commercial and real estate disputes. Members are instructed at all levels from the Supreme Court down.” Rankings include Robert Howie KCLaura-Anne van der Westhuizen KCRoss AndersonGiles Reid and Tim Young.

The Construction Set ranking states “Ampersand Advocates offers significant experience in advising clients in relation to a range of building and construction works in Scotland. The bench handles a variety of contractual, delays and construction disputes, also involving defects issues. Its advocates have notable expertise in adjudications and enforcement actions, as well as construction-related bond matters. This year’s work highlights include Greater Glasgow Health Board v Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd & Others, a dispute over a multimillion damages claim in connection with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. One source says: “My instructions to Ampersand Advocates have spanned a variety of complex issues and each of the advocates instructed have provided a service of the very highest level.” Another one enthuses: “Ampersand Advocates is a strong commercial stable, with good advocates at all levels across all disciplines including construction.”  Rankings include Robert Howie KC and Timothy Young.

Within Restructuring/Insolvency “Ampersand Advocates is well regarded for its handling of a wide range of restructuring and insolvency matters. The stable’s advocates are frequently instructed to represent administrators, companies, banks and insolvency office holders in complex claims involving allegations of wrongful trading and breach of fiduciary duty, among other matters. Members have experience of appearing in both domestic and cross-border matters, and are regularly called upon to act for and advise their clients on both contentious and non-contentious insolvency cases.” Rankings include Robert Howie KCDavid Sellar KCRoss Anderson and Usman Tariq.

There are further individual rankings in: Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen KC; Company for David Sellar KC and Tim Young; Employment for Aidan O’Neill KC; Information Technology and Intellectual Property for Usman Tariq; Product Liability for Paul Reid KC; and Tax for Ross Anderson.

The Ampersand clerks and client service again receives wide praise across all areas of practice, noting “The clerks and the advocates themselves deliver a very high-quality service” and “the Ampersand clerks provide a highly efficient service” and “all the clerks at Ampersand Advocates have been outstanding in their communication and dealings.” They are described as “very responsive and are very capable in terms of assisting with choice of counsel where help in that regard in” and being “prompt at responding to enquiries and have a good knowledge of the various advocates’ specialities and styles. As well as nothing “”All of the clerks are good. They come back almost instantly, they get everything booked, give alternative counsel if one isn’t available and help with costs.” And that “the clerks are extremely quick at responding and work with you to meet the needs of clients.”

On the recent rankings, Practice Manager, Alan Moffat, said: “This is again wonderful recognition and praise, which is a testament to the collaboration between our advocates, clerking team and those that instruct our counsel. My gratitude to all who offered their perspectives to Chambers – your time and insights are invaluable. These rankings are an affirmation that our collective pursuit of excellence and service is succeeding. We will continue striving to raise the bar even higher.”

The full rankings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.


Ampersand Advocates ranked as top tier set by Legal 500 in 2024 guide

Ampersand is delighted to once again be recommended as a top-tier set by The Legal 500 UK Bar Directory in their latest listings for the 2024 guide.

Listed as tier 1 in Administrative & Public Law, Personal Injury & Medical Negligence and Property, Planning & Construction, and tier 2 in Commercial Disputes, Ampersand has collected 29 Senior Counsel rankings, 18 Junior Counsel rankings, including 2 rising star, across the Scottish Bar listings.

In Administrative and Public Law, Aidan O’Neill KC continues to be highly regarded for his expertise in human rights and EU law. Douglas Ross KC is noted as ‘A silk at the top of his game.’ Una Doherty KC, Geoffrey Mitchell KC, Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen KC and Susanne Tanner KC are leading silks. Paul Reid KC took silk in 2023. At the junior level, Ross Anderson and Usman Tariq are highlighted for their strong public law practices. Rising star Michael Way is noted for the first time.

The stable’s strength in complex commercial disputes continues, with new silk Paul Reid KC joining leading practitioners Robert Howie KC and Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen KC. Mark Boni, Eoghainn MacLean, Usman Tariq and Timothy Young are recommended as leading juniors. Rising star Michael Way receives praise.

Ampersand maintains its top-tier ranking in Personal Injury and Medical Negligence, with leading silks Simon Bowie KC, Lisa Henderson KC, Euan Mackenzie KC, Maria Maguire KC, Geoffrey Mitchell KC, Graham Primrose KC, David Stephenson KC and Lauren Sutherland KC highlighted. Tier 2 silks include Alan Dewar KC, Una Doherty KC, Vinit Khurana KC, Archie MacSporran KC, and Douglas Ross KC. Fiona Drysdale KC took silk in 2023 and is noted as ‘very precise’ and having ‘the ear of the court.’ Jennifer Nicholson-White is hailed as ‘a stand-out junior counsel’ in the field, alongside Shane Dundas and James McConnell.

In Property, Planning and Construction, Malcolm Thomson KC, Ailsa Wilson KC and Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen KC are recommended as leading silks, along with Robert Howie KC and Marcus McKay KC. Juniors Nicholas McAndrew, Timothy Young and Giles Reid receive praise for their property and planning law expertise, alongside Eoghainn MacLean and Ross Anderson.

Aidan O’Neill KC is also ranked in Employment matters.

The Ampersand clerking team, led by Alan Moffat, is noted for providing an excellent service. Moffat is described as “a stand-out clerk” who “takes client relationships extremely seriously.” The clerks are praised as “very pro-active,” “quick to respond,” and “very user friendly.” Sheena Hume is noted as “very organised and always quick to help.”

Overall, Ampersand continues to be recognised for its breadth and depth of expertise across key practice areas.

Full listings, including all Scottish rankings can be viewed on the Legal 500 website here.


Peter Ralph Averbuch & Others for Judicial Review of the City of Edinburgh Council Short Term Lets Licensing Policy [2023] CSOH 35

The Court of Session has partially upheld a challenge to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Short-Term Let (STL) Licensing Policy.


Following recent changes in legislation, short-term letting is now an activity which must be licensed by local authorities, in terms of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.  Edinburgh has also been designated as a short term let control area under section 26B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, meaning that the use of tenement accommodation in Edinburgh for secondary[1] short-term letting is deemed to involve a material change of use for which planning permission is required.

The policy, adopted in September 2022, contains a rebuttable presumption against the grant of an STL licence for secondary letting in a tenement or with a shared main door.  Where such a licence is granted, the duration is restricted to one year (in contrast to the three year period for other types of STL licence).  There is no provision for the grant of temporary licences for tenement accommodation, again in contrast to other types of STL.  Finally, the policy is that a standard condition for all secondary lets whether in a tenement or not that the rooms have carpets or other suitable floor covering.

The arguments

The petitioners (who own or manage tenement properties which are used for secondary STL) argued that these aspects of the policy were irrational and oppressive at common law.  The purpose of the licensing regime was to ensure the safety of the property for visitors.  It was also irrational not to allow for temporary licences for tenemental property, and to restrict the duration to one year.

The Council argued that its policy was a rational and proportionate response to the problems posed by short-term letting in Edinburgh, such as noise and other forms of anti-social behaviour.  Well-run businesses could still expect to receive a licence.


Lord Braid has ruled that the policy is irrational insofar as it contains a rebuttable presumption against granting a licence for property within a tenement (or shared main door) and does not provide for temporary licences.  The purpose of a policy was to inform the public of the approach which would be taken, and to achieve consistency.  While there could always be exceptions from a policy, it was clear that the Council would in fact grant licences for secondary STLs in tenement accommodation more than exceptionally, and so the rebuttable presumption would not in fact achieve consistency nor assist applicants in knowing whether an application was likely to be granted.  More fundamentally, it was not the function of the licensing authority to decide that a licence should not be granted simply because a property was of a particular type or in a particular area.  The regulatory regime that was set up made clear that the planning and licensing regimes were intended to complement each other, and those were decisions for planning.  The Council remained entitled to refuse a particular application on amenity grounds, but not to have a general policy of refusing a licence simply because the property was in a tenement.

The lack of a regime for temporary licences has also been held to be irrational. The reasons given by the authority for its policy of not issuing temporary licences for properties in a tenement applied equally to other forms of STL, for which temporary licences were available.

As regards floor coverings, Lord Braid has ruled that to the extent the policy required carpets for all secondary lets, including ground floor flats and detached houses, it was irrational and, to the extent that it could expose a licence holder to significant expense for no good reason, it was oppressive.

However, as regards the restriction of licences for tenement properties to a period of one year, Lord Braid has rejected the petitioners’ challenge, holding that this aspect of the policy was rational, proportionate and justified by the need for greater inspections.

The petitioners separately argued that the above aspects of the policy (other than the provision relating to carpets) contravened the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, in that the policy was not clear, unnecessarily duplicated planning law and was likely to dissuade applicants from applying.  Lord Braid also upheld this argument in relation to the rebuttable presumption and the restriction on temporary licences.  In relation to the one year restriction, this did not in itself contravene the regulations.  However the policy ought to have contained a statement of the Council’s position regarding renewals, which is that a renewal of an STL for secondary letting in a tenement is likely to be granted if there has been no change of circumstances since the licence was granted.  The omission of such a statement was a contravention of the Regulations since the Council’s approach was not clearly set out in the policy.

A separate human rights challenge was dismissed as premature.

A hearing will be convened to discuss the precise terms of the order to be made in light of Lord Braid’s decision.

Opinion of Lord Braid can be viewed here.

Ampersand’s Ross Anderson was junior counsel to Morag Ross KC, instructed by Gilson Gray.


Ampersand Advocates Recognised in The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom 2024 Edition

Ampersand Advocates is thrilled to announce seven members have been included in the esteemed group of legal professionals recognised in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom. The accolades were officially published on 8 June 2023 on

The inclusion in Best Lawyers is a result of a rigorous peer-review survey. The founding principle of Best Lawyers, unchanged since 1981, forms the basis of their transparent methodology: the best lawyers know who the best lawyers are.

The advocates from Ampersand Advocates who have been recognised in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom are:

Ampersand Advocates congratulates all for their well-deserved recognition and extends its appreciation to the legal community for their continued support and trust.


The SPLG Annual Conference 2023

* External provider: Scottish Public Law Group *

Book online here

Keynote speech from Lord Sales, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Essential legal update briefings will be offered by:

We will also have insightful and topical contributions in panel sessions on issues including:

Further speakers will be announced shortly.