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Ampersand’s Susanne Tanner QC appointed as arbitrator for Motor Insurers’ Bureau cases for untraced and uninsured drivers

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

Susanne Tanner QC has been appointed by the Lord President as an arbitrator for Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) cases where the driver at fault cannot be traced or is uninsured, under the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement and the Uninsured Drivers’ Agreement, between the Secretary of State for Transport and the MIB. A claimant disputing a decision by the MIB on whether to make an award, or the amount of compensation, or any other dispute between MIB and the applicant arising out of a decision, determination or requirement made by MIB, or the approval of claims from minors and protected parties, can have the matter referred to arbitration. Susanne said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed to the MIB arbitration panel, as I continue to expand my alternative dispute resolution work as both an arbitrator and mediator, alongside my practice at the Bar.”


Mary Ellen Stewart

Mary Ellen Stewart called to the Bar in 2021, after training and qualifying with Brodies LLP, and latterly working there as a senior solicitor.

As a solicitor, Mary Ellen had a busy practice dealing with a broad range of commercial disputes. Her practice had a particular focus on commercial contracts, banking and finance, insolvency and professional liability litigation. When in private practice, Mary Ellen appeared in the Sheriff Courts and instructed Counsel in Court of Session cases.

Mary Ellen has a particular interest in professional liability and regulation. She also has an interest in maritime and shipping law, and is the Advocate member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Marine Law Sub-Committee. Mary Ellen is also a part-time tutor of Contract Law and Unjustified Enrichment at Edinburgh University.

Mary Ellen was appointed to junior panel of Standing Junior Counsel to the Advocate General for Scotland in 2021.

Mary Ellen is fluent and fully literate in Scottish Gaelic and is well placed to undertake work involving consideration of documents in Gaelic.



Ampersand establishes itself as a leading set in Scotland for qualified mediators

Five members of Ampersand have successfully completed a professional mediation qualification, further enhancing the set’s wide offering of counsel specialising in different forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The set now offers eight counsel qualified in mediation.

Susanne Tanner QC, Vinit Khurana QC, Una Doherty QC, Euan Mackenzie QC and Brian Fitzpatrick undertook training and assessment with International Mediation Institute (IMI) and Civil Mediation Council (CMC) registered mediation training provider, Phoenix Dispute Solutions Limited. Following their successful completion of the assessed training course, all five have been certified by the IMI as Qualified Mediators. Susanne, Una and Euan have undertaken a further assessment and are also now CMC-qualified mediators which makes them eligible to apply for CMC Associate Membership in England and Wales.

Vinit Khurana QC explained why he was interested in developing his practice to include qualification as a mediator. “The pandemic has changed the way we work. Having been involved in several successful mediations in England over the past year (all done remotely from Scotland), I saw the value in the skills of the mediators before whom I appeared. This motivated me to learn that skill set, which I saw as being complementary to that of a court practitioner (with considerable overlap to the skills acquired during my previous career as a medical GP). Mediations continue to be more popular in England than in Scotland, in my experience thus far. However, the significant advantages in having a party led, confidential ADR process with a high success rate and limited costs make mediation an attractive proposition wherever we are in this new, smaller world.

Susanne Tanner QC, Stable Director, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed undertaking the course and learning new skills to complement my existing ADR and litigation practice. It was a good opportunity to see how technology can be effectively used to facilitate the mediation process, with the use of virtual rooms for sessions, which can be replicated in practice if face-to-face meetings are not the preferred option, either because of the pandemic, or because of the parties’ preferences or environmental considerations.

Ampersand is already an extremely strong set for ADR work, offering a wide selection of arbitrators, mediators, adjudicators and expert determiners, as well as counsel specialising in representing clients in ADR processes. With the pandemic continuing to cause delays across the justice system, it is important that Ampersand can offer solutions which are tailored to clients’ needs. Mediation is a good example of a facilitated process which may assist in resolving disputes at an earlier stage. All of our mediators also bring to the mediation process the skills which they have developed in their legal practices and an in-depth knowledge of the litigation process.

Una Doherty QC, said: “I believe that the knowledge and skills learned on the mediation course will supplement and enrich my existing practice. In some cases, mediation can be a useful alternative to seeking a final resolution of a dispute by a judge. Building on my experience of participating in mediation as counsel, I can now be appointed as mediator to facilitate the resolution of disputes. My improved knowledge of the mediator’s role and the process of mediation will also benefit my appearance at mediations as counsel”.

For details of all of Ampersand’s mediators, who also include Lauren Sutherland QCMichael Stuart QC and Roderick Campbell, please click here. You will also find details of all of Ampersand’s ADR practitioners here too

Alan Moffat, and the clerking team can assist in identifying the most suitable mediator or ADR counsel for your needs. To contact them to discuss instructing any of Ampersand’s members, please click here.



What next in Hearts & Partick Thistle’s case against relegation? Ampersand’s Paul Reid talks to the BBC

Ampersand’s Paul Reid joined BBC Scotland’s Sportsound programme to answer key questions following the Court of Session hearing that decided Hearts and Partick Thistle’s legal challenge to their relegations will be heard by an arbitration panel.

You can view the BBC Sport article here.


Nicholas McAndrew

Prior to calling, Nick McAndrew was a solicitor for five years in a large Scottish commercial law firm.

Nick specialised in Construction Litigation. In that role, he acted in disputes relating to contractual, delictual and statutory liability, and developed expertise resolving those disputes across forums (including the Sheriff Court and Court of Session, Adjudication, Arbitration and Mediation).

While devilling, Nick built upon his existing construction law experience, and also gained experience of other commercial disputes and planning disputes before the Lands Tribunal.

Selected cases:


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/