0131 260 5674 (see contact page with direct dials for our Clerks during working from home arrangements)
ampersandclerks@advocates.org.uk

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.

 

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Emma Busby

Emma Busby joined Ampersand as a Deputy Clerk in February 2020. Prior to joining us, Emma worked for the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South and brings with her experience of working in a fast paced environment and front facing administrative role. Despite having no previous experience of working in the Legal sector, Emma’s personable outlook and efficient work ethic makes her a great asset to the clerking team.

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

Ampersand has 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 2020.

Ampersand received 60 listings across 16 areas of practice, ranking as top tier (band 1) in Clinical Negligence as a Set, and band 2 in Administrative & Public law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Planning & Environment, Personal Injury, Product Liability and Restructuring/Insolvency as a Set. 5 members are noted as “star individuals”.

Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, Ampersand has 18 rankings in this area, including 2 “Star Individuals”. The guide says “Ampersand dominates the Scottish medical negligence market due to its outstanding reputation and impressive offering of advocates. It has a wide selection of juniors and silks at the stable, who act on behalf of both claimants and defenders. Members have far-reaching expertise, covering all areas of clinical negligence, including the most severe birth injuries, fatal surgical errors and cancer cases, as well as widely publicised group actions concerning medical device liability, such as the pelvic mesh litigation. Instructing solicitors point out that the set “has depth and very strong, specialised practitioners.” The clerks also receive high praise “The service is first class. The clerks are extremely approachable, very helpful and nothing is too much trouble for them.” “Alan Moffat is the lead clerk and is a good point of contact. He is helpful and accommodating, so I can go directly to him if I need something urgently.” The “Star Individuals” are Maria Maguire QC and David Stephenson QC.

Band 2 listings include Administrative and Public law where Ampersand is noted as a “Highly regarded stable which possesses several standout advocates acting in important constitutional, commercial and human rights cases. The advocates represent petitioners and respondents in judicial reviews, advise public bodies on the interpretation of regulations and legislation, and act for core participants in public inquiries”. In Civil Liberties & Human Rights the Band 2 listing notes Ampersand as a “A highly regarded stable, Ampersand Advocates has members who represent both claimants and defendants in high-profile civil liberties and human rights cases. Advocates regularly appear at the highest courts in Scotland and the UKSC, as well as the ECtHR and CJEU.”.

In Commercial Dispute Resolution it states “Ampersand Advocates is a highly regarded stable, noted for its involvement in a wide range of complex commercial disputes. The stable houses a number of experienced commercial advocates at both silk and junior levels, and attracts instructions from a diverse client base that includes several financial institutions and large corporates. Its advocates offer expertise in professional negligence, construction and commercial contracts disputes, as well as matters involving intellectual property, planning and insolvency.”

Ampersand’s Commercial expertise is further noted in Restructuring and Insolvency, which includes “Star Individual” David Sellar QC, stating Ampersand “Ampersand Advocates is a strong stable, housing some of the most distinguished restructuring and insolvency advocates in Scotland. It is a go-to stable for companies and their directors, banks and various government departments seeking restructuring advice and representation in major insolvency cases. Members are also regularly instructed by insolvency practitioners to assist with asset recovery matters, and offer significant expertise in international asset-tracing.”

Ampersand’s Personal Injury work is again acknowledged with the guide noting “A highly regarded stable in the personal injury market, Ampersand Advocates retains its reputation as a go-to stable for all manner of injury claims. In addition to offering representation to pursuers in complex and high-value catastrophic and fatal injury claims, the stable’s advocates are also regularly instructed by defenders, and have experience acting on behalf of government agencies and several major insurers. Areas of particular strength for the stable include cases arising from RTAs, accidents at work and accidents abroad, and its advocates are noted for their expert handling of complex employers’ and occupiers’ liability claims. The tenants are also frequently called upon to represent a variety of parties, including local authorities, health boards and bereaved families in fatal accident inquests. Instructing solicitors praise Ampersand as “a very professional stable which provides a high level of service,” adding that “you can tell that everyone there really cares about what they’re doing.”. The clerks get a special note for being “very organised and you can rely on the team to get back to you.” “The clerks are very good at dealing with any queries and are very flexible and very friendly – you never have any difficulties getting in touch with them.” “The clerking team is friendly, reliable, quick at responding and always happy to help.” The “very proactive and easy to deal with” Alan Moffat is the head clerk.” The listing includes Maria Maguire QC and Graham Primrose QC as “Star Individuals”.

In Planning and Environment it states “Ampersand Advocates is distinguished for the substantial planning and environmental expertise of its advocates. It acts for local authorities and all kinds of developers in cases heard at all levels of the court system, including the Supreme Court. The environmental aspects of energy developments are a great source of instructions for Ampersand Advocates. Members of the stable are regularly involved in high-profile matters, including the public inquiry into the refusal of planning permission for the development of the Royal High School in Edinburgh, a challenge to the planning consent for Aberdeen FC’s new stadium and a Supreme Court case dealing with the complexities of European law in relation to a wind farm development.” This includes “Star Individual” Malcolm Thomson QC.

Ampersand is also a Band 2 set in Product Liability stating “A respected presence in the product liability field, with a strong track record of representing pursuers and defenders in a broad array of claims. The stable is able to draw on its impressive capabilities in professional liability and personal injury.”

Ampersand’s full listings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.

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Ampersand Advocates ‘goes above and beyond at all times’ in latest Legal 500 UK Bar listings

Ampersand is delighted to be once again be recommended as a top-tier set by The Legal 500 UK Bar Directory in their latest listings for 2019 published today.

The guide says “‘From a user’s perspective’, Ampersand Advocates ‘goes above and beyond at all times to assist wherever possible’. Like the other Scottish stables, a diverse range of work comes through its doors, however, tort, real estate, and commercial matters are key strengths, and arbitration is a growing area of focus. ‘All the clerks are friendly, accommodating and very professional’, however at the most senior level Alan Moffat ‘will go out of his way to make sure you get the right counsel for the job’, and his deputy Sheena Hume is ‘particularly efficient and easy to deal with’. Vinit Khurana QC and Una Doherty QC took silk in 2018.”

Ampersand has 36 listings across 10 areas of practice in the Legal 500 UK 2019 guide. The Scottish bar section can be viewed here.

Civil liberties, human rights, public inquiries, and public and administrative law (including local government)

Key areas of work at Ampersand Advocates include EU law, judicial review, and procurement matters. Aidan O’Neill QC recently lead on behalf of the petitioners in Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, an Court of Justice of the European Union case concerning if it was possible for a member state to revoke its notification of intent to leave the European Union under Article 50.
Leading Seniors
Aidan O’Neill QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Intellectually impressive and creative in his approach to dealing with issues of public law. ’
Douglas Ross QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly intelligent and tenacious, with good common sense ’
Dorothy Bain QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly recommended for civil liberties work. ’
Leading Juniors
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A first-class legal mind who deals well with complicated cases. ’
Timothy Young – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Technically excellent in public procurement matters. ’

Commercial litigation

Ampersand Advocates is home to a strong contingent of commercial litigators, with experience in a wide range of commercial cases. Notable recent highlights include Take-Two Interactive Software Inc and Rockstar Games Inc v Aaron Renicks, in which Usman Tariq acts, as junior to Roddy Dunlop QC for the developers of Grand Theft Auto who are pursuing a claim against the developer of a modification for the game. Giles Reid recently acted for the borrower in a case concerning the oral variation of a loan agreement, as well as interim orders preventing the lender from commencing bankruptcy.
Leading Seniors
Alan Dewar QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Hugely experienced, completely unflappable and always fights his client’s corner. ’
Robert Howie QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ His depth of knowledge in commercial matters is unparalleled. ’
Leading Juniors
Ross Anderson – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Never afraid to take on even the largest of legal challenges. ’
Eoghainn MacLean – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Enthusiastic and conscientious.
Giles Reid – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A legal encyclopaedia. ’
Usman Tariq – Ampersand Advocates ‘ His advice and knowledge is consistently of the highest standard. ’
Laura-Anne Van Der Westhuizen – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Particularly recommended for shipping and infrastructure work. ’

Company and insolvency

Members of Ampersand Advocates are particularly experienced in insolvency matters, acting for all parties in such cases. Of recent note, Timothy Young recently acted for the liquidators in Rowallan Asset Management Limited v Morris & Co, which involved a claim for gratuitous alienation (a transfer under value to dissipate assets) relating to a large agricultural property holding company.
Leading Seniors
David Sellar QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ His technical knowledge of company and insolvency law makes him a go-to. ’
Leading Juniors
Timothy Young – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Clients appreciate his confident yet approachable demeanour. ’

Employment

Russell Bradley of Ampersand Advocates acts for employers in a wide range of first instance matters, with particular expertise of defending whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal claims.

Russell Bradley – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Extremely tenacious when needed and great with clients.

Intellectual property, information technology and media

Usman Tariq at Ampersand Advocates is highly recommended for contentious intellectual property matters, as well as maintaining a substantial presence in the IT sector, particularly in matters concerning gaming and digital applications. Recent instructions include a substantial trade mark infringement and passing off dispute between two manufacturers of electronic cigarettes, where Tariq acted for the pursuers, as well as conducting breach of interdict cases on behalf of large rights-holders such as Sky and the Performing Right Society.

Usman Tariq – Ampersand Advocates ‘ The best all-round IP junior in Scotland. ’

Personal injury and medical negligence

Ampersand Advocates is home to one of the key teams in personal injury and clinical negligence within Scotland, and has ‘real strength in depth’ across all levels of call. Members have significant expertise in all areas of such work, with recent cases including fatal accidents, medical device litigation, catastrophic injury and birth injury. A notable recent case for the set is Gibson v Babcock International, a leading case on the issue of secondary exposure to asbestos, in which Simon Di Rollo QC led for the pursuers.
Leading Seniors
Lisa Henderson QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly numerate, excellent at drafting complex schedules of loss and very personable. ’
Geoffrey Mitchell QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly respected by both health boards and claimant solicitors ’
Douglas Ross QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A relatively new silk who already posesses all the qualities of an experienced one. ’
David Stephenson QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A superb orator who excels before the court. ’
Simon Bowie QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Recommended for significant clinical negligence cases. ’
Una Doherty QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Extremely reliable, quick-witted and efficient. ’
Maria Maguire QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Combines superb advocacy skills and a forensic attention for detail. ’
Simon Di Rollo QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly experienced in industrial disease claims. ’
Lauren Sutherland QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Leaves no stone unturned to find a path to a successful outcome. ’
Leading Juniors
Jamie Dawson – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Fantastic at dealing with complex medical evidence and technical details. ’
Fiona Drysdale – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Well-prepared, good with clients and has an eye for detail. ’
Chris Marney – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A very safe pair of hands with good commercial sense. ’
Jennifer Nicholson – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A strong negotiator who has achieved fantastic results for clients.
Brian Fitzpatrick – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Always willing to get stuck in. ’

Planning, environmental and licensing

Ampersand Advocates is home to planning law specialists Marcus McKay QC and Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen, who are often instructed in complex or high-profile inquiries and appeals. Notable recent highlights include McKay’s representation of The Viking Wind Farm in a consent application under crofting legislation, and Westhuizen’s work on behalf of the Scottish ministers in an appeal lodged by a dairy farm following the refusal of planning permission for a large greenbelt development.
Leading Seniors
Marcus McKay QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Highly experienced in energy-related planning work. ’
Leading Juniors
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A first-class planning junior. ’

Professional Negligence

Members of Ampersand Advocates are instructed by both pursuers and defenders in professional negligence cases, across the full range of industry sectors. Recent highlights include Midlothian Council v Bracewell Stirling, where Paul Reid acted as a junior to Alastair Duncan QC on behalf of the defenders, an architectural firm alleged to be liable for negligent ground investigations carried out by another company.
Paul Reid – Ampersand Advocates ‘ One to watch for professional negligence matters. ’

Property, construction and agriculture

Members of Ampersand Advocates are instructed in a wide range of commercial development and property disputes, as well as agricultural issues and nuisance claims. Timothy Young recently advised the defenders on several potential cases concerning property damage caused by incorrectly constituted mortar in the development of a large residential estate.
Leading Seniors
Craig Sandison QC – Ampersand Advocates ‘ A masterful advocate. ’
Leading Juniors
Ross Anderson – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Definitely one to watch for property litigation. ’
Timothy Young – Ampersand Advocates ‘ Exceptionally intelligent with a gift for honing in on the points that matter. ’

Tax, trusts and pensions

Ross Anderson at Ampersand Advocates has significant experience acting for HM Revenue and Customs in both the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals. He also appeared as appearing as a junior to Kieron Beal QC of Blackstone Chambers in London, again on behalf of the Revenue, in the Supreme Court case Frank A Smart & Sons v HMRC, which concerned the deductability of VAT incurred when purchasing entitlements to the Single Farm Payment, a European Union farming subsidy.
Ross Anderson – Ampersand Advocates ‘ He has made a sure-footed transition from academia to the Bar. ’

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Top Rankings success in latest Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide

Ampersand has 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 2019.

Ampersand received 56 listings across 17 areas of practice, ranking as top tier (band 1) in Clinical Negligence as a Set, and band 2 in Administrative & Public law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Planning & Environment, Personal Injury, Product Liability and Restructuring/Insolvency as a Set. 4 members are noted as “star individuals”.

Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, Ampersand has 16 rankings in this area. The guide says “Ampersand enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of Scottish clinical negligence litigation. It houses a large number of advocates who specialise in the pursuit and defence of clinical negligence cases, including both QCs and juniors. Matters commonly dealt with include brain and spinal injury claims as well as fatal accident inquiries. Members are skilled at handling high-profile group actions, such as the recent suits regarding vaginal mesh implants. Sources highlight the stable’s impressive offering in the area and the “great strength and depth” of its advocates.” The listing includes Maria Maguire QC as a “Star Individual”.

Band 2 listings include Administrative and Public law where Ampersand’s frequent level public law challenges across a wide range of practice areas noted. In Civil Liberties & Human Rights the Band 2 listing notes Ampersand as a “dynamic group of public law and human rights advocates” and that “Ampersand Advocates is particularly well known for advising on the ECHR and the intersection between UK and EU law.”

In Commercial Dispute Resolution it states “Ampersand Advocates offers a strong bench of versatile and well-regarded commercial dispute resolution practitioners. The stable houses a number of silks and juniors experienced in general commercial litigation, with proficiency in disputes concerning insolvency, professional negligence and construction in particular. Advocates are also noted for their abilities in contentious matters involving planning, commercial contracts and intellectual property, often representing large companies and financial institutions”. Ampersand’s Commercial expertise is further noted in Restructuring and Insolvency, which includes “Star Individual” David Sellar QC, stating Ampersand “Home to leading silks for restructuring and insolvency in Scotland. They are regularly instructed by insolvency administrators, directors and shareholders in a variety of matters ranging from the interaction of insolvency law with public regulatory schemes to allegations of wrongful trading. The advocates have good expertise in relation to jurisdictional matters.”

Ampersand’s Personal Injury work is again acknowledged with the guide noting “A well-reputed personal injury stable on the Scottish Circuit, noted for its expert handling of complex catastrophic injury and fatal claims on behalf of both pursuers and defenders. It is regularly instructed by several leading Scottish law firms, as well as major insurers and government agencies.” It also notes that our “members also have experience appearing before fatal accident inquiries, representing health boards, doctors and hospitals, as well as bereaved families and individuals. Ampersand’s advocates are regularly involved in high-value and complex personal injury claims, and have litigated cases in the Sheriff Courts, the Court of Session and the Supreme Court.” The listing includes Maria Maguire QC and Graham Primrose QC as “Star Individuals”.

In Planning and Environment it states “Ampersand Advocates includes a number of advocates who specialise in planning and environmental law. It excels in handling judicial reviews and planning challenges, and has substantive expertise in the communications, transport and energy sectors. Its clients include local councils, conservation bodies and developers.” This includes “Star Individual” Malcolm Thomson QC. Ampersand is also a Band 2 set in Product Liability stating “A prominent player in product liability matters, with additional bench strength in the areas of personal injury and professional liability. Members routinely act in cases involving defective medical devices and claims relating to industrial product liability. They are experienced in the representation of defenders and pursuers, both in individual cases and in group actions.”

The Clerks also receive high praise again stating “the clerking is excellent” noting “the clerking team is very responsive and experienced. The quality shines through.” and “team is very accommodating and helpful. The clerks respond to enquiries timeously”.

Ampersand’s full listings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.

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“Ampersand’s advocates attract praise for their ‘excellent depth and breadth of knowledge’” – in latest Legal 500 UK Bar listings

Ampersand is delighted to be once again be recommended as a top-tier set by The Legal 500 UK Bar Directory in their latest listings for 2018 published today.

The guide says “Ampersand’s advocates attract praise for their ‘excellent depth and breadth of knowledge’ across a range of areas, particularly in the field of personal injury and clinical negligence. Practitioners also have expertise in planning, commercial, property and regulatory law. The ‘very user-friendly’ and ‘proactive’ Alan Moffat (‘when there are challenges he finds a solution’) leads the ‘efficient, friendly and helpful’ clerking team.”

Ampersand has 34 listings across 8 areas of practice in the Legal 500 UK 2018 guide.

Civil liberties, human rights, public inquiries, and public and administrative law (including local government)

Practitioners at Ampersand report an uptick in cases involving human rights matters, alongside public inquiry work and EU law cases. Members of the stable continue to act in the long-running Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Aidan O’Neill QC – ‘Immensely intelligent and tremendous on his feet.’
Dorothy Bain QC – ‘Her practice covers the purview of civil and public law matters.’
Douglas Ross QC – ‘Intellectual, analytical, perceptive and thorough.’
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen – ‘She is diligent and industrious.’

Commercial litigation

Ampersand’s practitioners are instructed across a broad spectrum of commercial disputes. Recent case highlights include up-and-coming junior Giles Reid appearing in the Court of Session in a matter relating to the enforcement of a judgment made in a Belgian court; the Court of Session found the enforcement of a demand for payment could not take place due to a lacunae in the law.

Alan Dewar QC – ‘Highly experienced across a range of commercial disputes.’
Craig Sandison QC – ‘A brilliant commercial silk.’
Robert Howie QC – ‘Exceptionally persuasive on his feet.’
Eoghainn MacLean – ‘Enthusiastic and conscientious.’
Giles Reid – ‘He has remarkable oral advocacy skills.’
Usman Tariq – ‘Very good on his feet.’

Company and insolvency

Ampersand’s advocates are instructed across a range of liquidation and insolvency matters, including director disqualifications, shareholder disputes and asset recovery matters.

David Sellar QC – ‘His knowledge of insolvency law is outstanding.’

Employment

Ampersand’s recent caseload includes unfair dismissal cases, TUPE and discrimination matters.

Russell Bradley – ‘He is proactive, commercial and precise.’

Intellectual property, information technology and media

In 2017, Usman Tariq at Ampersand successfully represented the respondents in CCHG Ltd (t/a Vaporized) v Vapouriz, an appeal resulting from a dispute between two prominent UK e-cigarette retailers over their respective trade marks; this case marked the first time the Court of Session heard an appeal from the UK Intellectual Property Office under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Craig Sandison QC – ‘His practice includes trade mark disputes and defamation matters.’
Usman Tariq – ‘He has the ear of the court.’

Personal injury and medical negligence

Ampersand has ‘excellent depth and breadth of knowledge’ across the medical negligence and personal injury fields, with members handling a broad range of matters including birth injuries, brain and spinal injuries, cerebral palsy claims, as well as fatal and catastrophic injuries.

David Stephenson QC – ‘Very well known for representing NHS bodies in clinical malpractice matters.’
Douglas Ross QC – ‘He has encyclopaedic legal knowledge.’
Euan Mackenzie QC – ‘Highly methodical and brilliant in court.’
Graham Primrose QC – ‘Very experienced in personal injury reparation cases.’
Lisa Henderson QC – ‘She is extremely hardworking, with extensive experience in high-value personal injury cases.’
Lauren Sutherland QC – ‘She is a very conscientious and personable silk.’
Maria Maguire QC – ‘A formidable advocate who commands respect.’
Simon Di Rollo QC – ‘An expert on clinical negligence matters.’
Archie MacSporran – ‘Recommended for cerebral palsy and brain injury cases.’
Brian Fitzpatrick – ‘A tenacious negotiator.’
Christian Marney – ‘Robust and intellectual.’
Fiona Drysdale – ‘Recommended for catastrophic injury cases arising from road traffic accidents and medical negligence.’
James Dawson – ‘He has a very analytical eye.’
Una Doherty – ‘A high-calibre advocate.’

Planning, environmental and licensing

Members of Ampersand have solid experience in planning and environmental law matters. Energy and infrastructure projects form core areas of instruction for the team, with recent cases pertaining to challenges to wind farm and power line developments.

Ailsa Wilson QC – ‘A resourceful and determined advocate.’
Malcolm Thomson QC – ‘He commands the respect of the bench.’
Marcus McKay QC – ‘He is very experienced in renewable energy matters.’
Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen – ‘A safe pair of hands.’

Property, construction and agriculture

Practitioners at Ampersand have expertise in contractual matters as well as landlord and tenant disputes, among other areas.

Robert Howie QC – ‘He holds the ear of the judiciary.’
Eoghainn MacLean – ‘A very meticulous advocate.’

Full listings can be viewed here.

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